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4 years out and desperately needing advice, all are welcome

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Elbell posted 7/2/2013 13:22 PM

As the topic says we are almost 4 years into R. FWH has been transparent, has maintained NC, has shown authentic remorse. He snapped out of his MLC as soon as he established NC. He tells me he loves me all the time. We still go on dates and occasional (although much less often) "talk dates".

Right now I'm in a place where I feel strongly that I need to find closure. I'm exaughsted by R. It feels almost harder at 4 years than it did in the first few months, if that's possible. No, I don't cry every day anymore, nor do I wake at night, I've gained all my normal weight back... the initial trauma has passed. But it feels harder in the sense that after 4 years I still have no trust and I still don't really believe he loves me. I'm deathly tired of the graphics that run through my head sometimes.

I sense that FWH has really moved on - I feel like he's ok with going back to status-quo. Meanwhile, I'm jealous at every turn, I still trigger (esp. right now because this is the "season" the A was happening), I still need a lot of reassurance. I'm sick of feeling insecure and pathetic... the result is that I feel very alone in my marriage.

At this point I'm becoming worried that I could be sabotaging R. I sometimes feel justified in my anger and hurt, but sometimes I sense that I'm holding onto it on purpose when I don't have to be. I don't know where I'm supposed to be in the healing stages and I know that's a very individual thing, but I'd like to move on now.

SO MY QUESTION: Does anyone have any ideas that would help me turn a corner? Anything that helped you? Did you ask something of your FWSpouse? or did you somehow take responsibility for your own healing?

Just fyi, I (and we) did do a lot of counseling (weekly at first, then monthly for nearly 2 years). I found posting here to be more helpful because you all know something of what our M has been through. Thank you all for any thoughts you can share.

atsenaotie posted 7/2/2013 13:42 PM

...somehow take responsibility for your own healing?

^^^ This

I still have no trust

I took responsibility for my own healing, but FWW had to prove to me that it was safe to stay with her while we were "not divorcing". She had to own her A-crap, and then she had to work on her issues that lead her to having her As. She did these things, and while it took time to change who she was, I could feel safe that she was remorseful and I could trust her.

I still don't really believe he loves me

I belive that FWW loves me in her own way, but love is hard for her. This is not my concern anymore. I love me, I like who I am, and she chooses to stay with me. I think this is about as close to love as I will ever get after dday.

Meanwhile, I'm jealous at every turn

Jealous of what? Part of my healing is that I get and believe that her A was not about me. I do not feel jealous of her, I feel pity that she has to live with what she did to herself, her family. She has to live with knowing OM have carnal knowledge of her.

I'm sick of feeling insecure and pathetic...

This is on you, IC helped me to work through my "Mr. Nice Guy" and insecurity issues.

Did you ask something of your FWSpouse?

Early on I asked for proof she was staying NC. Later I wanted to see proof she was changing the parts of ehr issues that had caused her problems. I wanted apologies to family affected. I wanted her to be able to be a fully functioning M partner, and accountable for her own needs.

I don't know where I'm supposed to be in the healing stages and I know that's a very individual thing, but I'd like to move on now.

I see it as a new lifestyle, an on-going process of improvement.... of me. When my M works it is great, when it does not, I am ok with who I am. I worked at improving my job, our finances, my social network, my relationships with my family, my hobbies and activities. It took years, but I am at a better place now persoanlly than I was before dday and I intend to keep working at this. FWW and my M can tag along, or not.

heartache101 posted 7/2/2013 14:17 PM

I am many years out.
Soo at the 4 year mark I was busy raising the boys and just being a mom. I never looked into the whys etc of his affair. However I did think about it. We lived in the same town they were in my face weekly small town.

Soo what I do now is. I stop looking into the past.
I managed to do this thru therapy and EMDR therapy love it!!
What do you want in life? Does he fit the life you want? Is he enough now?
These are the questions you need to answer. You say you are lonely.

What do you do when you feel lonely? What are you doing when you feel lonely?
Learn to communicate with your spouse. Tell him hey I feel lonely I need xyz...
Give him a chance. Tell him you don't feel his love. Maybe he can do something about that. Communication is the key. I have been married 30 years this year.

Good luck..

m334455 posted 7/2/2013 14:26 PM

Reassurance --

One thing that works is getting support elsewhere. I stopped leaning on my husband to deal with my problems/issues. I used the "if I was single who would I call?" method of working things out when I felt like I needed a helping hand.

Feeling alone in your marriage might be permanent. A price of R.

My husband doesn't make me feel attractive. He tries, but it's meaningless to me coming from him. Sometimes I think that's sad, but he earned it.

What is the purpose of holding on to anger? Or are you still going through the stages of grieving?

You do have to take responsibility for your own healing. Actually, I took responsiblity for my own everything. I'm kind of "married but single." Most days my WH is gone 11 hours. I do all the housework, cooking, cleaning, laundry, I pay the bills, I take the kids to and from school and daycare and attend all their events and do the grocery shopping and work full time at a rather demanding job. Oh, and the yardwork now... yee haw.

