Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Three to Five Years: There Are No Shortcuts...

"There are no shortcuts to any place worth going," said Beverly Sills.
And ain't THAT the truth.
Still, we think we should get there faster. Whether "there" is getting over our husband's betrayal. Or, perhaps, "there" is no longer caring that he's with the other woman because you're separated. Perhaps "there" is feeling ready to date again. Or maybe "there" is no longer beating yourself up for something that was never your fault in the first place.
But wherever "there" is for you...you're likely not reaching it nearly as quickly as you think you should.
And, I believe, you won't.
It's gonna take a whole lot longer than you expect.
But that's okay. Because, if you take your time... if you really do the hard work necessary to peel back the layers of pain and really turn them all over in your mind and heart, when you do get there, you won't need to keep looking over your shoulder to make sure heartbreak isn't gaining on you.
Three to five years, say the experts. Three to five years!
Yep, I know it sounds like an eternity. I'm with you. For gawd's sake, I could have conceived and given birth to an entire basketball team in that time.
But – and I speak from experience here – I'm finally starting to feel as if I'm wearing my own skin again. And it has been – get ready for it! – two months shy of FOUR YEARS.
When I first heard the three- to five-year timeline – about one month after D-Day – I didn't believe it. Didn't want to. Figured that maybe it takes OTHER people that long. But I'll just fast-track this healing stuff and be back on my feet in a few months.
Uhhh...sure.
That was around the time I was face down on my bathroom floor, sobbing into my dog's neck (who, incidentally, was just diagnosed with bone cancer. Honestly, can't I catch a break?? Please??).
It was around the time I had lost 15 pounds without even trying (I'll be honest – the highlight of my day was stepping on the scales...then I'd go back to feeling miserable) and I didn't bother applying any makeup because it was just going to slide down my face by 9:15 a.m.
Still, THREE TO FIVE YEARS??
Yep.
You could probably reduce that time-frame if, unlike me, you manage to skip the whole self-loathing suicidal period, which lasted close to a year and forced me to face all sorts of childhood abandonment issues I thought I'd successfully drowned in copious amounts of wine when I was 15.
But though it seems like a long time (and it is!), the place you'll end up is really amazing.
Having to reassemble my heart took time and courage, but it also allowed me to step into myself fully – something I'd never done. It offered me a glimpse into how much of my heart was going into relationships (not just my marriage, but with friends, colleagues, hangers-on...) that drained me. I'm far better able to recognize these emotional vampires, and to protect myself. As a result, I'm less blurry around the edges. I know exactly where I end and someone else begins.
So, yeah, three to five years.
Sorry.
But you just might find, as I did, it's worth the trip.

31 comments:

  1. Not a post I need to read not even 6 months in...
    I'm still mired in the death phase. Preferably my husbands but I still think about it fleetingly for myself in bad moments.
    It just feels like I live under a weight of permanent misery that just never lifts, even when I'm smiling it's with me.

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  2. But it DOES lift.
    I know how you feel, though. It's the loss of hope that's really a killer (no pun intended!). And it becomes increasingly difficult, if not impossible to imagine that life will someday be good and that you'll move through this.
    I'm still "fragile." I feel like I can't handle as much because I don't trust my strength to get back up again. But then, when I speak with friends who know what I've gone through, they inevitably point out how much strength I've shown. It's all relative...
    That's why I wrote this post – because it takes a LONG time. On the one hand, that's depressing as hell. But on the other, it helps to know that feeling shitty six months out (and still harboring fantasies of husband killing) is perfectly normal, under the circumstances.
    The clouds will part...
    If you think you're sinking into a true depression where you really don't see a way out, please talk to your doctor or therapist. I hated the idea of anti-depressants and resisted for more than a year. But they really made a difference. Helped me see a light at the end of the tunnel...which grew brighter. Was on them for 18 months, have been off for almost a year. And am feeling...good.

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  3. This is not on-topic, per say, but... I'm only a few weeks in after finding out that this other person even existed. I'm about 2 weeks from learning that he loved/s her. 2 days since I learned it was physical (he does not know that I know that last part-- he still denies it was physical). How long until your husband came clean? Am I being unreasonable that I want him to tell me anything I want to know and fall at my knees in despair and remorse tonight? How long do I wait for him to fight for me?

