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TryingEveryday posted 6/3/2013 12:33 PM

Well, the fact that I'm here speaks volumes. Never thought I would be, but then, I don't think anybody does. Like all others, I'm looking for advice, support, and just someplace to talk. Especially with others who have the same experience. Which we all know, SUCKS.
My wife and I are working this out. She didn't have an affair, but she did cheat. Two one-night stands. She had issues. I had issues. Our marriage obviously had issues.
She struggles with depression and she felt like she and I were leading separate lives. We are both in our second marriage and have five kids (all teens) between us. We'd both been cheated on in our first marriages, so we are both well aware of what it feels like. But she was unhappy. Unconnected. Depressed. When she felt like our marriage was never going to be what she needed, she checked out. Slept with two different guys in two different cities (she travels for work). When I found out, through accidental discovery, my world crashed. You all know that feeling. It only took one day, and we both knew we needed to fix this.
So where are we now? Four months out and still trying. In most ways, our marriage is already better than it ever was before. We are completely connected. I love her deeply, and I know, for a fact, she loves me as much. She has no contact with either, and has expressed heartfelt remorse and sorrow. We have gone to counseling together and separately. Our entire attitude and approach is different, and better. We talk everyday. She feels ashamed and, in her own words, "disgusted" with her actions. She is absolutely the love of my life and I know we can get through this. But . . .
How do I deal with the triggers and the sadness. If it weren't for her infidelity, we would have the perfect marriage. We are best friends, and totally attracted to each other. Our sex life is amazing. In short, it's all good, except for our collective depression, etc over what happened. Yes, I'm angry at her. She knows that. She has done everything right and possible to get us past this. I'm not excusing her or what she did. But, because I love her and can't imagine a life without her, I have to work past it. Counseling helps, but on a day to day level, I find I think about it a great deal. That punch you in the gut feeling. Yes, I know . . . time.
I have to admit, the images are getting less seldom, and my connection with her stronger, but it still just hurts so damn much. Some days, the sadness is just overwhelming.
Anyway, I know this is rambling, but I'm new here and just wanted to throw some stuff out there.
Thanks for any advice, or anything, you give.

Jrazz posted 6/3/2013 12:58 PM

Welcome to SI, Trying.

You've found a great place to talk this through.

I'm not excusing her or what she did. But, because I love her and can't imagine a life without her...

In an effort to help you try and gain perspective, I have to say that it feels to me like you ARE making excuses for her BECAUSE you love her and don't want a life without her.

I have to work past it.

Gently, SHE has to work past it. With you. FOR you. She has to help mend your mind and heart. This isn't something that you can eventually run far enough away from.

You're not supposed to just get over it. That foundation of trust is gone, as you know from past experience. Until she digs out the real "whys" and/or "hows", how are you ever going to feel safe.

Yes, it sounds like you had issues in your relationship. That doesn't explain why someone chooses to betray their partner. Issues are cause for unhappiness, not cheating.

I want you to be truly happy and feel truly safe in your core. I think this comes with her doing a lot of introspection and work, not just saying "I'm really, super sorry and it will never happen again."

I do hope it works out for you two. I just don't want to see you trying to bite the bullet and carry around your broken heart in a box for the rest of your life.


[This message edited by Jrazz at 12:59 PM, June 3rd (Monday)]

huRtZ413 posted 6/3/2013 12:58 PM

In the same pond as you WH seem to love how his work life was going and was feeling good about himself or so I thought . he had a ONS with a college girl my complete opposite . We're doing good and talk and have gotten close. But I also feel he like he doesnt deserve this after treating me like that but I want it ! I want him . Idk what to say just that I feel ya! I try to write my feelings down and let him read it because I can say what I want without interruption and even though it may hurt him I feel just a tad bit better letting it out . I just let him know my current emotional state and the need to vent and to try and be understanding that my love won't change but I need to express my disappointment in him and his choice to entertain this girl who was probably thinking she was big and bad for being able to sway my husband away .

[This message edited by huRtZ413 at 1:03 PM, June 3rd (Monday)]

Gr8Lady posted 6/3/2013 12:59 PM

From a female perspective, without knowing your wife I will tell you what I would want.
It isn't always about the sex, but rather the feeling you are the most important person in the spouses life. Have you read " love language" or taken online quiz. (Not affiliated in any way but found it important). Each of us find the"little things" that matter and make a significant
Difference quite different than our spouse. For example you could, knock yourself out doing something for your spouse thinking "you were really trying". When your spouse might think come home early and start dinner to show me you acknowledge my efforts (example only that is why love language is important, it is about value of efforts put forth).
I see you have teens... That in itself is overwhelming. I got that. Blended family even more complicated . Work on the two of you
With sincerity. Absolutely with no hold barred.
I wish you success

Gr8Lady posted 6/3/2013 13:05 PM

Not excusing a ons it still adds up to betrayal and broken trust. The issues must be addressed and foundation rebuilt
Just suggested in my previous post you both need to make one another priorities.

mainlyinpain posted 6/3/2013 13:05 PM

Trying, so sorry for your pain.
((HUGS)) to you.

