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How do I stop living in the past?

Topic is Sleeping.
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 SoConfused23 (original poster new member #82698) posted at 3:13 AM on Thursday, May 18th, 2023

It’s been 5 months and I thought I was making some progress. WH is doing the work and I was feeling hopeful we could work things out. All of a sudden I cannot stop living in the past. I think about all the ways WH failed me during our marriage. His A has brought up feelings I had buried. I can’t seem to move forward. I’m sad and upset all the time. It’s like I have regressed. What if I never get over this? Does it mean we are definitely headed for divorce?

posts: 28   ·   registered: Jan. 9th, 2023
id 8791339
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Tanner ( Guide #72235) posted at 4:10 AM on Thursday, May 18th, 2023

SoConfused23 I'm sorry you are struggling but 5 months is still very fresh. R is a journey through peaks and valleys and definitely a trek through the desert. I am a step by step thinker, I couldn't understand how I was doing well one day and all of a sudden I felt back to square one. I can tell you that there is hope right around the corner.

This journey is unlike anything I've ever done. Its two steps forward and one step back. My journey changed scenery about every 6 months. 6 months to 1 year was my anger stage, I was damn pissed off, I had moments of rage from triggers that came out of nowhere. My W was doing everything she could but I wasn't believing what I was seeing. 1 year I regained self esteem, 18 months I let go of some baggage and equaled her up in the M.

Our Journey has progressed very well but there are no short cuts, the only way to it is through it.

Dday Sept 7 2019 doing well in R BH M 32 years

posts: 3302   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8791342
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The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 10:02 AM on Thursday, May 18th, 2023

You are in the early stages of reconciliation. It is a hard process and one that is difficult due to the circumstances of the betrayal.

Your emotions are all over the place. You are trying to make sense of everything. You are fragile and question even the smallest decisions.

At the one year mark during reconciliation I had to keep telling myself every day - stop living in the past. It wasn’t easy but yet I had to remind myself hundreds of time each day that people can change. People can regret their past choices.

I also had a great therapist who helped me get through it all.

I remember thinking "when will this be over" because I just want to get past this. What helped me was realizing at month 5 it was better than month 1 and 2. Small baby steps but I could see progress.

I hope this helps you.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled. 10 years out from Dday. Reconciliation takes two committed people to be successful.

posts: 13792   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8791358
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Grieving ( member #79540) posted at 10:43 AM on Thursday, May 18th, 2023

I’ll echo others and say that five months is early.

I understand what you mean about looking back at your marriage and spouse differently. One of the difficult aspects of processing my husband’s affair is that it called into question everything I had thought and felt about our marriage over the 20 years before it happened.

Give yourself the grace to feel your feelings without having to figure out what they will mean for the future. Focus on healing and nurturing yourself without worrying about outcome. It’s a hard journey, and a long one, but it can be done one step at a time. Hang in there; you’ll get through this. ❤️

Husband had six month affair with co-worker. Found out 7/2020. Married 20 years at that point; two teenaged kids. Reconciling.

posts: 595   ·   registered: Oct. 30th, 2021
id 8791363
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Luna10 ( member #60888) posted at 11:06 AM on Thursday, May 18th, 2023

5 months is still very, very early. It took me about a year or so to start resembling a functional human being again and about 3 years for the hyper vigilance and ptsd to subside and start believing that better days would come.

Be gentle with yourself and take it one day at a time. I’m sorry you are here.

Dday - 27th September 2017

posts: 1806   ·   registered: Oct. 2nd, 2017   ·   location: Europe
id 8791365
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Shehawk ( member #68741) posted at 11:25 AM on Thursday, May 18th, 2023

"Be gentle with yourself and take it one day at a time. I’m sorry you are here."

I advise that BS take exquisite care of themselves, realizing the seriousness of what happened to you. Get what help and support you need.
I have had therapy for the trauma and even yesterday I talked with my housemate about possibly getting medication to help with sleep since the substance (relatively inexpensive gummy containing a plant that was bred to help with PTSD and sleep symptoms) is not legally available where I live. I make it a point to eat well and exercise. I am careful about who I spend time with.

