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Falling apart...or going crazy?

yellowledbetter posted 11/23/2020 16:13 PM

This will likely be long....

The past few weeks have gone really well. I have been proud of myself for using all the tools Iíve learned along this journey to stay out of the rabbit hole. To be mindful and present. To work on feeling grounded and living in the now. I explained to my IC the other day how I feel sooo good lately but also so scared this is temporary.

Yep, it was temporary.

Last night my H and I were enjoying time together watching a movie. He leaned over and kissed me(not unusual)....but really kissed me. It felt good and honest and real. And then something in me snapped. Itís what I describe as almost like an out of body experience. The pain and anger is so raw. I can hear words coming out of my mouth but itís as if someone else is saying them. And I lost it. Again.

During my Hís extracurricular activities 🙄, he had a no kissing rule, if you can imagine. It was Ďtoo intimateí, he claimed. So heíd take his wedding ring off and made sure kissing on the mouth was off limits(because that makes it better than Ďregular cheatingí, donít ya know). But the last time they were together, and they both knew it would be the last time as we were moving out of province, she started to kiss him and he let her and kissed her back. It was one of the trickle truths I got long after Dday. After he told her that wasnít supposed to happen...to which she replied Ďoopsí...this part of the story fucking haunts me to this day.

So last night it was like a gut punch when I realized that even something as innocent and loving as sitting on the couch with MY husband, and letting him kiss me like that...well, itís just not special anymore. He gave that away too. Oops. He took our 30 plus years of specialness and shit all over it. Oops. So no, itís not special, and no, I donít have any reason to believe it ever was. Iím not special. I was just so damn easy to betray, to destroy and toss aside like yesterdayís trash. Oops again.

I want to hate him. I really do. It would be so much easier if I could hate him and move on with my life. Instead I just feel waves of devastation and agony. Iím so tired of hurting. Why couldnít I have been enough?

Itís the middle of the afternoon and all I have done today is lay in bed and cry. I just feel like giving up. Itís been almost two years. What is wrong with me?! I feel like Iím going crazy.

I have to be strong for everybody all the time. For my kids, for my elderly parents, for my friends who worry like crazy about me. For my husband who has never learned to be thankful for what he does have until recently when he stood to lose everything. And Iím sick of it. Iím sick of being strong and fighting. If Iím not being strong, Iím being judged for not being Ďbetterí by now by those closest to me. Even one of my own kids told me not long ago, that obviously I need a new IC if I still feel this way.

I donít know what Iím asking for by writing this. Maybe just to be heard and understood, because nobody in my life really understands. I just truly wish he had left me long before he destroyed the person I used to be and everything we had together. It really did feel special to me.... but it really wasnít after all.

Thank you if you made it this far.

Edited to remove well deserved name calling towards the AP.

[This message edited by yellowledbetter at 10:38 PM, November 23rd (Monday)]

SI Staff posted 11/23/2020 21:29 PM

   Moving to General

Sofarsogood posted 11/23/2020 21:41 PM

You have been heard, and I am so sorry this is going on for you. It's really hard to lose that feeling of specialness. I too feel like sometimes I just give and give without anything in return. Sometimes you need to just do something just for you because you know you are worth it!

Shockedmom posted 11/23/2020 21:45 PM

That was vent worthy. The loss of something as simple as having a moment and sharing a good kiss is to be mourned. According to many healing takes 3-5 years, Iím not sure we ever completely heal. Let the tears roll.

I do hope you have a therapist to help you with coping strategies.

BlackRaven posted 11/23/2020 22:03 PM

Yellowledbetter

I'm so sorry for your pain. I don't think there is any timeline for getting over betrayal.

Why couldnít I have been enough?

This had nothing to do with you. This had to do with something your WH was trying to fill in his soul, and instead of talking it over with a counselor, he acted out with an AP. Has he done the work with an IC to convince you that he's filled that hole? I'm surprised that 2 years out you still feel it was a shortcoming in you. It makes me wonder if you feel safe in the relationship now? Does your therapist specialize in betrayal trauma?

