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I screwed up. What if its too late?

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Snowyjune posted 3/30/2020 20:56 PM

Background:

I had a EA/ PA with a colleague when travelling for a work trip. Friendship became 2 nights of sex, followed up with sexting and wanting to be together forever kinda BS. I become cold at home, went on family trips angry with the world and my r/s.

Dday1 came a month later - Sep 2019.
I promised NC immediately the next workday.
I told BH I am NC, and continued to work in the same office as I felt i couldn't quit due to commitments.

For months till end Dec, i wanted out. I was struggling so much, but I didn't care to read anything. I was just so overwhelmed. I wanted everything and nothing.

In end Dec, I finally saw what I am doing to my BH all this time, what kinda of person I am. He broke down and was suicidal. That was my wake up call. I worked on myself and was truly trying to repair things, with the exception of the truth i had hidden within.

Sucker punch: I lied to my BH about NC. I broke it weeks later and had coffee with AP. I gaslighted him for months to assure him that I was NC as I didnt know how to navigate.

All this time BH was trying to help me, at the expense of his life, sanity and humanity.

I couldn't come out of my affair fog. Had a couple more coffees and occasional texts to him when I couldn't stop myself. Completely broke it off in mid Jan post holidays. Had a final kiss on the cheek goodbye (which i also know was wrong) and completely erased him from my life.

All came tumbling out yesterday, when BH and I went through my journal. Hence DDay 2 was yesterday 30th March.

I have no more secrets and I am relieved (which I can see is an injustice in itself)

I was committed to becoming different this year, and actively worked on everything else, except the lies.

But now BH is completely totalled. I have just crushed him to the core and deeper. Everything he knows for 6 months is a lie and tells me he hates me more than he loves me.

I am doing everything I can now. I installed tracking app, WA on Web, full access to my emails and journal. I hide nothing. Changing my number and job.

Nothing I saw now is trusted. I can only show it through my actions and that takes time (which I am willing to put in)

But is it too late? What can I do? I dont want a D.
100% petrified.

WontBeFooledAgai posted 3/30/2020 21:15 PM

Well, your BH even if he weren't as crushed as he is, has to be confused as to why you want him and your marriage NOW, versus 6--8 months ago when you gave yourself permission to have the affair in the first place. I mean, respectfully, he has ample reason to believe that you aren't sorry you had the affair, you are only sorry you got *caught*. I mean, doesn't it all look this way to you?

I am gonna say here what I said in your other thread. You really really need to find out your why's for all this--why you gave yourself permission to cheat in the first place.


[This message edited by WontBeFooledAgai at 9:19 PM, March 30th (Monday)]

woodlandlost posted 3/30/2020 21:16 PM

Hey,

You bet. The pain is real, traumatic, non-stop horror for the BS. I know, I am one. Sounds like you are taking action, which is good news. You have no idea how brutal and deep that gut punch is. Show him compassion...

sorryforeverythi posted 3/30/2020 21:17 PM

Hate isn't the opposite of love indifference is. If he hates you he still has strong feelings for you. You just need to give him time and utter transparency.

It's up to him to decide if he wants to re-commit to you but you can show him that your are actually doing the work and it might sway him back to love.

eehamlet posted 3/30/2020 21:44 PM

Better late than never I guess.

If he continues on with you are are a very lucky woman. He certainly deserves far better than what you have given him so far.

I hope that you'll do everything you can to rebuild the trust that has been lost. That's the only thing you can do now.

Frankly I don't think that you will. You had to have seen how much your initial admission hurt him. It damn near killed him. So what did you do? You went back to your affair partner. If you could do something like that even after you saw what it was doing to him what kind of person are you? Do you want to drive him to suicide? Because your actions so far sure do look like it.

Snowyjune posted 3/30/2020 21:44 PM

Thanks for the responses...
The panic I have real, and its almost farcical and ironic as well. 6 months too late is the common theme here.
I can see why my BH scorns my remorse.

WontBeFooledAgai

I am gonna say here what I said in your other thread. You really really need to find out your why's for all this--why you gave yourself permission to cheat in the first place.

Working on myself is a definite. It will be a lifelong thing. I have realised i compartmentalise and disassociate too easily.

Thinking of ways and advice on how to help BH, esp now when there doesn't seem to be any time left.

sorryforeverythi

Hate isn't the opposite of love indifference is. If he hates you he still has strong feelings for you.

Made me cry. I will continue to work on showing him. I have told him he can stop loving me and trying, so that I can step up.


Snowyjune posted 3/30/2020 21:54 PM

Thanks for the brutal honesty eehamlet.

