Thursday, October 13, 2016

The story of your pain

"Blessed are they who just aren't ready to be 'over it yet'," Nadia Bolz-Weber spoke from the pulpit. The stand-up comic-turned-pastor and author was offering up her list of blessings, which also included "blessed is the teenage girl who wonders how, again, she's going to cover the new cuts on her arms" and "blessed are the addicts", from the front of a dazzling Episcopal church in Michigan.
Her blessing stopped me.
"Blessed are they who just aren't ready to be 'over it yet'."
Wow.
Blessed.
What a difference, huh?
What a difference from our usual response. The exasperation. The eye-rolling. The gritted teeth, fist-clenched frustration with those – including, especially, ourselves – who just 'aren't over it yet'.
Pain makes us horribly uncomfortable. So we try to make it go away by finding the right words. Reading the right book. Hitting on the right response. Discovering the magical solution that makes the pain dissolve.
And so we read. And we run. And we downward dog. And we write. And we treat ourselves to pedicures and new shoes. And we pour ourselves another glass of wine.
And it works.
And then it doesn't.
The pain is still there.
We're not 'over it yet'.
So we chastise ourselves. Or we believe others when they chastise us. "It's been six months," we/they say. "It's been three years."
Aren't you over it yet? 
What's wrong with you?
"Blessed are they who just aren't ready to be 'over it yet'."
Nothing. There is nothing 'wrong' with you.
You're not 'over it yet' because you're not over it yet.
Bolz-Weber isn't speaking about an unwillingness to be 'over it.' She's speaking to an unreadiness. The wound is deep. Healing will happen in layers. Layers over layers over layers of mercy. 
Your pain isn't a tumour to be removed. It is a message written on our hearts. It tells a story. And right now, that story is still unfolding. Right now, you're not 'over it yet'.
I'm not 'over it yet'. I don't ever anticipate being 'over it'.
I am past it. The worst of it, anyway.
But the story of my pain is still visible on my heart. It's visible when I learn about another one of us cast into this club we never wanted to be a part of. It's audible when I speak the words "me too" into another ear. It's visceral when I pull someone into a hug, when I look into her eyes and see the story of pain on her heart.
It's different now, my pain. The story on my heart is still written there but the edges aren't so sharp. It reads more like poetry now.
And it tells about a woman who was shattered by betrayal. A woman who, guided and supported by other women, found the strength to get back on her feet. A woman who refused to 'get over it' on anyone's schedule but her own. Who trusted her own heart, over time, to lead the way.
It's a story of you too. And it's not over.

51 comments:

  1. Beautiful, Elle. Thank you!
    Nearly a year and a half out for me. Not over it, but definitely healing. In my own way and on my own schedule.

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  2. Beach Girl here. Wish I knew how to change my name to that so I did not to write it all the time. Just after I commented on the link from the Chicago Tribune I hit your "home" button and this came up. Tomorrow is 16 months out for me. This morning it occurred to me that I will never be who I was before this happened. I will never again trust this man I married, I will never again give my entire heart away to anyone (well maybe my grandkids but probably not because they grow up) and I am OK with that knowledge. I now understand that those expectations were unrealistic to begin with so back to the drawing board to identify, accept, understand and implement the things I can do and the things I am willing to do. My heart belongs to me and I will parcel it out at appropriate times. I can accept the joyful times I have with my husband and I actually would never want to go back to the way my life was BD. Crazy as that sounds it is true. I know that every day there will be some healing and there also may be some pain and set backs but I will never go back to the way I was before. I've found my voice again and it shall not be silenced. My husband is saying, doing and demonstrating 100% devotion to me/us and our marriage. It is a calculated pleasure because the unconditional trust is not there but I can enjoy everything this is here now. Hugs to all and may our pain dissipate, even if just for a pleasant moment in time. WE deserve so much more than we got. And Elle, thank you for being you and I hope you are doing better all the time. Knowing you still have private pain is confirmation that life goes on and we can still do all kinds of things that fill us with love and joy.

