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How do I let go of the anger?

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 FireandWater (original poster new member #80084) posted at 6:35 PM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

I'm only 2 months post D-day. WH had a 2-year affair with an ex-coworker that didn't end until I discovered it and shut it down. He says he's committed to R. We've been having difficulty finding available therapists, but he has an intake meeting with one (through his insurance) in a couple of days. He says he'll explain the situation and ask if he should start with IC or if we should start with MC. I'm trying to be patient and realize that this is a process, but the anger just keeps building in my brain and I can't make it stop. When I let it out, I act in such an ugly way that makes me dislike myself. Last night I said to him, "Congratulations, you've turned me into an a-hole!"

These are the things that just keep going through my brain that I can't reconcile:

- It was a 2-year affair! That means that the last two years of my life are tainted. Every time I look at pictures from that time, like birthdays, holidays and vacations, I can only see his betrayal. I look at his smug face in the photos and I think, "Affair. Affair. Lies. Betrayal. Jerk." It's like nothing from the past two years was real. I also know that he was always running off to call her while we were on those vacations. He says he tried to tell her he wouldn't be available to talk while he was away with us but, "She would miss me so I would try to stay in touch." She would miss him? So he let her dictate what he could do while with us? Nice.

- They left a long trail of very hurtful emails that I was (un)fortunate enough to stumble upon. I can't get over some of the things he said to her. First of all, I found out that they had sex on our anniversary two years ago. She was bitching in an email about how he didn't acknowledge her last year on Valentine's Day. She said, "It's not like holidays are that special for you and your wife since you shared your last anniversary by having sex with me!" He admits that they worked late that night and then snuck out to her car. It was during the pandemic, so we didn't make any plans to go out anywhere. I innocently (stupidly) figured he had to work late and went off to bed before he got home. Last year on our anniversary (still in the midst of the affair), he took me for a late lunch and a walk. I thought we had a nice time together and it was an effort on his part to connect with me. According to the phone bills, he talked to her before and after our "date." He says he was focused on me and our anniversary. I see it otherwise. We just had our anniversary the other day. I cannot see it as special anymore. I can only focus on the fact that he had sex with her on that day 2 years ago, and that she threw it in his face in an email. We got a bunch of Facebook message the other day, "Happy anniversary you two crazy kids! Congrats on such a long, wonderful marriage!" My mom sent us a card and a check. Yeah right, people. If only you all knew!!!!!

- One day last summer, he took me on a walk to a park in our new neighborhood. Again, I thought it was an overture on his part to spend time with me and connect (which we've been having issues with for years). Well, I found out from an email that they had met up that morning and had sex in her car. She had asked him to stay in touch with her for the rest of the day to "keep the good feelings going." The whole time we were walking, she was badgering him on email to respond to her. We decided to stop for a sandwich on the walk back and that became a huge bone of contention for her! Her email said, "Why did you take her to that park? We took a walk there last week while she was at work. I wanted that to be 'our' park! And why didn't you email me that you were stopping for lunch with her? I was waiting and waiting! You promised to stay in touch all day to keep the good feelings going with me!" After we got home, he emailed back: "I'm sorry I didn't email you. I'm sorry I didn't tell you we were stopping for lunch. I should have gone into the bathroom at the sandwich shop so I could text you. I shouldn't have let that much time go by without being in touch. Trust me, I would rather have been taking that walk with you." Nice. He swears up and down that he only said that to pacify her and that he was 100% focused on me. Right. How do I believe that? It's written right there in black and white that he would rather have been with her. How can I not be incredibly hurt and angry about that?

