The kickass survival site for anyone who's ever been lied to, cheated on and left for dead.
This is tricky. I have made the decision to tell no one about my husband's betrayal. I have some great friends but in the end was concerned it would change our friendships or the dynamic as couples. The truth is I feel our friendships are different since I feel more distant. Part of it is spending a lot more time and energy focusing on myself and our marriage has taken away from time spent with my friends. My husband says nothing has changed with his friends but they are just different.The good aspect of this is my husband have focused so much time and effort together working through this. Neither of us worry or think about what anyone else thinks it is just the two of us. Well besides my therapist. I think that has made us become a lot closer. We confide in each other and open up to each other. I feel like he knows he can say anything to me since it stops with me. I hope this continues and it brings us closer. I do love my friends in real life but having this website to come to has been the best. The support and friendships on here are so meaningful. Thank you!
Hopeful30,Yes, I responded much the same as you. However...I was thinking of the girlfriends on this site. I love seeing the back and forth between people who only know each other through pseudonyms who nonetheless cry for each other, laugh with each other and always ALWAYS respond with such deep compassion.
Hopeful im in the same boat girlfriend.
I'm surprised anyone was left standing by me. I was a high castle surrounded with a moat full of alligators. Come near and I would pour boiling oil down the side. I'm hard wired to have certain needs met. The basic needs for me in a marriage is safety, security, belonging and being cared about. So in walks the liar. Lies include an intent and lack of notification of the other person. My H made a deliberate choice to fabricate the truth before and after his adultery. By telling lie after lie, he eventually built a false version of reality. After repeatedly lying about the same thing, he believed it is true. Then he was controlled by fear of not only being found out as a liar, but also having the truth uncovered about himself. His lies increased my pain because I was lied to growing up so off went a trigger I already had. His rejection opened old wounds like my mothers narcissistic ways growing up, not having my emotional needs met and off went a trigger I already had. I developed defenses to the pain that took on a life of their own. The defenses caused me act differently. My defenses made me quiet, introverted, I frequently cried in public. My cynical attitude was projected on everything and everyone. My defenses changed my view of my world and I projected that view. The truth is: I felt feel so bad inside I couldn't tolerate adding anything or anyone's feedback to the pile of bad. In my defensiveness I only had one point of view. As far who was left standing by me in this bath of betrayal? Our children know about his affair. One child didn't want to talk about it and remains resentful towards her dad. One child was very supportive (son) who is so in tune with me, his wife can tell when I'm struggling some days. My other child (son) called me selfish after I started working on me deciding how to spend my own time. He has been supportive of his dad. My sister was right there beside me every step. When I was down so was she, when I was up so was she. She has been there 24/7 with unconditional love. I would probably have committed suicide if not for her devotion to me. My bosses were supportive and picked up my slack when I was insane. One boss in particular was so supportive and future-looking, I love her as a great friend. My best friend was not there for me and after one year apologized for her error. We remain friends. After the shock you really don't know how someone will react. Adultery circumstances and beliefs are very private with everyone. My defenses generated fear, guilt and shame that disrupted my ability to get my needs meet including any feedback from those who I shared his secret.
Wow Lynn. You've certainly been surrounded by people willing to go through some difficult times with you. That's to be celebrated! My grandfather once said to me that if, at the end of my life, I could count on one hand the friends who'd really been there for me, I could consider myself lucky.
Lynn,"My defenses changed my view of my world and I projected that view." This really resonates with me. Reading through your post, I think I might have lived in nearby castle lol
Hopeful 30,I've only shared my story with my best friend and that took 6 months before I had the courage to tell her. She is amazing and non-judgemental. I've seen two therapists and this site is a godsend in so many ways. It is important to me that my decisions and choices are not colored by others opinions and I definitely do not want my adult children to bear the trauma of this knowledge as they will forever see their father in a negative light. I am just 11 months out from D-day. The pain is still fresh, the future is still unpredictable but right now, as I type, I am doing OK. Signed, Beach girl
Beach girl (I love that name. I'm a "beach girl" too!),I'm glad your best friend was able to be there for you. Betrayal triggers such deep emotion in people that, often, they don't respond with compassion but fear...and that makes it hard for them to show up for us.
Hi Elle and all. I was foolish in the fact that i discussed my problem with quite a few people !! I found out to my detriment that not all were thinking of my best interested, they wanted something out of my break up, they told me lies about my H to turn me more against him for their benefit you wouldn't believe it i didn't believe it. One person did not want us to get back together and told me all sort of horrid things about him to make matters worse. Be careful who you confined in. xx
Jilly55,I think it serves to protect our own hearts when we're discerning with whom we tell. But, to be honest, I kinda envy the people who just tell everyone. It's clear that they don't think they have anything to be ashamed of. They're very clear that it's their cheating spouse who should feel the shame.However, we live and learn, right?