Frankly I don't think that you will. You had to have seen how much your initial admission hurt him. It damn near killed him. So what did you do? You went back to your affair partner. If you could do something like that even after you saw what it was doing to him what kind of person are you? Do you want to drive him to suicide? Because your actions so far sure do look like it.

Yes I am lucky. Lucky that BH is still even here.
For years I have been angry and disgruntled. I became this person I dont recognize anymore. And yes, all that I have done in the past 6 months was to kill him off even more.

I was deeply entrenched in the affair fog.

It is sad that this is what it took for me to see the light, and I see it all now.

I will carry this destruction on my conscious forever.

HellFire posted 3/30/2020 21:57 PM

Of course he doubts your remorse. Because let's be honest here. If you were remorseful, you would have told him that you continued the affair after dday. He wouldn't have had to discover it by looking in your journal.

Scared. Regretful. Scrambling to cover your ass..yes. But true remorse takes time. And you just gave him.l another dday yesterday.

You may reach true remorse, but you are not there yet.

JungAdmirer posted 3/30/2020 22:03 PM

Snow,
Wow, this gave me the chills. My WW has almost the same story as yours (albeit 8 years ago). What are going to do to address the reasons behind your choices? What are you going to do to take the lead in rebuilding the trust you decimated? Transparency is required, but it doesn't address your choices nor rebuild trust. Transparency is meant to sooth hyper-vigilance.

Like your BH, I had dreams where I saw my WW dead. You eventually realize it's not that you want your WW dead. It's that you want the pain to stop, and the wayward is the source of that pain. Your BH has to be able to internalize this wounding, and to accept some important aspects of his partner he had faith in were simply not true.

As you described, it appears your BH was deeply bonded to you, hence the depth of his pain. The fact that you were able to give yourself permission for the PA probably means you were less invested in the relationship. That must change in his eyes, forever. Kindest Regards-

WontBeFooledAgai posted 3/30/2020 22:47 PM

Well, that you disassociate and compartmentalize too easily is just but a start to getting to your real Why's. Please keep digging.

What were you so angry about, the years before your affair? Did you think you could do better than your BH?

And gently, I must point this out. You were saying much of this a few weeks ago on here already, saying how sorry you were and how you were doing all you could to help your BH. But then today,....., it comes out to us AND to him that you were keeping from him that the affair had gone on...a few more months. You were still lying to your BH, and he had to discover the truth today. You were still willfully deceiving him all this time.

That is not 'doing all you can'. It is not even 'working hard to repair yourself, with the exception of the truth you kept in', as those two things contradict each other completely. At least be honest with yourself here.

If you do want to help heal your BH and fix yourself, I do hope you stick around this time. You will be told a lot of things you may not want to hear, but you will be helped in cutting through the noise and the flawed thinking that got you here.

[This message edited by WontBeFooledAgai at 11:16 PM, March 30th (Monday)]

Snowyjune posted 3/30/2020 23:29 PM

Thank you all for the harsh truths.

Before the affair, I thought we were too different, we were drifting apart. All I saw was his anger and his possessiveness, not knowing that it was me who caused it. I gaslighted him for years even before the affair. He's been doing he best he could, and i ignored it, only focusing on the negative.
I became angry and resentful.

And gently, I must point this out. You were saying much of this a few weeks ago on here already, saying how sorry you were and how you were doing all you could to help your BH. But then today,....., it comes out to us AND to him that you were keeping from him that the affair had gone on...a few more months. You were still lying to your BH, and he had to discover the truth by accident. You were still willfully deceiving him.

Yes. It is true. I had finally "seen the light" but was too afraid to admit to the biggest lie of it all, and wanted to do everything else but be honest.

Now that it is all out, I feel like I am now finally in the right place to do all that is necessary. Even this is terrible to even type and hear, as it had to take this much to see the truth. The cost is so high.

Jameson1977 posted 3/31/2020 00:22 AM

As a BH that was gaskit and TT'd by my WW for a long time, I'm glad you realize that the relief you feel now that your husband had to figure out you were still lying only transferred all that shit to him.

My WW said she felt a sense of relief after I confronted her. I bet she did, it all fell on me.

Buckle up, this will be a long road.

Organic2003 posted 3/31/2020 01:35 AM

Hi Snowy

FYI I am a traumatized BH

I am sorry it took so long for you to see a little of the pain, but glad you have, it seems to be normal for WW to continue affairs after DD1. I don't pretend to understand.