- After much trickle-truth, I found out that they did it in my house. Do I even want to live here anymore? It's such a huge betrayal and shows a complete lack of respect for me and our kids. Turns out he was making up excuses on Thursday nights to stay home while I took our older (autistic) son to his weekly social group. Usually, we would drive him to his 2-hour group meeting and go out to dinner before picking him up. His group is about 15 miles away, so it doesn't make sense to come all the way home while we wait for him. Our younger son frequently spent time with his GF about 3 hours away, so he was often safely away from our house. Or, sometimes our younger son would plan to come with us to have dinner while his brother was at his social group. If that was the case, WH would suddenly have a reason to stay home (Zoom meeting for a board he's on, etc.). So I would take the boys 15 miles away for a few hours while he snuck in his bi*** through the garage. They would do it on our couch (he swears up and down they were never in our room, not so much because of the betrayal but because of the fear of leaving evidence and being caught). So she laid on our couch, had sex with my husband and then used our bathroom to clean herself up. It's the same bathroom that our boys use to take their showers and brush their teeth. What sorts of things did she wipe on their towels? I clean that bathroom every week. When did I unknowingly clean up her stench while I went about my chores?

- There were so many emails where she badgered him to reveal his feelings for her. He would type in circles (he says trying to avoid lying to her), but a few times told her he loved her. He said he wanted to take her on vacations to zoos, aquariums, theme parks, national parks (these are things that our family likes doing together). He said he wanted to spend all his time with her because "we just fit." He claims those were all lies to keep her pacified. I don't know. I could never lie to someone like that. Do I believe he was lying or did/does he really have those feelings?

-He claims to have stopped all contact with her. We sat together while he blocked her phone number, blocked her email, blocked her on Facebook and deleted the messaging app they used. I have no evidence that they've been in contact, but I can't just trust him that quickly and easily. He's very good at talking himself into things. He's very impulsive and will convince himself that something is OK when it's clearly not. He's always been of the mind that what I don't know won't hurt me.

- Perhaps my biggest issue is that he lied and betrayed me for nearly 2 years. He said he tried to end it but "she said no." Yeah. I'm not that dumb. If he wanted to end it, he would have ended it. He said she would cry and make him feel guilty. Her second marriage had gone bad and her husband was sleeping on the couch every night. He has medical problems and had "let himself go" and she was no longer physically attracted to him (shallow much?). She told my WH that if he left her, her romantic and sex life would be over forever and she was only 52. So he would agree to continue their torrid affair out of guilt. I don't buy that. It only ended because I discovered it and shut it down. I firmly believe that if I had not, it would still be going strong. He would still be in it. He would still be sneaking around and lying and sneaking that b-word into my house while I took our son to his social group. He says he's not so sure it would still be going on since he had tried to end it a few times. Yeah. No. He's too weak. He likes sex too much. He would still be in it. He says it should tell me something that he dumped her the minute I confronted him. He said he could have gone off with her, or tried to keep it going somehow but he didn't. He says that should tell me that he's committed to me and our marriage. I don't know. He got caught. They got caught. He can't have sex with his little b-word anymore, so I'm what's leftover. Might as well try to rebuild with me. He says that's not how he feels. That's how I see it. That's now my hurt and anger frames it.

Thanks for letting me vent this out. To make matters even worse, we've been stuck in the house for the past week with Covid. I have very little to distract my mind from wandering. I can't go back to work until I get a negative test. Today was my first day to try and I'm still positive. One day at a time, I guess.

posts: 20   ·   registered: Mar. 15th, 2022
id 8734393
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crazyblindsided ( member #35215) posted at 8:04 PM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

First I'm sorry you are here, but found the best place for support. Unfortunately when my anger hit it didn't let up for another year. It takes 2-5 years to heal from this and I would say it's more on par for the 5 year mark. My XWS also had a 2 year affair with his employee (I had made him fire her but they took it underground for another 2 years).

Are you in any kind of therapy? I would see an IC and exercise seemed to help me get out some of that anger. Going for walks and spending time with my friends.

What is your WS doing to help you? Is he remorseful and seeing his own IC? I hope that he is listening to you and answering any questions you have about the A.

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: 8211   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2012   ·   location: California
id 8734401
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annb ( member #22386) posted at 8:36 PM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

Please do not beat yourself up! Anger follows shock and it can last a long, long, time.

I was angry for years. Not to the same degree with passing time, but anytime I thought deeply about the effect my WH affair had on every aspect of our lives, I'd go down into that rabbit hole. PTSD set in bc of the TT. sad His affair devastated me, our marriage, our family, his job, our friends, our finances, I mean every part of our lives was affected.

