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Wayward Side :
At A Loss

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pinkpggy ( Member #61240) posted at 6:43 PM on Monday, December 14th, 2020

I don't have any words of wisdom to add, but I wanted to say I can fully understand how you are feeling. Its very hard not to internalize. Be there to support and help him find his happiness, whatever that looks like to him.

One 4 month EA/PA
DDay March 2017
Separated (my choice) August 2020 and working towards divorce.

posts: 1914   ·   registered: Oct. 30th, 2017   ·   location: North Carolina
id 8616555
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hikingout ( Member #59504) posted at 6:46 PM on Monday, December 14th, 2020

I didn't know you guys spoke. That makes me happy. Thanks for being there for him

I think maybe you might have just forgotten possibly - it was publicly in the forum. You can probably find it in the former ICR thread if you just want to review it.

I thought I might should look it up as well because at that time I thought H was dealing with things well and I know that some of the questioning was my husbands thoughts. As if I knew them. But, at the same time it may not have negated what it was that I told him. Anyway, that's an aside.

WW/BW BH/WH
Turnthepage
My Affair DDAY 9/1/2017- 2 month EA/PA
His Affair DDAY 10/10/2020 - 18 month A - EA?/PA

posts: 5914   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8616556
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ChamomileTea ( Member #53574) posted at 6:53 PM on Monday, December 14th, 2020

Depression after a major illness is not uncommon, so it's unlikely to have anything at all to do with your marital history. It could simply be a matter of chemical imbalance where hormones or neurotransmitters are off their usual norms. I think you'd be wise to have him see his medical doctor. If it's a hormonal issue, blood tests will reveal it quickly. It's not as easy to check neurotransmitters and sometimes a mild antidepressant will be tried for a couple of weeks to check its efficacy. There are some psychiatric facilities these days which will check DNA to match antidepressants with patients, but these are unproven as far as I know. Typically, it takes time to find a good medication and the right dosage.

posts: 4518   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016
id 8616558
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Owl6118 ( Member #42806) posted at 6:56 PM on Monday, December 14th, 2020

And how do I heal heartbreak? I know you gave me some ideas, but I'm asking big picture. Can you even? Or is it just focusing on the journey and working toward it?

Whew. That's a really hard question. And its kind of the last one left on the table now, right? The question that remains to be answered.

I felt a lot of empathy for your husband -- and perhaps project too much of myself on to him -- because my heart was broken once (it really only happens once, you are never that unguarded again). I was much, much younger, and the stakes were lower.

I can say it even with the lower stakes, it took about 10 years, maybe more. And the heartbreak may have interacted with other things to predispose me to dysthymia, which I have had to live with and fight against all my life. In fact I am struggling very hard against it right now, in this year of COVID.

But I think though heartbreak cannot be healed, exactly, with the passage of time and the accretion of life experiences it -- settles into perspective. That's kind of why I asked about the quote he chose as his signature. I think that quote might be his aspiration for himself -- but something that he has lost faith in for the time being and maybe for a while now.

I'm just grasping around here, but, here is another idea, one more in keeping with the insights of HO and others who have raised the possibility of more general midlife malaise or survivors malaise.

For background, several years ago now, after years of wrestling with periodic dysthymia or minor depression, I fell into a debilitating major depression. It was so bad I became essentially incapable of work, and I lost my then-career.

In the midst of it my wife asked me a simple question -- if you could do anything at all, anything, what would be be? No limits. No question of practicality. Anything. I muttered something about having this fantasy of stringing barbed wire on a wildlife refuge.

She took that, and within a month, had found a program that let dedicated people become volunteer park rangers. She said, you should do this. And I did. I set a date to wrap up my old work, made the interviews and applications, and set another date to start that program. And it led to a new career, an actual paid career, which has been a new source of meaning and pride and a bulwark against depression's return.

So maybe another strategy is to ask that kind of open-ended question, and, be open to figuring out with him a change -- of career, of location, of whatever -- that will lead him back toward confidence in himself and meaning in his own life. Maybe restoring meaning on his own terms has to happen before he can be completely open to rebuilding vulnerability with you.