I chose to tell our adult children that their dad and I were having problems but that we are working on them. My daughter is fully aware that her divorce and custody battle caused a mountain of stress for our marriage. I choose not to discuss the details with anyone but my h. In my opinion he caused the mess and it's up to him to find a way to make it right. No one else's opinion matters to me. However that said I do admire the ones here that shouted it to the world! Must be very freeing. I don't feel shame but I know my h feels it daily! He said that never a day goes by that he doesn't think about the pain he caused and will spend every day trying to be the man I always thought he was. We're still a work in progress and I count every one I've met here as the best friends I wish none of us had to be here for the reasons we are but you all have lifted me up when I was stumbling around!
I searched everywhere online to find women like me in the position I was in when Wham bang I found you and the women feeling just like me unexplainable it was an amazing find !!! So glad I found u. Rushed to work to read all the blogs !! X
The more people you tell, the more people you have to be prepared to receive judgement from. On the other hand, if you're on a mission to figure out who will be there for you, that'll sort them out for you. =P
I told my aunt the day after I found out. I was in so much pain, I need an outlet. She has been supportive, having been in both sides of infidelity. She's got a different perspective on the healing process but she is there when I need her. After several months, I also confided in a friend. She had asked to name me as in her will as a guardian for her kids and I knew that I was not in a place to say yes to that kind of responsibility as I didn't know where my marriage stood at that time. I felt I owed her more than just, "I can't." Her initial reaction was complete shock and then she went into defensive friend mode. It has gotten much better since then and she sees the hard work we are both putting into our relationship. I have one other friend who experienced infidelity with her now husband prior to their marriage. We've sort of talked around what has happened. I think she knows although I've never come out and said it. I also wonder what it would feel like to be so unashamed that I could tell anyone. I run when I even suspect the conversation is going to turn to infidelity. Perhaps because I fear someone will see through me.Very grateful for my friends here!
Five months out from Dday tomorrow. Why is it that that damn date of discovery is etched in my mind. I have only told 3 friends and they have been very supportive. However, I hesitate to lean too much on any one of them for fear they will tire of hearing about my anxiety, my fears, the games my mind so often plays. I, like Beach Girl, would not want my adult children to know our situation. That would forever impact them and their view of their father and I'd never want them to know. In the very early days h and I hid out (which wasn't easy due to Christmas) and when I was confronted about my lack in presence at events, I just claimed work stress. I seriously don't know what I would have done without the support of these friends. They picked me up when I was so far down I wasn't sure I could get up again (seriously contemplated suicide and engaged in self hurt), let me cry until there were no more tears, listened for hours on end, and were so non-judgemental yet talked to me and told me what I needed to hear at that time. This site has become a comfort for me. It's hard for others who haven't been in our situations to know what we are going through. This is NOT easy. I would give anything not to be in this situation. My h and I were one of those couples that everyone believed had the perfect marriage. Oh if they only knew. In reality, no one knows what goes on behind closed doors.Thank you for this site and my fellow sisters for the words to get me through another day. Just knowing others have made it past where I am today gives me hope that I can too.
Feeling Lost,Yes, you can. And you will. I'm glad you had friends who could support you when you needed it. And, if you're worried about overwhelming them with need, I would talk to them about it. Tell them to let you know if it becomes too much. It can be difficult to watch someone you love suffer so they might need a break from it, which is understandable. But, as with any relationship, healthy communication is key.
I eventually told one friend - we have been friends for almost 30 years. Overall she has been very supportive, but also at times it is hard for her to really get it and understand all the complexities. I am so thankful for all the friends on this site, I would be lost without you. This is such an amazing place of courage compassion and connection!!! My love and support to allBecky.
Becky,It is hard for someone who hasn't experienced betrayal to really understand it. I think pretty much all of us didn't imagine it would feel like this.
Well I told my next door neighbour who then wanted to move in for the kill. That was so nice how to put that because unlike some of these lovely ladies blaming themselves I knew damn well it wasn't my fault I had done everything to try and make it work even dressed up and jumped out of the wardrobe sex on legs. But if your man is involved with some parasite it won't matter what u do until he gets out of the web!! That's what I thought it was like a battle !!!!! Xxx
Sorry Elle I didn't answer your question just went off at a tangent. Yes we do live and learn trusting too many people not a good idea. I don't think I will ever trust like that again I like u thought helping people trusting people seeing the best in people made me nice and likeable NO just easy to use!!! Xxxx
Jilly55,I think, what I've learned, is that it isn't about trusting "too many" people, it's about trusting the wrong people. I was always so busy trying to make people like me, that I was less focussed on whether I liked them. And I would overlook things that made me pause, or brush them off. Truth is, people often do show us who they are, in ways big and small. My husband said a few things that, with hindsight, were clues about his crazy thinking (he once told me that he dealt with his judgemental mother by "listening to what she says and then going ahead and doing whatever I want anyway", which pretty much told me what I could expect in my marriage). Live and learn indeed
Thanks for the reminder that this group has been so important to me because friends and family in real life haven't been there. Part of it is the physical and logistical distance--my family is all over the world. And I have moved away from my old friends and not have had time to make many new friends since having kids. The one person I know I would have called for solace and compassion, died from cancer in the middle of my first 2 d-days. 2013 sucked. So greatful to have this community to go to. I really don't know where else I would have gone.