Anger masks pain. IC will help, but it will take you a long time to move through anger into acceptance. It's no easy task, not for the faint of heart, and takes time, lots of it.

Your WH has to understand that he blew up life as you knew it. The security you felt in the relationship is gone. The foundation is in shambles and it takes years and a lot of hard work to rebuild.

Before the A, I rarely ever cursed and usually to myself, after the A I became a really potty mouth, the venom that came out of me was unrecognizable. The pain was bottomless and just there every minute of the day.

Please don't begin with MC. The marriage wasn't broken, he was. Both of you need IC at this juncture.

IMO, bringing her into the marital home is just another layer of betrayal. I'd burn the damn couch.

It's only two months, I'm glad you understand you cannot trust a word out of his mouth right now, stay vigilant.

Sending a virtual hug.....

posts: 11507   ·   registered: Jan. 10th, 2009   ·   location: Northeast
id 8734408
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mommabear1010 ( new member #79915) posted at 8:37 PM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

So this might be entirely not helpful but for me accepting that divorce was what I needed was what helped the anger subside.

I had to get to the point of accepting for myself I had no desire to reconcile with him and that my path to happiness again was to split and divorce and when I did that the anger lifted a great deal. Of course I still resent him, and I'm angry that he made this new reality, but it's not the same anger I had when I was in the limbo of choosing between R and D.

I needed to free myself from the evil of the infidelity. Staying with him meant the anger, the negative energy, the mean thoughts...all of that stays. Everyone is different, but I accept and know I am not someone who reconciles after this. This is my second time on this forum, my first husband also cheated but with escorts then cheated again 3 years later...so not only do I know there's a great risk of the cheater having affairs again I also know that I'm someone who never gets over the affairs.

Dday- 1/19/22
Trickle truth
Dday2- 2/8/22
Dday3- 3/10/22
Divorcing

posts: 41   ·   registered: Feb. 9th, 2022
id 8734409
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 9:23 PM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

I’m so sorry for you even having to join this website.

We all have been in your shoes. The pain & betrayal etc. we know exactly how you feel.

Please don’t try to make sense of the affair. Yes the cheaters say and do things that defy logic and then try to say "it meant nothing". You unfortunately read about details of the affair and when they occurred and what they said — so they cannot lie about that, and it does appear to mean something. At least from the emails snd texts it sure does.

My anger Was slow to dissipate unfortunately. It took me a long long time - but once the anger went away I felt much better about things.

Whether you Divorce or Reconcile— you need to deal with the anger. It can hurt you in the long run so if you get your own counselor (not marriage counseling) they should help you with that.

It’s hard not to take the betrayal personally. The Affair just happens b/c the cheaters are selfish people who don’t stop to think. The OW or OM is t better. They are just there and available.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 11864   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8734420
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 1:17 AM on Tuesday, May 10th, 2022

That rage just boils, and it seems like it's with you all the time. I remember feeling like I'd never be free of it. At one point, my therapist had me filling water balloons, "labeling" them by concentrating on various incidents, and then throwing them with all my might against the bricks of her building. Then, picking up the stringy rubber shreds they'd left behind to cool down. There are all sorts of things you can do to engage in planned destruction like that. I heard one woman made ice plates in her freezer that she could smash in her driveway.

These are just outlets though and they don't really treat the source. It's like a teapot on the boil, you can lift the lid and let some steam out, but there's still a fire at the base making it boil. The bottom line is that it just takes TIME, that dreaded four-letter word. The rage is part of your grief process, and it's not so different than if he had died. You'd experience the Five Stages; denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. IME with infidelity, these stages cycle and repeat, again and again, sometimes in no particular order.

What helps, when we're talking about R, is when you KNOW in your heart of hearts that your WS is truly sorry for what they've done, that they would change it if they could, that they would give nearly anything to have that chance. You're so near to dday though that there's just no way you're going to have that kind of confidence yet. Even if you were to opt for D, this anger would be unlikely to abate until you'd developed a good bit of indifference toward your ex.