Although society and even the WS often minimize what happened, it is not an emotional papercut. Healing for me has not always been smooth or linear. But it has not failed me when I have listened to my mind and body and gotten the help I needed.

"It's a slow fade...when you give yourself away" so don't do it!

posts: 1570   ·   registered: Nov. 5th, 2018   ·   location: VA
id 8791367
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 11:59 AM on Thursday, May 18th, 2023

Reconciliation is a marathon, not a sprint.

It takes 3 to 5 years to heal.

At 5 months,the shock is wearing off.

You say he's doing the work. What exactly is he doing to become a safe partner?

I will be everywhere you look,but nowhere to be found. And that will be my revenge.

posts: 6332   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8791368
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uncomfortablynumb ( new member #82843) posted at 1:24 PM on Thursday, May 18th, 2023

I'm at the same stage as you (nearly 5 months since Dday) and have followed the same emotional trajectory.

The initial shock has subsided, HB has come to an end and the awful reality of it is dawning. I'm just so bloody angry!

I have this thread going on a similar theme and I found the responses really helpful:

https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/topics/660807/feeling-stuck-4-months-in-and-losing-hope/

I've decided to really focus on my own healing and recovery, rather than pursue reconciliation as a goal. What's done is done - I refuse to let it destroy me, whatever happens to the marriage. I am more important than the relationship.

Give yourself a break, allow the feelings to come and look after yourself as a priority (would be my advice).

posts: 31   ·   registered: Feb. 6th, 2023   ·   location: England, UK
id 8791376
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Legatus ( member #79152) posted at 5:15 PM on Thursday, May 18th, 2023

Living in the past is something I did a lot of. I'm about two years out. You can't rush through the phases and there isn't a one size fits all timeline. I can share with you something which has helped me.

I would look to the past constantly. I thought I was looking back to try to make sense of everything and to make sure I was being given the whole truth. For me though, I realized that what I was really doing was looking for a way to see my spouse in the same light I saw her prior to the affair. I wanted to go back to the rainbows and unicorn time when I trusted her completely. I wanted the story in my head to be the one I had prior to the affair.

A lot of times people on this site will say something like, "when your spouse shows/tells you who they are, listen". I didn't need more details to see her for who she is. I just didn't want it to be true, so I desperately tried to figure out a way to make it not true. I finally realized the AP wasn't an evil sorcerer who put a spell on my wife. A spell that could be lifted and all would be well. I finally accepted my wife was who I saw in front of me. That acceptance allowed me to move forward because for the first time I was able to make the decision to stay or go based on real time data opposed to factoring in the hope the rainbows and unicorns would come back. We are still together and have good days and bad days. I feel a lot safer and content seeing who is actually in front of me opposed to who I want her to be. That acceptance only came to me about three months ago. Now I am in a phase of seeing her and getting to know the person I'm with right now. For better or worse.

Understand that a part of the process is you grieving the relationship you thought you had. It's really hard to let go of that sometimes and you shouldn't feel bad about having those feelings. I'm not sure if this helps you ate all, but I hope it does. If your husband is showing effort and not in contact in the AP, I would suggest you give it more time. Having said that, the goal isn't saving the marriage, the goal is you taking care of yourself. Just my two cents.

posts: 122   ·   registered: Jul. 21st, 2021
id 8791409
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Tanner ( Guide #72235) posted at 8:18 PM on Thursday, May 18th, 2023

I've decided to really focus on my own healing and recovery, rather than pursue reconciliation as a goal. What's done is done - I refuse to let it destroy me, whatever happens to the marriage.

Very good post this is 180 with saying 180.

Dday Sept 7 2019 doing well in R BH M 32 years

posts: 3302   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8791445
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 SoConfused23 (original poster new member #82698) posted at 7:42 PM on Friday, May 19th, 2023

You say he's doing the work. What exactly is he doing to become a safe partner?