MBS,I feel the same. My mom, who was my biggest champion/cheerleader, died right about D-Day 2 (she had gone into a coma right after D-Day 1, though she emerged from it) so that first year was a total shitshow. Thank goodness for all of you!
I have told so many people I honestly don't know how many. And my husband too had told a great number of people. From the beginning he has said, "tell whoever you need to for support; I own this". And I have to say - they have all been extremely supportive, in most cases for both of us. In the early stages when I was crazy upset, there were those who wanted to physically harm him. As I have calmed and we are working toward reconciliation, those folks too have calmed. And here is an interesting point. There are several people that I have told who in one way or another has been touched by an affair in their lives. When you see numbers like 50 to 75% of all couples are touched by an affair, you have to know that the people you know are somehow touched by an affair. Going through my list… I have a sister who was cheated on, her husband having a child with his affair partner ; my sister and he broke up. I have a sister who is now married to a man that she had an affair with while he was married. I have a good friend who was an OW to a married man for 4 1/2 years. I have a dear friend whose husband had an affair for 2 to 3 years and they are back together, doing well. I have a friend who had an affair on her first husband and her second husband had an affair on her and they split. I have a friend who's husband had an emotional affair. I have a friend who was dating a man years ago and came to find out that he was married. She broke it off; he left his wife and went to his AF; they have now been together for 25 years. I have a friend who was married for 27 years to a serial cheater whom she eventually left. I told my primary care physician about the affair and this was early on… She simply said to me, "try to make it work… It can work." There was that feeling of empathy whereby I felt pretty certain that her marriage too had had an affair In it. There are so very many factors that play into the "why" of an affair. With the sheer numbers I believe we cannot discount societal, cultural and even biological factors. None of that makes it right, yet it does make it common. In many regards it is like mental health. So many people at one point or another in their lives have mental health issues, it no one talks about it. Peace and light ladies .
Melissa,Wow, that's a really incredible visual, when I imagine all the people around you who have been impacted by infidelity. The stats do seem incredible until you begin to do your own math...and then, it seems about right. Sad. But right.
Very interesting! I husband has gone through major periods of guilt, regret and remorse and also saying he wishes I had not said yes to him. He is convinced that if I was with someone else I would not be in pain. I have told him each time no one knows that or what will come. He is so convinced that none of his friends have ever done anything. Or anyone we know. I tell him over and over that it is just not statistically possible. And maybe it is not a physical affair, but emotional, online, porn, we have no idea but this does reach so many people. I do know that we cannot think of one couple we are friends with that has a better marriage than ours even before dday. It is sad but the majority live separate lives, are not happy, are so focused on jobs and/or kids, kids sports, time with friends. It is crazy but we have made a huge effort to plan and do more couple things but each time they either do not want to do it, the women break off from the guys, they only talk about their kids, etc. And really I think this is due to dissatisfaction in their relationship. I can see it now. These couples never sleep in the same beds for various reasons, do not eat together, never go out on dates, only take family vacations, have all separate hobbies and interests. It is crazy how much this affects so many in our society yet so little is focused on it or discussed.
Hi there. That's so weird my mum died right in the middle of all my problems with my H and the OW still contacting each other. I was devastated that even at that time they couldn't call it a day!! How did anyone cope with that. xx
Melissa, i told lots and lots of people and showed them the photos i found of the OW in various stages of undress, showed one of my friends in the supermarket, showed another when out for dinner, she said it put her off her food!!! i suppose its funny now but wasnt at the time LOL!! xx
Just last week while watching TV with my h, two shows had scenes/stories in them that included betrayal. I sat there with tears flowing down my cheeks. It was so hard to watch!! It was made out to be no big deal. Really?!? Movies and TV seem to glorify infidelity. They fail to show how deeply it affects the mind, body and soul. As far as I know, my h has yet to tell anyone. He frequently tells me he's grateful for the second chance because he knew I could easily leave him and everyone would know. We are coming up on 38 years together. We're working things out and for me it isn't nearly as easy as the movies or TV make it out to be. We began MC one week from discovery - the day after Christmas. It seems to be a longer process for me than it is my h. Moving forward one day at a time.