We never did any counseling. He wouldn't listen so what would the point be?

crazyblindsided posted 7/2/2013 14:39 PM

One thing that works is getting support elsewhere. I stopped leaning on my husband to deal with my problems/issues. I used the "if I was single who would I call?" method of working things out when I felt like I needed a helping hand.

This is what has been working for me too. I'm still evaluating whether my M is worth it and will be everyday until I don't feel the need to question it anymore.

In the meantime I'm taking this approach too:

I'm kind of "married but single."

But not single in looking for other people kind of way, just in taking care of myself.

crossroads2010 posted 7/2/2013 14:44 PM

I am also almost 4 years out...married 35+ fWH doesn't in my opinion, show real remorse, but he you said..seem satisfied with our marriage now...he goes out of his way to make sure we have a trip or event or something planned in the near future for us to plan on and look forward to...I think this is his way of showing me attention/love and holding on to me. I feel pretty secure that he is NC still, but as you probably know there are always those times when I feel unsure and insecure. I will never really know if he chose me me and us or if she let go of him or it was just too much to lose his family and life. I don't think I am where you describe wanting to be and I don't think there is a magic door we go through and the world suddenly looks different, nor do I think our world/marriage is ever going to look like the old one again. I think the change is subtle. I think we just have to get to a place where we are going to be okay no matter what happens tomorrow and that is a process that no one else can do for us... not IC, not fWh...just us and so it IS lonely. I have gone through a lot of periods over the last four years where I spend so much time examining my own thoughts and insights that I tend to block out other people...I am not sure that is healthy, so I am trying to get back more of a social life that doesn't involve him. Our time is precious, my own alone time is precious, but me having a life outside of my marriage, work and family is important too. It is definately my responsibility to find my own happines...otherwise I will crash and burn if he does this again.

I have thought about learning more about EMDR therapy...there seems to be mostly good feedback from those who tried it.

Elbell posted 7/2/2013 16:32 PM

Gosh... thank you for such well-articulated responses. So I obviously am not alone in feeling lonely!

I understand (in a cognizant way) that things will never go back to the way they were pre-MLC, but I guess I do hold out hope that I will get to a place where I trust in his love and stop the obsessing over the past and the A.

The theme I'm hearing from all of you is that healing, ultimately, is my responsibility... and part of that seems to be accepting the new reality.

(Yes, I would say anger is still part of my grieving process.)

I have picked up a couple of hobbies - one in particular that allows me quite a happy distraction, and that gives me a sense of accomplishment (it's a true skill and I'm earning some money) - I agree with the idea of focusing on those things that are theraputic for me vs. hoping my H alone will fill the emptiness.

I did an almost instant flip from extrovert/socialite to introvert/hermit after DDay... perhaps it's time to reevaluate whether that is helping or hurting me. On the one hand I was set completely free from filling other people's expectations (this is part of FOO issues for me) It's like I went from being a doormat for family & friends to digging a moat with alligators. It can't hurt to try friends again.

I will look into the EMDR, I actually did it with a IC many years ago. It sounds like a lot of people have been helped by it.

THANK YOU again... really.

twicedestroyed posted 7/2/2013 20:41 PM

My husband doesn't make me feel attractive. He tries, but it's meaningless to me coming from him. Sometimes I think that's sad, but he earned it.

This really resonated with me. I often tell him hugging him is like hugging my mother (whom I do not have a great relationship with) it is loving but not in a romantic way, it just doesn't do anything for me. For me I think that is part of my/our big problem...he burst my happy bubble of him being my KISA...he was flawless in my book...our life wasn't the greatest, we weren't wealthy or overly in love we just had a great life and then the A (and the death of my daughter...the only 2 things I was/am in life, a wife and mother, both taken from me within weeks of each other.)
I'm sorry to t/j but I'm also 4 years out and really struggling with R as well...

hopefullromantic posted 7/3/2013 14:48 PM

Like you, I was on the 5(+ in my case) yr plan to R. My H had been very remorseful almost from the start, but he still didn't do all the things I'd asked for and this caused resentment, which hindered my healing.

What changed, for me, was me. I learned early in R that my H's A wasn't my fault, but I still held onto the belief that it was my responsibility to make sure my H fixed himself. He didn't want to be "fixed" tho. Didn't even want to admit that he was "broken". I finally accepted the fact that I can't make my H do anything. Nevertheless, I still loved my "broken" H, and not only that but I could still be happy being married to a "broken" H. Whether he ever "fixes" himself or not, I'm more happy with him the way he is than I would be w/o him. So I finally let go of much of the resentment.

My H has made changes too, tho. He has done many things to protect our marriage. He really did change many behaviors. It's been 6 yrs so the changes feel permanent. I may never feel completely safe, but I do feel much safer than I did 6 yrs ago. And I see his devotion to me every single day.