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    1. Hey Beach Girl, tech advice here. When you type in, there is a "Reply as" which, if you have a google account and are logged in with show you as you. However, because I prefer to be incognito, as Still Standing, I use the pull down menu, and select the "Name & URL" option. You type in the name and leave the url blank and hit continue. And voila! Its your BWC name. I do this so much, "Still Standing" is an auto fill option for me now. :) hugs

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  3. Exactly what I need to hear. I think in this type A culture, to do lists, google everything I feel like I am moving along too slow. For me at least this is probably the only thing I have not been able to have control over. I am not even talking about my husband but about my feelings related to all of this. This is very powerful. Thank you!

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  4. It's been a little over a year for us. And my sister told me to let it go. My friend can't talk to me about my h's affair because she's still reeling from her H's affair 9 years ago. I will probably never get over it but maybe I can get past it. So I read this blog and comment and learn. I'm healing, still wounded. Sometimes I still get that hole in my heart feeling but it doesn't last as long as it did. I just take it one day at a time.

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    1. A lot of people can't talk about this but ALWAYS for their own reasons. It hits too close to home, they're too busy convincing themselves that it will never happen to them, they haven't healed themselves from a wound, etc. etc. But their inability to acknowledge your pain is always about their pain. It isn't your job to make them comfortable.

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  5. Brilliant... not get over it but past it what a better way to look at it. 17mo out im seeing his struggle or maybejust not so much engulfed in my own pain? This happened to me it sucks but it did not defeat even though i will carry it with me forever ... i thought recently... it is equal or perhaps worse that he will too only not this happened but for him ... damn i caused this and i imagine that's hard to swallow. Sighhh. Broken edges arent as sharp ... pure genuis Elle thank you and happy friday to you all... i practice walking it out and pretty pedicure toes often to not just look the part of ok but self care i need and deserve.

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  6. I mostly remain silent here, and every now and again post if I am having a particularly difficult time, but this post spoke to me. I have felt that I am abnormal because I just can't get over it after 3 years. My heart has been crushed by the one person that I trusted to take care of it. I have tons of guilt that I can't "get over it." This post makes me feel like I'm normal, ok, not so crazy, that I can't "get over it." I feel very uplifted today. Thank you

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    1. Shalleen,
      I'm glad you chimed in. Three years was when I began to see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. It took me five years before I finally knew that I was past the pain. Not over it, but past it.

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    2. Shalleen, I have been reading posts on this site for a while now. Not really commented much either. I am 13 months out from my DDay, and well, I'm tired. But here's something I read from "Healing your Marriage When Trust is Broken" by Cindy Beall, that was really helpful to me about "getting over it"..."If a neighbor, stranger, a family member, or even your closest friend starts asking you how you are and you become self-conscious about what the "right answer" is, or if your "free to grieve" card somehow expired before you're ready, don't feel guilty and don't rush yourself past the stages of grief. They do lead to healing and wholeness. The goal is to feel the pain and also to give it to God daily so you can still move forward-even in teensy, tiny increments- toward a healthy version of you and your new life. Some folks want you to quickly process the grief because the situation is draining for them or because they need you up and functioning for their own purposes. And it could be that your pain reminds them of their own painful circumstances that they have not yet addressed, and they don't want a living, breathing, sobbing reminder. But most people want to hear that you are doing better because it hurts them to see you sad. Yet sadness goes with the territory. So do tears." (p. 106) I try to keep this in mind as I continue to try and wade through the emotional wreckage of finding out my husband was a serial adulterer through 20 of 23 years of our marriage. Thankfully he is not one of those who is trying to get me to "just move on", I don't know if I could be with him if he were. I wish you well...Take care.

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    3. I so understand your pain and frustration! I have days that are virginal in their hopefulness, only to be slimed with the taint of seeing the OW.

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  7. Thank you. I'm four years out and feel 'guilty' at times for not having 'got over it yet'. A long affair by my husband will take more time than I realised to heal. This post gives me comfort.

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  8. Elle
    The story on my heart! That's the truth about the pain! It's written on our hearts forever and even though it feels like less pain, it's there for the rest of our lives. The one thing my h tells me he learned from this was how much he really loves me. The first time he said that it made me very angry and I shouted you have a sad way of showing it! Time is moving on and we're having our 38 year anniversary today and it feels like I'm happy to be here for the first time since dday! Thank you Elle for this safe sad blog!