My best suggestion would be to keep journaling. Let all that poison out on the page and then, when you're done with your entry, find something positive to write about. It doesn't have to be about R. It can be about the scent of your morning coffee, flowers growing, children's smiles, birdsong, whatever you've found that gives you a moment of optimism and/or gratitude. According to my therapist, this trains the brain to LOOK for positivity, and frankly it makes you feel a little better after barfing up all that rage. Give it a try, and be PATIENT with yourself. You're going through something right now. It's not all in your head. It's real trauma and it's not easy processing it.

((big hugs))

[This message edited by ChamomileTea at 1:19 AM, Tuesday, May 10th]

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

No one can make you into a liar but you.

posts: 5429   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8734456
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funnelcakes ( member #45249) posted at 1:26 AM on Tuesday, May 10th, 2022

It’s righteous anger.

As women we are so conditioned to never be angry. Years of parenting is an extended exercise in subverting our own feelings.

It’s righteous anger.

You get to feel it, to the extent you safely can, because it’s telling you you’re not getting what you need and that you don’t feel safe.

It’s righteous anger.

You have to deal with it. You have to metabolize it in healthy-ish ways. But it’s never wrong to feel it. Your response is what counts.

The anger energized me to demand what I needed. To take a thousand steps to protect myself and my kids. To believe that I had value that wasn’t being honored.

It’s righteous anger.

And it was the jet fuel I needed to blast out of an unrecognizable, hellish situation.

d-day in August of 2014, when I was SAHM 34 weeks pregnant with kid #3
A year of incontinent alcoholic cheater word salad and shitweasely blameshifting during R/S
I got a job and busted a move with three kids to a 1BR apt
D final 4/27/17.

posts: 1168   ·   registered: Oct. 15th, 2014
id 8734458
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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 2:22 AM on Tuesday, May 10th, 2022

Why do you need to let go of your anger this early on in the game? You need your anger right now to protect your heart from further pain and to prevent you from the urge to sweep this whole thing under the rug.

Of course, you don't want to anger to consume you to the point where it destroys all other aspects of your life (work, friendships, health, etc). That's why you need to find an IC who will give you advice in your best interests, whether or not that advice is in the best interest of the marriage.

Just as you wouldn't try to rebuild a house while it's still on fire, don't bother with MC right now. The first and most important reason is that you don't know who you're married to, so how can you possibly be open and vulnerable with him? Second, MC is absolutely useless if he's still lying, and it could take months and if not years of honesty and consistency before you believe a word out of his mouth. And third, the wrong MC (ie, someone who is in the "let's see what you did to drive your husband into another woman's arms" camp) can enable your husband to blameshift and set your healing back by years.

As for this...

He says it should tell me something that he dumped her the minute I confronted him

Next time he says this or something similar to it, tell him "It told me something alright... it told me that you're a the type of man who can carry on an intense physical and emotional relationship with a woman for years and then throw her in the trash the minute it becomes unpleasant for you. Gee, when is my warranty up?"

He will only have 2 options for a response: (1) agree with you that he's a spineless weasel that uses women, or (2) admit that he loved her. I suspect he will choose option 3, which is stunned silence.

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: 737   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8734465
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 11:08 PM on Tuesday, May 10th, 2022

You should be angry. What has he done to provide any real recompense? What has he changed? What has he sacrificed? How is he behaving? Like a selfish jerk.

It's almost all lies. He wasn't committed to either one of you nor would I say he properly loved either of you.

He, like most cheaters was just trying to eat cake. Have a wife and a girlfriend. That means lying to you, that means lying to her, that means some amount of lying to himself. He is still lying.

You don't have to offer R, he might not deserve it.

The book "How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair" by Linda MacDonald is a standard recommendation. For how it started, you could also get "Not Just Friends" by Shirley Glass. I'm not saying books are a miracle, but they offer some important insights and guidelines.

He should offer a full written timeline of the affair, and a polygraph to prove it is complete without intentional omissions.

Otherwise, you are in for an eternity of trickle truth.

In order to start repairing, he should also offer complete electronic transparency and location. This doesn't stop cheating, but it helps.

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 1909   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8734597
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pureheartkit ( member #62345) posted at 5:14 AM on Wednesday, May 11th, 2022

Cake eater. Liar. Selfish Jerk. Why shouldn't you be angry? Let him have it.