Feeling lost,Tv, books and shows are huge triggers for me. I agree the way affairs and betrayal are shown are just not realistic from my perspective. Now if a movie or tv show has an affair scene or something that especially goes on too long my husband will pause it, ask if we should change it and ask if I am okay. He says it bothers him too. The worst are the ones where it is so fun and causal like it is no big deal. Ugh I hate those scenes. Also shows like the bachelor has a gross feel dating so many and feeling like it is cheating. I just cannot. And I have started so many books and just not been able to finish, like Girl on the Train. One thing that is most interesting about this is my husband said for all the years of his affairs (10) he hated when affairs came up and we were watching tv shows or movies together. He said his heart would race and he would feel sick. He said it actually made him not want to watch tv with me or go to the movies. That way he could avoid those feelings. Kind of sick but also good to know it wasn't this fun great time to him. Not that it stopped him but good to know it affected him and it was not all good.
I, too, have been following this incredible blog along my own journey. I am 10 months from D-day and many trickle truths later, hoping I have it all. There are days I wouldn't have been able to put one foot in front of the other had it not been for you all. I am trying to get thru this first year and all the "last year at this time" memories. I have days I think we will make it and days I don't. My husband is remorseful and doing all he can for me and us. As good as things are now I struggle with the "why'" it all has changed. I just don't know if I have it in me to move on. We have been together for 40 years and it feels like the clock has reset to 0 on my worst days. I have told 4 friends that I can trust and they all have been great to me. However, 2 other close friendships are struggling. They can sense it but I just can't share it with them. I am worried that we are growing distant and it is exhausting pretending all is good when we are together. Our pastor is providing much support. An attempt with a therapist made things worse for me and has left me apprehensive about doing that again. I guess I just wanted to finally come out of the shadows and stand with you all. I agree with you Elle, those that have never experienced betrayal can say they understand but they really don't. I liken it to trying to swim across the Mississippi River. I start out and get hit with a wave and get a mouthful of water and tell myself "that's ok...keep going, you can make it"...only to keep getting hit by waves and finally giving up and turning back. I am hoping that at some point I will get far enough along that the distance to the other side will be closer than turning back. Will that ever happen for me? Thank you all for your support, even though you didn't know you were giving it to me. ❤️ Aka, Farmwife
You will! Just keep at it! That first year can be so hard so many ups and downs. I am just past a year and much better but still have hard days. In the end I keep thinking about what i have heard over and over on this site. Focus on yourself and no matter what happens you will be in the best place to deal with it. Once I focused on me and realized my husband has to work on himself things got a lot better and we both have more clarity. It was hard for me to accept but this is all on him and due to his issues and flaws. I do not need to change except being more assertive with my feelings and boundaries. He has needed to make a lot of changes. The behavior ones were easier for him now he is digging deap and looking inside.You can do this and you will!
Farm wife Well I guess I know just how you feel! Every time I think we're on the other side of the pain and trigger river, something new will pop up that sends me to my knees but depending upon how my h responds to my being triggered They are less painful and l let go and move past but I've only just begun to realize that when I have a trigger it's also affecting my h and dredging up his pain from how he did this to us. He understands now that he's not always capable of pulling me forward but he's willing to endure no matter what it takes. He's had to hear me scream and cry and shout and still he says but I love you and I will do whatever it takes! I'm afraid of the time that I'm told it's going to take between two to five years omg! I've had an extra two years just trying to keep the cow away from the two of us! So I'm not sure where I'm supposed to be but I know it's better than it was the first year of knowledge! You will get there too and it takes as long as it takes and that's all anyone of us can tell you! Hugs for the pain I know you are feeling!
Oh Farm Wife, I feel your pain. I've been married 37 years and am 11 months post D-day and facing June 14 for the one year mark of having my world collapse. Triggers abound and the election year is a bear having to listen to folks talk about Bill Clinton. I feel Hillary's pain and all of us here do too. My spouse has been on the road to healing some horrific childhood abuse. He has no desire to go back to the secretive and disgusting life of porn, prostitutes and lies. We have many good days and then I have nightmares and triggers galore. I've only told my best friend and therapist. I am doing the best I can. I feel like the marriage I thought I had was a farce. My spouse cheated on me within three years of our marriage and I told him today that as far as I am concerned, that married is gone forever. I do not want to celebrate any anniversary except potentially the one that began with his disclosure and sexual sobriety. All the rest is bull. He does not see it that way as he is a sex addict. I understand intellectually about sex addiction and the fact that it "isn't about sex". That does not mean it does not hurt like hell. If I choose to begin my new marriage with a man who is faithful then that is how I see life. He can hold on to whatever he wants about the past 37 years but they are dead and gone to me. I pray that my daughter never has to suffer like this. If I did not have adult children who would be devastated by the knowledge of their father's sexual acting out I would be out of here. I promised to wait a year before making any decisions. Every day I choose to stay and get through the day. It is not always easy however I am hoping it will be worth it.It is getting easier every day and my husband is really doing a great job of being a better person. He knows that this is he only chance. Hang in there. This site is awesome. Signed, Beach girl
Farm Girl, Beach Girl et al,This is the worst of it. That first year is really an exercise in wrapping your mind around the unimaginable. Up feels down, black feels white. The world feels unsafe and unpredictable.But...you will discover that you have a deep reserve of strength that you never knew. You will realize that even on the days when you think you can't take another second of this...you can. And you will. And then you'll survive another day. And another. And one day you'll notice that you haven't cried quite so much. And that you actually forgot about your pain for a minute, or two. You'll laugh at something. Or smile. And within that sliver of not-pain is your opening. It's slow, so incredibly slow, to move through this pain. But you are moving through it, even if you don't realize it.And the day will come when this is a memory. When you can look back at it and realize that, within this horrible experience, there were lessons that brought you to a better place. The price is high. But you'll get there. I promise.