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    1. Theresa,Beach Girl here. How long ago was your DD? I am 16 months today and it feels like I will never ever want to celebrate an anniversary again. Our 38th is in January. I've already told him to forget that day as the beginning of anything since his first affair happened three years after we married and then things got progressively worse until he started paying prostitutes in 2008. He said he had paid sex once or twice a year until the last time which was January 2015, a week after our anniversary. Of course there were hours of porn, strip clubs, and those lovely places where one goes to jerk off in private. What a sleaze. Ugh. Just typing this brings up so much rage I cannot believe it. I was doing so well.....

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    2. Congrats... not only for 38yrs but for finding your glitter of happiness.

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    3. Beach girl
      It will be two years in 10 days and she blew up my phone for about five hours with my h traveling back from a week long work trip. He was finally so sick of her delusional thinking of their affair, that he finally told her to do what ever she had to do to move on but instead she spent six months making his life hell! And finally he filed harrasment charges and she sorta left us alone but occasionally she still rides by our home. She's nuts.

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    4. Wounded
      Thanks! I'm only able to find the happy with my h because of his hard work. Although, I have always been able to find my happiness in other areas such as the painting, quilting and wood carving. I find myself to be a very good friend even though I also have real life friends that feel like family!

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  9. Get over it. Those are the words my husbands office whore spat at me 6 months after the affair was discovered.
    Get over it. Those are the words my best friend said to me 15 months after discovery. Get over it. Those are not the words my husband has ever said to me and that is why I am still willing to fight for my wreckage of a marriage 17 months since life as I had known it for 27 years ended.
    There is no get over it. I think there is maybe only a get going.

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  10. Get over it. Those are the exact words the office whore spat at me 6 months after their i-messages were discovered.
    Get over over it. Those were the words of my best friend to me 15 months after discovery and I was still in turmoil.
    Get over it. Those are not the words that my husband has ever said to me and that is why I am still fighting for this wreckage of a marriage 17 months after life as I knew it for 27 years ended. Get over it? No. I think maybe it's more like get it going.

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  11. I am about 6 months out now. I remember when I realized that I could never stabilize totally about this. That I would not be returning to the land of "carefree trust". It reminded me of a time when I was about 6 years old on a trip with my parents and big sister. They were snorkeling and I decided I didn't want to snorkel anymore. I started swimming for shore and, after a few minutes, something started stinging my legs. It was likely just sea water irritation. Anyway, this made me freak out. I started thrashing around, yelling help, panicking to the point where I thought I was drowning. An adult man on the shore yelled, "Put your feed down!" I did, and was amazed that I could totally stand at that depth. I simply put my feet down and walked out of the water. Recognizing that I could stop struggling so much to achieve something that really was impossible feel freeing. It felt great to not be drowning anymore. I will never be the girl I once was. Not with my husband or with anyone else again. I have lost some things I can never get back, but I've gained some things no one can take away from me at the same time. So maybe I'm just standing in some shallow water now. Not drowning or panicking, but realizing that the water will always be there.

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    1. Amazing analogy... your ahead of the game on that life lesson. Refer to it often hell paint it on the wall! Thx for sharing.

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  12. No one gets to impose their timeline on our healing.

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  13. Such perfect timing, Elle. While I still struggle some days, other days are good. I can tell my h is trying really hard, but some days just doesn't get it. BUT...I will heal in MY time. I will get "over it" when *I* am ready.

    Like others, I'm still trying to accept my life, my h, my marriage as it is today not what it was in the past...before dday. Things are good, for the most part, and I get up every day and do what needs to be done.

    I just realized that today I am stronger than I was yesterday. That I will be okay, no matter what happens. And I know these things because of the fabulous women on this site who have paved the way before me, who continue to assure me that I, too, will get through this. And it will be when I am ready, not anybody else. I've been told many times that it takes time. And it will happen in "my" time, not a predetermined time set by someone else. One person may heal more quickly than me, and another may take longer than me. I'm finding strength that I get to determine my healing time.

    Hugs to you all.