I have to be strong for everybody all the time

I know what that feels like and unless you're talking about young children, everyone else is capable of taking care of themselves. If you haven't, I suggest you watch the Brenť Brown talk on vulnerability. It's OK for others to see you having a hard day, and it's OK for them to help you.

I'm in early days yet, but from posts I've read, it can take 5 years to repair the relationship. I'm sure some of those folks can offer different advice. Good luck

[This message edited by BlackRaven at 10:10 PM, November 23rd (Monday)]

The1stWife posted 11/23/2020 22:17 PM

Iím sorry you are still struggling with this but honestly it is to be expected.

Unless someone has been through infidelity they really do not understand the trauma and depths of pain. Ignore your child b/c they cannot really know the impact of infidelity. They may be trying to be helpful but unfortunately the comments are not helpful.

I had a sibling who was cheated on in along term relationship. Took her years to get over. Years. With me - told me to get over it in 3 months. Never asked how I was doing. Never spoke about it again.

You heal at your own pace. Some days are better than others. I think as long as you see progress in your healing of hen that is a positive sign.

Do you have a good counselor just for you? Itís what saved my sanity during a d after my Hís affair.

Also know only you can fully heal you. Your H can help you heal but he can only do so much. The rest is on you. And healing is like a commitment you make to yourself to live yiur best life. Despite the infidelity. Despite the pain. Despite the anger. Despite the unfairness of it all.

I decided I was not going to let his affair destroy my life b/c then that is one more thing I was being robbed of. I decided I deserved to be happy despite his affair.

Unhinged posted 11/23/2020 23:14 PM

Why couldnít I have been enough?
I know how hard it is to believe that your WH's affair had nothing at all to do with you and everything to do with his own issues in life. Nothing you did or didn't do, nothing you said or didn't say, would have made any difference at all.

Whatever issues your WH has that lead him down Infidelity Lane are his and his alone. He can't blame anyone but himself, and that most definitely includes his betrayed wife.

I have to be strong for everybody all the time.
Unfortunately, while our lives have been blown apart by infidelity, the rest of the world keeps going on. It'd be nice if there was some recovery camp we could all attend, leaving the rest of the world to go... well, wherever.

Focus on you, your recovery and healing. I write that so often I could do it in my sleep. Yet it's the best advice I ever received on SI. Recovering and healing from a severe trauma is anything but easy. It's perfectly okay to just fall the fuck apart from time to time. If you didn't, you wouldn't be human.

So, be gentle with yourself. Be kind to yourself. For most people, surviving infidelity will be one of the most painful and challenging times of their lives.

gmc94 posted 11/23/2020 23:27 PM

I no longer kiss my WH on the lips. I think bc on dday my WH told me he and his POSOW would "get naked and hold and kiss each other" while simultaneously claiming there was zero emotional connection I dunno if it comes back for those who commit to R, or after more time (I'm finishing my 3rd year since dday). So, all I can say is IMHO it's ok if kissing is off the table for a little - or even a long - while. If your WS has issues, they need to recognize that it would not have been a problem if there had not been an A.

I can't tell if this is the 1st time since you learned of your WH and his AP's kissing that it's 'hit' you so hard. I wonder bc I often had "emotional hangovers" regularly during yr 1 and most of year 2. IOW, when I'd have a "good" moment or day or week with my WH, there would be a kind of "crash" that could send me deep into the rabbit hole. So, a part of me wonders if the passionate kiss with your WH had some bad timing to the extent an emotional hangover may have been lurking? Maybe not, but something to consider.

Why couldnít I have been enough?
This stuck out for me as well, and I agree with BlackRaven & Unhinged. You were always enough, you will always be enough. It's taken me awhile, and Lord knows I still sometimes stumble here, but when my thoughts go to that place, I remind myself that cheating has NOTHING to do with the BS, and everything to do with things that are broken in a WS. I can even turn that into: if my WH had cancer, would I be telling myself that it's bc I wasn't enough? Of course not. Whatever "emotional cancer" that exists w/in my WH that enabled him to cheat for decades is his and his alone. It was never caused by a BS.

I think losing that feeling of "special" is a personal hell for so many BS (myself included). It took a LONG time to let myself feel that pain, to grieve for what was lost by my WH's shenanigans. All I can say today is it was nice while it lasted, and try and appreciate the lessons learned.

