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Looking for advice...

Fugari03 posted 6/22/2020 10:12 AM

Hello all. This is my first post. I'll do my best to keep on track and to tell the whole story without writing a book. Simply put, I'm writing this to seek advice and help with what I am currently experiencing. Here it goes:

I am a female (29), as is my partner(33). The first 4 years of our relationship was incredible, dare I say...magical? It was everything I had ever hoped for and more. When we first met we were supposed to be "friends with benefits", but we quickly realized we were falling in love with each other. I told her a few lies about myself to boost my self-esteem. She was (and still is) incredibly beautiful and amazing and I wanted to impress her. (First mistake.) As time went on, our relationship continued to grow and our incredible love blossomed. We laughed together, had a ton of fun with each other, always smiled at and wanted to be around each other. When I walked in the door, her face lit up. Her beautiful blue eyes sparkled and I could feel her love for me.

As time went on, she finished her undergraduate degree and decided she wanted to go to grad school. Once this decision was made, tests were passed, qualifications were measured, school applications were put in. We had to figure out what to do with our house, because we would have to move, and she had a lot on her plate. During this time she started using her cellphone a lot more. She was glued to it. Pretending to listen to what I was saying, but not actually hearing me or listening. I felt neglected, so I tried talking to her about it. She apologized and said it would get better. It did not. I tried a second time to talk to her....still nothing changed. I attempted a third and final time to discuss this. I cried about it. Told her how I was feeling and showed her with my tears. Still...things did not change.

We moved. I was feeling neglected. I thought I had done the right thing by talking to her multiple times about what was bothering me, just to be ignored each time. I felt neglected, hurt, not worth being listened to. I had also told her lies about receiving a settlement. That along with the lies I told her at the beginning of our relationship started weighing me down, then to feel worthless on top of it sent me into a deep and dark spiral. I didn't understand what to do, so I did what both of my parents did to cope with unhappiness in a relationship. I sought attention from an outside source. I was texting a girl who I used to work next door to. I told her I was single and flirted with her some. My partner found out literally the same day it happened. She stumbled across the text messages in the night. DDay1. I apologized to her and explained that I was flirting with her, but never had any intention for it to go any further. I was just going to "ghost" her after a day or two. I saw how much it devastated her, but yet...I did it again, worse this time.

About a month after DDay1, I started to flirt with a girl I worked with (I was her boss). She was the complete opposite of my partner. She was considered "trashy" when my BS is classy. My AP also had a lot of kids by two different men. She was different from my BS in literally every way. I started this by looking for attention that I wasn't getting at home. When my AP began losing interest because I wasn't "making moves", I wasn't ready to lose that attention, so I kissed her. I kissed her a total of 3 times during the affair. No making out, nothing like that. I never wanted to do more than that. I was having my other needs met at home and did not wish to pursue anything further. During the affair, we went out to lunch twice, I went to the orthodontist with her and her daughter, to the mall with her and her daughter, and I brought her kids pizza once. I should also mention that my AP believed that I had broken up with my fiancée.

To make a very long story as short ad possible, I got my AP to lie to my BS and say we only went out to lunch once and we only kissed once. I told her that if she lied for me, there would be no more drama about this. My problem was, I didn't want to lose the attention and I didn't want to lose my job, since I was the sole income for our household, so I didn't know how to end things. I did a lot of messed up things during my affair. I allowed my BS to find out, then didn't end it. I was a coward. I told my fiancée that I felt numb and needed to go see my mom, when I knew how hurt she was. I never should've left. When I did leave, that's when I took pizza to my AP and her kids. I dropped off the pizza, then I left. I went to my mom's. I was lying to my BS about so many things. It was beginning to eat me alive and darkening my heart and soul. When my BS did find out that I was still seeing my AP, she obviously lost it. I called AP and ended it right then, with my fiancée listening in. After that, I tried sending AP to another place to work, but the owner caught wind of what was going on and denied my request. Said I needed to figure it out. I ended up quitting my job.

I spent a while "trickle truthing" my BS. Almost 2 years. I was still being a coward and hiding things from her, showing her she couldn't trust me. Showing her my deceitful behavior and manipulation was still there. I got a new job, and was deleting text messages from a coworker, because I didn't want my BS to be upset. Mistake. I've done a lot of f'ed up things. Lied to cover up lies. I finally told her the whole and complete truth and now she cannot believe me. I can't and don't blame her. I broke her trust multiple times, I crushed her and wasn't allowing her to make decisions based on reality. We have already been through 2 counselors and we are trying another tomorrow. I want to fix this and I'm hoping it isn't too late. I feel like it might be. She has stayed far longer than she should've. I have taken so much from her. I keep telling her that if I can't make her happy again, she needs to tell me, so she can find happiness with someone else. More than anything, she deserves to be happy. I want to be the person to make her happy again, but if I can't, I love her more than enough to let her go.

I guess the advice I'm looking for is what can I do to help her? I've read some books on helping your spouse heal. I've taken then to heart, but couldn't really help her heal because I wasn't being honest with her. Now that I am being honest, she can't believe me, so I can't help her heal in the ways the books say. I know I've royally screwed up. Whatever happens next, I deserve. For those of you who have made it this far, thank you for reading this. Any advice is appreciated.

WalkinOnEggshelz posted 6/23/2020 05:45 AM

Welcome to SI.

I’m glad to hear that you have read How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair. Another book you may want to look at is Not Just Friends by Shirley Glass.

I recommend writing out a detailed timeline. This should have specific dates and events if possible. Spend the time to answer all of her questions without getting defensive or dismissing how she feels. Allow yourself to be open and vulnerable with her. Be honest and transparent. Show her remorse and empathy.

Start digging into your why’s and share that process with her. Figure out what you told yourself to think that crossing boundaries was better than being honest with your partner. Keep asking yourself why until you get to the bottom layer.

This is a long process. It takes 2-5 years to heal. Let us know if you have specific questions that we can help with. Getting started can be quite overwhelming so hang in there.

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