The very first thing to work on is his suicidal thoughts, please take this seriously, it is far far to common in sexual betrayal (Statistically of the charts). Get him some safe help, maybe a close friend, professional help might be hard to find now. Finding him dead would be the worst outcome.

Be sure he drinks a lot of water, it helps the emotional parts of the brain function better. Help him eat and exercise, a walk everyday. Maybe you could buy him some exercise equipment for at home, this could be one of the grand gestures some betrayed look for.

So many other things to do.

Read: How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful a required book for you.

Have you quit your job or just changed positions at the same company? If you haven't quit I would not believe a word you are saying - you are still in the affair. Your talk about transparency, tracking apps would be just more BS.

For you, I hope you can find your way back out of the fog, I suggest you will be in for a long fight with that and this forum can help.

I sincerely hope for the best for you and your husband


Serpico posted 3/31/2020 07:00 AM

Well....You have a long road ahead of you to say the least.

My advice?

Intensive individual counseling for you to figure out why you did what you did.

Intensive individual counseling for your husband so that he can begin to mitigate the pain he is in and make a clear decision with regard to your marriage. His decision may be divorce, so prepare yourself for this.

One question you may want to ask yourself:

Are you afraid of losing your husband for other reasons other than love? Financial reasons or something else maybe? Examine this, and if you come to that conclusion, let him go. If he is willing to give up so much to stay with you, he deserves to have someone who truly loves him.

I wish you the best.

Zugzwang posted 3/31/2020 08:34 AM

Before the affair, I thought we were too different, we were drifting apart.
Why do you have to be the same to feel good?
All I saw was his anger and his possessiveness, not knowing that it was me who caused it. I gaslighted him for years even before the affair. He's been doing he best he could, and i ignored it, only focusing on the negative.
Why? What do you mean by possessiveness? Did you enjoy flirting or going out and he thought it was wrong but you didn't? Elaborate
I became angry and resentful.
You set your needs wants and desires. Do you resent him or yourself? It isn't anyones job to meet them.

Think about what you want and expect from the people in your life. Are you substituting others for something you don't provide yourself? Do you use others? Are you needy? Do have unrealistic expectations? Are you shallow? Do you see people as objects? Do you love only because something is given to you? You can dig deeper, you just have to be willing to work for it.

Chaos posted 3/31/2020 09:06 AM

Snowy - I'm a BS so keep that in mind. I'll be blunt but not cruel. Know that before you read further.

I'm seeing a lot of I statements in your post. I this and I that and I, I, I. That thought/attitude comes through loud and clear to your BH. And it screams selfish.

Furthermore, help yourself and your communication with your BH. It isn't that you couldn't come out of your affair fog - you wouldn't. It isn't that you couldn't stop yourself - you wouldn't. You need to see the distinction. Because if you communicate that to him, he'll know it for the crock it is and it is yet another twist of the knife.

You need to be honest with yourself. You wax poetic about that last meeting. But in reality all you are telling us, him and yourself is "I knew it was wrong and did it anyway" You can't sugar coat that.

Now if you are still with me good. There is hope.

You need to put yourself in his shoes. Now. No matter how hard it is and how hard it hurts. You need to do it. Imagine him - every waking moment filled with pain. Every breath hurts. Every step feels like your legs are made of cement. Everything in his life was a lie. And just when he thought it safe to go back in the water - BAM!

The apps and stuff are nice but as he already knows - sadly anyone who wants to cheat will find a way. The apps will for a long time just give a false sense of security.

You can get yourself a good IC and be honest in those sessions. You can get him a good one as well. You can be humble. You can be compassionate. You can cowboy up and take it - because he's going to be hurling. Don't run away, fire back or deflect. Stand up and take it. Because he needs to do it and you need to realize what you did. You need to answer the same questions over and over and over and over again. And then answer them some more. You need to reassure him. You need to be present. You need to learn when he wants you close and when he needs space. You need to buckle up because this is a bumpy ride with no end in sight.

You need to take care of yourself and make sure he's taking care of him. Water. Breathing. Eating. Showering. The basics.

You claim you are willing to do the work. Good. Keep saying it. Say it over and over and over. He won't believe you. Not right away. I mean [blunt not cruel] he did once before. But your actions will speak far louder than words every will. And even if you don't realize it or think he is - he's watching.

xhz700 posted 3/31/2020 10:25 AM

Tell you what, here is a good exercise. Really actually do this.

Go back to your last thread and do a page search for the words truth, and honesty. You'll see them both several times. You asked "How do I make this right" and we told you in no uncertain terms exactly how to do that.