And be good to yourself. I was afraid to show my anger. Didn't want to cause him to go. Can you imagine? But my self esteem was gone by then. Once it returned I realized I deserved more so I went. Peace of mind returned.

Thank you everyone for your wisdom and healing.

posts: 2325   ·   registered: Jan. 19th, 2018
id 8734641
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Tanner ( member #72235) posted at 8:02 PM on Saturday, May 14th, 2022

My anger hit 4-6 months after Dday. It was after the shock wore off. My anger was the best thing to happen to me. I was able to see what she did from a new lense. I decided I didn’t GAF what she did, I was taking care of me first.

The only thing that concerned me was to keep my integrity. No revenge A, no abusive behavior. I decided if I was so angry to cross one of those lines, I would file D and keep my character in tact.

Dday Sept 7 2019 doing well in R
BH 55 WW 48 M 31 years, 4 kids 2 grown 2 grandkids

posts: 1380   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8735339
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Drstrangelove ( member #80134) posted at 7:46 PM on Sunday, May 15th, 2022

I’m sorry you’re here. The part of your post that struck me most was your pain over the length of the affair—how you now look back over the last two years horrified. My wife’s affair was *only* three months and that same sentiment haunts me. I walked through all my text messages, various emails, my calendar, etc.—my life for those months felt invalidated.

It’s been incredibly hard to move passed, so I can’t fathom trying to do it for two years—though if I didn’t catch her they had active plans for it to last indefinitely.

The best thing you can do is figure out what you now want for the rest of your life. Do you want a life with him? And if so, with what conditions? Work to gain clarity on those conditions as hard as you can do you can determine if they’ll be met as fast as possible.

As for the anger, that’s been awkward for me—the only solution I’ve found for my anger is my WW. I’m certain that isn’t healthy, but talking with her and being around her is the only thing that has helped me. Short of that, I spiral hard into anger and sadness. So I’m willing to do what works for now.

Me: BH, 37
Her: WW, 37
DDay: March 15, 2022

posts: 327   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8735451
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HouseOfPlane ( member #45739) posted at 3:30 PM on Tuesday, May 17th, 2022

He says he'll explain the situation and ask if he should start with IC or if we should start with MC.

He says he will explain? Oh really?

One way to look at anger is as a response to a loss of control. Anger is the retaking of control. Nothing feels more empowering than a full on rage. It cuts through the bull like a hot knife through butter.

But at the root to dealing with the anger is there taking back of control. You lost it for two long years. Now you need to be the one in control. The one who decides if you need MC (you don’t, the marriage is fine other than he f@&$-ed it up). You decide on divorce. You keep your options open on divorce until forever. You decide everything. If he Doesn’t like it, if he feels like it’s just a negotiating position, you kick him to the curb.

He drove the marriage into a tree. He doesn’t get to drive again for a long time.

[This message edited by HouseOfPlane at 3:32 PM, Tuesday, May 17th]

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: 2832   ·   registered: Nov. 25th, 2014
id 8735690
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Lostwings ( new member #79902) posted at 10:18 PM on Tuesday, May 17th, 2022

Fire and water ,

I saw a comment you wrote and your story was just like mine . I feel like reading my own diary .
Both my husband and I have never had other sex partner until his affair and it truly broke my heart . It has been 9 months but the pain is still the same.

I lost the person I trusted and loved the most . I lost my dear friend and a soulmate .

He is trying hard for reconciliation but so far I still feel as of no matter how successful our reconciliation is going to be, I will still be mourning our marriage before the affair and the lost of our innocence.

Stay strong . Hugs .

I thought it was love at the end of the rainbow , but a banshee came and destroyed my pot of gold . In R.

posts: 46   ·   registered: Feb. 7th, 2022   ·   location: United States
id 8735759
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morningglory ( member #80236) posted at 3:32 AM on Wednesday, May 18th, 2022

There's nothing wrong with leaving a man who carries on a long affair, especially when he brings her into your bed. It hurts to cut the cord, but once you get a legal agreement and go no contact, life improves.

posts: 173   ·   registered: Apr. 15th, 2022
id 8735800
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