It's hard, Mrs.W. Grief and loss of meaning are really hard, and bite deep. But don't despair, and, don't let your mother's voice make his struggle a source or shame for you and about you. Keep being creative, keep asking for ideas and trying things, and hardest of all -- keep your courage. Keep faith in yourself and in your love for him.

posts: 338   ·   registered: Mar. 17th, 2014
id 8616559
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tushnurse ( Member #21101) posted at 6:58 PM on Monday, December 14th, 2020

I'm going to talk to you about this from a purely medical perspective.

Your H nearly died, and had to recover from being critically ill. That takes so much from a person you cannot imagine it. I want you to encourage him, and Walloped if you are reading this I want you to do the following.

1. Go to your Dr demand bloodwork including all vitamin levels, and hormones especially testosterone. His body is still in recovery mode. It takes more than a year to fully recover being on a vent for an extended period. While physically he may appear back to normal, his body is in overtime healing itself.

2. Ask him to get into some IC. Any major life event that effects your health can and does lead to depression in many people. Even a simple heart attack with stent, and in and out of the hospital with no permanent damage can lead to depression, your bodys chemicals play tricks on you, and that is often only fixed with antidepressants.

3. Continue this open dialogue with him, and lean into him instead of allowing yourself to pull away. Plan on doing special things with him, I get it, there isn't much to do right now, but get creative, bake together, do family game nights, spend a weekend together in bed watching romcoms.

Allow him to rest, to heal, and encourage him to get help for his flat mood that is probably depression induced from the stress his body has been through.

Please please please be supportive, and encouraging to him. It will be a full year before his body says Ahhh I am recovered. From an old ICU nurse please believe this.

Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 21 &23
Married for 28 years now, was 16 at the time.
D-Day Sept 26 2008
R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

posts: 18926   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
id 8616560
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Jorge ( Member #61424) posted at 7:44 PM on Monday, December 14th, 2020

I understand your concern. It's possible a lull in life we all have periodically. I have them from time to time, but they typically last weeks, not half a year. It was brought to my attention however I hadn't addressed my PTSD from years ago. Has Mr. Walloped PTSD?

I recall he works in finance in New York. If correct, the pressure of his position may be grating on him and burn out is happening. If one were to remove the affair, it's possible he'd still have his recent disposition.

I read your first post but not the latter ones, but I'm sure you're encouraging IC for him? I have no foundational belief for my opinion here, but I don't think you're the source of his malaise.

I might add however the affair could have a COVID type effect. In other words, much like COVID impacts those who have previous underlying conditions, any emotional challenges he's having may be exacerbated by the affair if that makes sense.

Edit:

MrsWallop: I recall your affair started around March or April in 2015 (I think). If COVID hit him around the same time in 2020, it would mark a 5 - year anniversary of which he's connected two life changing incidents that occurred at nearly the exact same time of the year. Both are significant enough to effect an emotional change.

Five years separating the two could lead to the emotional trigger that has led him into his current state. Again, I haven't read the previous posts so if you've concluded this already, my apologies.

[This message edited by Jorge at 1:59 PM, December 14th (Monday)]

posts: 692   ·   registered: Nov. 14th, 2017   ·   location: Pennsylvania
id 8616564
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landclark ( Member #70659) posted at 7:49 PM on Monday, December 14th, 2020

I would focus heavily on what tushnurse just wrote, especially given the following -

It started after. I would say end of August was when I first started to feel it. And August is DDay and while he had COVID and during recovery was A season.

I haven't read through each response, and I don't mean to discount what anybody has said here, but the fact that it started after he had covid is a big deal and shouldn't be ignored. Sure, some element of this may be heartbreak, etc., but don't discount the effect, physically and mentally, from a major illness. I am glad tushnurse chimed in because I feel like from the responses that the fact that he had a serious illness and this started after is starting to get brushed under the rug a bit. Starting to lose sight of the potential of physical issues as a result of a major illness. Again, no offense to anybody, but MC isn't going to fix any physical issues going on. It's also not going to fix depression.

Me: BW Him: WH (GuiltAndShame) Dday 05/19/19 with TT through August
One child together, 3 stepchildren
Together 13.5 years, married 12.5 First EA was 4 months into marriage. Last ended 05/19/19.

posts: 1911   ·   registered: May. 29th, 2019
id 8616566
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Lalagirl ( Member #14576) posted at 7:59 PM on Monday, December 14th, 2020

I am in 100% agreement with Tushnurse and landclark.

