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Please Help

Idontknowhattodo posted 7/21/2020 10:35 AM

Good Morning,
I donít really know where to begin. First of all, I am the wayward spouse, but I think I might also be abused. Iím not sure and thatís why Iím here. I really need advice, Iíve never felt more scared, alone and trapped. About 4 years ago, my BH found out that I cheated on him, but we werenít married at the time. I was a mess, I was in the middle of divorcing my high school sweetheart and yes, I was with BH at the time, but I was also drinking like a 5th of vodka every day and trying to drown my sorrowsÖI knew that BH thought of us as exclusiveÖbut I didnít. I was still technically married for the love of cheese! So, anyway, I had met up with a friend that I flirted with online and on the phone for a weekend about 4.5 years ago and we had sex and stayed 2 nights at a B&B. I also had an o.k. cupid account and talked to a few people on there, but had never met any of them. Anyway, I was on a path to try and destroy my entire lifeÖand I almost succeeded. It culminated early on the morning of Thanksgiving, 2016. I stayed up very late (at the house I was still sharing with my soon to be ex-husband) and I was very drunk. I decided to go out and get some cigarettes at 3am and I got in a very bad wreck. I went through the window of my SUV and ended up in the hospital and then spending the rest of the night covered in sores and bruises in a county jail cell...this is the one and only time that happened to me in my entire life. I've never been in trouble with the police before or afterwards. Anyway, they didn't even press charges and I was released the next morning. My BH came to get me and he ended up taking me to his house and taking care of me for about a week. During that time, he decided to go through my phone and found evidence that I had cheated on him back in march and that I was also talking to different guys on o.k. cupid. He lost it and I started deleting texts and emails to try and cover up what I had done because I was scared that he would leave me and at this point, I was suicidal at the thought of trying to heal inside and out without any family and without him. I spent the next few months going to AA meetings and getting stronger. BH was amazing, he went to every AA meeting with me and really tried to help me heal, despite his pain over what I had done to him and to our relationship. Once I was past the danger of hurting myself, and I was on my way to healing, he wanted to dive into what I had done. We spent days and weeks and months going over and over who and what I had done...and together we decided to try and move forward.
Öbut hereís the thingÖwe never did. (Move forward, that is). I told him everything that I remembered and gave him full access to all of my electronics, but he was upset that I had deleted texts and emails and we couldnít get them back, and because of that he says that to this day, 4 years, a marriage, and twin toddlers later, he canít move forward. So he hurts me emotionally and verbally and he scares me with his temper. Heís broken 2 televisions and 2 guitars trying to ďget his point acrossĒ during arguments. Heís called me, ďA Selfish C***, Self-Centered, retarded, slutty, stupid, narcissistic, self-important, ungrateful, sociopath, and finally a waste of lifeĒ I know that these are verbatim because after about 2 years of him calling me names and scaring me, I started writing down what he said. BH says that I took those words ďout of contextĒ so of course they sound bad. However, Iíve never called anyone those things and they hurt me to my core. Itís been 4 years and to this day he checks all of my emails, he pings my phone when Iím at work to make sure that Iím not somewhere that Iím not supposed to be, he wonít let us go as a family to events at our friendsí homes, and even if I want to go see my best friend for a night and I offer to take the twins so he can relax, he throws a fit and so Iíve only seen her about 5 times in the past 4 years and I am not exaggerating about that. Hereís the worst part, I canít take birth control because after the twins were born it started making me have a perpetual period. So, we use the catholic method, or the calendar methodÖand I think that he purposefully got me pregnant again. Because last week he asked me if I had gotten my period yet and I said no, but Iím bloated so it should be any day now and HE said, ďYou should take a testĒ And it was positive and he was ecstatic, he literally said, ďWell, Iíll get a few months off from worrying that youíre going to cheat on me now!Ē and he laughed and acted like it was wonderful. Now, I have to decide whether to bring another life into the world with a man who scares me, or have an abortionÖand neither one sounds pleasant. I think Iím going to get an abortion because I donít trust him with the children we already have. I want to be honest with him, but he scares me. And when I tell him that, he acts like heís never heard it before and that Iím being insane and gas lighting him because of our past. But I know that Iím not. I know that this canít be right. 4 years of this up and down and over and over and Iím in complete despair. I am so broken and hurt and I just donít know how much longer I can take all of this.
I guess Iím asking for advice and perspective. I know that what I did was wrong. I know that I should have been faithful back then, but ever since our restart I have been and more than that, Iíve been open to him in every way that I can think of. But anytime he does something horrible, and I get angry with him, he brings up the A I had from years ago and treats ME even worse! For example, on the 4th of July we had the twins and my big kids from my first marriage (DD 11 and DS 8yrs old) and we were supposed to do fireworks with the neighbors. I asked him to watch the toddlers while I lit sparklers for the big kids and he got very angry because the twins were all over the place and I wasnít helping him keep them in line. I told him to just give me a minute and I came and grabbed our 2 yr old daughter and was watching her and the big kids with their sparklers and I turn around and heís gone back inside with our boy twin. I went inside to find him and he had put our son to bed and gone to sleep himselfÖleaving me outside with the rest of our children, and the neighborsÖcompletely alone. So I begged him to come back outside and help me with the fireworks and the kids and he said he would be right down, but he never came outside. I finished up with all the kids, gave them and myself a shower, put them all to bed, and came upstairs to lie down. I was angry and I yelled at our dog to move and then he got up and said ďIím leaving! I donít have to listen to you b*tch about all the stuff you had to do.Ē And he left. And then he spent the entire next week either ignoring me or yelling at me and bringing up the affair and how he could never move on because I couldnít produce these old texts. I even spent $50 on some software that he found to restore old texts to a phone and it didnít work. It only went back and restored texts from 2018 and forwardÖnothing from before that time period. I feel like heís using the A to keep me scared and isolated and so that he always has an excuse for bailing on me and the kids and Iím so tired of it. But maybe Iím wrong and Iím seeing things from my own incorrect perspective? Maybe itís not that heís emotionally and verbally abusing me, maybe itís that I emotionally destroyed him and this is just the result and I have to either leave him or live with this for the rest of my life? Thatís why I came to SIÖI really need to know if Iím in the wrongÖif this really is all my fault and I thank any and all of you whoíve spent your time reading this. I am just so lost and scared right now and I donít know whatís right, whatís wrong, or really anything anymore.
Thank you, Idkwtd (WW)