Farm wife, you will get to the other side of the river, your strength will take you wherever it is you want to go. I'm so glad you've come on board this site really will have your back, so many women with so much bravery and courage makes my heart melt. I do love being around you women, you inspire me. 40 years marriage!!!! Well done you. Take some time out for yourself farm wife, rediscover who you are, what you like doing and lose yourself. Take your foot of the accelerator pedal and breath. We're here for you. Xxxx
The only people that know the full extent of my husband's betrayal are him and I. Shame has kept me silenced. I know too well that people whisper, and would wonder what I was doing wrong to have a husband cheat on me so many times. I also didn't want my kids to be put through unnecessary pain - they are still young.But ironically tonight I spent the evening with my sister in law and found out that he ex husband cheated on her three times, and after the third she realised she was never going to change him. Last year she remarried to a man who cherishes her, in a way that makes me envious! It has been on the cards since Dday, since he has shown zero inclination to take any responsibility for his actions, but I have finally made the decision to end this pretence of a marriage. Tomorrow I go home, and when the timing is right I will tell him that I want to seperate. I am terrified, but I know now that this is the right thing to do.I hope you ladies will still be beside me as I enter these uncharted waters.
PiperWe will all stand behind you no matter what you choose to do! I'm glad you have some clarity of your situation and just be the same strong woman you are that has gotten through some rotten life experience and please understand it's not you that did marriage wrong it's his choice to cheat that got you to this place! I'm right beside you and we can walk together or even run if we need to! Take your power back and bravely march forward!
Piper, I too feel that shame and it seems that is how society looks at it. Or the other way I have seen is almost indifferent which is disturbing too. I am thinking of you as you move forward. You know what is best for you and I admire you and hope you continue to come here. I can imagine how scary it is but as Elle said figure out the next right step. It sounds like you know what your next step is. Thinking of you!
Piper. That is a complete sentence. Complete. I have so much respect for your choice and I know it isn't made out of a desire to punish, but an acknowlegement of what you are willing to accept (or excavate) for your best life. We may all be thousands of miles away from one another (or we might be neighbours), but you can be assured that we are all united on these roads we travel. The man in my life often asks me how I can stand to look at him (sometimes I cannot) and he asks me almost daily how I am so courageous to want to try and reconcile (sometimes I don't). I look at your choice and see it as a reclaiming of YOU. I strive to frame my decision as an opportunity for the two of us to heal--but it has to be collaborative. It would seem you have expectations that aren't being met and you are acting as your own advocate and doing what is in your best interest. Well done Piper...the moment will come when your decision is a beacon for another betrayed woman "I am a lighthouse rather than lifeboat. I do not rescue, but instead help others to find their own way to shore, guiding them by my example". Here's to Piper and all of her guts.
Piper, I agree with the others and stand by you as well. We must all do what is right for ourselves. I admire you for trying so hard. Hopeful 30, I too feel the shame. I despise the way society looks at it. It actually feels like a shameful little secret that I only hope no one else discovers. One armed pie maker, you're right, we probably are neighbors and just don't know it. Here's to Piper and all her guts.
Hi PiperSometimes it takes a lot of courage for us to listen to the truth in our hearts and often it can also take time to really know what that truth is. I have often found that my truth will whisper to me while fear and pain yell and scream. I admire your courage to hear and act on your truth. I also admire you for standing up for yourself and the type of relationship you deserve. We all deserve partners who will cherish us. You will always have support here, we all walk our own path to repair a marriage or move on and take one step at a time. I will be thinking of you and sending love and support. Becky
Oh Piper! Sending you strength for tomorrow.
Piper, We're always beside you. An army of women who support and respect the choices we each make as we heal from betrayal. You sound as though you're coming from a place of deep strength and conviction about what is right for you. And that's the best any of us can hope for.
