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steadychevy posted 11/23/2020 10:29 AM

It's been 7 months since my D was legal, just over 3 years since separation and just over 7 years since DDay1. I've had considerable IC dealing with trauma, PTSD, etc. My last appointment was in January. I was pretty much done with IC. Doing well.

In the last little while I've spent more and more time in a loop that involved the history of my XWW's adultery. I think something about the adultery and betrayal every day. Many on SI who are a long way out and consider themselves pretty healed do the same. It's a thought and not a rabbit hole.

What I'm experiencing right now is looking like the rabbit hole. Is it a relapse? I didn't know why this might be happening. Was it because I hadn't had an IC session for so long (and thought I was done those anyway)? What the heck was happening?

I think it came to me this morning. I felt a release, a lightening, with the realization.

My XWW headed up a very complex program while she was committing adultery. She planned the logistics with teams of 2 doing seminars for thousands of people total with 2 and 3 seminars in a day depending on distances between the towns. One in the am, one in the afternoon and one in the evening, often. She supervised it and decided who made up the teams. She was the only woman and had 3 men she travelled with switching off each week. She travelled most with her AP.

All of November was the main initiative where the travel and seminars were every week. Before that she travelled mostly with her AP to scattered presentations.

The last week in November in 2003 she and her AP left on a Sunday and returned on the next Saturday. She was scheduled to leave on Monday morning to do the first presentation in the afternoon and the 2nd one in the evening 150 km down the road.

I told her she should leave on Sunday because the distance to the first presentation was too far to leave Monday morning. I told her she should go part way on Sunday. What I did was provide another night away to screw and they used it.

As an aside, my XWW were in the same town they overnighted in the next July looking at ranch land. There are lots of hotels there but she wanted to stay in the same one they screwed in. I didn't want to. I wanted one a step up from that but we stayed there because they had a good continental breakfast according to her. I wanted to get a nice evening meal but she wanted to go to a pizza chain which happened to be where she and he ate so we did. Didn't phase her at all. Wonder why she wanted those two decisions out of so many options.

We talked every night. We always did when either of us were travelling. I would call her when I travelled when I was in my room and safe for the night. She didn't want to call because it would be so late. I wanted to know she was settled and safe so insisted she call. The second night on this trip she called when the evening session was wrapped up but before they had eaten.

They often didn't have time to eat between presentations with setting up, people wanting to talk, taking down and travelling to the next location and setting up again. I told her I wanted her to phone me when she was back to her room so I knew she was in and safe. She reluctantly agreed. What I didn't know is I was interfering with their plans to screw.

I wanted to find out how she was holding up, getting enough sleep, some of the seminars were heated and how was it, how many people, fill her in on may day, etc. I would close with ILY and she might answer "me, too". Never initiate.

As soon as we hung up she would call him to her room to screw then he would go back to his room. They never spent a night together even if they could. Months before she would go to his room when they travelled. She decided that was too risky in case I phoned through the hotel to her room instead of her cell phone so she called him to come to her room after that.

There's a shit load more. That was just one week in November, 2003 a year and a half into her adultery. They continued to travel with one more week long travel in February, 2004. Lots of stops at his place before and after that, too.

That was a lot more than I was going to write. It did feel good to vent and unload, though. The real release came from the realization this morning about why I was possibly feeling off and down these last few weeks. I feel lighter. I think I will probably book an IC session to reboot.

This was long. I'm sorry. I hope there are some who might read this and realize there might be things that are burden years down the road and not realize why. It happens. I don't think I had this happen last year at this time but I was going to IC every 6 to 8 weeks at that time.

You might have a setback or relapse or just are feeling down without knowing why. You might be able to suddenly figure it out. Whether you have or haven't I encourage you to get some help and stay on the right track.

If you've read this far, thanks for listening to my vent. Hopefully there might be some encouragement, too.

hikingout posted 11/23/2020 10:41 AM

Hi Steady,

I don't know the answers of course, but I do have a couple general observations based on my own propensity to ruminate.

Covid has been isolating to us, and has limited our activities. I find that I go down rabbit holes a lot more easily without being occupied.

But that is a double-edge sword, because sometimes we never stop to sit with our emotions and we bury ourselves with distractions. I am very poor at finding a balance between the two.

My guess is that some of this is coming up for you because we are simply more still right now due to external circumstances.

You are right to think it's weird that she would want to stay in the hotel and eat where they ate. It should reinforce for you that she wasn't remorseful. She didn't care what those decisions would do to you. She wanted to go down memory lane. There is no other explanation that I find reasonable.

