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Newest Member: 39Robbo

Reconciliation :
still "not over it"

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 LV316 (original poster new member #72234) posted at 1:49 PM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

Almost 8 years ago I stumbled upon a text message that lead to the discovery of my husband's 8 year affair. We had been married 29 years at the time of discovery. To say things got ugly is beyond an understatement. It took almost 2 weeks to get what he says is the "truth" about his involvement with this woman and it absolutely destroyed me. I was a stay at home mom with 5 children. At the time of discovery, my youngest was 17 and I had 3 adult children living at home. There was no hiding my devastation, and he was the one to tell the kids, a task that initially involved more lies and caused so much pain. There was no hiding what had happened.

The first several months--actually years--were beyond challenging. My husband blamed me for his affair and said hurtful things that continue to stay with me in spite of years of individual and couple's therapy. While he has made great strides and has been remorseful, I struggle with keeping the past in the past. The biggest challenge is with any physical contact whatsoever. I have a very clear cut image of my husband with this woman and I think about it every time he initiates any physical contact. I can't "turn off" the images and I am seeking advice from anyone who has successfully dealt with this struggle and won.

The triggers are still triggers and while I love my husband and do believe he loves me and is sorry, the pain of his affair stays with me. How do you manage this pain and the reminders of what your spouse has done to you, the family and himself?

We resumed counseling, but this is still so hard.

posts: 2   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019
id 8707310
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Linus ( member #79614) posted at 2:02 PM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

I can only speak for myself, but I know it would bother me forever. Some very nice, generally forgiving people, just do not get over it.
I think I am forgiving to a fault in most other areas. Just something about this offense that I cannot forgive.

posts: 146   ·   registered: Nov. 21st, 2021   ·   location: Connecticut
id 8707311
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Justsomeguy ( member #65583) posted at 3:04 PM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

It might help if you added some more derails as they come to mind, but from your response, it does not sound to me like your WH really took responsibility for his actions. He TT'd, blameshifted, and outright denied. So in the end, you are still struggling.

One thing I have seen often here is that a BS will still becstrugglingvyearsxafter thecA because their subconscious is screamingcat them that there is more to the story and they are not safe, while their conscious mind is telling them to just move on in favor of peace. These two feelings cannot coexist without creating internal turmoil.

I know it's been awhile, but you may have to revisit this. Check out the healing library and consider starting the whole process again,beginning with a detailed timeline and thecthreat of a polygraph. Be prepared for a lot of I can't remember flowing by a scrap of truth intended to placate your quest for understanding, in order to get you to abandon it.

There are some really wise people here who will give you better advice on how to go about it. Take your time and research each step before you take it in order toaximize it's efficacy. Good luck.

Me:53STBXWW:51DD#1: false confession of EA Dec. 2016. False R for a year.DD#2: confessed to year long PA Dec. 2 2017 (was about to be outed)Called it off.Denied having an affair in court papers.

posts: 1184   ·   registered: Jul. 25th, 2018   ·   location: Canada
id 8707325
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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 3:40 PM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

LV316, I am sorry for your struggle. I share much of yours as well, including the VLTA, trickle truth, and being utterly destroyed by the betrayal. I don't have a lot to offer, but wanted to say that four years downstream I still have flashes or triggers of the OW in my mind during moments of both affection and intimacy. They have gotten shorter in duration, as I am getting better at forcing them out of my head, but the frequency is still the same. It is very frustrating.

I didn't get the compartmentalization skills my WH used to carry on his double life, but I am trying to develop a few. It is hard, hard work, rebooting my reality, retraining my brain and loving and staying with someone who has broken my heart. I keep waiting to turn some magic corner, but I imagine it will be one of those things I look back on someday and realize has happened, not an aha moment I crave.

