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Reconciliation :
Does anyone have guidance on how to bear the pain two and a half years on. When it hits me I am blindsided.

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 Booney (original poster new member #80566) posted at 1:09 PM on Sunday, August 21st, 2022

Today it feels too raw to talk about but I know I need support and I don't want my friends to know. It started in 2016. Subtle signs and I began to feel lonely in my marriage. Little things,a lack of care and compassion toward me. It started a couple of months before my mum was diagnosed with cancer (I nursed her at her home with my sisters and she died in around three weeks after diagnosis) I interpreted the changes as something to do with me; perhaps a mental health issue. I became so down that in 2018 I agreed with my GP to start anti-depressants.

We were such incredible friends he and I. Such a strong couple. The more time we spent together the better it was. Always.He broke it off (the fuckup affair) and restarted eight times over four years. This had an effect on us; we would have close intimate, loving, fun, silly times and then unusually, times of emotional distance. The close times cancelled the bad times in terms of me ever being concerned about our marriage. We'd been together since 1988.

Then 2020 he told me, and had ended their fuckup for the last time. It was a total shock but at the same time it was as if I already knew, and yet my stomach dropped through my body whilst the shell of my brain hung on. Weirdly I could say the name of who he cheated with though I'd only met her once in our house. I knew I had never been depressed. I took my wedding and engagement ring off and left them on the kitchen worktop and they never went back on.

I lost two stone in weight in a matter of weeks. Did a gradual withdrawal of the anti-depressants. He barely left my side, took early retirement, his focus and life is me and us. I'm sure people still look at us and have no idea. We no longer wear wedding rings so there's a clue there I suppose.

Now, nearly two and a half years since D.Day as it's called here. My marriage is dead (to me,marriage is a fantasy and I choose to live in my real world of no absolutes) We are still together in a relationship that is close, intimate, fun, passionate, incredibly sad at times....until such time as one of us decides to separate. No absolutes, no promises. Our kids know, they're all in their twenties. We all love each other deeply.

So much has happened between us over these last years. We had a little bit of couple-counselling from a retired expert in the field. After a number of sessions he said we didn't need his help anymore but could always return to him if required. We know and understand each other much better, know each other's vulnerabilities/fears/secrets/weaknesses etc. We've learned lots about ourselves. We've such things, as to learned to listen carefully without interrupting for example. Sounds obvious but it's tough to do when your upset. Anyway, what I would love some guidance on is this: I carry this weight of a broken heart and it drains me. I no longer dwell or seek it out, but its there. I distract myself or we talk about it or I'm overwhelmed and I sob or just cry a little, or am sad. I exercise, I do things, I avoid close friends. I do not know how to bear the pain of it, I don't know what to do, how to help myself. Both my parents have passed away, and our beloved dog too now just last Sunday. I've managed these okay. The dog was the hardest, but I'm okay. However, the betrayal from the only man I have ever loved crushes me. Knowing the things they did together, and in our bed once, crushes me. I'm jealous, I hate that she touched him, that he touched her. I forget about it lots of times then especially when we have the best of times, it hits me like a punch in the side of my head that I don't see coming and I am blindsided and overwhelmed with feelings of immense loss and sadness and it sits there like a ball of lead in my gut and an emptying of my brain. It saps me of my energy, deprives me of a night sleep or more. I can rationalise, rebalance, look to the good, accept the past is in the past, but my emotions don't follow my thinking and I don't know what to do about it.

Anyway, perhaps someone out there can tell me how they manage these feelings?

Thank you

posts: 5   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2022   ·   location: Scotland
id 8751345
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ISurvivedSoFar ( Guide #56915) posted at 1:29 PM on Sunday, August 21st, 2022

Booney - of course you are experiencing these feelings. You have had FOUR YEARS of continuous trauma from his infidelity.

He broke it off (the fuckup affair) and restarted eight times over four years.

It is said that re-traumatizing sets us back to zero. You have been re-traumatized so many times over these years.

The way we get past it is to go through it and process each and every one of those awful feelings. It is the scariest part of recovering - to face what hurts us the most. But you've taken a great step here - identifying your pain and specifying the elements that are gripping your soul.

If I may, the most important thing for you to do now is to get in IC. We have to heal ourselves. Really your WS should be in IC as well to work through his issues. Each part has to work on processing this and healing to the degree that it may be possible to come together in a new way.

First you have to mourn the loss of what was - and to sort through your needs. Your WS cannot help you here although your WS could make it worse (and has by staying in infidelity for four years driving pain and instability into your life). We heal when we can process and get back control - when we let go of the outcome and know we will be okay no matter what happens in the end. It takes quite some time to get to that place and you have my deepest empathy for your pain.