foreverlabeled posted 7/21/2020 12:04 PM

I'm glad you found us. Welcome.

I'm not sure where to start so I'm just going to dive in.

Name calling hurts, I know I experienced it myself. Yes, it can be abusive. And it's up to you what you are willing to accept. In my case I was willing to allow only if it was a true expression of my BHs trauma. As in, he couldn't just walk around verbally abusing me. Like, hey what's up slut face as he's pouring his morning coffee. Now, if we were actively talking about his pain and his trauma began to flood him and through his anger and tears asked, how could you have been such a slut?! Or, effin hell FL you're such a dumbass (I was), I even let it go that he said he wished that I would die. I was willing to see that differently. Can you imagine such pain one must be feeling to say those words to their once love-of-their-life?

YMMV, that was my tolerance and again you have every right to chose what you will accept.

But make no mistake your BH is traumatized as you yourself abused him physically and emotionally with your cheating.

See, if you didn't consider yourself exclusive knowing he did, that's something you communicate. Otherwise, your actions by cheating can cause severe catastrophic results, as you are witnessing.

In my opinion four years means nothing if certain things do not take place in that time. Also keep in mind even under the best of circumstances it could take 2-5 years for him to heal from your cheating. And, you guys have been doing your damndest to sweep this under the rug and move forward. It don't work that way babe. Perhaps you two aren't giving yourselves a fighting chance to work through this.