Does your aversion to physical contact include all touching, like holding hands or hugs? I enjoy holding hands or letting him rub my neck, but since the A, if any of that contact becomes sexual, I freeze up. I have to have a very clear delineation between affection and sex, and am not sure I can explain it properly. One of the things I did post discovery was reclaim our sex life for me, on my terms, and focus on my body instead of my head. Maybe that is a compartmentalization technique, I'm not sure.

I think justsomeguy is on to something, though. We both were trickle truthed and I do believe there is still more to the story and I crave a do-over with timelines and working through the trauma. I feel very unresolved, and my WH is desperate to move forward "choosing to be happy" as if it were that easy from this side of the equation.

Good luck with your healing and moving forward, and hopefully finding some answers to help you.

BW: 61 WH: 61 Both 57 on Dday. M: 34 years, 2 grown kids, 9 year A with MOW, 7 month False R, years of trickle truth. I got rid of her. Reconciling, but the lies have piled up. Trying one more time, again.

posts: 325   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8707331
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HardKnocks ( member #70957) posted at 4:33 PM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

I'd recommend a good trauma therapist.

The benefits are far-reaching and enormous.

BW 30-year marriage.
DDay2 2/20 5 month EA/PA
Recovering

posts: 361   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2019
id 8707348
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src9043 ( member #75367) posted at 5:11 PM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

An eight year affair is simply heinous. In my mind you are trying to forgive the unforgivable. That is simply why you can't do it. Your choice is to stay with this man acknowledging that the hurt, pain, and damage may never sufficiently subside or move on. It's a horrible dilemma. You don't deserve to be put in this situation. None of us did. But as everyone knows, life isn't fair. My only advice is to make yourself your best version physically, emotionally, and intellectually. Your husband destroyed your self esteem. Only you can restore it. Once it is sufficiently restored you may reconsider the option of moving on. The fact that you can't tolerate his touch after eight years says everything. What you really want is to erase what he did. As you know, that is impossible.

[This message edited by src9043 at 5:21 PM, Tuesday, January 4th]

posts: 500   ·   registered: Sep. 7th, 2020
id 8707359
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Happenedtome2 ( member #68906) posted at 8:04 PM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

I'm only 3 years out, but the triggers, mental images and constant wondering finally took their toll on me. They never went away and I thought I could deal with them, but eventually they caused me to give up.

I hope you can find some way to cope if that's truly what you desire.

BH DDay August 2018 :https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=633451

posts: 506   ·   registered: Nov. 23rd, 2018
id 8707408
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 10:06 PM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

Something else the cheater never considers - the fall out from the affair. And this is one of those situations that is very challenging to overcome.

I don’t know how you overcome this.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 11162   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8707440
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HouseOfPlane ( member #45739) posted at 10:41 PM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

LV316, why are you staying?

DDay 1986: R'd, it was hard, hard work.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
― Mary Oliver

posts: 2802   ·   registered: Nov. 25th, 2014
id 8707448
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 10:54 PM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

I have a very clear cut image of my husband with this woman and I think about it every time he initiates any physical contact. I can't "turn off" the images and I am seeking advice from anyone who has successfully dealt with this struggle and won.

Even though it's been eight years, I still think it might be worth talking to a trauma therapist about that. You might try EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) and see if that helps. It's immersive, so it's challenging, but I did find that EMDR helped to take some of the heat out of my triggers so that I was no longer getting visceral reactions. It might be worth a try.

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)Married 38 years; in R with fWH for 7

{edited for typos.. again}

posts: 4888   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8707451
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gmc94 ( Guide #62810) posted at 12:54 AM on Thursday, January 6th, 2022

I'm not in R, so take whatever grains of salt you like... I would agree with those who suggest finding an IC that specializes in trauma. I also did EMDR - worked quite well for SOME of my R-trauma symptoms, but not all of them. SO - IMO, EMDR can be helpful, but it is not a magic bullet. However, there are other modalities that my provide some relief.