What do you do when you get overwrought from the triggers? Do you journal? Do you cry? Do you get angry?

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: 2831   ·   registered: Jan. 15th, 2017
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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 2:44 PM on Sunday, August 21st, 2022

Booney, hugs to you, it is a lonely and often sad path you walk. I think there is inherent sorrow in staying with someone you love with all you are who did not reciprocate, and worse, faked the relationship you thought you had. It has taken my WH almost 5 years to understand how deeply he has hurt me and our marriage with his reckless and selfish choices.

My discovery strung out for years as well, each new clue and revelation made my pain and grief and rage worse. I'm still struggling a year after the last disclosure, courtesy of the MOW, because the details and facts of his secret life are locked away in his shame and denial, and I've had to unravel the truth on my own.

Like me, you probably love this person with all that you are, and that is the weight of the grief and sorrow. For me, I have not managed it well, but I have managed, by journaling, venting here, venting at my WH, talking to my friends, and sadly, crying it out. I had no idea I had this many tears in me, or could sustain sorrow for so many years, but here I am. What has helped me maybe the most is understanding that the source of the pain is me, how deeply I love, and how invested I was in the love story of us. I grieve for the happy naïve woman I was before I found out. But, like you, there were undercurrents, he was cold to me for many years while he started up his crazy secret life, he left me begging for intimacy and sex, and he claimed he had low T and we were just getting old and led me to believe this was the normal progression of things. I made peace with that too, let go of a huge chunk of my sexuality because of his lies. Had I known I was lonely and going without because someone else took that place in his life from me, I'm not sure what I would have done at the time. Now, I just swing between sad and mad, but also I have made some serious changes to my mindset and my life. I have always been the care giver, the nurturer and now, I am the one with needs that will be met. I no longer set my needs aside and consider him first. I get what I need, I get what I want and I get the life I had planned on, the lifestyle, the home, the retirement, the hobbies, travels and fun, I just don't get the marriage I wanted, because that dream has died. I tell myself almost every day, you can't have it all. It works in so many applications.

For example, I pushed us to move from our home of 2+ decades, downsize the house but upgrade the property, and move to a warmer, more recreation friendly location. It's almost perfect in every way, except warmer comes with some seriously HOT days, and the bigger lot in a warmer state came with a lot of spiders, scorpions, armadillos and venomous snakes. I tell myself all the time, you can't have it all, and it was silly to think I could. I am too busy in this new life to be sad all the time like I was before we moved. When it builds up or a reminder catches me off guard, I let the tears come and I never hide them from him. I make him witness my grief, I expect him to comfort me and be ready with the kleenex or a shirt or shoulder to cry on. He owes me that much.

Like you, we are incredible friends, a strong, happy couple, except for the sneaking, lying and sex with other people. I never ever considered another man in our 35 years together, and would have bet the farm he felt the same way, because he is such an excellent compartmentalizer and liar. It's a lot to absorb, let alone accept, and I would say I am not at acceptance yet, and don't even ponder forgiveness. I too took off my wedding rings, but he insists on wearing his, even though I know he spent several nights with her during our false reconciliation, after I resized both our rings and did a little recommit speech and made him promise never to break my heart again. The sight of that ring on his hand knowing it touched her makes me upset, but honestly the ring is the least of my worries these days. Like you, we have discussed that the deal is off, the marriage is broken and we are both here only because we choose to be. He told me once he stayed in the Affair because it was easier to get in than to get out of. I told him that he can expect the same from me moving forward. It's not optimal, but it is true for me.

I think in time, you will shift more from sorrow over what was broken and lost to spending more time thinking about the life you want to live and your needs and expectations moving forward and ensuring that you get what you want. It is as close to justice as any of us who stay with our betrayers can hope to get. In the last 5 years since DD1, I have cried, stressed and lost weight like crazy, I have overspent on anything and everything I wanted, I have been selfish at times, and I have insisted we do every and anything I want to do, and go anywhere I want to go. Looking back through my photo archives in the past 5 years, I see a great life lived, so many adventures shared, so many fulfilling experiences together and with our grown children. I have seen him soften and open up as a father and that means more to me that all the other things combined. There are also reminders of my sorrow, because for some strange reason, I started taking selfies after I found out about the betrayal, both happy pics and sad ones. They are part of the fabric of this new and confusing life I am living. For now, the good outweigh the bad.

That we have been reconciling during Covid has made things interesting, but maybe better, because his travel dropped from 100 days a year to zero, so I could stop worrying about who and what he was doing. His first trip in years is next month, to the same locale both the MOW and I have travelled with him, so I'm a little triggered by that. My solution was to plan a beach family vacation for our grown kids and their mates to one of our favorite places, so I have something lovely to look forward to. He offered to take me with him, but I really don't want to go for many reasons, especially our failing 14 1/2 year old dog that requires a lot of care right now. I call him my last child, and his loss will rock both our worlds when it comes. Condolences to you on the loss of your pup.

