Welcome SI, and to the WS forum in particular. All of us here have been in your shoes, felt the feelings and asked the questions that you are, so this is a good place to bounce feelings off of others. First, the boilerplate advice. At the top of this page is a link to "the healing library". That might be a good place to start, as well as the "things every WS needs to know" post which is pinned at the top of the WS forum. Additionally, there are two books I strongly recommend. One is called "How to help your spouse heal after your affair" by Linda MacDonald. You can find it on Amazon or even free in PDF form if you search for it. That is essentially "the handbook" for post-affair damage control. It's a quick read, I read it in 3 hours. The other is called "Not just friends" and it really opened my eyes about my own affair, and about how my spouse was reacting.
Now the hard part. Let's have a frank talk. One thing most every WS who comes here shares in common is a lack of empathy and self-awareness. We walk in the door feeling as if WE are the real victims here, as if we had little other choice than to cheat, and as if our actions were "bad but forgivable" and completely tired of our spouse's inability to just "get over it" and/or really "see us" and OUR pain. And yet, why is that? WE cheated, not our spouses. So why are we "done and over" with them, and why do we expect them to just get angry and then get over it?
Infidelity is a trauma. Not only is it a trauma, but it's actually more painful, damaging and difficult to recover from than other severe trauma's, such as the death of a loved one, war/military actions or a severe car accident. Why is it worse? Because in every other trauma, there was no betrayal. If a loved one dies, they don't do so with the intention of screwing you over or hurting you. Cars don't get into accidents because they don't care for the way you drive them. But with infidelity... it's personal. 100%. Not only did the other person hurt you by cheating on you, but they did so with a complete lack of regard for you WHATSOEVER. When you marry a person, you promise to love that person and forsake all others, and to be that person's primary source of love, trust and support, for better or worse. So what happens when the person you trust most in the world betrays you? Your entire sense of safety falls apart. Hell, your entire sense of reality falls apart. Suddenly, the person who is supposed to love you and have your back at all times, stabbed you in the back instead. Instead of loving you, they hurt you. Instead of talking to you and trying to work things out, they just kick you to the curb and then go do whatever the hell they please with whoever they please, and if that makes you angry, then they label you as the asshole, as if you've got some nerve being pissed at them when all they every did was lie to you, betray you, gaslight you, live a double life and fuck someone else. And when your whole falls apart, who do you go to? Who is your support? Normally, that's your spouse. But your spouse IS the enemy here, the one that hurt you. And worse? If THEY could betray you instead of loving you, then can you really trust anyone? The truth is, once betrayed, your entire sense of trust and safety goes out the window, and you are left feeling alone, hated, tricked, unloved, unsupported and like a complete fool and failure.
I don't know your husband, but it doesn't matter. He could be the biggest asshole in the world, and if he is, then you had every chance to leave him. You could have divorced. You could have insisted on counseling or threatened to leave. You could have suggested an open marriage. There are tons of things you could have done and still have retained your own dignity and respect. But you didn't. You chose to cheat. And that is on YOU and only you. Cheating doesn't reflect the other spouse's value. It reflects your own. A person who loves themselves, who has dignity, self-respect, authenticity, vulnerability, empathy and honesty... would never cheat in a million years. NOT because it hurts the other person, although that's part of it. But because they would never hurt themselves in such a way. They would never allow themselves to sink so low as to do something that disrespects and devalues themselves. They respect themselves too much.
he freaked out on me...screaming, yelling, jumped in his truck and went screaming away...all in front of our 13-year-old daughter. I could care less about me, but to do it all in front of her. Unforgivable!
Here's a great example. You aren't wrong about his actions here. But you are wrong for blaming him as if he's the bad guy. He didn't do this "out of the blue" as you seem to imply. YOU cheated, and when you cheat, your actions affect your whole family. You don't seem to understand that you cheated on your kid as much as your husband. Your husband would not be freaking out, screaming and driving off IF NOT FOR you cheating in the first place. So let's get clear on what's unforgivable, who did the unforgivable thing that was the catalyst for this, and who exactly is hurting the family including your daughter. That would be you.
Let me take a beat here and let you know that it is not my intention here to berate you, belittle you or even be angry with you. That's not the case. Bear in mind, everything I just said about you, I lived, because that was me too. That's how I felt walking in the door here. That's how I treated my spouse and my kids and my family. I cheated and lied too, and I cannot even begin to tell you how much damage I did to our three kids who will be in therapy for most of their lives at this point and who will never really trust in a relationship. I hate what I did, and more than that, I hate how I acted afterward and how fucking self-deceiving I was. I'm not here to tell you that you are a bad person, but you do need to pull your head out of your ass and start seeing reality and not some fantasy land where your life is hell and it's someone else's fault. If you don't, not only are you going to lose your marriage, but you will do permanent damage to your family, and worst of all, to yourself. Is it your hope that your daughter grows up, gets married, and gets cheated on? Will you tell her to just get over it? If not, then why the hell are you modeling this behavior for her? Do you not understand that seeing your mother cheat on your father destroys a child's sense of safety and love? Because that's literally what is happening right now, even as I type this. Do you think being pissed and acting like the victim here will show her how an adult handles things when they harm others?
Adults take ownership of their bad choices. They do their best to make things right. They take steps to make sure they make different choices next time. They don't get angry and defensive and tell their victims to "just get over it already".
We can't change others, we can only change ourselves. So what you need to do is to figure out what you were trying to get from cheating. Lying, hiding, living a double life... these aren't fun things. Nobody says, "When I grow up, I want to be a liar and cheater". So why even go down that path? We go down that path for a reason. You have to figure out YOUR reasons for having an affair, because if you don't, then nothing changes. You'll probably cheat again, or cheat on the next person you connect with, because if nothing changes... then nothing changes. This is an opportunity for you, a chance to make different choices, to become someone you can respect, that your daughter can respect.
I would recommend seeing an IC (therapist). Tell them your story. Figure out why you did what you did and why you feel the way you do. You can't fix what you don't understand. So get cracking.