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Newest Member: Watermelonhigh

Wayward Side :
How to live with what you have done?

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 Selfishheartbroken (original poster new member #85037) posted at 4:02 PM on Wednesday, July 10th, 2024

I'm new here. I told my husband about an affair I had a few years ago. It was a complicated time but also supposed to be the happiest time. It started as an emotional affair, something I hadn't even noticed was happening, this was before the wedding. My husband realised something was up and questioned me about it. I admitted feelings. My memories after this become fuzzy, I remember being so stressed out and I lost loads of weight, my husband hadn't taken that news well. However, his memory of the event is different to mine which leaves me feeling confused.
We went ahead and got married and it was a beautiful wedding and we went on our honeymoon, during which my husband was looking up divorce.
After that I feel like everything went wrong, I don't even remember the physical side of the affair starting. But my husband and I were a mess at home everything felt tense and I felt like I was on eggshells. My husband was hurting and I was too absorbed in my own hurt that I didn't do anything to help him. I lied to him and everyone around us making it seem like he was the bad guy. He was calling me names at the time and generally being quite mean even though he didn't know back then but I still did this :(
The affair lasted over a year and when I look back at what I did I struggle so much with it because I do love my husband and yet I did this to him and to us.
His view of me has completely changed and his opinion of me always mattered to me so I don't know how to cope with the fact that I am a horrible person to him now, the worst person he knows.
I'm struggling with how this stupid decision and the decisions after have changed how I and others see me.
Has anyone any advice for how to cope with this?

posts: 1   路   registered: Jul. 10th, 2024
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ff4152 ( member #55404) posted at 6:08 PM on Thursday, July 11th, 2024

Hi SHB

The one word that comes to mind is acceptance. You have to accept and embrace the fact that you did these things. That you were capable of this kind of deception and betrayal.

Of course that typically flies in the face of our own self perceptions of who and what we think we are. I always prided myself on being a good guy. I used to sneer at people who cheated, I was above all of that after all. 馃檮

Once I really stopped and examined myself and my behaviors, I realized that I had been lying to myself for a very long time. I had very questionable boundaries and what I viewed as acceptable behavior. The thing is, it was always through the lens of how things would affect me. I really never considered how my actions would affect others. I had to start putting myself into other peoples shoes.

My other recommendation is don鈥檛 wallow in self pity. That鈥檚 easier said than done. While cheating will always be a part of your history, it doesn鈥檛 have to define you. You can change and become a better person but it will take a ton of work and effort.

Me -FWS

posts: 2104   路   registered: Sep. 30th, 2016
id 8842186
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SkipThumelue ( member #82934) posted at 3:13 PM on Friday, July 12th, 2024

Hello and welcome. Thank you for being brave enough to post. A willingness to get down and dirty with yourself to ultimately heal deserves a lot of credit. You're walking the right path and I hope you stay on it.

So let me see if I have this straight: You began an affair while you were engaged and it continued after the wedding for a total of one year. And you recently disclosed the A to him. The part that confuses me is when you say he was researching divorce on your honeymoon. Did he already know about the A or did he just suspect and you tried to trickle-truth him by saying it was nothing? I'm a little unclear with that part.

How long have you been married? My BW (betrayed wife) and I were married nearly 15 years when my first PA occurred. That PA sprang out of a long-term EA (emotional affair) that I didn't even know was an EA at the time. What I mean by that was the fact that it was a co-worker who I had mutually shared a lot of personal info with for years before it turned physical. I had never heard the term EA before then.

Anyway, as ff4152 posted, wallowing in self-pity is not a healthy place for us waywards. It led me to shame-spiral quite a bit and it was a comfortable rut. Rather than challenging myself to move forward, it was so much easier to just sit in the mud and cry "woe is me, look what I've done" over and over.

Are you in IC? A good therapist can help tremendously. I caught lightning in a bottle by finding a good one right off the bat. He held my feet to the fire quite a bit in the early days and challenged me on my bullshit thinking. Lots of tough love and accountability, which is what a conceited, selfish asshat like me needed in spades. 5+ years later and I now see him once a month to check in and I look forward to it each time. This is coming from someone who grew up hearing from his disfunctional family that therapy was only for "loonies" and who had a real fear of being labelled "crazy".

Is your husband in IC? Many men feel totally emasculated, especially when their WW (wayward wife) has had a PA (physical affair). If he is open to it, he could find help in therapy as well.

One thing that is advised against and which I endorse is not to start MC (marriage counseling) until you both are healed or mostly healed. Your marriage didn't cheat, you did. There are a lot of terrible counselors out there with little experience with infidelity who end up encouraging rug-sweeping rather than communication.

One last thing: Please read the pinned thread at the top of the forum "Maia's Withdrawl Survival Guide" and also pick up a copy of Linda McDonald's How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair. It's an easy read yet so rich for a wayward who truly wants to heal and become a better person and safe partner.

Hopefully some of our more euridite waywards will be along to chime in with their wealth of knowledge and experience. I don't post much but I read on an almost daily basis and I'm always learning something new from them.

Please keep posting. It helps us as much as it helps you. I wish you and your husband peace and healing.

WH

DD: 5/2019

Reconciling and extremely grateful.

I do not accept PMs.

"The truth is like a lion. You don't have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself." - St. Augustine

posts: 131   路   registered: Feb. 24th, 2023
id 8842349
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 5:20 PM on Friday, July 12th, 2024

Acceptance takes a long time.

The thing that helped me the most is identifying why I did what I did and from that try and improve. There are universals things to everyone who cheats like striving for integrity, recognizing why we felt entitled to do what we did, committing to honesty, etc.

And then there are things unique to us. I was a people pleaser who didn鈥檛 ever recognize many of my own needs. I needed instead to protect my happiness by investing more in myself.

It can be many many small things that if we actively work on those things we will start to create a new track record. By doing the right things, we don鈥檛 erase what we did but we can start to see we re redeemable, and start to have a little more compassion for that person who was sleep walking through life.

For now it鈥檚 going to be uncomfortable, painful. Do the right things here, no holding back on truths, focus on empathy for him, read, write journals, get therapy.

Life does get better again. You may not be able to save this relationship, don鈥檛 just try and change for it, change because you deserve to be a version of yourself that you can hold your head high.

The pain will stick around for some time to come but be thankful for it. I know that sounds crazy. But by realizing that it鈥檚 there to mold you, to teach you, it serves a greater purpose. You are divinely loved and redeemable, just keep making the next right decision and stay on that path.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7319   路   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   路   location: Arizona
id 8842412
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PleaseBeFixable ( member #84306) posted at 2:40 AM on Monday, July 15th, 2024

There are other people here with much more wisdom and experience than me, but I wanted to say this:

Rather than challenging myself to move forward, it was so much easier to just sit in the mud and cry "woe is me, look what I've done" over and over.

It's also another way of staying self-centered. I am in no way saying I've gotten out of this mindset, either. I struggle with it and often fail. I know it is very difficult to walk the line between self-pity that lets you center yourself and self-compassion that lets you function, but I know it's important we keep trying.

There is a different thread about mindfulness, but I wanted to share that recently I did a metta or loving kindness meditation and it was helpful for me with both actually-helpful self-compassion and empathy. I had a hard time holding myself with loving kindness because I did not feel like I deserved it. But the meditation suggested imagining yourself as a child or baby if it was hard. And then imagining sending loving kindness to others helped me send it to my BH a little more outside of the lense of clinging to a particular outcome for our relationship.

[This message edited by PleaseBeFixable at 2:45 AM, Monday, July 15th]

posts: 67   路   registered: Dec. 31st, 2023   路   location: California
id 8842613
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