Me-56 FWH-58 Married 37 years 9/2/2021 grown daughters-37 & 34 11yo GS,8yo GD&6yo. GD (DD37) and 9yo GD & 4yo GD(DD34). D-day #1 - 1/06; D-day #2 - 3/07 Reconciled! Construction Complete. Astra inclinant, sed non obligant

posts: 8626   ·   registered: May. 10th, 2007
id 8616570
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hikingout ( Member #59504) posted at 8:13 PM on Monday, December 14th, 2020

Me too.

WW/BW BH/WH
Turnthepage
My Affair DDAY 9/1/2017- 2 month EA/PA
His Affair DDAY 10/10/2020 - 18 month A - EA?/PA

posts: 5914   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8616573
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Owl6118 ( Member #42806) posted at 9:32 PM on Monday, December 14th, 2020

I do not mean for anything I wrote to invalidate the wise views of others about recovery from COVID. It may be all or mostly that, and pursue that first and foremost. What I wrote -- well, you can keep in your back pocket if you discover its both/and, not either/or.

posts: 338   ·   registered: Mar. 17th, 2014
id 8616586
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 MrsWalloped (original poster Member #62313) posted at 9:43 PM on Monday, December 14th, 2020

I very much appreciate what tushnurse wrote (Thank you! And sorry I didn't say that earlier). I took the comments about his physical and mental well being as an "in addition to" my A and all of the emotional and relationship consequences of that. Not that it was one or the other. I am definitely going to focus on his health, get his bloodwork, have him meet with his doctor, etc., as well as discuss therapy with him. But I also want to make sure I'm addressing the A related stuff too. Because if part of it is that, then I think he could perceive me as ignoring this really big issue and instead focusing on this other really big issue (physical and mental health) because that's easier to deal with. Like there's a bunch of clear things to do. But dealing with my A and if that is triggering certain feelings in him now, then that's harder to work through in some ways. I don't want him to feel I'm ignoring that part.

Me: WW 47
My BH: Walloped 48
A: 3/15 - 8/15 (2 month EA, turned into 3 month PA)
DDay: 8/3/15
In R

posts: 682   ·   registered: Jan. 17th, 2018
id 8616590
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hikingout ( Member #59504) posted at 10:11 PM on Monday, December 14th, 2020

Yes, I don't know your husband but I am familiar with his posts. I think that balance is wise. Keep us posted!

WW/BW BH/WH
Turnthepage
My Affair DDAY 9/1/2017- 2 month EA/PA
His Affair DDAY 10/10/2020 - 18 month A - EA?/PA

posts: 5914   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8616602
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Trapped74 ( Member #49696) posted at 10:11 PM on Monday, December 14th, 2020

But doesn't depression start from somewhere?

I'm the BS, but it's my husband that suffers from depression. After the A, he told me he'd always struggled with it. News to me, wish I'd known 17 years ago. He can't point to anything specific that "explains" it.

He's 49 right now, but hit his midlife crisis pretty hard around 40. He also suffers from some "old guy" health issues that really bring him low. Compounded with the fact that he's not the primary breadwinner... yeesh.

I think the affair may be a teensy-tiny portion of your H's current mental state, but one thing to consider, at least from my viewpoint: COVID is scary and widespread, but we've been lead to believe that, for the most part, it affects the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions the hardest, right? Heck, several of our old and often obese state and federal lawmakers have contracted it and been pretty OK. So if you're a mid-40's guy, already dealing with the low self-esteem dealt to you by an A, then you get a sickness that the media tells you is mostly only deadly to the OLD, OBESE, or INFIRM, what is one to think about themselves?

My uninformed opinion is that this really is about him and how he feels about himself. The danger, here, for you though, is that this is likely how my H felt about himself before and during all of his affairs, so be on alert.

Many DDays. Me (BW) 46 Him (WH) 49
Happily detached and compartmentalized.

posts: 168   ·   registered: Sep. 21st, 2015   ·   location: Oregon
id 8616603
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Thissucks5678 ( Member #54019) posted at 10:25 PM on Monday, December 14th, 2020

I’m sorry Mrs. Walloped. I know for me, I have no interest in a divorce. I’m mostly happy with my marriage. My WH tries as best as he can and I truly have no interest in anyone else.