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  14. So interesting as I read these comments. I went back through my journals/notes and when I look back I can see how far I have come. I know that is normal not to realize it. It is normal to loose perspective. I know I really need to continue to assert myself and ask for what I need vs taking what he gives. Even if what he gives seems great I sometimes need something else. I finally said that to my husband yesterday that I need more and what I need from him. He is doing a lot and it is all great but I need more. It is a lot and my expectations have elevated. He is understanding me and responding so that is good. Little steps. But over time big changes.

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  15. I am not over it yet either. And I have to fight the voices (especially my husbands) that tell me I should get over it. And all the meaningless forgiveness talk that people throw out there just compounds it. Getting over it doesn't mean forgiveness, and neither of those things happen all at once or as quickly as everyone wants it to. My wise therapist always reminds me that it is okay to still feel what I am feeling. Now her words are what I play in my head when I worry that I am supposed to be doing/feeling something different. Trusting myself over what anyone else says is the key for me.
    And Elle, I imagine that you wouldn't be here for us if you were "over it." You have used the poetry of your pain to help us all. Thank you so much.

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  16. "We chastise ourselves. It's been three years"

    Tears.

    Blessed are those who aren't ready to be over it yet. I'm not over it yet.

    Thank you, Elle, for words that spoke right to my soul.

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  17. Perfect thinking! Thank you for the company. x

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  18. Elle,
    This is brilliant on so many levels! Reminds me of your piece on Shadow Self that is tied to shame issues and why so many of us have a hard time even moving past the betrayal. In my own case, 30 yrs of getting over it hasn't worked but sure less painful. And of course life throws more curve balls like cancer, elderly parents, and now my adult daughter' husbands recent affair. Man, that makes it really hard to move past it and brings long ago pain right back dead center! But childhood issues they shape us and growing up with a violent schizophrenic father, my husbands affairs were almost a piece of cake compared to violence. As my therapist often says about any evil thing that happens, don't let it define you and don't apologize for taking whatever time you need to heal. Healing thoughts to all of you just starting this journey.

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    1. I can see where this will continue to be a part of my life forever. I guess I was just immune or unaware before but really every single thing in my life seems to bring up infidelity. I mean even listening to Hamilton my kids talk about infidelity all the time. The news of course and every tv show or movie. Then it seems to come up in life more than ever. I find myself so skeptical of others. It is hard to trust anyone considering the one person I thought I could trust was my worst enemy. I struggle with all of this. But I know even if we were not together it would be affecting me the same way. One time my husband said he felt like he ruined me and my ability to trust anyone. This was early on and I brushed it off but I feel like he is right. I just will never seen things the same. I know in a way that is good but it makes me think are there decent people out there how will I ever be able to tell.

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  19. I was raised by an abusive mother who shamed me for having normal feelings. So of course I have the tendency to beat myself up for not being over it yet.

    In a pregnancy loss support group, someone told me that healing is not linear. Those words have helped me. It's not a straight line, and that's okay. It doesn't mean I'm failing. It means I'm normal.

    The one good thing is that my husband no longer pushes me to be over it. He says even if I'm sad about this for the rest of our lives, he's staying. Unless I tell him to leave, he's in this for the long haul.

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    1. Gee,
      No healing is not linear. You often circle back around things that still aren't entirely processed. Or you're triggered by something and you feel like you're right back at the start but it's different this time...and you move through it differently. Each time we revisit a painful experience, we see it from a slightly different angle and we learn something different about ourselves, our lives, the world.

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    2. Good to hear that over and over for me. I have never dealt with anything like this. Pretty much most things in my life have been linear or in my control. Not this.

      And Gee my husband says the same thing and since about 2 months past dday that he is going no where ever unless I ask him to leave. It is good to know they are invested and that helps makes it easier for me to stay committed to this.

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  20. Hopeful 30, I agree with you. When I have good days they are very good and when I have bad days they are terrible. I love my husband deeply and I hate him too. I'm hoping that time will temper my emotions. Infidelity is everywhere and my husband can tell immediately when something happens as he says I begin to withdraw and it is often a slow process that happens over a few days and they I cry. He feels badly and knows this will always be between us. I just can't see my way to believe that there is a light at the end of this tunnel but so many here, Elle included, seem to move on and live a good life. I still have my children and grandchildren to love on. Peace and healing to all.

