Newest Member: Daughterofthemosthigh

Grieving

Husband had six month affair with co-worker. Found out 7/2020. Married 20 years at that point; two teenaged kids. Reconciling.

Needing some input/advice

For those not familiar with my story, my husband had a six month EA/PA with a coworker for the first half of 2020. I found weird phone records at the end of May, he lied and gaslit a blue streak for a month until I woke up from my naïveté and self doubt and did a real search for hard evidence. Once I found it he did an about face and answered all my questions with only small amounts of trickle truth and evasion. Working our way through it and reconciling involved the roller coaster pain and trauma everyone here has experienced, with the added trauma of the untimely death of a close family member that was happening at the same time. It was also the height of Covid, and we had to work through how to deal with him and his AP both remaining at the same workplace.

It was a very hard two full years after Dday, but things gradually stabilized, and though I have triggers now and then and still feel a deep sadness when I think of his affair, it’s not all consuming. I don’t feel preoccupied with fear or anger or pain or lack of trust. I’ve accepted that the blind trust I had before was unhealthy. He’s worked really hard to make amends, and he’s made it clear that he really wants our relationship. I think the risk of him cheating again is quite low, and I trust myself to deal with it if it were to happen.

All that to say we’re at a place where we have a solid partnership, a life we’ve built together that we love, and two great kids we co-parent well. We have similar interests, enjoy each other’s company, and have shared values. The 22 years we had together before his affair were really good. Not devoid of run of the mill marital bumps in the road and the normal share of hardships life offers, but fulfilling, and I felt very grateful and lucky to have a good life and marriage after a childhood that was pretty traumatic.

Nonetheless, I’m struggling with the new status quo of my marriage. I feel like the affair and its aftermath all but destroyed the romantic part of me and filled the gaping hole with pain and sadness. I always felt in love with my husband before the affair, and I still love him deeply, but the situations where previously I would have had those romantic thoughts and feelings now just feel blank or sad or painful to me, so I avoid them. I don’t like romantic movies or love stories; I don’t like explicitly romantic events like dates or anniversary celebrations or Valentine’s Day. Sex is just sex. Our bodies work, and I have a sex drive, but it’s devoid of the romance and fun and experimentation we used to enjoy. This really weighs on my husband (though he doesn’t complain about it and just apologizes for causing it when it comes up), because the romantic and sexual parts of our relationship are really important to him. They are to me, too, theoretically, but I’m happier avoiding them because I have no idea how to get the feelings back, and it’s very painful to try. I’m not really sure where to go from here. I wonder sometimes if the betrayal just broke that part of me, because even if we divorced I honestly have zero interest in having a romantic relationship with anyone. Thoughts? Advice? Similar experiences? Is this just a phase that passes eventually? We’re looking to find a MC, but I just feel so defeated and sad.

Sorry for the dissertation.

21 comments posted: Tuesday, March 19th, 2024

Do relationships actually get better after infidelity?

I was reading a boilerplate article just now about why people cheat even when they’re in a loving relationship, and after going through the laundry list of possible reasons, it said "Many couples find that their relationship ends up better than it was before the cheating was discovered."

I’ve seen this is other places too, most notably in Not Just Friends, which helped my husband and I a lot.

So, if you’re a few years out from Dday and are on the reconciliation path, is your relationship better than before? If so, in what ways? And how did it get better?

I find myself struggling with this idea, because it’s hard to believe that will ever be the case for me, even though I wish it was. I’ve definitely seen personal growth in the process of recovery from husband’s infidelity. I’m stronger and have a better sense of myself and a more deep-seated belief in my own resilience.

But I don’t feel like my marriage is better. We’ve done a lot of healing and recovering and reconciling, and we still love each other deeply and have a strong partnership. And we’ve plumbed some depths together that we hadn’t prior to his affair. But there’s still a flatness in me—a darkness where there used to be a spark.

What about you all?

79 comments posted: Thursday, June 15th, 2023

Anniversary

It’s been almost three years since i discovered my husband’s affair. Reconciliation is good overall, but I still struggle with that flat feeling of being mostly back to normal, but without the same spark I felt toward him before, and with an undercurrent of sadness that I feel now and then.

I don’t get many triggers any more, but I’m struggling with one right now.

Tomorrow is our 23rd anniversary. I wish the day were just over or non-existent.

On our 20th anniversary he was deep in his affair. On the actual day he was in another state, caring for his dying sister. I was holding down the kids and home fort. It was the height of the early pandemic lockdown. We couldn’t celebrate together, but in the days prior, I went through 20 years of photos, culled the best ones of us together, wrote a heartfelt long email, and timed it to send at midnight. I also made a really emotional and celebratory social media post, which is somewhat unlike me (I’m relatively private). We were texting each other leading up to midnight, and I called him right on the dot of 12. We talked for a while, professed our love, reminisced, etc. He also did a social media post (also unusual for him).

One of the first things I noticed as things came to light over soft DDay 1 a month later, and nuclear DDay2 a month after that, was the phone records of that night. He was texting her in between texting me, and he called her as soon as he hung up with me. I cannot tell you how seeing those phone numbers and time stamps destroyed me. It obliterated every vulnerable thing in my heart. I knew right then that even if we fully reconciled, our anniversary was done forever.

It gets worse. After DDay2 in July of 2020, there has been almost no trickle truth.

Except for one significant instance. Late last summer he wrote me an email to tell me there was something he hadn’t told me that he wanted to get off his chest.

So, in May 2020, while he was at his sisters on our twentieth anniversary, I planned a picnic and hike for us to a place we had never been so that we would have some kind of 20th anniversary celebration when he returned. Everything was shut down—there were virtually no other date options available. Even most parks and nature trails were shut down, so it took some real effort to figure out.

The trickle truth? He turned around the next week and took his AP to the same place. A place he would never have known about if I hadn’t planned our anniversary outing there. And she blew him in his truck. The vintage 80s jeep Comanche pioneer truck that I helped track down and do the logistics to buy a month before that because he needed a truck and I wanted him to have something cool because he was working so hard and going through such a time with his sister.

Folks, that was a rough piece of trickle truth. I was stunned and just tried to absorb it, but with our anniversary staring me in the face tomorrow it’s come up like a bitch. I feel sick. How does anyone ever wrap their head around shit like this and fully move on? I mean, I’m ok. But sometimes I wonder if being ok just means I’ve just adjusted to carrying around a lot of pain and sadness as I live my ordinary life.

Why do we, the betrayed, feel this so hard? And why don’t they? I feel pretty sure nothing would make my husband happier than going out on a nice romantic date tomorrow, celebrating, and having great sex. That would not be hard for him to do at all. And I love him, and I wish that were the case for me. But here I sit, wishing the day didn’t exist.

16 comments posted: Tuesday, May 9th, 2023

Hard Candy Christmas

I was thinking about how many people on here are experiencing a painful holiday season due to reminders it brings of their partner’s affair or just because betrayal takes such a terrible toll on the psyche.

I’m fortunate that my husband’s affair didn’t take place over the holidays, but the first couple of holiday seasons after it were very hard.

I know Dolly isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but Hard Candy Christmas has been a favorite of mine the last few holiday seasons. Here’s hoping it’s helpful to someone else.

If anyone has any other songs, thoughts, strategies, etc. that have helped you get through difficult holiday season, I’d love to hear them.

4 comments posted: Saturday, December 3rd, 2022

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