I think it's really KEY to find an IC who has SOLID training and experience in PTSD... not someone who has a list of "specialties" as long as your arm that may include PTSD. After I found someone who is relatively young (late 30s/early 40s) that I've done quite well with, I learned that folks who have been in the IC biz for decades may have NEVER had any trauma training. It wasn't required for clinical work until about 15+ years ago, and I don't know if any state requires TRAUMA training as part of the continuing education for counselor (whether LCSW, PhD, LPC, etc). As I learned more about trauma, I decided I really didn't even want to see an IC who had been out of school more than 10-15 years, UNLESS they were able to provide credentials about their post-grad trauma training (and I wanted something more than a weekend seminar on EMDR). Just my experience/ $0.02

I also have to say that for me, the issue of my gut screaming there is more was a big factor in the continued sexual triggers/issues. For me, sex became an extreme place of vulnerability, and I just wasn't willing to be vulnerable with someone who couldn't also be vulnerable with basic things like honesty.

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3619   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8707840
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Riverz ( member #79713) posted at 1:34 AM on Thursday, January 6th, 2022

I’m so sorry you find yourself suffering still after 8 years.

When my first husband cheated I knew immediately that I could never "get over it" and forget the betrayal. I went through a short period of time where I struggled with whether to stay or go and I made the mistake of letting him touch me. I pretty much had to turn off my brain in order to have sex with him…it was soul numbing. I remember sobbing during sex.

That betrayal and now my current situation (betrayal #2 with spouse #2), have totally destroyed me…he is out of the house, I saw him twice since d-day…once in a public place and once picking up his shit in the driveway.

I will never let him touch me again…I KNOW I can never forget the vile things he did with other women and the cruelty in how he deceived and lied to me…knowing it would kill me.

I don’t know how you ever forget…perhaps some people are saints.

But, you deserve to be loved and cherished by someone who will never betray you…we all deserve that.

Sending strength. <3

posts: 99   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2021   ·   location: Canada
id 8707848
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Hippo16 ( member #52440) posted at 3:30 AM on Thursday, January 6th, 2022

LV316

Well what does "get over it" really mean to you?

For some - the transgression to the sanctity of vows is unforgivable - but some take some time to arrive at the decision that the damage is to great and decide to move on.

Others, somehow find a place to put the memories so that they can stomach staying. Some grow into a happier place. Others, mark time till death.

Maybe you still believe there is more? Sub-consciously you can't move on with the suspicion?

My spouse lied somewhat overtly and certainly by omission - for over 30 years. I am to old now and we have found a middle ground to share life. Possible that you don't have all the facts? Hence the "can't get over it" (saying another way here)
I am guessing you are much younger - I say think hard what you are going to gamble on what your life will be after a decade.


No matter what - you will have to live with the memory - and that taints the bond forever.

8 years - that is a lot to find a place to put - maybe that is the reason?

Infidelity sucks and there is not a way to get around the hurt - you have to find your way through it.

Not Just Friends

posts: 596   ·   registered: Mar. 26th, 2016   ·   location: OBX
id 8707868
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jailedmind ( member #74958) posted at 9:50 AM on Thursday, January 6th, 2022

My experience is that you don’t "get over it" I find that insulting when it’s said to me. I did find you get through it though. You seem to just find a way to adapt and live with it. The triggers are always there but seem to not be as intense. You find some version of trust you can live with. You view and feel about things differently. The things that helped me were those glimpses when my wife would actually get it. Like when she said she really needed to grow up. Or I’m really sorry and wish I could change it. Or would see me triggered and would ask if there was something she could do to help me. And when I said no she would just sit and touch me till it went away. I know for me I always wanted some sort of justice. It was hard for me to grasp how unjust infidelity is to the betrayed. How do I get them to pay for my pain? l I do not come from a religious back ground but the serenity prayer sure made a lot of sense after the shitshow subsided. I had a big problem listening to the forgiveness view some have. I learned I didn’t need to forgive but I did need to accept it happened to find some peace within myself.