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    1. Beach Girl, If only we could meet and have a good cry! But thankfully we all connect here. I would be an even bigger mess without this site. And really to hear others words to be in the company of others. I feel the same as you! And my husband feels the same. He has said he feels like he has ruined me as far as even if I chose to leave him it would still hang over me. He also says that it hurts even worse since he always did love me and loves me more than ever. He said the pain is so bad for him. He said if there wasn't that love he would feel bad but his pain goes beyond feeling bad. I know he gets it. I really feel like this will just always be present. My kids are so into Hamilton so now they talk about infidelity all the time. It really comes from every direction. And yes I focus on my work and my kids. My kids are amazing and I enjoy every minute of every day I have with them.

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  21. I don't even know who I am anymore. I don't know if I can ever get over it yet I'm made out to be the bad guy by my husband because I can't. His response "but you've said you've forgiven me." It's not the same thing. I'm miserable and I don't want to live the rest of my life like this. I'm tired of being somebody's leftovers.

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    1. Anonymous,
      You're not "somebody's leftovers" and I want you to consider that those words are from long ago, not right now. I suspect that's a feeling you've harboured for much of your life. Never feeling quite...enough.
      As for getting "over it yet", forgiving someone has nothing to do with rewriting the pain out of your shared history. Rather it's about incorporating it into your story and accepting it for what it is. Your husband sounds as though he's asking you to pretend it never happened. That's not forgiveness. He wants you to help him avoid the guilt and shame he undoubtedly feels when he's reminded of it. And that's not your job. It's his job to process that guilt and shame and allow it to shape him into a better man who's far less likely to go down this path toward infidelity again. Your job is to heal yourself from this pain...on whatever schedule that takes. Don't let him convince you that it's your job to make him feel less shitty about what he did.

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    2. Hi Elle. I posted above as anonymous. I appreciate the truth you promote on this blog. I am 13 months out now, and up until now my husband has accepted responsibility and been there through all the emotional fall out his actions have caused. Lately, this past week, I see an attitude of "am I always going to be what I did" in him, and it just makes my blood boil.
      I know to move forward in a relationship with him, I'm going to have to learn to trust his actions in recent days...but when he says things like this, I just want to punch him. I did not ask to have him step out on me and our marriage. I did not ask to have him cowardly deal with his "pain" by turning to anything that would give him a "quick release". How do I balance these two things? His need to not feel beat-up and my need to not have him "box it up and pretend it didn't happen". Thank you for your response above. It is not my job to make this "easier" on him so that we can "move forward". It's his job to deal with his crap, own it for real and allow it to shape his path. Thanks for this reminder.

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    3. Triedntrue 28
      I'm so sorry you had to find us but glad you did in such a horrible time in your life. For us it was about the same time that my h was sick of dealing with the fall out but after several of my meltdown fits, and then me patiently explaining to him that it was part of the process to understand and accept what had happened to us, I think he finally understands that it takes as long as it takes and nothing can rush it! He's also had to learn how to respond when I trigger and how to calm me back down but it took many months of trying to get us this far! Almost two years past dday but it is getting better and easier for both of us. We take baby steps together! Right now it sounds like your h is still dealing with his own shame and the constant reminders from you do make him feel awful and as if it'll always be this way but it doesn't have to be if he's willing to keep doing the hard work of proving he means what he's saying by watching his actions! Hugs! I know that pain and frustration of wanting to punch his lights out! I do it mentally now because even though I love the man, he's a man and they're always doing something that reminds us of that angry place!

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    4. Triedntrue28, I think you are right at least in my case my husband wishes it would be better for both of us. I feel like at times he is farther along but I also wonder if it is him and being a guy that he just does not overthink these things. I do know he said that not a day goes by it does not enter his mind and he does not have regret. For him though he said he thinks it is easier. He sat with this for 10 years and hated himself. He did not think if he told me I would stay. He never stopped loving me or wanted to leave. So when I agreed to stay and work it out or try his biggest fear is that he would not be able to change enough for it to be worth it for me to stay. In the end he is happier than he ever has been and as he feels like he has a second lease on life.