I suggest you read a book titled "how to help your spouse heal from your affair" its never too late to read this book. You might find that you could be doing things better yourself. With some true healing I believe his anger and hurt will subside and he will not lash out as he has.

Also, the pregnancy, I don't think it's fair to blame him or suspect it was his doing. It's not fool proof and you know the risk. You are aware of the times you should practice abstinence or other forms of BC like condoms. And does he know you are considering an abortion? As your hubby and the father, he should know. I think the choice ultimately is yours but you've already taken so much from him with your cheating, don't keep taking.

Isolation isn't okay. That is also abusive, and this should also be addressed. I do want ask if your best friend was aware of your cheating and if she condoned your behavior. Because, if you put yourself in your BHs shoes, there's no way in hell you'd be comfortable with him hanging out with a buddy willing to keep his secrets of the same extent.

[This message edited by foreverlabeled at 12:09 PM, July 21st (Tuesday)]

Idontknowhattodo posted 7/21/2020 13:04 PM

First of all, thank you for your responseÖand for reading my long and sordid tale, I really appreciate your perspective and advice. Now, I will attempt to answer your questions with honesty and as much self-awareness as I can.
Mainly, I wanted to check myself with this post and see if Iím being too harsh with my judgement of him. I know that youíre right when you say that weíve swept it under the rug, but what do you do when your spouse will not move forward, doesnít want to end your relationship, and refuses counseling? I really donít know what to do at this point and I am tired of being wrong no matter what he doesÖand he has done some really awful things, like not going to the twins 1st birthday party, demanding that I submit to sex when I donít want to, to ďproveĒ that I love him, and turning literally any and every time I try to confront him over his unacceptable behavior into a referendum on my cheating. At this point, I actively avoid talking to him when Iím upset over his actions because I am afraid of the response it will illicitÖI donít think thatís o.k. I think at some point, he either needs to say, ďYes, we can go to counseling.Ē Or ďNo. I cannot move past the past.Ē Because this doesnít feel healthy or right to me. Iím miserable, heís miserable, and I feel totally helpless. I guess one of my questions to you and to all here would be, ďIs it possible to be the Wayward Spouse, and also be an abused spouse? Because I feel like Iím being abused. I will look for that book on amazon todayÖI would do anything to help him if he would let me, but he says that since I canít get the messages I deleted 4 years ago back, that thereís nothing I can do. Itís just so draining and I donít know how much more I can take. I know that I hurt him badly and broke his trust, and Iíve apologized until Iím blue in the face. Iíve been submissive and Iíve been open and Iíve bent over backwards.
As to my best friendÖshe knows about it NOW, but she didnít know anything about it at the time and the only time weíve discussed the A is in regards to my BH and the way he treats me because of it. She had no idea at the time of the A because I was such a mess that I wasnít talking to her or anyone else. I shouldnít have been with anyone at that timeÖI wasnít emotionally ready and I was simply a bad person or at the least a person going through a whole lot with no idea how to handle it. Iím not trying to excuse my behavior in any way by saying this, Iím simply telling you how I feel.
As for my pregnancy, no, he has NO idea that Iím considering an abortionÖand I know he should know, but I am scared of his reaction. I am also fully aware that it takes two to make a baby, and Iím at fault as well. I just feel trapped and scared and I donít have the option of saying no to him when he decides that he wants to have sexÖhis reaction when I say, ďNot right now, or well, we can but please do anal only because Iím close to the danger zone.Ē He reacts by either questioning WHY I donítí want to, and then analyzing for hours and hours why I would turn him down even if itís a simple reasonÖor itís way way worse and he spends days scaring me by not picking up the phone when Iím at work, ignoring the twins and making them watch TV instead of play with him, or lashing out and calling me horrible names, breaking me down as far as he can until I crumple into a literal ball rocking back and forth and sobbing. I am terrified to tell him that I want an abortionÖI donít know what he would do, I really donít. I wish we were happy, I wish that I could bring this to him and talk openly because I could really use a friendÖbut I really am afraid of his reaction. Heís never physically assaulted me yet, but heís thrown things and hit me ďaccidentallyĒ and I donít think that itís something he couldnít do. Heís just so unhappy and so am I. I donít want to end another marriage in failureÖI really thought he and I would be amazing together, but he just seems hell bent on staying in the past and not giving me any kind of viable way forward since I canít go back in time and un-delete those texts.