10 months since Dday and last night found two e-mails my husband sent to another woman at work. Nothing bad really, but one of my rules after finding out about his affair (with a coworker) was that he did not need to interact with women at work whom he has no reason to talk with. This woman that he has emailed is one he admitted previously that he found attractive (when I made him tell me about every woman he works around at his new job) and that he doesn't work directly with her. So while the emails were nothing at the moment, I can see that they were the beginning of him reaching out again to receive attention from another woman. He says he realizes he broke my trust, but that it meant nothing and that he wasn't even considering sleeping with her. I told him that he has obliterated any trust I have built up over the past 10 months and that he broke one of my rules for restoration between us. For the first time in our marriage, we slept in different rooms in the same house. I don't know what to do. I don't want to spend my life being made to feel worthless and unloved. He has been going to weekly counseling and reading books recommended by his counselor and trying to decide what kind of man he wants to be, but his ability to compartmentalize is mind boggling. I feel like I back at Dday again. My heart hurts just as much as it did then.
Grace,I too have felt that same way. I have thought can I ever really trust you again? Also it enters my mind are we just two very different people in how we handle situations is my husband's moral compass, boundaries and ability to compartmentalize so skewed? It is a struggle.We just had a big conversation last night how he sees things as separate and not influencing each other. Like his friends and their behavior or watching porn. Where I feel the opposite that it is all connected in some way. And I do understand a little of that is male and female but why am I on one side of decisions and he can end up on the other side and not see the logical way until I point it out. My therapist is surprised by that. He feels he was overindulged as a child by his parents and got a lot of attention for being an athlete and this feeds into this a lot. Always pushing the envelope and cutting corners.So this is what I told my husband. I explained to him that since he violated my trust in the worst way that our marriage is different and might be forever. I have forgiven him so I do not hold these things over him. But when he does something as simple as not checking in with me or it could be anything else it affects me a lot due to the betrayal. Maybe it will lessen as time but for now it hits me hard. And of course on varying degrees. But at the heart of it every action and decision does need to be thought through. My husband says he does think if I was next to him listening to him, watching him, reading his texts or emails would I be okay with it. And my therapist said this is a good measure for him since he lost his freedom and autonomy when he did everything he did. I do give him some slack since I do not want to monitor this and he has to be the one to prove himself not me catching him. I have laid down some really definitive expectations and told him how he makes me feel even if he is not cheating, in a chat room or anything that means anything it still hurts. We have a new parameter due to the infidelity. And I said I will not spend the rest of my life with him if these things are not followed. I would honestly rather be alone and I told him that. It hit home. I never have said that to him even after dday 1 and 2. I think as I have progressed through recovery when something comes up the pain and hurt is a million times worse. My therapist said that is normal and somewhat self protection, he said it is good. After so long with betrayal it is almost like resetting the internal warning system. So I try to think of that. And I think it is good you made him realize how serious this is. I talk with my husband a lot about how something that seems innocent eventually can become something. It is a slippery slope. I know my husband does not like me to remind him but according to what he has told me that he never looked to cheat and one of the two other women pestered him for four years for his phone number. So for four years he said no for some reason and then one night he gave it to her and what happened he gave her a ride home and that affair officially started. He did not go into anything thinking this is going to happen. I just keep reminding him of how gradual this can happen and we need to be open and transparent about anything if this will work for me.Also do you see a therapist together? Maybe that would help. My therapist cannot believe what my husband has framed as "normal" behavior and he is a therapist. I know he gives good advice but he is a master compartmentalizer and he also sees the worst of the worst so I think all those years he told himself I am not that bad.
We have done joint counseling a few times. Mostly I just cry and talk the whole time and he sits quietly and stews because he feels I am making him look like a complete jerk in front of the counselor. I think when he sees the counselor, they never spent much time on the actual affair and instead spend a lot of time talking about qualities he lacks because of his insecurities from being abandoned by his birth mother, a cold judgmental adoptive mother, unloving father, etc. etc. etc. so he can excuse most of his behavior because poor him, his life was so hard. He says he wants to change who he is at the core and decide who he wants to be. But to me, it's weird that having personal integrity, honesty, and loyalty just aren't naturally important to him. Basically, I think he's a narcissist who thinks he's awesome, but needs nasty whores to tell him so because he doesn't quite believe it enough about himself. And yes, he doesn't realize that the potential for an affair starts when he begins interacting with someone on the sly again. One of his defenses against the recent e-mails was, "She's married." I laughed in his face because the woman he slept with before was married and that didn't stop her from anything.