posts: 86   ·   registered: Jul. 21st, 2020
id 8707886
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StrugglingCJ ( member #72778) posted at 3:06 PM on Thursday, January 6th, 2022

Unfortunately reconciliation IS hard work.. And that is with a WS who does everything right, which virtually none of them do. It is hard work to get past triggers, mind movies, and the simple fact that for a time in your life the person you chose to spend your life with was choosing someone else.
My WW was no where near doing anything right, I had trickle truth, refusing to go NC, even blaming me for her decision to stray for over two years. Yet I am still with her nearly three years past DDay2.. Why??
Partly because I want my kids to have a family, one I worked damned hard to keep going when my WW was working hard to destroy, partly because I have seen in her changes she is still making to be better, but mostly because I believed eventually it would be better, that 25yrs together doesn't get tossed aside.
It is incredibly tough at times, especially with a wife who sometimes doesn't get that this is NEVER going away, but I manage day by day.. And as I said to her at Christmas, I want us to work on being better partners every single day. She agreed with me and knows that our marriage is definitely needing work just to get back to where is was pre-affair..

I am not sure i will EVER be over what she did, I know there are a few who will say their marriage is now so much better since DDay, but I am sure there are many many more who will say their marriage is alot harder since then. I am looking forward to the time when our marriage is better than it was, when we are more comfortable with each other again, when we can look back at this point in our lives and not cringe.

I do not think you need to be over it, I just think that maybe you just need to see that what you now have is worth the fight, that your partner is now worth the effort to stay, that your partner now knows they can NEVER screw up like this again and that you know that staying is better than leaving.

It sounds like your partner is trying, maybe that is enough for you, maybe it isn't, but only you will know if you want to stay or not, you may never forgive them.. But you can accept it happened and will hopefully never be repeated.

WW caught in EA May 17
DDay Mar 19 it was full PA
Struggling for R, but still trying.

posts: 178   ·   registered: Feb. 10th, 2020   ·   location: Essex
id 8707923
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Thumos ( member #69668) posted at 3:49 PM on Thursday, January 6th, 2022

I learned that folks who have been in the IC biz for decades may have NEVER had any trauma training. It wasn't required for clinical work until about 15+ years ago, and I don't know if any state requires TRAUMA training as part of the continuing education for counselor (whether LCSW, PhD, LPC, etc).

This is a really good point and something I myself didn't know. I guess I've intuited this in feeling that a big part of the reason we read so many therapy "horror stories" is because so many therapists are operating off the fumes of outmoded theories. They aren't up to date on the latest research around betrayal trauma and brain science. Some even remain wedded to theoretical frameworks that have been completely repudiated by the scientific community (such as anything stemming out of Freudian psychoanalysis and its many offshoots).

"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH: 50, WW: 49 Wed: Feb.'96 DDAY1: 12.20.16 DDAY2: 12.23.19

posts: 4528   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
id 8707928
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cbgrace1980 ( member #64109) posted at 9:21 PM on Thursday, January 6th, 2022

I am so sorry that this has happened to you. The trauma of an affair is extremely real and painful. I have been in your shoes before. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. Counseling seems to be a very responsible way to process your feelings. It may take more time. I think your question is valid and I hear you fully. Maybe it will take retraining your mind to focus on the present and the moment. That is hard for me to do, but my friends help me remember to do that when I have anxiety. Thank you for sharing with us.

posts: 143   ·   registered: Jun. 12th, 2018
id 8708020
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TX1995 ( member #58175) posted at 5:51 PM on Friday, January 7th, 2022

I understand, and am sorry you are feeling so much pain. If you haven't seen a trauma therapist, it might be extremely beneficial. Another cheaper help, is the book "Living and Loving After Betrayal" by Steven Stosny. He actually discusses mind movies and strategies to help with triggers.