foreverlabeled posted 7/21/2020 13:39 PM

Of course you can be the WS and abused spouse. Many of us can relate to that.

Many of us have been called names, we've had sex even if we weren't feeling it to show our BSs that we do desire them. We've tolerated smashed plates and belongings in expressions of pure rage. We've felt what you are feeling. You are not alone. And I'm sorry you feel this way and are experiencing this. It's no easy thing stepping into our BSs pain and facing it.

For many we would agree that at times yes it feels borderline abusive and sometimes it is flat out abuse. I don't suppose I necessarily excuse the behavior I just chose to see it through an educated lense of what this kind of trauma does to an individual and try to put myself in their shoes. So the name calling and rage wasn't a deal breaker for me.

My ex physically abused me once in the aftermath and 100 percent I wasn't about to wave it off as "just his pain" I drew a hard line that week and unfortunately a year later or so that one act played into my decision to leave him.

And if you are miserable and abused you have the right to speak up and draw your own line. And should! You have the right to leave at any point, and should if you fear for your safety both mentally and physically.

†I donít have the option of saying no to him†
I don't care what you are saying no to, you absolutely have this option. What would the consequences be if you said no to sex? He would get mad? Say something about the affair? Break something? It may not be a desirable result but yes, you have the option to say no, to whatever it is.

In my situation I gave my BH many chances to help me fix this M. It takes two after all. And after almost 4 years myself of trying, I told him I can't do it on my own any more and he obviously wasn't interested in healing in a healthy way. He also wanted to rug sweep. Nope not a chance. So, I left. It was my only choice at that point.

You cannot make him want this. So you really have two options. Put up with it or not.

foreverlabeled posted 7/21/2020 13:41 PM

If there are certain things in those deleted texts he's interested in knowing, is it something that can be proven with a polygrahp?

foreverlabeled posted 7/22/2020 09:49 AM

I admit I haven't been thorough in reading your post, there is just so much you have to say, and that's okay! I'm glad you are getting it out.

Like when I asked what's the worst that could happen if you say no... but I still stand by my answer. If you are not in immediate danger of your life, you have that option.

In my situation I learned that the BS isn't perfect and sometimes broken in their own way. So when this level of trauma hits them, they aren't going to necessarily be safe themselves. I had a ton of compassion for my BH in that regard, I understood it deeply.

I know in the thick of it its hard to be strong and not let this kind of treatment reach you and bring you to your knees. Like you said literally crawling into ball crying. Can you explain how he breaks you down that far? Are you in individual counseling?

Again I ask, if this comes down to the deleted texts, is it something you can get answers with a polygraph test?

[This message edited by foreverlabeled at 10:03 AM, July 22nd (Wednesday)]