So, my short answer to this long post is that I get through this by crying it out when I have to, focusing on myself more than I ever have in my marriage, and planning fun things for us to do together. We have always been big camping, hiking, boating types, and this year we added gardening to the list, and not a small operation. We do make a great work team, and that helps give me something to hang on to when I feel like we make a terrible marriage team. All I can say with certainty is that the pain does lessen in time, and it will take so much more time than you think it should. I remind myself often that I could leave and take away the acute pain of loving and staying with someone who hurt me so deeply, but I know I would still carry that pain with our without him. At least in this version of my life, he is helping me carry that load.

Best to you as you work through this. Write it out, shout it out, share it out, and eventually you will notice yourself healing and the pain lessening ever so slightly. ((Hugs))

[This message edited by whatisloveanyway at 2:46 PM, Sunday, August 21st]

BW: 62 WH: 62 Both 57 on Dday, M 35 years, 2 grown kids. WH had 9 year A with MOW, 7 month false R, multiple DDays, years of trickle truth.
I got rid of her with one email. Reconciling, but the lies have piled up. Trying one more time, again.

posts: 431   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8751354
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 5:24 PM on Sunday, August 21st, 2022

You've had excellent input. I just wanted to add that you are NOT in any way abnormal. It takes TIME, typically two to five years. At two and a half years out, I felt exactly like you do, like I was stuck and didn't know how to move forward, like the path ahead was lost in some kind of murky, dark mist. I'm not saying that there's no work to be done. Of course, we have to keep on working on our self-care and reestablishing a loving, trusting friendship with ourselves. Part of the experience in healing is learning that our emotional reliance is better off in our own hands than someone else's, but all in all... you're on schedule. Don't be hard on yourself.

((hugs))

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.

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 Booney (original poster new member #80566) posted at 7:58 PM on Sunday, August 21st, 2022

Thanks for the responses. Reassuring to know that as I suspected, it's going to take time. For clarity I perhaps didn't make it clear to some; I had no idea about the fuckup affair until he told me. It was four years on and off, but I only knew about it in 2020 when he told me. I didn't have four years of trauma, I had four years of being a naive mug; oblivious except for on and off loneliness and lack of care from him to me in the marriage, which was tough going.

Except for the fuckup, we have a very happy, active, fun life together with travel and adventures. Our beautiful dog died aged 14yrs 7 months. Suddenly. Whatisloveanyway, I'm glad you're give your woofer the priority he deserves. I'm glad I did likewise for ours. Thanks for your condolences for our beautiful boy.

I have shouted, cried, attacked my WS three times (what happened, is that I tried to hurt him for maybe a minute but I was so rubbish at it, that I hurt myself more than I hurt him and I was totally emotionally/physically exhausted by the stress of the attack) I've head-butted a door, punched a wall, all sorts of stuff and I'm not a violent person. I've never in my life behaved this way before....and I've got very drunk too. I have a journal, I ask a million questions. He answers everything. He reads to me at night. If I can't sleep he'll talk to me, offer to cook something, or watch a film, or hug me and listen. Whatever it takes.

Over the last two and a half years he has learned what he has done to me; how deeply his betrayal has affected me, and how much I had/have loved him. He has lost my unerring commitment to him. He has lost me putting him first, maybe lost my devotion to him. I correct people if I'm called his wife because I am not that: I'm is partner, his lover, his friend, his companion. We did the marriage thing and it failed. Now we're doing something else and it's working well enough. I asked him to take off his ring, he did it. I asked him to email the bitch and be honest about his feeling for her/me, whom he loves and wants in his life etc (me not her) he did it. I asked him to tell our grown up kids (the one that still lived at home was struggling with the high octane atmosphere and needed to understand, therefore they all had to know) he did it.

Thanks again all. I look forward to noticing the pain being less.

posts: 5   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2022   ·   location: Scotland
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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 9:00 PM on Sunday, August 21st, 2022

Booney, I'm glad your WH confessed and you didn't find out by accident like me, and also glad you don't have the added trauma of false recovery or trickle truth to complicate your pain. It seems like your H is doing all he can to help and I find myself envious of all he is doing for you. I had a lot of problems with anger in years 2-3 post-discovery, but mostly now just the sadness and frustration that this is my new life. I loved my old one very much, and I miss the old me. But she was a chump for a decade and this new me is much more guarded and smart, and so much more willing to walk at the next transgression. I feel safer in myself, but less safe in my ability to trust anymore. I also struggle with drinking too much, but numb helps my racing thoughts in the short term.