I get all of that. And early on I was a lot more emotional than I am now. I would say now if I get anything it is irritated and annoyed. I am less tolerant. Which is good I was too passive and tolerant before. My therapist I see alone has been a big help for me. He reinforces that my beliefs and values and the way I see things are more in line with what is normal and more importantly healthy. It helps as we talk so I can frame my words when I talk with my husband. For us we had a long dynamic of gaslighting and no matter how I brought something up he either had a reason, excuse or in some way it was my fault. And nothing ever changed. Now I see that for him it was his way of coping with what he did. He had to make me out to be the problem, the bad one in the relationship. And you are so right there is nothing except what is in them to stop from having an affair or pushing boundaries past where they should be. There are way too many women out there who hold no regard for themselves or others. And ultimately it is his decision. All I know is i have given my husband a second chance so it is his job to prove himself. For us he cannot tell me one thing I did or a way I acted that led to his affairs he says it was all him. So he needs to do the real work. But it did take time for him to see the scope of it all. I think reading books for me and him has helped a lot. My therapist suggested reading a chapter a month. Spend 30% of the time reading and the rest talking together and read the same info over the month. And one other thing that helped both of us was setting up one time a week to talk. That way we both knew when it was, it was mentally easier. I could work through what I wanted to say in advance. It decreased how emotional I would become. It allowed me to feel like I had more control. He did not feel blindsided and worry every day I would bring up the affairs. And honestly I did not want to discuss it every day either. This whole thing is such a learning experience for sure!
Grace,I think Hopeful 30 has given you some really good clear advice on how to respond. Your husband still doesn't get it. He doesn't get that this is no longer about him (ie. not wanting to look bad in front of the therapist) but about being fully accountable for what he did to YOU. And doing everything he can to make up for that and be the husband you deserve. Until he can step outside of his own ego and his own desperate need for attention and approval, he can't really be there for you. I love Hopeful 30's weekly "dates" to talk about where you both are, what you need, etc. But he has to be willing to do that and to be there emotionally, not just physically. It's hard for a lot of guys to really take responsibility for the pain they've caused. There's a lot of shame and guilt and it is tempting for them to just minimize our pain or wish we'd just "get over it". But it doesn't work that way. Counter-intuitively, the more we're able to talk about it, the more we can express our pain to them and trust in their support, the more quickly we can rebuild trust and move through this. When a man is dealing with significant emotional issues himself, it makes his ability to really support our healing that much more difficult...which means that we're not really getting what WE need until they get themselves sorted out. And round and round we go....
Grace your h sounds very much like mine, he doesn't say very much in counselling I tend to do the talking whilst he goes on muted speech. He too was neglected by his mother and sisters but he would never see that they play a part in how destructive he has been in his adult life. My h I believe is a narcissist and needs cheap tat to make him feel better but has no feelings for her apparently they are all for me. 3 years from d day 1 and just found out he's been back in touch with the same ow again the last few months. What a toss pot, what a waste of my time my effort. Well I ain't doing any more for this man. He's out of the house and ultimately if he wants me and the kids he's got some serious growing up to do and soul searching. Let's see what he's capable of. Words mean nothing to me right now. I'm just trying to get through each day best I can. Thank you for listening xxxx
5 mos 4 days into this club... How do I move forward?!? I want to, I need to, but I keep being told by my h: it's all in the past, I never want to hurt you like that again, it was never about you, I never planned on leaving you (I'm sure this is true), quit imagining things, why do you let your mind stories invade, I'm happy now, everything is in the past, let's just move forward, forget about the past (this is hard because we have 37 years behind us...).Even just looking at old photographs of us make me think, was he happy with me when that picture was taken? I know the time frame of when his emotional affair(s) took place and when the physical affair took place so now looking back I can't help but try to piece together what was really going on at that time. What did I miss? Where was he that week? How did I miss his EA's for so long? We both admit that we should have gone to MC years ago, that we lacked honest communication. MC helped, but we got to a point where the MC said she felt we could progress on our own. Is there something wrong with me that I just can't move on? Let it go? Always wondering.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with you. I'm coming up on 2 years this month and it gets better, but I still have moments...hang I there!
Feeling Lost, For sure there is nothing wrong with you for not being able to just move on after 5 months. Not a damn thing. It's amazing how this rocks our worlds and shakes us to the core. Thankfully we have this forum where we can remind each other there is nothing wrong with us for feeling the things we feel particularly when the mr. is pushing you not to.
Feeling lost The way your h is behaving is like most all of the men I read about here. Not all but some. For one thing it's too early for him to expect you to be over it! There is no over it until you really have time to understand it! I'm at a little more than two years past the dday but we have a different monster that we delt with and your h just like mine will have to realize that this isn't okay we know it all so let it go kinda moment. You have to take your time and explore the why and how this happened. You also have to find a way to find safety and security in knowing really knowing that he has changed from his experience. You may also need to see therapy both together and individual. This isn't going to be easy nor fast but when he married you it was for better or worse and for the rest of your lives. Hugs for your pain!