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  4. I'm still waiting for my husband to be truly honest and fall to his knees and beg me to stay with him. I've given up hope of that and only get by from our weekly therapy visits.
    I have only one solid plan and that is to get better- get independent and leave him. Still I hold out hope..

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  5. Hi Marti,
    You have every right to expect your husband to be honest and fall to hist knees. Why shouldn't he? You can't have a marriage with only one person being honest and committed.
    Have you told him what you need? Absolutely laid it out for him? If you have and he still can't....well, then, I think you're wise to simply take what you can from your therapy and get yourself ready. Otherwise, you're both just putting in time.
    I'm sorry. I can imagine how painful it must be. It's like salt to a wound.
    The thing is, I wouldn't be surprised if he does fall to his knees. My hope is that he does it while there's still time to resurrect your marriage. It's his loss...

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  6. HI Anonymous,
    Glad you found us. And I'm sorry you're going through this.
    No, you're not being the least bit unreasonable expecting your husband to be honest with you. It's indicative of how crazy this whole betrayal crap makes us that you even need to ask. You're his wife. My guess is he promised to love, honor, cherish and FORSAKE ALL OTHERS. If not in exact words, then certainly in spirit.
    My husband came clean within a few hours during the first D-Day...but it took 6 months before I got the WHOLE story. And what a story!
    Most men, when caught, go into defense mode, immediately minimizing what they did (we're only friends, it meant nothing, we didn't have sex, blah blah blah) in order to protect your feelings but more importantly, keep themselves out of DEEP trouble and buy themselves some time. If the do decide to stay, you'll likely get the trickle truth, which means the whole story will take days, weeks, months to come out.
    My advice? Make it clear right now that you need to hear everything, no matter how painful. Not all the gory details (positions, locations, etc.) but certainly his intentions, the length of the relationship, the depth, and so on.
    And then you are absolutely within your rights to figure out where you go from here. Do you need him to leave to sort out your feelings? Should he move to a couch? Don't for a second worry that you're sending him into the arms of another woman. That's already happened. Now it's time to figure out what YOU NEED. And that's all that matters. You need complete honest for starters. Transparency about who he's seeing, what he's doing, who he's texting, and so on.
    If he can't give you that (passwords, etc) then he's still hiding stuff. People with nothing to hide, hide nothing.
    Hang in there. Keep reading here and on other sites, such as survivinginfidelity.com. Do what you can to keep yourself upright (try and sleep, eat as well as you can, avoid drugs and alcohol... And figure out what you want. Then demand it.
    The rest, as much as you wish otherwise, is out of your control.

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  7. I have been reading your blog for a couple of months now (and I love it). I'm at the 3 1/2 month mark (from D-Day). In my mind, I thought I was getting better a little everyday but I still had the triggers that would set me back. But my mouth didn't know when to stop and would always sling hurtful comments towards my husband referencing his cheating...well, he announced to me last week that he's going to move out for a couple of months so we could both get past the hurt. "He can't handle my hurtful comments anymore. He has apologized and said he screwed up." He says he's not seeing anyone. That he still loves me and wants to be with me, but can't take my mouth or attitude right now (he is also dealing with his 18 year old daughter deciding not to talk to him anymore and other stuff with it that I won't go into detail here). And to top it off, the OW that he supposedly hasn't had any contact with in months, started texting him, first to see if he would meet with her, then when he refused, she started to threaten him and harass him and she is in contact with his daughter and ex-wife. So, yeah, he's got a lot on his plate right now. So, after a couple of days, I accepted the fact we are separating...and think it is probably going to be a good thing for both of us.

    As to the timeframe, that is a scary thought that it could take that long. I've actually gotten over the woman part of his affair, but I still get ticked off thinking about all the lies that he told me and how I can't trust him now. Yeah, I could see regaining the trust to take that long..........

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  8. My mouth tended to have an evil mind of its own, too!
    Three-and-a-half months might seem like a long time...but when I look back now, I was still so incredibly raw and fragile. And ANGRY!
    I can see that a separation can be a good thing. If I hadn't had three kids -- and I worried about their sense of stability -- I likely would have tried a separation.
    And yeah, it's the trust that takes time. If the affair is truly over, and you really know that, then the details of the affair eventually become mind-chatter...and can become easier to tune out.
    But knowing that your spouse can lie to you on such a massive scale...well, that's a hard one to overcome. Everything becomes suspect. Was he really at the grocery store? Did he really hit a lot of traffic on his way home?
    Are you doing anything to come to terms with your own anger? Your nasty remarks are, of course, a form of self-defence. Behind anger is usually hurt and fear...or in the case of betrayal, likely hurt AND fear. If you can address those emotions, often the anger dissipates.
    Good luck with the separation. My advice? Make sure you both use the time to face your issues rather than treating it as a brief vacation from intense emotion. Otherwise you'll be exactly where you are now...no wiser, just older.