It's been nearly 4 years since the onset of my affair. If I see anything relating to the town it was in, it triggers feelings of shame and humiliation. Things that remind me of the AP or that time are things I would rather avoid because they do not elicit anything but negative emotions. I would never want to set foot in the hotel again, and if I can help it at all I will never return to that town for anything.

I share this with you because sometimes as we ruminate we do things to reinforce our decisions. There might be some loneliness and isolation happening here with COVID and it may bring up subconscious or conscious questions if you did the right thing divorcing her. So, you are covering ground (maybe without even realizing it) that reinforces the right answer was to end it. Her taking you to those places point to that answer very pointedly.

Sorry you are hurting. It may help to go back for some maintenance type IC. You may also want to see what hobbies you could experiment with and if there are meet up groups in your area. A lot of the meetups are doing online meetings, or when possible outside gatherings distanced apart. I have been going to a support group that way and it helps. Take care.

[This message edited by hikingout at 10:41 AM, November 23rd (Monday)]

Adlham posted 11/23/2020 11:00 AM

Steady, it could also be partly that you finally feel safe enough to process more.

Abput 2 years after I left my ex, I had a nervous breakdown. Obviously, there are some big differences- my ex was physically abusive. I had a lot of unresolved anger that came rushing to the surface once I finally felt safe.

I'm not at all suggesting that you are on your way to a breakdown. I just wanted to offer a different take based on my own experiences.

src9043 posted 11/23/2020 17:45 PM

Steadychevy: I am 35 1/2 years after separation and initiation of the divorce. The ex-wife had an affair early in our marriage. A lousy MC kept the marriage afloat. Six years later she had an affair with the husband of a couple we were very close with. Thus, she cheated on me and her close girlfriend. Anyway, we had a child. That doomed her to remain in my life at some level forever. She is a tenacious person who wanted to remain friendly. She would tell me that she still considered me family and would call me periodically, and on my birthday to wish me a happy birthday. Well, she remarried quickly and has been with the new husband up to this point. I recently discovered that she had been bad-mouthing me to various people including my girlfriend of 9 years, and my son's inlaws. All the old feelings of anger and betrayal have returned over the last couple of months. I must admit that finding this forum has stoked the return of these feelings. But, I was a pushover in our marriage and a pushover subsequent to the divorce. That ended a month ago when I explained to my son why the marriage ended. Now, I must stuff these feelings back down to where they lurk ready to surface again if the skank continues to do me wrong. For the record, I was a very decent husband. Maybe not perfect (she complained that the combination of work and night school made her lonely), but pretty damn good to her. I guess these triggers will lurk until one of us dies. Affairs leave a profound mark on the BS, even after many years. This is why, at my age, I have a zero-tolerance for infidelity. I do have trouble providing objective advice because of my past, but I feel I must try.

[This message edited by src9043 at 5:51 PM, November 23rd (Monday)]

steadychevy posted 11/24/2020 07:18 AM

Thanks for your replies.

In total my XWW and I stayed at 3 hotels she had sex with her AP in. All of those were long before DDay1. All of them were during her very active LTA. Why that didn't resonate with her is a question I will never have an answer to or understand.

When I retired from being a volunteer firefighter my retirement gift was tickets to a dinner theatre in the hotel where she and he screwed and we had stayed after that. I retired because it was right after all the DDays and I couldn't do it anymore. Eventually I toughened up and XWW and I went there and stayed overnight. Not enjoyable.

You probably don't know Alberta very well but my XWW had sex with her AP from one end to the other and from one side to the other. They had sex all over the province. Before DDay there was no issues with XWW about travelling any of the roads, highways, hotels, restaurants, his place, our place, our pasture where the fucked the first time, etc.

I'm not really isolated because of covid. I live quite remotely. I go about my business. My days are pretty full. Even though I'm pretty much retired I still have 90 head of cattle to feed, I chair a BOD for a utility, am VP Policy on a BOD for a political constituency association, am a director on a rural citizens on patrol group and a member of a small rancher's management group. I don't have a lot of time on my hands but do have "thinking" time.

My XWW managed the biggest initiative the crown corporation had ever carried out. She did superbly and I told her so, repeatedly. Her LTA started long before this major drive but this was the start of weeklong trips with him. I had been suspicious for a few months but it was the stress of this massive undertaking that was the causing her change of behaviour. She went on Celexis, things got better and I bought the stress excuse.