Feeling Lost:At 5 months and 4 days I can say with certainty I was wearing two different shoes, I had perhaps gone tens of days between showers and the only thing I had "eaten" was coffee. Please be more kind to yourself and regardless of the "it's in the past" refrain, you must insist upon all the time you need. In 2009 I was walking across the street and someone ran me over--literally I was hit by a truck! It did a lot of damage and actually led to an official diagnosis of PTSD. No one asked me to hurry up get over it--no one said "it's in the past". The broken bones and road rash were the physical evidence that garnered me more compassion, but in truth--it was my thinking that was most damaged. Seen by some of the top doctors in the field they gently talked to me about the fact I was now on high alert due to trauma...that is precisely where you (all at BWC), are at now. There will be changes in your brain because of the psychic injuries. The good news is that the study of neuroplasticity states the trauma induced damage can be repaired--encouraging, however, that is one cold ass statement. At a speed totally unique to you, something will become different. No one can accurately predict what the something is, but it is as if the place once occupied by all the feelings around betrayal is etched into by something kinder and gentler. Elle always coached me on the magic of time--I snuffed, snorted, stomped and cried...only to discover Elle had been perfectly, thankfully, exquisitely right all along. Shawn.
Feeling Lost,It's the wish of every cheater...that we'll just "let this go" and "move on". Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. Nobody who works with people going through betrayal will tell you that we get over it by minimizing the impact and moving on. It's a long process of getting to an acceptance of what happened (which, for many of us, is traumatic), grieving the loss of our "reality" and then constructing a new reality that incorporates the whole truth. Three to five years is the general rule of how long it takes to heal from betrayal. I understand your husband's impulse. Who wants to be reminded of what a total shithead they were? Who wants to be faced with the consequences of their incredibly hurtful actions? But...too damn bad. The genie is out of the bottle and now it's a matter of dealing with it with integrity and compassion. The best way to help you, paradoxically, is for him to let you cry, talk, scream and to tell you , over and over and over, just how sorry he is and how he's doing everything he can to ensure he never does that again. And then to LIVE that truth. Read what Shawn wrote (above). Time won't work its magic though unless he's doing some work too.
Feeling lost,For me 5 months was early. And my husband said the same thing. His famous saying was this is "covered ground". It was hard. He did not want to go to therapy since he had worked through it and his affairs ended before dday. Well I went through a lot of phases over the first year. My dday was mid March. What I told him is I need you to be patient with me. We had been married 20 years and knew each other 25 years when dday happened and his affairs etc happened over 10 years. I said to him that he has known about this for 11 years and for me knowing about it 1, 5, 12 months is so little time. There are so many issues to work through from what he did, how he treated me, what our marriage meant, means now and going forward. How this affected family dynamics and relationships with friends. So I just kept saying to him if he wanted a second chance we could not rush this and yes I would repeat questions over and over. I was validated when questions I asked for months and he said made no sense well dday 2 hit and I was right all along. He was still lying to me. Out of guilt, self protection, wanting to move forward... He was super defensive too. If I brought anything up he was very defensive.Where we stand now is things are a lot better. Not perfect but I am not looking for that. And as we go along I expect more from him and our marriage. It has taken over a year and a lot of work from both of us. My experience is my husband said many of the same things yours did too but what I found is he was in fix it mode and wanting me to be better and happy. Once I was past the worst and coping much better it all started to hit him. I feel like he started to focus on himself. He had made a lot of changes already but I am talking about the deep reflecting. It has made a huge difference, lots of work still left to do. What I notice is I feel like he is truely genuine and not in defensive mode anymore. I can bring up anything and we have a really productive talk and he hears me just listening to me. Hang in there and give it time. Keep working on yourself that was huge for me. And remember at least for me it was really gradual. I liked keeping a journal. It helped me see how bad it was and how far I had come.
There is nothing wrong with you. I went through the exact same phase. Scouring pictures of him from the time of the affair and trying to see some sort of change in his face, his smile... Looking at photos from our younger son's first birthday party knowing that in the following week while the kids and I were out of town, he would betray me. I still can't have those photos on display in our home. I put away all our wedding photos for a time as well. I have slowly been bringing them back out. Moving through the grief, sitting with it sometimes even, has helped. The passage of time has somewhat, but just getting through the days (as I was doing in the beginning) was just letting it fester inside of me, leading to depression and overuse of alcohol and overspending. Also, compassion from my spouse is the number one thing that has helped. Our counselor recommended something called mirroring where after I say how I feel, he is supposed to say, "So what I am hearing is you feel like..." and he repeats what he heard me say and then I can clarify anything. I think him having to practice really listening to me (in order to repeat what I said) has helped him and I a lot.