Idontknowhattodo posted 7/23/2020 10:08 AM

Thank you again for your input! To answer your questions, ďWhat would the consequences be if you said no to sex? Would he get mad? Say something about the affair? Break something? It may not be a desirable result but yes, you have the option to say no, to whatever it is.Ē
I actually said no to sex last night so I can answer this with a real-life reaction and not just what Iím afraid might happen. My BH and I had sex at midnight last night, but he didnít finish and left to go downstairs and get a drink, and I went to sleep. He was gone for about 20 minutes and then he came back and tore the blankets off of me and woke me up. I was half asleep and very startled and cold from the blanket being pulled away and I yelled, ďNO NO STOP! Brrrrr!!! Iím trying to sleep!Ē and I never ever do that but I wasnít fully conscious and it was very startling. He lost it and said, ďTypical, you get what you want and then you just leave me hanging! I canít do this anymore, you donít respect me, Iím ready to end this sh*t.Ē (meaning our marriage) At that point, I was fully awake and I apologized profusely and told him that I was half asleep and the cold air startled me and I would absolutely have sex with him. However, he was in no mood to hear that and just kept going on and on about how selfish, self-centered, and disrespectful I was. I started crying because he has been awful to me for 4 days now because heís been triggery. And when I say awful, I mean heís either ignored me or been shouting at me for 4 days about the A that I had 4 years ago. To the extent of threatening to go to another state to find the guy that I cheated on him with and beat the crap out of him! Looking this guy up and finding his home address and work address and it scares me. Maybe itís just blustering but HE says that the only way he can heal now is to go beat this man up. I think that because heís a stay at home dad he just has too much time on his hands to sit around and think about this stuff over and over all day and night, but he says that Iím insensitive if I say that.
Anyway, as to your other question, Iíve offered over and over for years to do a polygraph test or go to counseling and even hypnosis to try and find the answers heís looking for and he refuses and tells me that he doesnít want anyone else to ďknow our businessĒ.
Itís infuriating and I cannot tell you how tired I am of being the bad guy no matter what for four years on end. I donít want to break up my family, but Iím getting so completely depressed and broken from being treated like this. I just want to be treated like someone he loves again instead of someone he despises.

foreverlabeled posted 7/23/2020 11:01 AM

Jeez, IDKWTD.. I'm sorry I'm the only one replying at the moment. I'm sure others will come along and offer advice. But for now I guess you are stuck with me :)

Your last post doesn't make sense to me. You say you told him no on purpose but then in your description you were half asleep and so on. I'm not sure I would use his pain as real life experiment.

Anyway, his response was very typical of a betrayed spouse. Perhaps you don't fully grasp the deep level of rejection our cheating causes. And if he has been triggering lately, I just don't see that as out of the norm. You shouldn't subject yourself to things you aren't comfortable with but I feel like you may be lacking a little compassion.

You keep reminding us it's been 4 years. And I know on the surface that seems like a lot of time, but when it comes to infidelity it just isn't the same. Your BH is deeply hurt, and maybe it was a dealbreaker for him and he's not ready to face that. Maybe there are many factors that even you contribute to, that is prolonging his healing. Who knows. I too think that's an insensitive thing to say. If he's a stay at home dad maybe he feels just as trapped as you do. Many stay at home moms here cant just up and leave their cheating abuser.

When you ask him how you can help, does he give you anything to follow up on?

NeverTwice posted 7/23/2020 12:01 PM

Apologies - not a wayward. Disregard.

[This message edited by NeverTwice at 12:01 PM, July 23rd (Thursday)]

Idontknowhattodo posted 7/23/2020 12:32 PM

Thank you again for your advice, I could really use it right now. When you said, ďYour last post doesn't make sense to me. You say you told him no on purpose but then in your description you were half asleep and so on. I'm not sure I would use his pain as real life experimentĒ That is NOT what I meant at all, .Iím sorry about thatÖI just re-read it and I can see how it could be taken it that way. I just meant that we happened to have sex last night so I had a real-life comparison and I didnít have to guess at how he would react, I would never experiment with his feelings period, let alone in such a callous manner.

Iím sorry if I bring up the fact that itís been 4 years too much, and you are completely correct, I donít think I will ever grasp the level of rejection my cheating has caused him and I fully acknowledge that. I am just so tired and frustrated that no matter what I do or how I offer to help him heal, he turns it down. I donít see him ever getting past this if he wonít go to a IC or MC or really, both. Itís starting to feel hopeless and I donít want to break up my family, I love my BH, but I do not want to be treated like a sub-human for the rest of my life. I want my children to have a strong female role model and thatís something that Iím incapable of projecting when heís behaving so terribly, and he triggers like this at least one week out of 4 every single month to this day. I donít understand it and maybe I never will.