I think the issue I was having this November was partially because I didn't clue in to the time of year. My subconscious was yelling at me but I was not thinking about those lengthy trip that started in November. I was ruminating on a lot of other things.

I think if I had realized what was approaching I would have been fine. It was yesterday morning when looking at my calendar to see what I had lined up for this week that it struck me. Just knowing that was a relief and I felt like I'd lost a heavy weight off my back.

Hopefully it stays that way but there's always my IC if it doesn't. We had talked about an annual "check-up" anyway. It helped to unload.

fooled13years posted 11/24/2020 07:30 AM

We are here to listen to you as you unpack what is going on in regards to this issue.

Pop off any time you need to just get it out.

Your journey and opinions have helped many fellow BSs and now we are here for you.

I don't think you are relapsing I believe it is just remembering where you have been and what you escaped to make it to this point in your life.

tushnurse posted 11/24/2020 07:35 AM

Steadychevy - I am glad that you realized where the trigger came from and why.

I happens to the best of us, and it takes some introspection to figure it out. Congrats man.

Each passing November will get easier and easier, and then one year will go by, and you will realize the time passed, and you didn't even think about it. That's healing that comes with time, and distance from trauma. In the meantime be kind to yourself.

sisoon posted 11/24/2020 10:52 AM

I'm sorry you triggered. I'm sorry you have a reason to trigger.

I'm glad you figured it out. IMO, slightly different from others, is that this meaning that goes with November won't slip up on you again. You'll probably have feelings, but you'll be able to take them in stride.

But who cares about the future right now. Congratulations on this insight.

steadychevy posted 11/24/2020 13:34 PM

What's kind of confusing to me after the fact is that the things that were swirling through my brain didn't have anything to do with November. I was using techniques I had learned in IC to fight them but wasn't doing real well. They kept returning. I know I don't remember all of the tools I got through IC, though.

The look at the calendar Monday morning was like a bulb went off. Like - Oh yeah. The last few years November came and went with only a flicker. I'm blaming my subconscious because I don't know what else would have me churning because of there being no relationship with what I was dwelling on. I thought I was past the point where something could affect me like it did.

Something like that hasn't happened for a long time. I guess I learned, if it happens again, to search for the stimulus (and kill it).

waitedwaytoolong posted 11/24/2020 16:41 PM

Itís natural to look back after such a trauma with the kind of wtf how did this happen. I too am years out and even though I am in a good place, I look back in kind of disbelief that the whole thing happened.

November is always a tough month for me as it is the start of the holiday season. My memories of the years prior to the affair are a stark contrast to things now. I think this is exacerbated with the COVID thing. I know in a way you are not immediately impacted by it, but having so many people dying, and the news being so stark has to still affect you.

Her having an affair is one thing, but rubbing your nose in it, even if you didnít know it, speaks volumes about what kind of person she is. You at least still have your dignity.

What is your relationship with her now? Does she have any shame for what she put you through? I hope that she at last had some ramifications for her actions by friends and family losing respect for her.

My hope is you can put this in the rear view mirror as best you can. It will never be completely gone. Itís part of your story now. But going forward it doesnít have to define you

steadychevy posted 11/25/2020 06:27 AM

WWTL, I know your story here on SI quite well. I followed it. You were sometimes attacked for deceiving your XWW and leaving late. I supported and defended you. I couldn't believe that stance from other BS's.

My XWW and I have three daughters and 9 grandchildren together. I see her at all the birthdays and family gatherings like Thanksgiving and Christmas. She got half of the land in the divorce and I rent her land from her for pasture for my cattle. I pay her a small amount monthly for another 3 years as part of the settlement.

I see her occasionally, talk to her infrequently and e-mail from time to time. It's mostly about business and family but nothing personal.

I think she has shame. I also think she has a powerful ability to compartmentalize. I think she has a renewed relationship with our Lord God and understands she's forgiven but has maybe not forgiven herself. I don't know. I don't have those kinds of deeper conversations with her like we had years ago.

As far as I know she doesn't have any friends now that were mutual friends. There's one who lives a mile away from me that I've severed all contact with and I believe she has, too. There might be a couple of women that were her friends previously that she keeps some contact with. The friends we had as a couple have been very supportive of me. My XWW hasn't tried to maintain a relationship with them, as far as I know. She has developed new friends through the church she now attends, piano and other neighbours - none of whom I know.

I'm glad she's making other friends. I don't want her to be forever shunned or isolated.

She is in frequent contact with our daughters and grandchildren. I think my daughters don't hold her in the same regard they used to. I only observe when I'm at a family function she's also at.