      We are at 19 months out from dday 1. I thought once I was past year one it would keep improving. I actually felt pretty good on dday 1 anniversary. But instead it is exactly as you say. The reality is sinking in. The first year centered around discovery and getting through the pain. Now it has settled on this will always be there and how do I live with it. I find that hard a lot of times. We had a big talk last week. His big thing is he wants me to be happy and trust him at some point. It is hard for him to hear me say I am not sure if or when that will happen. I have happy moments but am I happy with him is hard. It is hard every time your husband is not home to wonder. And I could go on and on. Even though my husband has changed dramatically I told him I need more. I told him that I am still struggling. He said great things to me and gave me wonderful gifts and cards filled with thoughtful words during the affair years. So now I think is this all fake too. My therapist says I would know. I am more aware but I also know if he wanted to do anything he could find a way. He tells me I would notice he would be more distant.

      In the end I told him everything I need. I told him I was hurt he refused to go to therapy with me. I told him I was upset that he refused to continue weekly talks. I told him I was upset he stopped reading the book we agreed to read together. And on and on. I think deep down I feel like I don't want to have this list of complaints, but if i don't speak up then I am left resenting him. I am left feeling alone. In the end I said I need you to do even more. I need to hear more from you and I need to be with you more. I said I did not know when it would get better or improve but I had to get it out. It helped me a ton. This is hard stuff. And as my therapist said this is a major injury to any relationship.

      And what I found is I write out my thoughts a lot. I try really hard to make them concise and also talk about how I feel vs. saying you to my husband. I try to be less emotional. When I cry he just shuts down. And especially since he sees this as all his fault. I also told him he needs to just listen instead of interrupting me or trying to fix it. Sometimes I just need to be heard. Those have all helped him be less defensive and more open.

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  22. He's cheated 4 times in 18 years. I just can't get over this last time. I found about 12 archived Facebook messages of him reaching out to old girlfriends in a row. That's how bad he wanted to cheat on me. It's not like it was a random thing that happened. You don't cheat 4 times and still want to be in a relationship. He's staying because he doesn't want people to know.

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  23. Love this post. Thank you for introducing Nadia Bolz-Weber. Bought the book. Good stuff.

    The grief is hitting me hard in this 2nd year. My H wants me to get past it. He's not impatient, just wishful. I'm sure for my sake, but for his sake too.

    I can't yet. I was more like him the 1st year post D-Day -- hopeful and grateful to have something to "fix." Busy. Active healing. But I think I'm feeling the settling weight of it now. How it will always be part of me/us. Everything we do becomes part of us. Can't just get rid of the ugly bits, especially when they change us so fundamentally.

    Last week I explained to my H how I imagine my grief to be an amputation. My grandmother lost her finger, due to a random blood clot. At first the amputation was awful for her -- it hurt like Hell, it made it hard to function, she noticed it 24/7. Eventually she adjusted. The phantom pain only came in flares. It wasn't all bad -- she got a 10% discount on manicures :) It ended up just being the way she was -- Gram only has 9 fingers. Fact. No biggie. The rest of her was fine. Just one finger missing.

    I never had the sense to talk to her about it. But I bet she could always summon the feeling of what it was like to have 10 fingers, to take her hands for granted. Her finger was gone and it never grew back. And even though losing her finger wasn't the worst thing that could have happened, by far (the clot could have lodged in her brain or heart instead), I bet she missed it. In my memories, I can see her tapping on the stump, always. Sigh.

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    1. I agree year two has been hard for me too. I think what I struggle with is it just never feels better. It cannot be undone and really that feels like the only thing that would make it better. I feel like compared to a medical issue like cancer or something else that happens to you. For me it is worse since this person chose actions that hurt me and us. It is that choice he made to go down that path. And for me it is sinking in that this really happened.

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    2. Sal, which book did you buy? They all look interesting. Still Standing, thank you for the technical assistance. Hope you are both still reading this thread.

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    3. Hey Beach Girl,
      "Accidental Saints." Love and highly recommend. Not so much for betrayal issues specifically, just for life.
      Heads up that it is definitely written by a Lutheran pastor... I'm not sure the book would be as powerful for someone who is not from a Christian tradition and/or not interested in wrestling with what that means in their life. Nothing negative, but it might not touch as deeply if the Gospels, etc are not in your tradition.
      Enjoy!

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  24. wow to the original post. Hopeful 30, I am right where you are.

