Married for 20 years with two kids when my husband had a six month affair with a coworker. DD1: 6/2020. DD2: 7/3/2020. Reconciling
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.
2 comments posted: Saturday, December 3rd, 2022
How am I still this fragile/emotional?
It's been just over two years since I found out about my husband's affair. Reconciliation has been bumpy, but we're progressing.
Marital relationship aside, I've been working on myself. I deliberately turn my thoughts away from painful circling and self-pity and negative self-talk. I dwell on things that I'm grateful for. I lean into my values and priorities. I invest in the relationships and activities that feel meaningful to me. I deliberately pursue things that make me happy: gardening, creative outlets, paddle boarding, reading. I feel stronger.
One of the things I've prioritized is exercise, and part of that is doing some running. I'm 45 and not very fast, but I try to do some 5ks now and then to keep me motivated. I'm a teacher, and even though I'm a little overwhelmed with the start of the school year I've still been running a couple times a week on the treadmill. I signed up for a small 5k in a tiny town nearby and got up early to go run it this morning. I was running it in very good time for me and feeling really proud of myself. But the course wasn't well marked, and I made a wrong turn and disqualified myself. Not a big deal. The organizers were kind, my $25 entry fee went to a great cause, and I got some good exercise on a beautiful morning.
Pre-affair me would have shrugged this off as a minor disappointment. Instead, this morning, I limped back to my car and fell apart. I was absolutely flooded with sadness and disappointment and feelings of worthlessness. On the drive home I was weeping to the point that I had to pull over to compose myself.
How am I still this much of an emotional basket case? So many of the stories on this site are so much objectively worse than mine; what is wrong with me that my husband's garden variety midlife crisis affair altered me so much? I feel like all the healing is a facade; that all I've done is construct a thin shell over a deep reservoir of pain that I can still fall into at any moment. How does one get past this?
14 comments posted: Sunday, August 28th, 2022
Reconciliation When No Contact Isn't Feasible
I would love advice on how to deal with an affair and move on with life when no contact isn't really feasible. Has anyone experienced this?
Long story short, I found out 15 months ago that my husband of 20 years had an intense, six-month emotional and physical affair with a coworker. Up until that time we both would have characterized our marriage as healthy, happy, and fulfilling, and he has never blamed me for the affair. He has worked hard to rebuild trust and repair the damage he has caused. Things will never be the same, but I feel we are on a good path toward reconciliation.
In the months after the affair came to light, my husband was willing to do whatever I asked him to save the marriage, but it was also clear that he didn't see cutting off all contact with his affair partner as reasonable or necessary. His perspective was that as long as each of them was being completely transparent with their spouses they could go back to a level of friendship that would allow them to have a collegial professional relationship (changing jobs isn't really a feasible option for either of them).
This was a very difficult issue for a year. I think he was holding out hope that things would go back to normal--that he and his coworker would go back to being colleagues and friends, and that he and I would be reconciled and I would trust him again.
Eventually, he came to the realization that a return to the pre-affair status quo wasn't going to happen, and he became much more explicit and intentional about keeping contact to the bare minimum and shutting down interactions that she initiated. That shift was huge for me, and it propelled us into a new stage of recovery and reconciliation.
She's still around, though. We're in a small community with many overlapping social connections. Today, on a Saturday, my husband has spent about three hours dealing with workplace drama that his former affair partner is at the center of. He's being transparent and apologetic, and I'm trying to be mature and understanding, but I feel depressed and exhausted over having this woman still connected to my life.
Thoughts? Advice? Commiseration? I don't have friends or family members to talk to about this stuff, and I'm on a waiting list for individual counseling (it's a six month wait, at least, in my area).
40 comments posted: Tuesday, November 2nd, 2021