Sounds like you are really doing the best you can. The triggers are bad, they suck you down. Has she really dealt with all the issues that brought her to this? To do feel that this still needs work? It is good that you caught this before an actual affair happened. I can tell you that pain is unbearable, but that doesn't minimize your hurt.
I am so sorry that this has entered your life. Have strength.

TryingEveryday posted 6/3/2013 15:35 PM

Thanks to everyone for the feedback so far. It really does help to hear from others. Those feelings of isolation and that "I'm the only one," are hard and this forum shows me that I'm not alone.
My wife and I really are working to the core of the issues of what happened. I do know how sorry she is, and she is making every effort to "fix" herself as well. She never tries to excuse her actions, or blame them on me. We both agree that the issues in our R were both of us, but the choice to cheat was hers alone. She's asked me for a lifetime to make it up to me. We treat each other with dignity and respect and we constantly "do" things for each other to show our care. Like I said, from the outside people would believe we have the perfect R.
I will never be glad this happened. I wish it could be erased. But the changes it has caused are undeniable. We are better and stronger, though we still have a long ways to go. She is working on her depression issues, both through counseling and a change in medication. I am working on my now ripped to shreds self-esteem. She is also learning to deal with her disgust at what she did and so am I.
I guess what I'm really after here is some hope that the feelings that beat me up will fade. That the images will go away. I know we're doing the right things for our relationship, but I need some help on what to do for me.

PinkJeepLady posted 6/3/2013 16:42 PM

"Just need to talk" is a perfect title, I think we all need to do that now and then. I would listen to Jrazz, who always gives great, insightful advice. I agree with that perspective.
What also struck me is that you have some very positive things going on. It sounds like you are both committed to working on this. I am glad you feel connected to her, that seems like a step in the right direction for your own personal healing. I have to say that sometimes I think about that Tina Turner song, "What's love got to do with it?" or that other one "Love Hurts", you know what I mean?
This is a hurt like no other from my experience. I thought I had seen it all, until now. I know what you are saying about being overwhelmed with sadness. I wish I had the magic cure for it.
"Taking care of yourself" is so much easier said than done. I ask myself all the time what does that mean exactly? I am hoping that you are able to express your feelings of sadness/pain/anger to your wife. Hopefully your counselor will also give you some good advice on dealing with them. I was given some great advice when I was a young mother to do something everyday that can't be undone (like dishes, laundry, ect) , such as reading something, going for a walk, whatever you enjoy. If you don't feel like doing things you enjoy, or used to enjoy, make appointments with yourself to do something. I schedule jeep rides with myself, how can you not smile when you are driving around in a bright pink barbie jeep with the stereo cranked?!
I will say, that the mental images do or can fade with time. I normally am a fun person and it took awhile, but when I realized I could laugh again I knew I could survive this.
I am wishing you the very best, hang on to who you are and what YOU want and need!
Figure out what "take care of you" means and then do it!