My kids are in their 20's and on their own and do not know. It is one of my great sorrows, because having an open and honest relationship with them was one of my core parenting values. I just don't know how to burst the bubble they have of their family and I don't want to add any stress to their lives just yet. My therapist told me it was ok to let them believe in the possibility of a perfect happy relationship, to not beat myself up for the lie of omission. They just think mom got a little wacky in her 60's. If they knew they may never forgive their father, as he has always been the judgmental empathy impaired perfectionist and they would judge him very harshly. I'm not ready for my nuclear unit to come unhinged, but I think a lot about the burden of this secret and how unfair the dishonesty is to them. That's my problem for another day. They both worry a lot about me too, and I don't want them to worry about anything but their lives, careers and relationships right now. Two years of Covid has left them fragile I'm afraid.

Thanks for the empathy about the dog, he is such a sweet boy and watching him grow so old has not been easy. His spirit is still huge and I'm grateful for that. I know that no matter what, my WH an I will care for and bury this pup together, and our mothers too, and we will hopefully live to watch our children start their families together. I can't envision any of that apart, as we are a team in so many ways, just not the most important one. Mine is just beginning to get what he has done to us, and he is ill equipped to handle the emotion or shame of it all. Me, I am so much stronger and stubborn and determined than I ever knew, and my heart is so much bigger and loving than I knew. That's why it hurts so much, and for you too. You have too much heart, and that's not a bad thing. We just have to be more careful with them now.

I hope you can find some peace and joy in the love that remains, the adventures yet to share and that in time, like the grief over a lost parent, the pain gets easier to manage each year. Take care, and cry and yell and laugh at the insanity whenever and wherever you need to.

BW: 62 WH: 62 Both 57 on Dday, M 35 years, 2 grown kids. WH had 9 year A with MOW, 7 month false R, multiple DDays, years of trickle truth.
I got rid of her with one email. Reconciling, but the lies have piled up. Trying one more time, again.

posts: 431   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8751389
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Lostwings ( member #79902) posted at 8:39 PM on Tuesday, August 23rd, 2022

Booney,
My second Dday was last August , I have been in this new normal world of mine, only a year ago .
I can not give you advice but I can only tell you that you are not alone .

My WH’s online affair ( with online sex) was only 5 months, it stopped because I found out . In fact, they continued their non physical relationship for another 4 months after Dday, citing he needed to tell someone, because I was distraught and he felt guilty. Go figure , the someone was his AP! Looking back , I think this was his way in coping with gradual detachment and detox.
The therapist also helped him to end the 4 months detox.

I truly believe, have I not read her lovely and sexy text, the affair would had been just like your husband’s , on and off for years . He told me , he tried to end it but could not stop and neither could she . The attachment was that strong, he was almost relieved when I found out .. sad but relieved . He was so weak emotionally, he needed outside help to end his affair… me! Hah!

Somehow the "what if" is the biggest torture I experienced during this healing period . What if I didn’t find out?
The AP is an old college friend ( not ex gf) and lives ocean apart . They reconnected after online reunion during Covid. He already planned to see her last year and this year with the excuse of family and friends reunion. It would have been a routine, visiting her twice a year but the plan fell apart after I found out . This routine will go on and on for years as long as I am oblivious.

Like you , I truly felt the abandonment , the distance and the defensiveness during his affair. I have never felt so lonely in my life , without really able to pinpoint the reason . I thought the depression was post menopause and I thought that his lack of interest in me and sex was also due to old age . I was oblivious because I truly loved and trusted him , the only man in my life. Little that I knew , his sex life with the MOW was vigorous and frequent , using FaceTime.

I also took off my wedding ring although he said he will wear it for the rest of his life … we will see.
He keeps on saying , he has no contact anymore but I feel that reconciliation needs more work and effort than just NC . He says sorry every time I am upset, is transparent and loving , but I could feel it that he is not as remorseful as your husband . Little things he does, tells me that he just want to move on . He forgets to read my text when I tell him I am still upset, stating he was busy but still have time to chat with friends and family. He "forgot" to read or watch article or videos that I think are beneficial for our reconciliation. The work ! DaddyDom has good posts about the work . He read but I am not sure if he took it by heart .

He insist we have to live at the moment , at present , that he is a changed man , still NC and tells me he loves me all the time . To me, it sounds hollow because I do not trust him yet and he also told the OW he loved her daily during the affair . He told me it had no meanings, just greetings, but what do I know ?

I tried my best but the mind movies at nights and mornings , the triggers, still hit me like a ton of bricks and that gut wrenching feelings are not an exaggeration .
I am envious when he is still able to laugh or joke while this pain still hits me . Not fair. The pains are not equal . There is not one day pass that the sadness does not visit me.
I cried almost all day when I first found out and cried daily for one year . True, entering this second year , the pain is still raw but I do not cry as often before sleep anymore .
It does get better and time is our only friend .