He is a stay at home father by choice, not necessity. Iíve begged him to go back to work because we really need more room since the twins were born and we canít afford it on my modest salary, he doesnít want to work and seems to me to be becoming agoraphobic. He even has a job he could go back to at any time, and I could be wrong, but I donít think he feels trapped.

To answer your last question, ďWhen you ask him how you can help, does he give you anything to follow up on?Ē He tells me that thereís nothing that I can do and new this week is him telling me that the ONLY way he will ever get past it is to go beat the crap out of AP.

foreverlabeled posted 7/23/2020 12:55 PM

Well, earlier we talked about rug sweeping, and I wonder if it worked for you guys for some time and now the suppression is no longer sustainable and rising to the surface as of late? Or it's just been this way the entire time? Or on and off?

I just don't know how to help you. Because while yes he does need to address his trauma and do some healing, its not an easy thing to accomplish. This kind of trauma alters the mind in very devastating ways. People are built differently and recovery is messy, some have it harder than others.

I just can't tell yet if your expectations for his healing is unrealistic given the circumstances.

I mean the most normal thing you've said yet is that he wants to find the OM and kick his ass. Yeah, I bet that would make him feel better! Of course revenge seems sweet. I can't tell you how many post I've read here from our BSs and the fantasies they have beating the crap out of the APs or worse.

My own exBH left the house full of rage to hunt down the OM. I was worried sick for my BH terrified he land himself in jail with a felony charge. You need to remember why he is even in this position to begin with and try to put yourself in his shoes and find compassion.

Your posts are full of what you want and what you would have in an ideal world. But you nuked that image 4 years ago and as much as you want to return to a loving marriage, you have to understand why he despises you or what you've done. This is all natural for a betrayed spouse. And you cant rush it. He has the right to talk about his pain over your A for the rest of your lives together.

Maybe you need to analyze and get real if its something you are willing to accept without resentment and wishing he'd get help, so he can get over already. Because ya know 4 years and all. There is no time limit on his healing.

Have you read around in The Healing Library here? To the left of your screen is a menu box, you'll find it there. Tons of resources to help you understand exactly what you got yourself into by cheating and what you can expect.

If there hasn't been much work done on either side it's like yall are experiencing a perpetual first year out from dday.

Idontknowhattodo posted 7/23/2020 14:21 PM

ďWell, earlier we talked about rug sweeping, and I wonder if it worked for you guys for some time and now the suppression is no longer sustainable and rising to the surface as of late? Or it's just been this way the entire time? Or on and off?Ē

Heís been this way the entire timeÖand that is why I feel like giving up hope. I understand that he has the right to talk about his pain for the rest of our lives, but does he have the right to call me things like, ďA waste of life, a slut, a c***, retarded, stupid, sociopathic,Ē and many other derogatory things for the rest of my life and never apologize to me ever again for any of it when heís calmed down? Because I want our marriage to work more than anything else in my world, but I do not think that those kind of things lead to anything good and I donít see how it helps him heal. It just hurts me.

ďMaybe you need to analyze and get real if itís something you are willing to accept without resentment and wishing he'd get help, so he can get over already. Because ya know 4 years and all. There is no time limit on his healing.Ē

That is literally what Iím trying to do right now, analyze and get realÖagain I apologize for focusing on the 4 years thing, I just didnít know if people would want to read all of my posts and I wanted the information to be at hand. I have barely a shred self-esteem or self-worth left anymoreÖand I feel like Iím losing a grip on my own sanity because Iím scared that I really am all of those things he keeps calling me. I donít have a close relationship with my parents, or at least not in a way that I could talk to them about any of this and Iím not allowed to talk to my best friend about any of it (BH wonít let me)Öand Iím overwhelmed. When you say that the most normal thing I said so far was that BH wants to hunt down APÖI have to ask you, what is it about my posts that are so abnormal? I swear Iím just a person thatís desperately seeking advice to try and save her marriage & family and I am hurt by the way my husband has been treating me and the things heís been calling me all of this time. Maybe it is hopelessÖI sincerely appreciate your responses and thoughts. I really needed to talk through this and I will look into the healing library as you suggested.