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  9. Thanks, Elle! I appreciate your comments.....unfortunately, I just uncovered a photo of another suspected OW of her sitting on his motorcycle having a cigarette outside of a bar and it was posted in her FB about 3 weeks ago...when I confronted him about her several times over the last couple of months (from other things I suspected) he says they are "just friends".....I'm not going to confront him about the photo because I know what he will say (more lies), so now, I'm going to change my whole demeanor and strategy (I was trying to be this way already, but I couldn't seem to stick to it)............if he doesn't come clean on his own and doesn't make the changes that I have asked him to, then we're done! And unfortunately, I already know the answer......2 heartbreaks in just a few months time........how much more can a person take? I asked him this morning if he's seeing someone and I want the truth......he stated he's not, why do I ask this s***? I said, gut feeling and signs....he replies BS, ain't no signs.........then an hour later, he texts me he loves me........give me a break.

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  10. Ladies! You've got to give me names. Psdeuondyms are fine. But all these "anonymous"s are confusing the hell outta me!

    Not sure which anonymous you are, but hell yes! If he's gaslighting (giving you all sorts of excuses while the evidence piles up like dead bodies on the stage of Shakespearean play), then you've got to get out and reclaim your dignity. All my blogging about forgiveness and giving yourself time to heal isn't about letting yourself be abused or treated like a welcome mat.

    Now, keep in mind that some of these OW (not all, but certainly some) are calculating and can make a one-night-stand look like a declaration of love...so use your common sense when photos, etc. come to light. But if something in your gut is screaming (or even whispering "bullshit" where your spouse is concerned...well you and I both know what you need to do about that!).

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  11. Oh my. I'm just on my 2nd & 1/2 month since D-day. Three to five years seems scary.. I don't know if I can last that long. There are just so many triggers and every time they come up I want to just end this marriage... I don't want to hurt our 3 kids so I am holding on, but for how long? Since the affair, my views have changed.. I feel miserable and can't seem to focus. He would ask me if I still love him and won't answer him back because I don't want him to think that I'll beg for his love (I do love him still though). I was betrayed and If I will allow myself to be put down by this, then the enemy have won over me... that's what my mind is thinking, but no matter how hard I tried to ignore my emotions and how many times he tells me that he loves me, my heart is just filled with anger and bitterness at this moment and can't seem to see things clearly (that's what he will said whenever I'll bring up the affair). He would tell me that I am imagining too much about what happened between him and the bitch. I hate feeling this way and how I wish I can just move on, stop asking questions, care less and make him insignificant in my life. I'm looking forward to the day when his past and future actions can not hurt me anymore. My husband wants to make this marriage work but I'm confused about what I really want with my husband.
    - Jamie

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  12. Jamie,

    I could have written your comment word for word at 2 1/2 months past D-Day. That was EXACTLY how I felt. I would feel like ending the marriage because of the way he cracked his knuckles in his sleep!! What you're feeling is completely normal, under the circumstances. And of course you can't think clearly. This has completely changed your life -- and your husband to think otherwise is crazy. You'll stop asking questions when you feel as if there's nothing more he's hiding. You'll start thinking clearly when you can feel as if your life is exactly as you think it is. Betrayal is crazy-making -- when we learn that what we thought was true wasn't. Black is white, up is down... And it's takes time to get past that and feel safe again. Your husband needs to acknowledge that this is traumatic -- a trust violation is truly traumatic. And that in order for you to be able to say you love him and stop asking questions, you need to feel safe. And that safety only comes with healing and the ability to trust him again based on repeated evidence that he can be trusted.
    The day will come when his past actions are left in the past and have little bearing on your present. But that day will only come after you've healed -- and in my experience that's not something you can fake or fast-track.
    You'll get there -- and you will get there faster if he can truly be transparent about what he's doing, where he is, who he's with. You'll also get there faster if he can completely support you in your healing by understanding that what you're feeling is normal for now. Today is not forever -- it's simply where you are right now.
    Hang in there. You're still really raw and time will also help make whether you want to stay in the marriage or leave seem clearer.