I do not consider our relationship as a marriage anymore as well . I do not know him anymore , he is not the man I married or loved . I am taking one day at a time , no decision about what to do next , but from the outside , we are still a couple . We still get intimate but I usually cry afterwards. He is very good in being vulnerable in texting , but he does not know how to express his feelings in person and this is one thing that makes our reconciliation as slow as it is .

I am more filled with anger than sadness nowadays but this is probably the stages of trauma in betrayal . I am hoping that one day , I will finally come to terms and move on, with or without him.

Hang in there , you are not alone . A big hug to you .

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

posts: 59   ·   registered: Feb. 7th, 2022   ·   location: United States
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 11:29 PM on Tuesday, August 23rd, 2022

I’m sorry you are suffering. I had 3 rough years after dday2. It was my H’s second affair but he was planning to kick me to the curb for the OW. He told me for months he wanted a D but I did not know if the affair for many of those months.

It was a typical midlife affair.

I realized it was up to me to heal myself. The cheater can only do so much. The rest is up to you.

I saw a Will smith YouTube video called Fault bs Responsibility that really impacted me. Watch it. If you don’t it basically gives an interesting point of view. To summarize let’s say you are in a car accident and you break your leg. Accident is not your fault (like the affair). But it is up to you to heal your broken leg. No one can do that for you. It’s your responsibility to go to the Dr snd physical therapy to heal.

I can tell you in 6 months after that I made tremendous improvement in my healing.

9 years later and I am happy. And healed.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 12497   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8751742
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 4:34 PM on Wednesday, August 24th, 2022

If you can take some time for yourself when a wave of pain hits, I suggest you just let the pain flow through your body. Feeling the pain lets it go - of course, there's so much pain it seems overwhelming and unending, but it is really limited; it's a lot, but there really is a limit.

In any case, letting the pain flow may help.

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 7:04 PM on Wednesday, August 24th, 2022

I find the busier I am the better.

Having too much time in my hands is not good for me.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 12497   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8751920
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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 9:29 PM on Wednesday, August 24th, 2022

Booney, you mentioned MC, but have you tried IC? I keep thinking about trying again, maybe EMDR to help rewire my thoughts a little. Have you read Stosny's Living and Loving after Emotional Betrayal? That is my favorite so far, it has given me so much to think about myself and my life.

I second the 1st wife, the Fault vs. Responsibility video is a good one, and I like what sisoon wrote about feeling the pain. I found leaning into it, acknowledging it helped. I have years of chronic arthritis pain and I use some of the same mental tricks that work with my bones to work with my mind. Trying to ignore it and tough it out doesn't work as well for me as sitting in it and letting it have some bandwidth for a while. Same with sorrow. Purposeful pity party or crying sessions seem to take the weight off a little.

I also second the busier the better. Cooking, organizing, hobbies, crafts, walks, museums, anything to both occupy and please my brain. Good luck, and let us know what helps you moving forward besides the dreaded time.

BW: 62 WH: 62 Both 57 on Dday, M 35 years, 2 grown kids. WH had 9 year A with MOW, 7 month false R, multiple DDays, years of trickle truth.
I got rid of her with one email. Reconciling, but the lies have piled up. Trying one more time, again.

posts: 431   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8751946
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veryconfused ( member #56933) posted at 11:06 PM on Wednesday, August 24th, 2022

Booney, one of the biggest things which helped me, was the web site. Yes, posting and reading others experiences helped, but realizing that I was not alone and that others were going through the same issues, was a great relief. I personally couldn't stand being 2 years into it and still being an absolute mess. This community helped me to realize that I wasn't crazy! I wasn't the only person to stay away from certain areas because they induced panic attacks. I wasn't the only person who would suddenly fall to their knees crying in the shower. I wasn't the only person who was wondering why I just couldn't get past it all ready. I was not alone, in fact I was in some really good company.

Also, the team below has some really good pointers. Get yourself into IC! The couples thing, put that on ice. Once you start working on you and your feeling in IC, that will begin to bring some relief along with much in the way of insight to help you navigate those feelings. Additionally, we need to talk about things! Lets be honest, we need to tell our story, and the more we tell it, and the more we share with people who can hold space, the lighter the load gets. Get your hubby to do IC. If you do not have the whys and the belief that he has fixed himself, you will hold back as there will not be the safety you need for both the conscience and subconscious mind to relax and allow vulnerability. You will always be somewhat on guard and therefor more apt to have triggers. Hello trauma brain! thank you for reminding us to be safe!