foreverlabeled posted 7/23/2020 15:53 PM

((IdKWTD)) those are hugs

I wasn't trying to imply you take his abuse indefinitely or ever. I'm just trying to understand your situation to better help you.

Because some of what you described seems on par and normal other stuff not so much.

Look bottom line is this, you cannot change him, you cannot make him, beg him, plead with him, cry, scream, or any other tactic to get him to see he needs help. Or get him to want it.

Look up the 180 while in The Healing Library and try to apply it to your situation so that you can detach yourself from him. It will help you to not take his attacks so personal. You will be able to grow stronger mentally and maybe make a better decision for yourself.

You need IC at the very least. Start there please. And tell us how we can continue to help you.

BraveSirRobin posted 7/23/2020 17:02 PM

Yes, it is possible to be a WW and be abused, and further, I feel that's exactly what's happening to you. You are describing abusive behavior.

Is it understandable behavior? To answer that, I recommend you read "The Body Keeps the Score" by Bessel Van der Kolk. I mean, I really recommend you read it, like tomorrow. It sounds like your husband has infidelity- related PTSD. Here are a few passages that you might find relevant:

"When something reminds traumatized people of the past, their right brain reacts as if the traumatic event were happening in the present. But because their left brain is not working very well, they may not be aware that they are experiencing and reenacting the past - they are just furious, terrified, enraged, ashamed, or frozen. After the emotional storm passes, they may look for something or somebody to blame for it. They behaved the way they did because you were ten minutes late, or because you burned the potatoes, or because you 'never listen to me.' Of course, most of us have done this from time to time, but when we cool down, we hopefully can admit our mistake. Trauma interferes with this kind of awareness, and, over time, our research demonstrated why. [He then explains neurological studies his team performed to understand the physical effect of emotional trauma on the brain.]

For a hundred years or more, every textbook of psychology and psychotherapy has advised that some method of talking about distressing feelings can resolve them. However, as we've seen, the experience of trauma itself gets in the way of being able to do that. No matter how much insight and understanding we develop, the rational brain is basically impotent to talk the emotional brain out of its own reality. I am continually impressed by how difficult it is for people who have gone through the unspeakable to convey the essence of their experience. It is so much easier for them to talk about what has been done to them - to tell a story of victimization and revenge - than to notice, feel, and put into words the reality of their internal experience."


That book was a revelation for me in understanding how the traumatized brain literally cannot heal itself through conventional means of therapy. This could be what's happening with your BH, especially if it's a complete character change from who he was before D-Day.

Does understanding this mean you should tolerate him abusing you? In my opinion, no. This doesn't sound like a safe or healthy environment for you and your children. If he's screaming, threatening, swearing, isolating and coercing you, your kids are learning that that's an ok model for a relationship. This is aside from what it does to you to live with that for years on end, which I think creates two traumatized parents instead of one.

I personally would have separated by now. And while my BH always identifies with the trauma of fellow BS in posts like this, he agrees that there are lines that there's never a justification for crossing. If your husband is not capable of addressing his rage, you are well within your rights to take yourself out of range of it -- even as the creator of the trauma.

If you feel you can stay, I would make it conditional on him seeing a trauma therapist.

[This message edited by BraveSirRobin at 10:08 AM, July 25th (Saturday)]

Lifeitself posted 7/24/2020 00:39 AM

Hi IDKWTD

You said you were still living with your exH when you were in a relationship with your BH. Did you start your relationship with BH with having an affair with him on your exH?

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