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  13. I am at DDay+1 month approximately, but its sort of DDay #2 because a year ago I got what I am still convinced was a misdirected sms but the full proof was not there so we continued in withdrawal which had been status quo for about six years. As it turns out, and hence DDay + 1 month, he has been the recipient of affections from at least three women over this period and up to a few months ago. I came accross emails which left me with little doubt and a whole lot of questions. I feel all that everyone else has spoken and written about. We have had our hysterical bonding and have had the best and most intense, frequent sex in six years... Surprise surprise... He has profusely appologised, told me all the right things, going to counselling, trickle truthing and gaslighting me and reading all that i send him and even together. We talk a lot and it is good and usually culminates in some hysterical bonding. I also got the no sex story, only kissing, cuddling, making each other feel good... Blah blah blah. There are good days and not so good days. I am definitely not slinging criticisms or snide remarks or being mean or anything like that. I am also not crying nor neglecting life, kids, dogs, showers, work... Overall i kind of feel that i am ok and can move past this. It scares me how typical it is though and how classic and uncreative or non unique our situation is. He has no contact, he wants us back and i know he loves me but needed some admiration that he was not getting from me. Not my fault i know, i did not push him into anyone else's arms... Only i sort of did. We both gave up working on the marriage so while it is true that the right respinse would have been to work on things, people often need that cold shower wake up call. Like the smoker who cannot give up until he is diagnosed with cancer...then its easy to give up! So while i am not suicidal nor full of self doubt about my sex appeal nor feeling overly guilty, i do so see my part in this mess... The love bank was in serious overdraft and someone else made the deposit. I dont want recovery to take three to five years. I would rather spend these years loving and living. I know there are no shortcuts and he knows also. The boundaries have been set, the agreements rewritten, truth, partial for now has been told. I am not angry nor jealous. I am still sort of hurt nut if truth be told it is my pride more than my heart. I know my husband loves me and always has. We are each others mirror images. I dont need to forgive, i just need to live and love and be loved.
    Janice

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  14. Hi Janice,
    Thanks very much for sharing your situation and your thoughts. And yes, though I sometimes joke that there must be a "cheater's handbook" because these men can be so damn cliche, nonetheless our experiences are our own and just because they're typical doesn't make them any less real to us. Thanks for reminding me of that.
    And glad you're doing okay with this. I, too, hope it doesn't take you three to five years. Sounds like you're well on the road to healing.

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  15. How do you know when you have started to heal?
    -Janice

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  16. Hi Janice,

    Wow -- that's a tough question. I knew when I stopped thinking about it 24/7. It was like a sliver of sunlight. But I was in a pretty bad state – a lot of crying and raging with bouts of total numbness.
    Have you talked to a counsellor about any of this? You mentioned that you've gone through worse and I'm just wondering if your relative calm about this is more of a numbness. I figure it never hurts to talk it over with someone who's seen it all before.
    I wish I could tell you more clearly what "healing" looks like, but I think it would vary.
    Any other BWC members want to weigh in?? Perhaps I'll solicit thoughts in a post. Thanks for the idea!

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  17. Yes, going to a counselor but this is all relatively recent - so our third session is tomorrow. I haven't gone through worse myself but I have seen situations that were definitely much much more difficult so I am able to put this in perspective. I work in the humanitarian field and I have seen death and devastation, rape, true madness, war, suicide, complete destitution and loss of hope which is the worst of them all.... colleagues going completely off the wall etc. etc. This is relatively light in comparison. It is personally painful but I know that there are things that could happen even to me that would be impossible to deal with. At least this one offers opportunity to those who are willing to work for it! Other situations don't.
    - Janice

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  18. Janice,

    Interesting – that's pat of what got me through, too. I had just wound up some work on AIDS in Swaziland (incidentally, highest HIV rate in the world)...so I, too, had something of a perspective that kept what was happening in check. Though I must add...most of the time. Still had days when I thought I simply couldn't survive it, but mostly was able to remind myself that this didn't involve death or a terminal diagnosis...so was, on some level, "fixable."