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 Booney (original poster new member #80566) posted at 3:38 PM on Thursday, August 25th, 2022

Thanks everyone, I'm hearing the themes of I'm not alone; I have you guys to empathise with me, I'm on track and it's normal to still have the feelings I have, I hear I should consider more counselling. Hearing your stories and responses/journey to your betrayal, and recognising the similarities with mine is validating. I read your stories and I find so quickly that I am touched. Such a shame there isn't a button I can press to have a very long coffee meet up. I was with two with friends yesterday for a long walk and a coffee. They're good close friends and yet I do not want to, and have not shared anything with them. If they notice my missing wedding rings, they don't mention it. We mentioned briefly the loss of my beautiful dog...I'm still grieving; he has to get a mention here whether or not it's relevant. Sorry.
Sisoon,I visited this site about two years ago and read some of your contributions. I came back several times to read more of your words and they helped me feel hopeful. Thank you.

I greet my waves of emotion, I mean if I see them coming I recognise them and let them in. If they sneak up I let them in. I feel my physical response; I can feel sick, my gut gets heavy, my brain becomes sore and aches in certain spots. I examine/explore/challenge my emotion; what it is, why I feel it, what are my barest feelings, eg jealousy/rejection/fear/self worth/numbness/ego dent,lots of stuff. I dont block them I let myself feel them and they ride through me but the emotional pain of it even whilst being cognisant of why and what I can do next, is difficult to manage...and they go out the back of me someplace and are gone 'til the next time.

I had some IC and another extra session a while back, again the professional view was that I didn't need the guidance, but could always go back to share thoughts if I felt I needed to.

I have to go for now, I'm away for a few days without much internet or my laptop. I will be back in touch at a later date as I have some responses to some things that you guys have shared but I'm out of time for now.
Thanks again so much for giving me your ears and time.

posts: 5   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2022   ·   location: Scotland
id 8752053
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 9:23 PM on Thursday, August 25th, 2022

One other thing that helped me 2 years after DDay was to dr use the affair was not going to ruin one more minute of my life.

As the thoughts came in, I quickly moved on from it as fast as I could.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 12497   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8752137
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 10:28 PM on Thursday, August 25th, 2022

I was with two with friends yesterday for a long walk and a coffee. They're good close friends and yet I do not want to, and have not shared anything with them.


It's very good that you met with your friends and had social interaction. I don't think it's necessary to tell everyone you know, or even very good friends that you're close with. After all, you can't un-tell if you regret it later. That said, I did notice after a time that I had really isolated myself, that I wasn't interested in friends or companionship, that I'd turned inward. It's like going through the motions, but not really feeling it, you know? People keep talking about the weather, or their lumbago, or how shitty their boss is, and it seems so far removed from your reality, like it's so trivial. The danger here is that you end up hurting those relationships. Well done on getting out of the house with buddies. smile

We mentioned briefly the loss of my beautiful dog...I'm still grieving; he has to get a mention here whether or not it's relevant. Sorry.

It's so hard to part with our fur babies. We've lost two of our older cats in recent years and last year, our darling dog. Over the years, there have been so many, and it's never gotten easier, just harder. My theory is that every angel has to do at least one lifetime as a really good dog, and our girl will certainly have her wings by now. She was the sweetest, kindest, most loving soul who ever wagged a tail (although I'm not biased at all as you can tell tongue ). We've invited a new shelter pup in, and she does her best, but a more rambunctious girl you are unlikely to meet. She punches, she does a weird scooby-doo impersonation, and she's got an infectious 24/7 smile. They're all so different, and here so briefly. All we can do is just love 'em while we can.

I feel my physical response; I can feel sick, my gut gets heavy, my brain becomes sore and aches in certain spots. I examine/explore/challenge my emotion; what it is, why I feel it, what are my barest feelings, eg jealousy/rejection/fear/self worth/numbness/ego dent,lots of stuff. I dont block them I let myself feel them and they ride through me but the emotional pain of it even whilst being cognisant of why and what I can do next, is difficult to manage...and they go out the back of me someplace and are gone 'til the next time.

There's a good book called, The Journey from Abandonment to Healing by Susan Anderson which goes into more detail about these physical reactions. It's really geared toward folks who have split, but honestly, I got more out of that title than nearly anything else I read. I think it has a lot to offer to people in R because it redirects us toward self-development.

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: 5927   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8752151
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Hippo16 ( member #52440) posted at 5:37 PM on Saturday, September 3rd, 2022

passage of time will help - and a bit of reading


Cheating in a Nutshell

Cheating in a Nutshell: What Infidelity Does to The Victim (Asked, Answered and Explained)
Part of: Asked, Answered and Explained (4 Books) | by Wayne Mitchell and Tamara Mitchell | Sep 8, 2019


The Body Keeps the Score

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma Paperback – September 8, 2015
by Bessel van der Kolk M.D. (Author)

The Cheating book is a compendium of information received from BS and compiled into the book - Easy read

the body keep the score is a serious read - first half or so of the book is something all those who suffer should read
to understand what their hurt can do to them.