He is in IC. He has answered all my questions without getting angry. He has NC with AP. He checks to see how I am doing day to day.

posts: 28   ·   registered: Jan. 9th, 2023
id 8791715
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Devon99uk ( member #82658) posted at 9:07 PM on Friday, May 19th, 2023

It's totally normal to feel like that, I was exactly the same, it's so so hard to stop trying to imagine what will happen in the future... Sadly you just don't know! It just takes time for the shock to wear off & as the months go on you will start to truly understand whether this is a deal breaker for you or if you can move forward. I promise you that you won't feel the same in a couple of months, perhaps try to concentrate on making yourself happy, spend time with friends, family, treat yourself, anything to stop focusing on your relationship for a while, give yourself a breather 🙌🙌🙌 Hugs to you

posts: 72   ·   registered: Jan. 2nd, 2023   ·   location: South of England, UK
id 8791743
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CoderMom ( member #66033) posted at 2:46 AM on Thursday, June 1st, 2023

I wouldn't say that. Emotions are not necessarily to be trusted. Emotions can betray you. Emotions are fleeting. They come and go and you will go through waves of emotion for a while. You need time to heal. Have you considered counseling?

posts: 352   ·   registered: Aug. 31st, 2018   ·   location: Eastern States
id 8793322
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 SoConfused23 (original poster new member #82698) posted at 2:59 AM on Thursday, June 1st, 2023

CoderMom - yes, I’m in IC but I’m not sure it’s helping. I’ve seen her for a few years and I’m going to try someone new next week. I feel like I need a new perspective.

posts: 28   ·   registered: Jan. 9th, 2023
id 8793324
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HouseOfPlane ( member #45739) posted at 11:41 PM on Thursday, June 1st, 2023

He is in IC. He has answered all my questions without getting angry. He has NC with AP. He checks to see how I am doing day to day.

The question is, is it temporary? Is he doing the analogy of holding his breath? People can fake it for quite a while.

He needs to get to the point where he realizes you will never get over it, and yet still commits to The Right Thing. You need to see him do that.

It takes t i m e.

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: 3062   ·   registered: Nov. 25th, 2014
id 8793459
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Never2late ( member #79079) posted at 5:54 AM on Friday, June 2nd, 2023

SoConfused, I totally understand and feel the same way. I am just wired that way. I ruminate and living with the perpetrator is a constant reminder, I could never really be at peace. I think Old is very rare.

While you can hate anyone you want and it certainly sounds like you have plenty of venom to go around, the majority I would have toward WS rather than AP, for reasons already mentioned. AP is just a POS, but your WS did this to the person he swore to protect.

posts: 187   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2021
id 8793493
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Woody28 ( new member #83062) posted at 2:28 AM on Sunday, June 4th, 2023

This is something I struggle with every day and I’m 4 1/2 years out. The affair was nearly 30 years ago.
I find myself rehashing that whole year when the affair started, all the lies, the sneaking around, the disbelief that the one person who wasn’t going to hurt me had betrayed me. He moved out and that’s when the affair turned sexual. He broke it off and moved home 5 months later. He’s been a wonderful husband except for the fact that he lied for 23 years when I asked him if they had sex. He always said No. My gut feeling told me otherwise. He finally decided he couldn’t lie anymore and 4 1/2 years ago he told me the truth- that they did have a sexual relationship. I’ve spent the last 4 1/2 years living with memories, intrusive thoughts, images and beating myself up over things I could have done differently. I realize it’s a total waste of my time and taking up space in my brain. My marriage is wonderful now. Why can’t I live in the present and concentrate on what is true now? I’m confident that he had no contact with her after breaking it off. He’s been faithful. He’s been honest and transparent. Honestly he’s been my biggest source of healing. I have made progress and don’t dwell on the past as much as I did but I think I should be further along in my healing by now.

posts: 14   ·   registered: Mar. 15th, 2023   ·   location: Arkansas
id 8793805
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Never2late ( member #79079) posted at 3:57 PM on Sunday, June 4th, 2023

Not everyone can do this especially when they remain in the presence of the person who did it. Some select this kind of torture.

posts: 187   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2021
id 8793851
Topic is Sleeping.
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