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  19. On some level.. indeed! I have a question and I am sure that based on your own experience and that of others in this group I can get some wise advice. My H is still asserting that there was no sex - ie. no penetration - with any of the OWs. My gut is telling me otherwise based on the emails and based on just what I know of the male species.. and the female species for that matter! I just don't believe it and he is holding on to that story like a drowning man onto a twig in the ocean amidst the waves. Should I write to the OWs and simply ask them? Should I just file that one as one of those unresolvable issues that will just always be there in the back of my mind or should I decide to believe him and assume that this is so? I want to know but I fear also what that knowledge will bring me? Another confirmation of lies for the last month every day... Yet really, I do want to know beyond a shadow of a doubt and I think that the OWs will tell me. What do you think? What has been the popular experience with such approaches and what is likely to be the result? For better or for worse?
    Thanks in advance
    Janice

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  20. Janice,
    Yes, I would need to know for a couple of reasons. For one, you need to know if you're at increased risk for any STDs (I do hope you've been tested). But I also think it's important to have complete disclosure. I don't think you can move forward when one person has the complete picture and the other doesn't. I always maintained that, when determining my own future (ie. stay or go), I needed to know all the facts in order to make an informed decision.
    I would be inclined to get him to fess up rather than go to the women right away. Many women actually insist their husband's take polygraphs. Even the threat of such a thing is often what these men need to come clean.
    Our marriage counsellor insisted on total disclosure -- but within a clinical setting (perhaps to ensure I didn't reach for the knives :) ). He maintained, and I agree, that you need to be honest about the past before you can commit to a future together.
    Not sure how many readers of this blog read all the comments but if they do...I hope they'll offer up their own thoughts on this. And perhaps I'll try and add a feature where readers can solicit advice.
    If you haven't already discovered survivinginfidelity.com, I hope you'll check it out. It's a good site for that back and forth, though sometimes you have to ignore less-than-helpful info.

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  21. Yeah I have had all the tests and have nothing thankfully. Just my HPV which one can never time tag.
    - Jan

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  22. How do you handle third parties in all this? I am agonizing running into DH's BFF & his wife, who introduced (with no mal-intent) the OW to my DH in the first place (actually, before we got married). These "friends" knew there was chemistry, and then later, after we got married, they knew about the hanky-panky. DH, his BFF & wife, OW, my kids and our friends all sat together last summer at a picnic (before DDay in Sept). I was humiliated to find out that they knew all along, and all had the nerve to sit there like nothing was happening. What do you say to these people when you inevitably run into them? As it is, I know BFF has a BIG MOUTH and has likely told family and inner circle friends (he likes to publicize other people's screw ups--his ego's contorted). I will try to hold my head up, but frankly I don't want to give BFF & wife the time of day. Side note, BFF screwed around on wife a long time ago, so I'm further saddened by her loyalty to OW (her friend) over my potentially trashed marriage (having lived through a similar pain herself). Not sure how to get through this kind of stuff without melting down all over again... Thanks---

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  23. That's a tough one. I know how tempting it is to get everyone on your side -- to see it all through your eyes and to have your pain validated. Unfortunately, it just doesn't work that way. I hope you have some people in your life – a best friend, your mom, sister, us – that can support you through this. But those who were complicit in what happened are likely dealing with their own issues and just can't or won't be there for you. Clearly these "friends" are not friends at all. Their loyalty is not with you. Not wanting to give them the time of day is completely understandable and wise, I think. You're not emotionally safe around them so to pretend that you are, or force yourself to be around them isn't healthy for you...at any time, but especially when you're hurt and vulnerable.
    You did nothing wrong. So behave as such. You can either smile and nod when you see them or walk right past. Be prepared to shake and rage inside...but do hold your head high. If you must say something, stick to a prepared statement and don't get sucked into he said/she said exchanges. I sometimes said "It's very difficult but I'm getting through" to those whose motives I didn't trust (ie, those who wanted to turn my pain into the gossip-de-jour).
    The wife of your husband's friend clearly hasn't come to terms with what happened to her or she would extend compassion to you. But that's her issue, not yours. Disappointing for sure. But probably better that you find your support far away from these toxic people.

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  24. Thanks, I like your word "toxic." I have no desire to see these people. I know my husband has reached out via text and then spoken with BFF a couple of weeks ago (much to my chagrin), but I only know from checking in on the phone account, and, I'm afraid to let him know I've been checking up because he says I'm getting in my own way of feeling better. Frankly I'd rather he never spoke with him again, aside from BFF being complicit, he's the link to the OW. But that may be unrealistic. I WOULD like to know what they said to each other (which may have been nothing), but either way, I have bad dreams about our eventual encounter. And I WILL run into their family eventually...I suppose I could proactively say to my husband, "If BFF is coming into town, I don't want to see them, and no, I don't want you to either," which would have less pain for me (but more for him) than him asking me 2 days before it happens if he can go to a ball game w/BFF and then I boil for 72 hours....