Lousy simile

I think of my WWs affair as I would a car wreck - not serious enough damage to junk the car - but it is "repaired" and drives fine.
but under the new paint and otherwise hidden from view is the evidence of the damage. You have to figure out how to live with the knowledge.

Even if you divorced - the memory is part of your life and you will learn to deal with it.

Not Just Friends

posts: 656   ·   registered: Mar. 26th, 2016   ·   location: OBX
id 8753721
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 Booney (original poster new member #80566) posted at 10:00 PM on Sunday, September 4th, 2022

Hippo16, Thank you for your words. It's true; on the outside we may seem normal, in fact we may seem one of those lucky, solid, best friend type of couple. But you and I and anyone who has read my post knows better. We are now only a car crash vehicle with happiness/fun/adventure/love layers painted on top. Both of us know what we are. No disguising it to ourselves. A burden we share.... I'm stifling a swear word here, but, and I know life isn't fair, but boy am I annoyed that I get this kind of pain when I had been such a good wife and mum, and friend.
Sorry for being a baby about it, but I'm hoping that it's okay to vent a bit. I need to. Anyway, I came on to say thank you! I know I'm harming my body. I put it under stress, and I have some understanding of the consequences of this. Thanks for the reading recommendations. I agree; even if I divorce, my life and outlook are altered, my experience will not be erased.

Whatisloveanyway. Good name! You sound like me. Reading you was like reading me in a way. I did love him with all of me but not anymore unfortunately. You see, I can't go back to a time where I don't know what I now understand. That naive mug that I was. Well, she doesn't exist. I can never be her again. I've had to grow up and live in the real world where your best friend can be your worst friend. We are 34 years together this year. He is also an excellent compartmentiliser and had low testosterone!..though now is testosterone is no longer low. I'm interested in when you say "when it builds up or a reminder catches me off guard" Is this normal and to be expected because again this is me. Things catch me off guard and I understand it, but the 'building up' I can't find a way to alleviate/ avoid this. I have a cycle; of life running along in a beautiful fashion, then a sense that there is an involuntary internal brewing of horrible worms and blood and the guts of me...or we have the absolute best and happiest day, (which accelerates the brewing) and BAM, I'm a mess all over again and I cannot bear it but regardless here it is and I'm surrounded in my head with nowhere to run. I'm sorry your WH has kept on his ring, the one you resized and with which you did your re-commit speech. He doesn't realise it no longer has any meaning (maybe to him but I don't understand that). His ring is meant to be a symbol of your fidelity to him...and whilst wearing it, he was porking her. I don't see how he can have valued the ring and have done that. I'm angry on your behalf.
I understand and can relate to the changes in your WH, how he has opened up as a father etc. That's change, it feels when I read it like he is growing up; like he is growing I mean. My partner also has changed. He looks at the way he was as a husband and father and has many regrets, and feels he missed out on so much because he was quite a selfish man. He tells me that to his immense regret, he didn't see the value of what was right in front of him; his wife and kids. He does act differently now. He shares his vulnerable side, is tender side, is caring side...eg he has cooked for me 99% of the time for the last 2.5 years.
I too liked the old me, my old life too. But that ship has sailed and I can't change the past. If you were on the outside looking at my life, you'd see a fun and happy life. It's good enough and like you intimate, what has happened is with me whether or not I reconcile.
I hear what you're saying about telling your grown up kids. Our hand was forced really because we had our youngest still at home and it was spilling out all over the place, and I was a blubbering mess. He told me that all the secrecy and weird behaviour was causing him a lot of stress, and he found it very stressful that I wouldn't talk to him about what was happening. Hand on heart I have no regrets in telling my grown up kids but it had to be handled carefully and sensitively. You're right to have hesitated, but you also say they worry a lot about you. Another thing, you're pretending to your kids that your marriage is intact so that they will believe in a 'perfect happy marriage'...and you're doing this because your therapist said it's okay to lie by omission for this reason. What is wrong with just believing the truth; living in the real world where shit happens and you either jog on or mend the cracks? Your WH also lied to you by omission, and that wasn't okay. My kids, their view as they tell it to me, is that our relationship is exactly that; our business and not theirs. They love us both. They have their own relationship with each of us. When my youngest son was told at age 18, he came to find me in the study, hugged me and told me he loves me, told me he had said to his dad that he loved him and that wasn't going to change. He is still living with us happily. He sees us struggle on and off. It's real life, and honest and true. It worked for our family. I'm not saying they don't feel it, but they manage it, they understand it, and they dont worry a lot about me but they care. My daughter crocheted me a giant blanket that I have on me now as I type. It means the world to me; wrapped in her care. I worry about you carrying the burden of not feeling you can be honest with your kids when I know how important honesty is to you. I understand that this is for another day. Please forgive me if I am overstepping.. .it's my heart, it's on the big side.