TryingEveryday posted 6/3/2013 17:28 PM

PinkJeepLady - thanks! And if I had a pink jeep, I'd certainly go crank the tunes. Probably get some weird looks - but whatever!
Jrazz - also thanks (and everyone else too)! I do believe that my wife is doing the things she needs to do, and that she is being honest. While I know it sounds naive to trust her again after only four months, I do have to make a choice. She is going to do whatever she is going to do, no matter whether I trust or not. But I do. And I see everything she is doing to help me heal, and to heal herself. You know, all the normal things that are "musts" to get through this. But other things as well. We are not only working on ourselves, but on our existence as a couple. The realization came for her when she realized that I was going to walk. I didn't know if I could do this. When she realized she could've lost me, it hit her hard. I'm not trying to make myself sound better than I am, but I am a good husband - that much I do know. I'm loyal and caring. I have zero issues on showing emotion. I'm a great dad (that one I will own!), and I"m not one of those "you're the woman of the house so you do it," guys. I'm a great cook, and love to cook. We clean and do yard work and all of that together. We just weren't connected. Weren't moving in the same direction - both of our faults. And my wife, despite that fact that she is gorgeous and sexy, never felt loved. A great deal of this comes from her first marriage which was mentally and physically abusive. Lucky me, I'm dealing with the effects of that. But again, according to all that I've read online (which is a great deal), and all that I'm hearing on this forum, and all that I'm getting from our counselor, we can absolutely be one of the couples that not only makes it, but comes out stronger. Actually, if anyone makes it through this crap there's no way they aren't going to be stronger! But I mourn the loss of some things in our relationship. Innocence, complete trust, etc. Despite my confidence that we are going to do this, I hurt so damn bad. You know, that kick in the stomach. Just needing to talk and vent and associate with similar people. This is a fairly small town, and we are very, very active in it, and no-one outside of my family and our kids know. Personally, I want it that way. The humiliation is already profound enough. My family is incredibly supportive. They love me, but they love her too. They are fiercely loyal and will do anything to help us through. The kids? It was hard. We each have a 16 year old daughter. Bet you can imagine the different reactions there. Great deal of anger.
My wife knows how badly she screwed up our entire life. She decimated us, the kids, and herself. Guilt and disgust kick her ass daily. But I don't. We talk - daily. I tell her exactly how I feel. Whether angry or sad or whatever, I share it with her, and she listens. This really sucks, as you all know, worse than anything. It is worse than someone dying (which we also experienced a very tragic death in our family recently - so it's been quite a year). But talking about it helps. Talking to her, but also talking to you guys, because you KNOW what is happening inside of me. And you know how much it hurts.

Skan posted 6/3/2013 18:32 PM

Frankly, except for the kids (we have none), you two sound like a flipped version of us. My FWH had a ONS. We were living the lives of married single people. Looked good on the surface, but lots of disconnects underneath. He was clinically depressed, things were horrible at work, he felt isolated, alone, unloved ... just like I did. Unlike me, he decided to see if having sex with someone else would make him feel "pretty." It didnt. And then after he told himself that I probably wouldn't mind and that I'd never find out, I did find out and boy, did I mind! And with a very short amount of time (like 2 hrs), he figured out that I was more than willing to kick him out of the house unless he committed completely and totally to me. Which he did. A small amount of TT, but not enough for me to leave. Immediate, like less than a week later, MC and IC. And doing the work every day.

And at month 4, which is where I think that you are, my trust was starting to come back, things were getting much better, and I was almost pursuaded that we would make it. The mind movies were getting less. The intrusive thoughts were starting to quiet down. Now, we are doing very, very well. Still problems, of course. My DDay anniversary is next Saturday. He just got pulled over for DUI and that triggered the HELL out of me. But we're handling it. We're moving forward. We're taking what comes, learning from it, and helping each other to heal.

Would I have chosen for him to screw someone else? No. Decidedly not. Would I want to go back to living the way we were living 1.5 years ago? HELL no. Do I wish we had "got it" without having to work through infidelity? HELL yes. But what's happened, has happened. We're both stronger people. We're both more honest people. I've re-discovered my strength. He's re-discovered his connection to me. We're both re-discovering each other.

Keep on talking. It's when you quit talking, that you have problems.

TryingEveryday posted 6/3/2013 20:52 PM

Wow Skan. You're right. Everything you say is dead on. Things are getting better and we are getting better. The good days are really good, but the bad ones sincerely suck. What you wrote at the end, though, strikes me the most. Would I have chosen to have it happen this way either? Like you, HELL NO. But we are better. Not because she did that. But because it made us open our eyes. I see that she wasn't getting from me what she emotionally needed. She sees that I'm worth hanging on to, and that I have limits.

Thanks for replying to my message. But I'd like to ask you a question.

Do you ever feel like a fool for staying? Not because they aren't trying, or you aren't trying, or anything like that. Just foolish because they humiliated you and yet you stay? My best friend totally betrayed me and yet I still want to be best friends. I sometimes just really feel like a weak idiot. Do you ever feel that?

Skan posted 6/4/2013 19:38 PM

Never. Because he did exactly what was needed to do for me to stay and I was honest and up front with him on what I needed from him. I don't feel like a food. Leaving would have been easy. Staying was hard, but now, it's becoming worthwhile.

I would have felt like a fool if I had seen what I had seen and did nothing about it.
I would have felt like a fool if I had crumpled at his feet and begged him to stay.
I would have felt like a fool if I had allowed him to waffle instead of making an immediate decision.
I would have felt like a fool if I had felt like I had to "save" him from his pain.
I would have felt like a fool if I had let him get away without IC and MC

Those are the only reasons that I would have felt like a fool. If I had not discovered inner strength and come to know, deep down in my soul, that if necessary, I could have walked away, then, I would have felt like a food. (((hugs)))

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