I'm the oldest of 10. My XWW loved the gatherings of my family which have been fairly frequent. She got great joy out of them. She has had very infrequent contact with any of them (probably only a couple) and then only by accident. There is a few of us that do business in the same town.

Apparently we're getting more shut down today in Alberta. I don't know if I can get an appointment with my IC. I'm old school and want face to face. I don't know anyone personally who has been sick with covid or who has passed away from it. My youngest daughter lives in Calgary which has been a hot spot with covid so she and her husband have been very, very careful with isolating with my grandson. They are both corporate lawyers and can do most of their work from home. For me covid has been an inconvenience in that I can't go places or do things I normally would do. I really feel for people who've lost loved ones to this pandemic.

Thanks everyone for your support. I'm strong. Everyone be careful, stay well and thrive.

DevastatedDee posted 11/25/2020 08:15 AM

Itís natural to look back after such a trauma with the kind of wtf how did this happen. I too am years out and even though I am in a good place, I look back in kind of disbelief that the whole thing happened.

I think that's the thing we carry after D. The love can go, the trauma can fade, we heal, but there's still that. I'm still appalled that I wound up in that situation. I don't have triggers so much anymore, but I still have moments of "I can't believe I went through that". There is zero reason that I should know anything about people with second lives, backpage ads, how prostitutes do business, what it looks like when someone is on crack...I mean, that doesn't fit any life that I had intended for myself. Not remotely anything that I ever expected to deal with. Nothing that relates to my current life. It's like I slipped and fell into the sewer for a minute.

fooled13years posted 11/25/2020 11:46 AM

I really feel for people who've lost loved ones to this pandemic

Amen to that. It has been an inconvenience but I am thankful that no one in our families, friends or my coworkers have contracted the virus.

gmc94 posted 11/25/2020 14:43 PM

that doesn't fit any life that I had intended for myself. Not remotely anything that I ever expected to deal with.
Amen to that.

The Covid stuff creeps closer & closer to home. I've known a ton of folks that got it, but recovered. But now, the hospitalizations and deaths are creeping closer to my inner circle.
The father of one of WH's staffers died from it this week. Another friend's grandmother died yesterday from it. There are others - family members of friends - who are hospitalized or have died. But last week it hit "my" family with my 80yo uncle in Florida who was Dx positive last month. He deteriorated (including some bizarre cognitive issues) to the point of having to be hospitalized last week. In ICU and getting oxygen, but not a vent (so far, knock wood). I'm super worried about him.

RealityBlows posted 11/25/2020 14:47 PM

Iím seven years out from DD, five years out from D and Iím now over a year into a new marriage and, my mind still wonders back to the A. I wouldnít say I trigger but, things do remind me of what happened and I too react with that, ďWow, I canít believe that actually happenedĒ feeling. There are reminders everywhere. My adult kids, my job that was closely tied to my ExWWís job. Itís inescapable. But, these things are no longer ďtriggersĒ for me. They are now reminders that make me grateful for what Iíve survived and learned and, for the partner I have now.

The most helpful thing for me was getting out and meeting new ladies. Burying myself in work and exercise helped some but, new relationships helped the most. Realizing that there is a world of beautiful, interesting, fascinating, loving, nurturing, good natured, wonderful women out there, all uniquely special in their own right, really put my ExWW and all of her BS in a proper and realistic perspective. The woman Iím married to now has completely taken my mind off the ExWW.

However, the pain of the A, that incredible feeling of deep intimate gobsmacking betrayal will be with me for life. I donít know if Iíll ever trust anyone as naÔvely as I used to. Iíve hardened myself to the possibility of a repeat and have contingencies in place. I just take one day at a time now and donít make too much of my happiness contingent upon another person and some uncertain future.

There is such an incredible adrenaline rush on DD that our minds become addicted to it. Adrenaline is said to be incredibly addictive. It causes us to pain shop. Hurt Locker style. Hanging out here on SI can be a form of pain shopping for some as we re-experience the pain of DD and the associated adrenaline rush vicariously through otherís own DDís. Affair associated PTSD is real. Many people with PTSD will internalize feelings of shame and guilt and bear an inappropriate sense of responsibility for the trauma they incurred. The hyper arousal state experienced on DD can persist for years and manifest as hypervigilance, physical and emotional triggers, and can make you hyper emotional. Do you find yourself tearing up more often now watching corny chick flicks? Itís ridiculous! You will also find yourself having a much lower tolerance for bullshit.