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  25. "...getting in your own way of feeling better"??? C'mon. I would say his cheating got in the way of your feeling better! Keeping in touch with a friend who was complicit in the deceiving of you is getting in the way of you feeling better. Jeesh!!
    At this point, your marriage is pretty damn fragile. And this friend poses a danger to your marriage. He reminds you of a painful event in your life. He was complicit in something that was a threat to your marriage... You have every right and reason to not want this person in your life...and in your husband's. And, if he's committed to the marriage and willing to take responsibility for the pain you're in, then he will agree, even if it's uncomfortable or hurtful for him.
    That said, if you're not comfortable with insisting on cutting this guy out of your/your husband's lives, then at least explain to your husband your point of view. This guy is not a "friend of the marriage", so to speak. So for you to view him warily is simply self-defense. He's revealed himself to be untrustworthy...so why would you trust him? Why would you want your husband spending time with him? Of course, you wouldn't.
    As I said, your marriage is fragile. I'm guessing you're feeling pretty fragile. So...for the time being...I think it's fair to insist that you get the healing environment you need. And if that means your husband has to tell this guy to simply stay in the background for now while you two work through this, I don't think that's too much to ask. If, at some point, this guy comes to you and acknowledges your pain and apologizes for his part in it, you might be willing to open your heart and mind just a crack. But for now, you're taking care of yourself and your marriage...and that includes a life that doesn't have him in it. For now.
    My two cents...

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  26. Thanks, your 2c are worth a $1M right now. I did make those "not friends of the marriage" comments back at Xmas when I didn't want a card sent. The good news is, he beat me to the punch last night; seems he reached out to BFF to see when they'd be in the vacation area so he could make sure we wouldn't be (to avoid any even accidental social run-ins). He then ponied up the "I screwed up, this is/was my fault, and getting our marriage OK is more impt than BFF." For the first time since D-day I feel like there's genuine hope for my sanity and this marriage.

    Funny, your comment about "if BFF had reached out to me..." could not have rung clearer. Yes, if I'd gotten that message from either him or his wife, there'd be hope for repairs there too. But BFF apologizing would likely dig up the old wounds that were inflicted when HE cheated--he may not want to revisit apologizing for bad behavior. The other good news is that my husband did not seem to care if or when their friendship would begin again--I think he recognizes the whole situation for what it is, and that no, they were not friends of our marriage. I am a little sad for him on the end of a long friendship, but not sad enough to recognize I might end up a complete disaster if I let BFF back in.

    Your blog has been a life-saving touch-stone. Hopefully someone else can/will benefit from your advice above--I'm sure I'm not the only one that has a web of friends involved directly or indirectly in their disaster.

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  27. Sounds like your husband is seeing the situation clearly...which I can imagine is a huge relief for you. I often feel so incredibly grateful when I don't have to fight for every concession; when my husband simply takes the necessary steps to protect me without me having to ask/demand/insist on it.
    And yes, I'm sure it does give you a certain hope/optimism regarding your future with him. More like that from him and you just might marry him all over again! :)
    Thanks for posting. Your experience – and everyone who shares on this site and elsewhere – goes a long way toward reminding us we're not alone in this. And that we will emerge from the dark days.

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  28. I have been trying to seek help from someone who is in same situation as me. It took me 2 years to know that there is such a club like this, I am so thankful of you.
    It's been 2 years now since the DDay but still I am in a lot of pain and anger. My husband left us for two months last year telling me that he can't stay no more at home as I don't trust him and I treat him like a prisoner.... don't know what he meant like a prisoner when he can do all he likes, travel every 2 or 3 weeks (job related... that's where he met the OW. Sadly, his mother passed away and came back to us. We were quiet, so careful not to open the past but there are times that I can't help myself searching because my instinct is telling me that there still something going on but as usual my H kept saying "I have no contact with her" but he kept hiding telephone bills, always lock his mobile phone and spending heaps of dollars on mobile internet and last week he told me that his Boss is sending him overseas for another job.. my feeling is telling me that he plan to celebrate the Bday of this OW, when I told him this, he got very defensive and told me that he is moving out of this house and not coming back, well he moved.... to our computer room sleeping in our sofa bed. We don't see each other as he work in AM and I worked PM. I have been stupid, I allowed him to do this to me. He doesn't feel my mental anguish.. he still think that they didn't do anything wrong... they said it just happened.
    It's been 2 years and until now he has not confess of anything. I am just waiting for him to move out of this house(again) and I am changing the lock of all the doors and put all his belongings in the garage(his only
    access)...can I do this? Am I breaking the law?