[This message edited by gmc94 at 11:28 PM, November 23rd, 2020 (Monday)]

20yrsagoBS posted 11/23/2020 23:39 PM

Like blowjobs.....gone forever

tushnurse posted 11/24/2020 07:27 AM

((((yellowledbetter))))

You have been heard.
Feel the feels. Grieve the things you have lost.

Then get out of bed, take a long hot shower, put together your to do list of how make YOU happier, and fulfilled. Start moving toward that regardless of it involves your WH or not. My point is this. We have to heal ourselves. Our spouses can't do it, our therapists can't do it, our kids can't do it. And yes timeline is 2-5 years, and that is when things go really really well. There are no shortcuts, no workarounds, no easier way. We have to feel the feels. When we allow ourselves to mourn what we lost, and then pull ourselves up again, we get stronger, when we focus on our own healing and needs.

Then when you do have have yourself pulled back together you need to communicate your pain with your H, and tell him he caused this and he needs to be patient with your trauma, and your pain, and your healing, and if he can't he knows where the door is. You also should set some new expectations with anyone else that is telling you that you should be "better". If they haven't been dealt this trauma there is NO WAY they understand.

But please please please for the love of yourself, stop asking why you weren't enough. HIS choices have ZERO to do with you and 1000% to do with his broken ass. Remember this on your down days.

fooled13years posted 11/24/2020 07:55 AM

yellowledbetter,
I am so sorry that even this moment, and what it should have meant, was stolen from you.

I have to be strong for everybody all the time
I understand how you feel about this but consider the fact that if you work yourself to the point of mental and physical exhaustion and have a breakdown then you are going to be hurting yourself.
for my friends who worry like crazy about me
If this is true and they do worry about your welfare then they will understand when you need to lean heavily on them.
For my husband who has never learned to be thankful for what he does have until recently when he stood to lose everything
I understand the potential ebbs and flows of R but it sounds to me that you might be protecting your WH too much.

It might be time to put all this weight on him and have him carry it for a while.

And Iím sick of it. Iím sick of being strong and fighting
Good for you for recognizing this.

Why do you think there is time set aside between rounds in a boxing match? It is because the boxers, even though they are in great shape, need to take a break to rest and discuss strategy from time to time.

If Iím not being strong, Iím being judged for not being Ďbetterí by now by those closest to me
Whoa! If those closest to you judge you for not being who they think you should be then it might be time to set them straight and find different support.
Even one of my own kids told me not long ago, that obviously I need a new IC if I still feel this way
Perhaps they are right about finding someone with a different perspective but this seems to be coming from a point of ignorance on their part as to what infidelity does to the faithful spouse.

If they are lucky they will never experience this devastation personally.

sisoon posted 11/24/2020 10:43 AM

Sometimes being strong is feeling your feelings, even though that takes 100% of your resources for what really are only a few minutes.

I'm with tush.

Notmine posted 11/24/2020 12:18 PM

Year 2 is still early in the game. It is a marathon, not a sprint. You have suffered a trauma and it will take the time it is supposed to take to heal. I am 5 years out and still go through periods where I feel like I hate FHW, and it doesn't matter how much work he does, or how much he has changed. You never "get over" a trauma like infidelity, you learn to live with it.

It is important to validate yourself. You WERE enough, HE was not. You do not need to be strong for anyone other than yourself and your WH needs to understand that it is his responsibility to support you when you are feeling like you are struggling. He can take on some of the responsibilities and give you a break. Part of being a remorseful WS is to acknowledge that HE is the problem and to support you in any way that you need him to, for however long it takes. He does not have to like it. That is irrelevant. Your WH has the opportunity to show you that he deserves to be married to you. He should be eternally grateful to you for this opportunity. Period. YOU are the prize: a loving, faithful partner. This whole "no kissing" rule is an exemplar of how stupid and infantile your WH's actions and mindset were. It rests squarely on his shoulders to prove to you that he is willing to do the work to grow into an adult.