So you need to admit to yourself that by not working on honesty and transparency, you weren't actually working on anything at all.

If your husband posted in JFO with this story of an affair and 6 months of lies, I would tell him to leave you immediately. You lost the right to decide whether or not you want a divorce.

Actually be honest and open. Any further detail that he finds out without you telling him is going to bury you.

Actually do something for him.

betrayedafter20 posted 3/31/2020 10:44 AM

Snowy

I don't usually come into this room because I am BS. But your title caught my eye on the main page. There are a lot of parallels. MY WH is completely transparent now, after the 2nd Dday. He is going to IC. But not because he believes we can R - but because he feels horrible about destroying the family and wants to understand why he made that choice and to focus on being a better father.

There possibly is hope for you, because you seem to really WANT R. My WS I think, does not think it's possible (or doesn't think he can do all the work).

I will carry this destruction on my conscience forever.

My WH has been saying the same thing this month in the wake of the last DDay (and my last). I believe this is the case - he knows he has destroyed the family. But I'll be honest. I don't believe it would change him from doing it again, even if he wants R -unless he does some serious digging into himself with his IC and per my IC, it takes an average of 2-3 years. Do you and your BS have that kind of patience and time? Will you really be able to commit to the work?

Another thought. How codependent do you think your BH is? Because I am a codependent. If he is, he will probably work it out with you. I say this because it's a weakness on our parts. An unhealthy pattern. I am working on myself and realize there are other reasons I need to be away from my WH - not only is he a cheater, he is unkind and manipulative and I have been gaslighted for years in many areas - not just around the A.

So, if you two are going to really work toward R - he needs to have IC for himself to make sure he's not staying in the relationship for the wrong reasons. Because if he is, you two may end up in a similar pattern again. You both will have to break the pattern.

Ask yourself. Am I feeling temporary remorse because my A needs to end and I have hurt my spouse? I know you didn't want to hurt him. I know mine didn't want to hurt me. But in our conversations it's apparent to me that we (AP and I) are just two places (compartmentalized)and he gets his admiration he needs from her when he's not getting it at home because there are so many other unpleasant distractions (money, special needs kids, cancer dx). So the fun can be completely another place, an escape, an addiction. He didn't even think of me, or have a moment of guilt when he was with her. The guilt was when he came in the door. And then he would be angry and mean at home because he was resentful he had to have a secret.

There will be another A time for you, when you are not thinking about your BS, and it can/will happen again, after time. Unless you REALLY WORK. Intensely, for yourself - not for HIM. And if you do, he will see it. And maybe, if he sees that, you may have a chance.

It's too late for us because not only has he betrayed twice but he has carried anger into our relationship that has affected our children and our dynamic is not healthy and it will take too long to change, meanwhile I need the kids to have a better life example.

Something tells me that if my WH continues to do the work, he will fully understand, and come to me. But honestly. It will be too late, because I need to take care of myself and my kids.

Not sure if I'm even supposed to be in here but thought the other perspective might be helpful. It's helpful for me to see yours.

betrayedafter20 posted 3/31/2020 11:04 AM

Chaos said:

You need to put yourself in his shoes. Now. No matter how hard it is and how hard it hurts. You need to do it. Imagine him - every waking moment filled with pain. Every breath hurts. Every step feels like your legs are made of cement. Everything in his life was a lie. And just when he thought it safe to go back in the water - BAM!

For the record. THIS is REAL. It is how I've been feeling for a month. Don't underestimate his pain.

If you are going to do this, in your IC - get to a point that you know in your heart beyond a shadow of a doubt you will never cheat again. Because if on the slim chance he takes you back, and you cheat again, he WILL likely be Suicidal.

So please, if you have any inkling it could happen again -push aside your selfishness -the best thing you could do to show LOVE for him is to tell him that and let him end the marriage NOW. (I say let him because it gives a sense of control after the lost feeling of control after discovery). Put his needs ahead of our own for the love of God. You have been lying to him for a long time, - make sure you don't lie to yourself.

MY WH has now wasted 4 years of my life in false R. He said he had no intention of having another affair - that it "just happened". I guarantee if he had done the work the first tim in our MC, it wouldn't have "just happened" again. But If he had cut me loose after the first A, it would have been 4 years less my children would have been exposed to our unhealthy dynamic. Divorcing four years ago would have been hard and painful, but it will be even worse now.

I mean to post here with all good intentions and I hope you receive it that way it's just the perspective.

gmc94 posted 3/31/2020 11:35 AM

BW here. This may be harsh, but is not meant to be cruel.