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  25. DD was May 27th his year...trickle truth all summer even tho it had ended. An 18 month long affair. 3 weeks ago OW sent a package with many of their texts..she left out the arguing ones and talks of ending it but sent all of the Love, sex and fun texts. Now I'm even mor devastated. He texted her while we were on our 20th anniversary. He brought her in town for a baseball game.. How do I ever get over it now that I know the depth? He begs for forgiveness..biggest mistake etc.. I can get past it..help please. Lost...

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    1. In search of me
      I'm so sorry for your pain. I understand how much it hurts to learn how much he appears to have been involved with the ow. However, the reason she shared the hurtful text was simply to hurt you as much as she's apparently hurt. I'm not going to tell you it's easy to get past any of this hurt but it is possible. If your h is willing to work hard and show you he's a changed man. I'm also going to suggest a therapist that specializes in infidelity. I've been drifting down this path almost 2 years and none of it has been easy but it is worth it. You have to go slow and take care of your basic needs. Five months is so new and raw. I'm slowly getting myself past all the 'truth' she chose to stab me in the heart with. We're replacing those hurtful memories with better more honest memories and the new ones include plenty of one step forward and two steps backward. Others here will have more advice but all I can say is just take it slow. Hugs!

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  26. I have been reading a lot but not commenting because i am so stuck in a "limbo" and feel like such a downer. and I'm also embarrassed, so embarrassed that after D-Day #1 i was so damn HOPEFUL and was CONVINCED that my H would never do "that" again. Then a year later, he did, and he did for a year and a half and I had NO idea. After that first year we had for the most part stopped talking about his affair (with a prostitute) and I thought we were both moving on. He started to withdraw but never ever ever thought he would go back to where he was, and worse. To find D-day number two was so totally different. The first one shocked me and broke my heart. The 2nd one has completely left me off center. He is off working, 2000 miles away right now and we've been apart, my choice since that D-day in June and he's moving back home sometime in November. Until then it's like limbo. I should be working on myself but I am really too exhausted (physically and emotionally) to do anything but read, read, write and get therapy. I friggin hate Limbo. He says he's doing "fine" without his 12 step meetings (there are none where he is--and there are FEW for sex addicts anywhere) and says is not tortured by his sex addiction, compulsion and need for hookers to fill the empty space inside of him. Really? he's done that in four months? It's hard to believe a word that comes out of his mouth even though I believe that that is what HE believes. My fear is that when he comes home I will never ever be able to stop talking about it. Few friends know and people at work have NO idea. so trying to act like everything is normal is also exhausting. I'm feeling bad right this very minute so I thought I would just get this out there. You ladies are my life raft, I swear to God.

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    1. Steam
      You're not a downer! You're an honest lady whose heart has been twisted and bruised. The feeling of limbo has to be hell. I'm so sorry he keeps you on that damn roller coaster! I'm saying prayers that he's able to live what he's saying. It's really hard when all we have are each other here for comfort because I have not shared this shitfest with anyone else. That's why I think it's taken me so long to get this far. I'm not totally wonderful every day either but I'm working on it! My suggestion is to keep venting here because it really does help just to spit it out and here is the only place where no one judges our setbacks nor our choices for the path we walk! Hugs!

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    2. Steam, I'm standing right beside you with my arm around your shoulders. So on the downer thing... You are ALLOWED. This is a safe place, show up, be real, let it out. You aren't obligated to pretend here. On being embarrassed about being hopeful... Hope is precious and a reflection of the beauty and strength of your soul. The one who should be embarrassed is the idiot who pulled this shit twice. On not really working on yourself...reading, writing and going to therapy sounds an awful lot like working on you.
      I can hear how tired and wrung out you sound. I'm there very often too. But know that feelings are not permanent. Something will shift.
      I promise myself ever morning that I will be ok no matter what, that today I will do my best to focus on me and what serves me. Some days that's a killer run. Some days it's tea and a nap with the dogs. Some days it's epic meditation. Some days it's cheesecake.
      I so hope this next post limbo phase works for you, serves you and gets you somewhere better. Much love.

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    3. Steam, I second what Theresa said. It is so hard to know who is safe, who to share with and this is a safe place. Puke away my hurting friend. Been there done that and may always need to purge once in awhile.

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