I will say this though, as I'm almost five years out from DDay 1 and 2.5 from finding out the affair was sexual. I desperately wanted it to "go away". I still want it to go away. To never have happened. My H and I still wish we could erase it from our lives. We've improved almost every aspect of our lives from 5 years ago, and our relationship is truly different in the best way. But there is a huge, painful stain that can bring me to my knees with grief if I stay in that.

I was listening to a podcast yesterday (Kate Bowler on Glennnon Doyle's podcast). Kate Bowler is a professor at Duke's divinity school, who was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer at 35. She's written a few books (a great one on the prosperity gospel), but the last two were after her diagnosis. The titles will give a hint to their contents - Everything Happens for a Reason (and other lies I've loved) and No Cure for Being Human. On the podcast, they talked about grief and loss and our basic human need for wanting MORE. It's natural that as Betrayed partners, we want normal. We want better. We want the bad feelings to disappear. We want the math to make sense. However, perhaps changing our perspective can help. Kate referenced a book by a man named Jerry Sittser, who had lost his wife, daughter and mother in a car accident. When asked how he got over it? His response was something like "It doesn't get easier, but I have learned how to carry it."

That resonated deeply with me. The fact that my husband betrayed me will never get any easier to swallow. It will never be NOT painful. But I am learning how to carry it. After all, I am choosing to stay in this marriage. I can leave at any point, but I wake up daily and choose to be here. And if I am choosing this life, why should I not try to make it a good one. Both for me and for my H. He doesn't have to stay either, but he chooses me every day too and is grateful to have the chance to be a part of this family. He still sees my pain, I don't pretend, but we are pretty good at working through my triggers together and that helps me move through them faster so that I can get moments of joy too.

In specific reference to the physical part, I have had A LOT of struggle in this area. It is just starting to get better. Both with the above mindset (I want a healthy physical relationship with my partner. I am choosing WH to be my partner, therefore I need to work on that aspect.) and with plain old repetition and tricks from Steven Stosny. I cried and cried and cried during and after sex for so very long. She was in my head almost the whole time. Now, she is rarely there. Sometimes at the end, or if he does something that triggers it, she comes in, so we stop and I cry. But that is much more rare. I've also communicated boundaries that help to keep those triggers away (for example no dirty talk anymore). There is actually a chapter in the book Courageous Love by Stefanie Caries that deals specifically with physical intimacy, that might help you too. Start with small things (google Sensate Focus) and work your way up. It's hard and it sucks and no one should ever have to deal with working so hard to be close with their own spouse. I hope things improve for you LV316.

I'm the BS. WH had a 3 month EA/PA with a cOW. DDay was 4/17. Working on R. Married 15 years and together 20 at DDay.
DDay #2 and #3 6/19. Grew a conscience and admitted a full blown physical affair. Now in limbo.

posts: 994   ·   registered: Apr. 6th, 2017   ·   location: Texas
id 8708346
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crazyblindsided ( member #35215) posted at 7:08 PM on Friday, January 7th, 2022

I could not get over the LTA. My xWS was not remorseful but I'm not sure I could have R'd even if he was a prime candidate. Something in me turned off towards him. A wall was built and his touch repulsed me. A book that really resonated with me and how I felt after the A is "Cheating in a Nutshell" just a heads up it's not an R friendly book but gives great insight into how a BS feels after D-Day. I'm not sure what the answer is. I can say since leaving I have not thought of the A or my xWS and MOW or any other woman for that matter ever since. Once the source of my trauma was removed I was able to really start healing.

fBS/fWS(me):48 Mad-hattered after DD1
XWS:51 Serial Cheater, NPD tendencies
Together 25 years, Married 19
DD(18) DS(15)
DD1 (2008) COW, DD2 (2012) MOW, False R (2014) Same MOW. DD3 (2019) Webcam girl

posts: 8099   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2012   ·   location: California
id 8708361
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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 11:44 AM on Monday, January 10th, 2022

What has he done thus far to repair your relationship?

BW, age 40
Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried to a great guy

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.

posts: 603   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8708828
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