It’s still a bit sad to me that I’ll never have that storybook marriage I thought I had. I know my husband never loved me like I loved him. We are watching a show with (pure fiction I know) but it has a beautiful love story in it and I just roll my eyes. I will never have that with my husband because of what he did. I could easily allow myself to get stuck in sadness. I don’t allow myself to stay in that place though.

Anyway, COVID has been a nightmare for pretty much everyone to navigate. I can’t imagine having it and almost dying from it. It probably is a combination of all of these factors. My best advice is to just love him and continue to be there for him. I wish I had better advice.

DDay: 6/2016

“Every test in our life makes us Bitter or Better. Every problem comes to Break Us or Make Us. The choice is ours whether to be Victim or Victor.” - unknown

posts: 1792   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2016
id 8616607
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landclark ( Member #70659) posted at 10:25 PM on Monday, December 14th, 2020

I am really not trying to belabor my point, but on this -

But doesn't depression start from somewhere?

There are different types of depression. There is definitely situational depression, like what one feels after DDAY. Then there is clinical depression, which is more about the chemical imbalances. Of course that is a fairly high level view, but just wanted to make the point because yes, depression starts somewhere, but it's not always situational. Even with situational, it's not always just one thing or even the most obvious to you thing.

I don't want him to feel I'm ignoring that part.

Honestly, it sounds like you have an awesome, very empathetic approach to this.

Me: BW Him: WH (GuiltAndShame) Dday 05/19/19 with TT through August
One child together, 3 stepchildren
Together 13.5 years, married 12.5 First EA was 4 months into marriage. Last ended 05/19/19.

posts: 1911   ·   registered: May. 29th, 2019
id 8616608
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jinkazama ( Member #61319) posted at 10:47 PM on Monday, December 14th, 2020

Am I a horrible person that I don't let myself to? I mean, I think I know it intellectually, but I don't know if I believe it. I don't know that I could be like him if our situation was reversed.

What does this sentence mean that you dont believe his love. maybe thats the reason he is down or depressed.

And please stop thinking about the reverse because it didn't happen. You cheated he didn't.

And one more thing

Something forever changed in BS after infidelity.You have to accept them as they are now.

They can never be the same old with you or ANY OTHER. So when they say they are not gonna be happy with divorce they are right.

And i have a question.

Before Dday or your affair did you guys ever talked about divorce like ever?

posts: 265   ·   registered: Nov. 6th, 2017
id 8616613
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ISurvivedSoFar ( Member #56915) posted at 11:08 PM on Monday, December 14th, 2020

Mrs. Walloped - breathe, several times please.

Here's what I see. Many folks go into deep depression after they have near death experiences. I think that's what is happening here. Many folks after heart attacks really sink into a deep depression. Could be the same for your MR.

In terms of the eyes not being the same, I get that too. Many times DaddyDom told me that my eyes told the entire story. Let me ask you. Has he gone to IC throughout this? And has he gone post his COVID experience?

Lastly I'd ask if he has forgiven himself. Many times as BS's we berate ourselves for staying as if we are idiotic or chumps for putting up with the person who hurt us so badly. Of course we know that life doesn't quite follow along a binary pathway. But our brains just foist us into that paradigm. I know this was the last hurdle I had to overcome and it was the toughest.

Food for thought. Big hugs to you and the Mr.

[This message edited by ISurvivedSoFar at 5:21 PM, December 14th (Monday)]

DDay Nov '16
Me: BS, a.k.a. MommaDom, Him: WS
2 DD's: one adult, one teen,1 DS: adult
Surviving means we promise ourselves we will get to the point where we can receive love and give love again.

posts: 2590   ·   registered: Jan. 15th, 2017
id 8616622
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RealityBlows ( Member #41108) posted at 4:55 AM on Tuesday, December 15th, 2020

His eyes don't laugh along with his mouth anymore. He doesn't tease me the way he used to. He's more polite. Like he's formal with me.

I’ve been here. I know exactly what you’re talking about. If I may, I’d like to drop in and crawl into your husband’s head and give you some perspective from a BS and Guy’s point of view.