I have found that over time it gets easier to use the "tools" you speak of in a more effective way. Be patient with yourself. Tell those people who think you should be "better" that it would be a whole lot easier if you had a "better" husband. Then ignore them. Agree with Tush:

If they haven't been dealt this trauma there is NO WAY they understand
.

OwningItNow posted 11/25/2020 05:13 AM

I have to be strong for everybody all the time. For my kids, for my elderly parents, for my friends who worry like crazy about me. For my husband who has never learned to be thankful for what he does have until recently when he stood to lose everything. And Iím sick of it. Iím sick of being strong and fighting. If Iím not being strong, Iím being judged for not being Ďbetterí by now by those closest to me. Even one of my own kids told me not long ago, that obviously I need a new IC if I still feel this way.

I have been thinking a lot about this, Yellowledbetter. I relate to so much of what you are saying, but especially this. I wanted to tell you what post dday taught me about handling this.

Nobody can make you feel guilty or feel bad. You are allowing this guilt inside and letting it steal your Me time. You must stop.

When I felt badly post dday, my IC would tell me to take care of myself. I'd ask, "How? I'm trying!" She would say, "Do what you want to do."

I'd say, "But someone always needs me."

She'd say, "So what. They'll wait. You need to do for you."

I'd say, "But they will be mad."

She'd say, "Let them be mad. Ignore them. Block it out."

I'd say, "But I'll feel guilty. Like I'm a bad person and letting people down. I'll feel selfish."

She'd say, "So stop it. Stop allowing yourself to feel this way. You KNOW this is absolutely not true! You are lying to yourself about yourself. You are a good person."

I'd say, "But it feels so...uncomfortable. To know they are upset with me."

She'd say, "BE UNCCOMFORTABLE. It will pass. Take care of you. Lock the door, cancel the visits, let the dust sit on the shelves, let them fix their own dinner. Take every minute to be good to you! Say nice things to yourself. Order yourself some food. Take a long bath. Watch a bad movie. Journal. Cry if you need to. Nap. Meditate. Be there for yourself, be in tune to what would feel good. Stop prioritizing other people. It's leaving you empty!!!!"

Omg, it was so hard. But it got easier and easier. Taking time to love me and heal me was a game changer. I will never short-change my Me time again. When I need it, I take it.

Have you read Journey from Abandonment to Healing by Anderson? Also super helpful. The Big Me, Little Me work calmed my soul and gave me a soothing outlet. I learned to tell myself the healing things that I wanted others to say. Life changing.

I think when you prioritize your healing, your feeling of value will come back. You need to love and value you too if you want to feel that feeling. Not just your WH. You need to practice self-love and inner child healing to feel truly recovered, based on what I experienced.

Best wishes to you.

[This message edited by OwningItNow at 5:18 AM, November 25th (Wednesday)]

yellowledbetter posted 11/25/2020 13:52 PM

Thank you to every one of you. I appreciate all of your responses and they have brought me more comfort than you know.

I've sat down to attempt to reply to you all many times in the last couple days but just couldn't do it. Still don't want to only because this is all so painful and exhausting. But I'll give it a shot, even though my brain is foggy from crying a million tears, again. At least here, people understand.

Its been a rough week(and it's only wednesday!). My energy level is in the toilet. I can't sleep well at night but you bet I could sleep all day if I could. I'm just tired of everything. Sometimes I still wonder WTF happened and where did my old life go? It was so easy "before" and I didn't even know it. I do blame myself a lot for not paying more attention. As much as I know his shortcomings are not my fault, I always wonder, what role did I play in the crack in our foundation?


Since Dday, I am working with my 3rd IC who specializes in trauma and PTSD. She seems like a really good fit so far and I always feel like we accomplished a great deal when I leave her office. The previous two IC I saw felt like a waste of time and money. We also see an amazing MC who is like a bloody mind reader! She calls us both on our shit and doesn't sugar coat anything. We both really like her...she's damn good. My H also sees an IC who he feels is a great fit for him. All in all, I feel we finally have the right psychologists now. Between covid, the costs involved and their high demand/busy schedules, we don't get in to see them as much as we would like.