Veryconfused... what is it about the shower, if I'm gonna cry that is often where it happens. Unplanned and uncontrolled.

The 1stWife and CamomileTea, thank you for your guidance, I will take a look at the Will Smith video and the Susan Anderson book.

Lostwings, your pain reminds me of my pain. It's the sexual jealousy and rejection feelings that I have, I can read in your writings. I too had never felt so lonely in my life, and he was the only man I have actually loved. Love of my life as they say. I think it's still early days for you. Your WH doesn't sound like a changed man but like a changing man. My partner is still changing, still learning what he has done. One year after our DDay where you are now, we were both in a terrible state. It's taken a lot of time and misery to get to my current heady heights in the slow recovery process, and I am not recovered. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks everyone.

At some point I'll write a post about how we managed the telling to our children

Anyone... how do I add the abbreviated detail of my situation?. I see lots of you have your age, when D.Day was etc. I don't know how to do it.

posts: 5   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2022   ·   location: Scotland
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JASB ( new member #21112) posted at 10:19 PM on Sunday, September 4th, 2022

All I can say is I feel your pain. My husband had a brief affair with a coworker back in 2008. It was so painful and I should have ended things as I was young and beautiful with no kids and a whole life in front of me. But he cried and made me believe that he did that because of some pain and fear that I was going to leave him, and that he truly loved me. Fast forward 12 years and 3 beautiful children and a big beautiful life, and he cheated again with a family friend. That was 2 and a half years ago. And my world has been sad and different ever since. It took the wind from my sails. I have been sad and angry every day since. He is in my heart no longer my husband, yet I have not been strong enough to formally end our life together. I have withdrawn from most people in my life and lost contact with many/most of my friends. I have had many times where I felt like if I didn’t have kids I would not have the strength to keep feeling this hurt and heartbreak and betrayal from the person who I thought was my best friend and my future, the only man I have ever loved. Now the last OW’s daughter is on my girls soccer team, and I will have to see her regularly. Which is breaking me all over again. All I can say is I empathize because I too don’t know how to change this pain? Divorce is the only think I can think of, but I know that will hurt my children, and being away from them half the time will break my heart too. I’m sorry you are going through pain as well. It seems so wasteful to me. Like it was so easy for us to have a happy and wonderful life. All he had to do was choose me. Be honest and faithful to me. Why was that so hard? What is wrong with me that he always feels attracted to other women? Why did I need to live through this pain and loss again? I hope he feels pain too. I hope he knows that I loved him in a way I never will again.

[This message edited by JASB at 10:20 PM, Sunday, September 4th]

posts: 18   ·   registered: Oct. 2nd, 2008   ·   location: NY
id 8753880
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 12:21 AM on Monday, September 5th, 2022

Anyone... how do I add the abbreviated detail of my situation?. I see lots of you have your age, when D.Day was etc. I don't know how to do it.


If you look under the "members" tab in the header, click on "my profile" and then you'll find a "signature" box where you can write in your details.


(*slight t/j to JASB... I don't know you and have no idea what you look like, but rest assured, you are STILL young and beautiful. It's never too late to start being your own best friend. smile )

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: 5927   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8753903
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brkn_heartd ( member #30396) posted at 3:28 AM on Monday, September 5th, 2022

Booney,
I am so sorry you are going through this. I will tell you I was on the 5+ year recovery plan after D-day. I did not feel like myself and honestly believe it changed me forever. You described much of what I went through. Basically, I just survived. What I did find, as time ever so slowly ticked by, the pain was less intense, and wasn't all consuming. My advice is to get individual counseling to help you cope with everything. My FWH and I are still together his A was 13 years ago, but it never goes away, but months may go by and I do not think about it. Our relationship is not the same as it was, but we do love each other. Our adult kids did not know, and still do not know. just be gentle on yourself...it is very normal to still be feeling the pain. If you feel it 6 years out, it is normal. Each of us have our own grief journey which is individualized. A lot of similarities, but we all have to process individually. Sending you support.

Me-57 BS
Him 65-WS
Married 38 yrs, together 40
Affair Aug-Dec 09
official D-12/14/09
broke NC 1/31/10
second D 3/19/10

posts: 2121   ·   registered: Dec. 14th, 2010   ·   location: Northwesten US
id 8753925
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