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  29. I'm so sorry for what you're going through. It sounds like hell. I don't have an answer to your question re. changing the locks. But why are you letting him dictate the terms of your relationship? A marriage is between two equal partners -- you certainly don't need to live like this. Do you have proof of his affair? Did he ever admit it? If there has been any reason for you to not trust him, then of course you're not going to trust him. Why would you believe someone who has lied in the past? His word is no longer good enough. He either needs to become totally transparent -- which means giving you access to his cell phone records, credit card statements or whatever else you feel you need to see in order to determine whether he's being honest -- or he needs to accept that you're not going to trust him because he hasn't been trustworthy and seems to be hiding something.
    I think you need to lay down your requirements in order to stay in this marriage. Think about what they are: What do you need from him in order to feel like an equal and valued partner in this relationship. Then tell him, calmly, what you need. He has two choices: either give you what you need or get out. Either way, you're better off than you are right now, living in some sort of dictatorship with someone who seems to care little for your feelings.
    I would also make an appointment with a lawyer and figure out your rights. You can't continue to live like this...
    Good luck. And keep us posted.

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  30. it's been 4 months since d-day. november was a write-off, i don't even remember it. december i tried my best to "pull it together" for the kids and have a "happy" xmas. i think all my faking actually made me believe in it, for a while. january was horrible even though we went on a "family" vacation. i hated every minute of it, then felt guilty for doing something that many can't afford to do, and told myself to suck it up and appreciate it. then came february. he started getting all excited for valentine's day. i couldn't fake it anymore. i told him i felt dead inside, there was no life in me, i was just going through the motions. get up, get ready, get kids ready, take them to school, go to work, come home, make dinner, take kids to lessons, exercise, go to bed, repeat. at one point in the conversation he looked me straight in the eye and said "you're still hurting, aren't you". i felt like screaming "well DUH!?!?", but i didn't. instead tears rolled down my cheeks. he held me and said to take as much time as i needed. i think it was a wake-up call to him. just because he's not dealing with his constant guilt and shame, doesn't mean that i'm not going through my own stuff, in the aftermath of d-day. now i can tell him, 3 - 5 years. i am definitely not "healed" but i feel like a weight has been lifted, and i've begun to smile again, without faking it.

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  31. 3-5 years huh? Wow. It's been a bit over 3 weeks since I found out about my husbands infidelity. He confessed and apologized profoundly enough that I believe him. But his actions go deeper than another woman. My husband cheated on me with my BROTHER! I believe he is sorry and up until a few days ago I didnn't want to be away from him, it was like I needed him. His love was holding me together. This past weekend we went to a family event in which my brother was supposed to attend too. He didn't go so I wouldn't be uncomfortable (how "thoughtful") but weird thing is I became angry at my husband. For tearing my family asunder a thought that hadn't crept up before. Imagining my husband and brother together sends an inexplicable feeling to my heart and stomach. How can two people who I've loved and care for so much not think about me for an instance. It's double betrayal. I feel like I lost my husband and a brother. So my feelings of needing him have shifted from NEEDING him to make it through my day to where I seem to be getting angrier and angrier at him. He doesn't know this though. I'm faking it becuase I don't want to push him away. I love him and we both want to repair our marriage. We love our children and don't want them to suffer. Another family event is coming up and again my brother won't be there. I feel bad for my brother becuase he's also losing his family, my husband gets to take part in our family events and not him. I find that unfair being that they both did something horrible to me. I don't know what to do, my feelings are in such disarray. One day I'm feeling sorry for my husband becuase he shows so much remorse, then my brother, then I'm happy, then I don't want to see my husband. I don't know if I should tell my husband that sometimes I loathe him...I'm so confused...and of course not to mention how I keep asking myself "is he gay?" "is he going to end up saying he likes men down the road?" "he is obvioulsy bi!" I look at him and he is so manly, both he and my brother that the thought is unimaginable...

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