Losing that 'specialness' has always been what hurts the most. Sometimes I look at my H now and think, sure, I love him and always will...but am I able to be 'in love' with him after everything that has happened? Afterall, I guess I never knew who he really was anyways. I definitely do not know that man who deceived me the way he did for so long....that man who said all of the things he said to the slut down the street(I read 2 years worth of their texts and it was like reading the words of a complete, screwed up stranger) and still have me believe he adored me. I would never in million years befriend, never mind love and marry, someone like the person he was behind my back. Makes me wonder if that is the person he has always been and I just didn't see it. Was the last 30+ years all a lie? Was any of it real? Because he sure was a good actor. I never would have guessed all those times he came home to me that he just got his rocks off in a backseat on a side road minutes from our house.

I will never understand...I guess I need to accept that. I'm just not wired like that.

I found a quote that resonated with me...and I wrote it down so I can see it as I go about my day. "If you are exploring the possibilities of reconciliation, be cautious but try to live in the present. Anything else robs you of life". So true. I don't want my H's infidelity to rob me of any more than it already has. So much easier said than done. The1stwife....your words hit me hard(in a good way)- "I decided I was not going to let his affair destroy my life b/c then that is one more thing I was being robbed of. I decided I deserved to be happy despite his affair". I so badly want to get there too.

Thanks again...to each of you....your kind, supportive words helped me to get my ass out of bed, drag myself to the shower and put real clothes on, on a day when I didn't think that was possible.


gmc94 posted 11/25/2020 14:22 PM

Full disclosure: I'm not "in R" and have not committed to that - my WH has not shown himself to be "R Material".

I would never in million years befriend, never mind love and marry, someone like the person he was behind my back. Makes me wonder if that is the person he has always been and I just didn't see it. Was the last 30+ years all a lie? Was any of it real? Because he sure was a good actor. I never would have guessed all those times he came home to me that he just got his rocks off in a backseat on a side road minutes from our house.
Many/most BS would say the exact same thing. I experienced all of the same feelings (just change "30+ years" to "27+ years" at the time of dday).

For me it all comes down to this:

Afterall, I guess I never knew who he really was anyways
I don't know what those in R would say, but for me, this is where the rubber meets the road. The person I THOUGHT I knew never existed, so why would I even try to R with "that" guy?

Assuming he is making some changes, then the question will become if you feel comfortable with the person you see today. If WH version 2.0 is someone you want to spend the rest of your life with. And the answer to that is unique to each of us and our WS.

It sounds like you are depressed, which I suspect could be a combination of a ton of things, but I suspect Covid has put everyone in some level of a perpetual state of anxiety & fear.... add that to an already active limbic system bc of the trauma of being a BS, and it strikes me as a good recipe for depression. My IC suggests that I try and make space for the depressed me, comfort her and have compassion for her. It can be hard. Our brains are all full of "I should x" and "I need to Y" and all the workings of living live, and some of us are really apt to beat ourselves up when we aren't "performing" those expectations (shoulda, woulda, coulda kind of thing). And for me, it puts me into my own shame spiral, which then exacerbates and repeats the cycle.

I didn't X, therefore
I'm worthless, therefore
why bother with X (or Y or Z or abc), I can't do anything or do anything right anyhow....

rinse. repeat.

There have been times when I literally had to talk myself into brushing my teeth! I had to engage in a self talk that went something like:
I don't want to
- but you NEED to, and you SHOULD
- but I don't want to
- but you DESERVE to have clean teeth. You are a wonderful, imperfect, valuable and awesome human being. Brushing your teeth will make YOU feel better..... you deserve to feel better..... YOU deserve that 3 minutes of vibrating minty freshness in your mouth! You deserve that feeling of accomplishment when you rinse! It will be WONDERFUL!

It doesn't always work, but I try to find SOMETHING in my day that it will work for. Some days it's brushing my teeth.... other days it's digging into a work project or something around the house. But even on those "well, I DID brush my teeth days", I do what I can to love myself through it vs trying to pretend it isn't happening or that there's something "wrong" with ME and my reaction to the shitshow in which I seem to have top billing.


[This message edited by gmc94 at 2:23 PM, November 25th, 2020 (Wednesday)]

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