I’m going to cut right to it and tell you what would have worked for me if my WW was truly remorseful:

-Touch. Don’t underestimate the power of touch. Nothing broke me out of a funk faster than an unsolicited act of affection. I’m not talking about sex. When you see him get like this, go up and hold him like you’re never going to let him go. Then tell him, you’re never going to let him go.

-Reaffirm, periodically, that you’re going to fight for him with everything you got. Declarations of your resolve and determination alone are just words but, they do help in the interim while waiting for the actions to catch up and validate. It’s going to take years of actions before healing takes place, trust returns, and he feels like he’s part of something truly special.

That’s really the gist of it. We BS’s no longer feel like we’re part of something exclusive and truly special.

You’ve chosen to stay with your husband. So I’m going to assume that you do, indeed, feel like your relationship is truly special, exclusively special, and exclusive of all others.

He needs to learn this. If you’re lovingly patient and consistent in your actions and resolve, he will eventually realize this as you progressively live down, by degrees, your past actions to the absolute contrary.

-When you have sex, make love. You had sex with the AP, you make love to your husband. Make sure your love making is deeply, deeply intimate. Special. A level of intimacy and sincerity reserved only for your beloved. I’m not talking about passion. I’m talking about very deeply loving.

-Tell him what you’ve just told us, your description I quoted above, lovingly and empathetically accurate. He will appreciate your observations, that you notice, and that you deeply miss what you both had and...that you will wait till the end of time, lovingly patient, endlessly hopeful, for that man to return someday.

To anyone else this would all be exhausting. A chore. An unrealistic ideal. But to someone who’s truly remorseful, remorseful because they’re truly in love with their BS, it’s a labor of love and compassion. You have to love and nurture this man like you would your own child on life support. You’re love and devotion is currently in question. No one ever questions the love of a Mother.

It’s hard because it seems like you’re not getting anything in return. You have no idea if your efforts will ever bare fruit but, does the Mother who’s child is on life support concern herself with these issues? No, she selflessly waits at bedside, pushes the doctors to continue their efforts, helps the nurses, watches the monitors, every day, until the very end.

My ExWW chose to cut her loses. Did not want to sacrifice her fleeting midlife time and effort with no guarantee of success. She chose to pull the plug on a man she thought she irreparably damaged.

She was wrong. I was not irreparably damaged. I could have been saved. I was basically buried alive.

posts: 647   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2013
id 8616676
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NotMyFirstRodeo ( Member #75220) posted at 12:50 PM on Tuesday, December 15th, 2020

RealityBlows literally articulated my mindset that I didn't have time, energy or emotion to lay out.

If, to date it's been accurate, trust your gut and not your ears.

posts: 204   ·   registered: Aug. 19th, 2020
id 8616713
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 MrsWalloped (original poster Member #62313) posted at 1:42 PM on Tuesday, December 15th, 2020

What does this sentence mean that you dont believe his love. maybe thats the reason he is down or depressed.

I don't think so. What I meant is that he says he loves me. I don't think he's lying at all. But there are different kinds of love. And after what I did and what it did to him. He was devastated. Broken. And so angry. He didn't touch me for months and months after - he couldn't bring himself to. There's so much hurt and pain and I inflicted it, so while he does say he loves me and I'm so grateful for that and that he does say that, I question it. Not out loud. That wouldn't be fair to him, but I ask myself how is that possible? And I have a hard time internalizing it.

And i have a question.

Before Dday or your affair did you guys ever talked about divorce like ever?

A few times as a joke. That was years and years ago. We had friends who were going through a divorce and the husband was talking to my BH about all the details and splitting up stuff. And my BH would joke around with me and ask who would get what if we divorced (we were young and poor) so we "argued" over who would get the hand me down couch with the big stain, the dining room chairs with the wicker backs that of course DD1 broke so there were holes in them. Things like that. It became a running joke for a while.

That's it. Never in any serious way.

Me: WW 47
My BH: Walloped 48
A: 3/15 - 8/15 (2 month EA, turned into 3 month PA)
DDay: 8/3/15
In R

posts: 682   ·   registered: Jan. 17th, 2018
id 8616726
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