The best way to deal with this shit is to; continue your IC with a counselor that understands A related PTSD, healthy distractions, new healthy relationships and, time.

waitedwaytoolong posted 11/25/2020 15:03 PM

Yes, I remember your support, and I thank you for that.

Itís good though the relationship with your wife and daughters might have changed, they are still there for her. I have two daughters, and though they were appalled and angry with what she did, they are still close with her. That is a good thing. She has never recovered from the divorce and unlike your wife still wallows in shame. It makes it harder to move on, so your EX coming to terms with it it probably a positive.

We both did what we needed to do. Some transgressions are just too much to overcome, or even to forgive. They should have both known that when they committed them.

But itís their issue now. I agree with RealityBlows. Meeting new women is great. The other things he mentioned are as well. For me the exercise was a great way to turn what happened by channeling the negative energy into something positive. Nothing beats gritting through the last push up like a little anger.

I hope once the holidays pass, this feeling will pass also. It sounds like it is a fleeting thing and you will come out of it. Talk to a happy 90 year old, they look forward to the next day expecting it to be a good one. We should all do the same at any age

Butforthegrace posted 11/25/2020 15:50 PM

the pain of the A, that incredible feeling of deep intimate gobsmacking betrayal will be with me for life

Mine was December 7, 1989. A Thursday. About 7:00 a.m. I can still remember it. The feeling was so powerful I had to sit down to prevent myself from falling.

steadychevy posted 11/26/2020 07:35 AM

Butforthegrace, my 1st DDay was September 1, 2013. The last couple of years went by without me even realizing it. That's good.

Our 43rd anniversary would have been this year. I didn't realize it until my XWW reminded me and sent me an e-mail with a list of wishes about how it wouldn't have happened. That's good.

Two weeks after our 26th anniversary was when my XWW invited her AP to go with her to take mineral to one herd of cows while I was 8 hours away to have their first sex in the pasture. That went by without me realizing it until it was well past. That's good.

Dee, what you wrote is so true. Marriage was forever for me. I thought my love for her was growing and maturing every year. We had issues with her past invading our present off and on through the marriage but I thought we could work through them (she wouldn't). But I thought our marriage was getting stronger. She was beautiful when I married her but her beauty grew as she matured. AND THEN. As you say, it feels like I was pushed from behind into a sewer and rolled around in it.

I don't know what to think about meeting new ladies. I'm almost 70. I really loved my XWW. I would have died to protect her (and my daughters). Developing love like that - deep, mature, decision love - takes time.

There's a couple of ladies at church that are friendly, especially one, who I'm not feeling that kind of attraction to. I'm on a Christian OLD and have corresponded with 3 or 4 ladies but the same thing. I don't know if it would be fair to have a marital relationship (the only kind I would have) where I didn't have that kind of love or the time for it to develop. Some are too far away with ties to where they are like I have to where I am.

Time will tell, I guess. Who knows what might happen. Right now I'm reasonably happy with my ranch, my animals and the off ranch activities I'm involved in.

sisoon posted 11/26/2020 12:56 PM

Oh, man! Only 70!

The demographics are in your favor. I know some couples that met around your age. You know how to build a relationship.

Stay true to yourself, steady. My bet is there are women out there whose idea of a relationship is similar to yours.

RealityBlows posted 11/26/2020 15:38 PM

Oh Steady, you sound like a kindred spirit. Before my D I too had little horse ranch nestled perfectly in a high Sierra alpine meadow surrounded by snow capped mountain peaks. Percolated snow melt sub-irrigated my pastures and kept them emerald green and busting with wildflowers all through the summer. It was a blessed place to raise a family. My son thought he was Ben Cartwright of the Ponderosa. He was first up every morning performing ranch chores and putting hours on the tractor. Our heart, sweat and soul was in that land. I had to sell the ranch in the divorce. I donít ever want my cheating wife back but, I sure do miss that property. My ExWW had a husband who loved her through and through and would have done anything to make her happy. She had three wonderful kids, a 25 year great marriage and an idyllic lifestyle that she envisioned and helped build and, she just threw it all away. When asked why, she still canít explain it. Human foley is just so absolutely unpredictable, inexplainable and destructive.

Iíve found that the best way to come to terms with it all is, to look back fondly on those 25 blessed years and look forward enthusiastically on the next chapter.

Steady, you will have a next chapter. Youíre going to find yourself-if you try, when youíre ready, a wonderful lady whoíd love to have and deeply fall for a guy of your grit and character and spend the next chapter of her life with you on your beautiful ranch where new memories will be made.

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