Start with downloading How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair by Linda MacDonald. Read it today (it's short, like 100 pages). Put a copy of the successful rebuilders page (it's just a list) in your wallet, in your phone, in your car, everywhere. Read it EVERY DAY. Incorporate the list into your psyche.

Because you chose to continue the A, it seems to me there is a clear lack of empathy here (having an A shows lack of empathy - continuing the A after seeing a BS's devastation ratchets that up quite a bit in my book). Your words may sound nice, but they don't mean jack at this point (and I hope that if you look at the situation objectively, you will recognize that they shouldn't mean jack to anyone.... your BH gave you a GIFT of trying to work on things after dday, and not only did you not accept it with grace & humility, you abused him and his gift by continuing your A).

So. It seems to me that educating yourself about the TRAUMA that comes to a BS from an A is a much needed step on the path to finding some empathy (and I echo Chaos' post about how much of the selfish "I" is apparent). I would listen to the 2-part interview with Marnie Breecker on The Addicted Mind (there is a thread in General called something like "finally a therapist who gets it" which I will bump for you). This will be HARD to listen to (and just bc they talk about sex addicts and use the male pronouns for the WS does not - for one minute -mean that it doesn't apply to you or your BH).

I would also listen to the Helping Couples Heal podcasts (they are referenced in that "finally!" thread I will bump).

Get yourself in with a GOOD IC. A good IC will not blame the marriage or your BH for any of your choices (and that includes the subliminal blame that comes from exploring how the M made you "vulnerable" to an A - language that reeks of deflecting responsibility). A good IC will help you find the courage to become an honest person - not just with your BH, but in ALL things. Dishonesty and deceit are cornerstones of A behaviors.

Help your BH find a good IC too. Personally, I think someone that specializes in trauma is more important than specializing in infidelity. Most folks can find ways to educate themselves about infidelity (ideally on the relational betrayal model, which does not blame the BS for the WS choices, and does not re-traumatize the BS by suggesting they are codependent solely bc s/he is exhibiting signs of codependence post dday). If your BH is suicidal (and I was for at least a year - even after my own WH attempted suicide) this needs to happen ASAP.

Become the driver of your own healing bus. If you spilled milk, you would clean it up yourself... not wait for someone else to bring you a paper towel. This is no different (except spilling milk is a mistake.... an A is a deliberate choice). It is essential that the WS be proactive in their healing and in their support of the BS healing. You cannot fix him - he is broken in ways you cannot imagine, and (unfortunately) he can only heal himself. It ain't easy. If this is a difficult concept, it may help to imagine that you drove your car, drunk with ego kibble, into a brick wall... with your BH in the passenger seat. He's got myriad injuries, broken bones, etc. You cannot do the physical therapy for him... but you can support him through it all - the emotional equivalent of bringing him water, and ice packs, and driving him to the appointments, etc. Do NOT cower in your own shame and self victimization about the fact that you drive into the brick wall. That doesn't help anyone. Sure, you are also hurting from this. But (again) the difference is that you chose to engage in the hurtful behaviors.... he had zero choice in any of this.

Learn to let go of the outcome. IOW, do the work to fix the broken parts inside you bc it's what you need to do for you.... If you are only "doing the work" to try and save your M, most BS will smell it from a mile away.
Many of us don't understand how our WS can possibly think they want to be M, as having an A is the antithesis of wanting to stay married. A WS has shown by their actions that the BS and the M are expendable and we feel it deeply.

Try and find ways to be patient and understanding during your BH's "triggers". If you educate yourself on trauma, you will learn that our lizard brains go on overdrive, so when we say cruel things to our WS - esp in the first months- it comes from a place of abject pain and fear and all the things our lizard brains were designed to protect.

Do not minimize or become defensive. Instead, do what you can to validate the pain your BH is expressing. Even if your BH says things you find wrong, validate what they are feeling. There will be later times to explain how their perception differs from yours - the midst of a trigger (or flood or angry outburst) is not the time to quibble over who is "right". An easy example is a BS saying something like "I can't trust anyone because they are all liars". Rather than correcting them with "that's not true" or "only I am a liar", an empathetic response would be "I'm so sorry that my lies and living a secret sexual life has caused you to question the honor and trustworthiness of everything around you. I will do all that I can to become a person of honesty and integrity that deserves your trust".

Keep posting here. You can add a stop sign to prohibit BS from posting on your thread (this may be helpful if you feel BS's posts are cruel/hurtful.... sometimes we can let our anger take the reins and project our own hurt onto a WS's thread).

Buckle up and Godspeed. It's a pretty bumpy journey.

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