The point is, for a variety of reasons, my H can never give me all that I want. It turns out some of my needs were really just wants, after all. Once I figured this out, I was able to let go of a lot of resentment, and just enjoy what I did have.

LoveActually posted 7/3/2013 15:49 PM

Hi Elbell--wow, honestly I could have posted a lot of what you said. I'm just over 4 years too. This may sound weird to some, but I would describe it as I am almost bored now--there is no more drama, no more long talks, no more discovery, no more hyper bonding--I almost find myself looking for something and almost hoping to find it--I know, I know, really weird because I would die if I found something. Honestly, I think I have become so addicted to the drama of the affair--all of it, the discovery and the forever encompassing affair fall out crap. Sometimes I feel like it's the only state of mind that I can really relate to at times. In the last couple of months, I have really been into the whole concept that this is just marriage--not good or bad--just marriage. Marriage is hard work and one of the most difficult relationships to understand and dissect for most couples in my opinion. Without the affair, my marriage would not automatically always be perfect, fun, amazing and interesting. I think when someone is betrayed and hurt by an affair in such a powerful way, that we betrayeds sometimes forget that marriage can just really plain suck in general! I'm to the point that I keep focusing on the fact that I can't blame every emotion and feeling for the rest of my life on the affair. It's not always about the affair, no matter how much I want it to be. I think sometimes we are just experiencing good old martial blues and they get caught up and assigned as post-affair feelings. I don't know that's just my two cents and what I will go with today! Hugs.

[This message edited by LoveActually at 3:55 PM, July 3rd (Wednesday)]

kansas1968 posted 7/3/2013 15:57 PM

Don't know if this will help. It is a post that a betrayed husband posted some time ago that I copied and saved. I am just over two and a half years, and it is still hard. It is just that blasted knowledge of the affair that we will always have to live with that kills me. Everything in our marriage is so much better, you would think I would be grateful for that and just move on, but that is just easier said than done. Anyway, here is his posting on "Obsessive Thoughts" and it did help me. K

Here is the article. Hope it helps. K

So I am going to be taking a break from this site for a while. As reconciliation is going VERY well I find myself still obsessing about infidelity (The Subject, Healing, Pain, Triggers and Everything surrounding it) I don't want it to define me anymore. My mind needs to take a break. But I found this article about Obsessive Thoughts and Found it very insighful. So I am giving it a try. Hope this helps any of you that has been doing what I have been. How to Stop Obsessive Thoughts?
Written by: Sen -
If you have reached a point in your life where you want to be rid of the continuous torture of the “thought generating” mind then it’s your good fortune. Obsessive or negative thoughts can make living miserable when you are plagued by them, but this very situation can become the invitation to transcend mind and be free of suffering forever.
Can you stop obsessive thoughts? – If you could it would be great, but the truth is that it’s slightly more complicated than just suppressing your thoughts which at-most you can do for a few seconds. Plus suppressing thoughts is even worse than enduring thoughts. It builds up a lot of negative energy inside.

So how to stop thinking horrible thoughts? The secret to stopping obsessive or negative thoughts is to detach from the mind. You cannot fight mind with the mind. That’s what this article is about. Let’s look at this in more detail.

What Causes Obsessive Thoughts?
If you generated thoughts, you could’ve controlled them too. The truth is that you don’t generate thoughts, the mind does. It’s on auto mode most of the time. You can see this for yourself, can you predict what you will think 30 seconds from now? If you can’t how can you assume that you are generating the thoughts?

If you believe that you are your mind, that’s a false notion again. If you are your mind then how can you observe the thoughts? So you must be separate from the mind to see what the mind is doing.

So the mind generates thoughts, which are mostly just energy forms. These thoughts pass through like clouds. We identify with some of these thoughts and obsess about them. So in truth all thoughts are just neutral energy forms, it’s “your” interest or association with the thoughts that makes them obsessive. If you can understand this truth, you have taken the first step towards getting rid of obsessive thoughts.

How to Stop Obsessive Negative Thoughts?
If you are asking this question, ask yourself another question – “is this question not another thought? It’s a thought about killing thoughts”. All your attempts at suppressing and stopping thoughts will fail because you will be using the mind to stop the mind. The police man and thief are both the mind, so how can the police man catch the thief?

So you cannot kill the mind by force. The mind dies its own death by the poison of disassociation.

What gives power to a thought? – Your interest. If you have no interest in a particular thought then it loses its hold over you. You can try this out now. Let the thoughts flow through your mind but don’t take interest in them. Just stay as a bystander or a watcher and let the thoughts float.

Initially you might have a hard time watching thoughts because of your inherent habit of associating with each thought that arises. It helps to know that you are not your thoughts, that thoughts are just energy forms created in the mind. Why does the mind create thoughts? No one knows – it’s just something it does, why bother. Do you ever ask why does the heart beat?

With a little practice you will get really good at watching thoughts and not involving yourself with them. You will stop giving power to thoughts by not giving them your interest. Thoughts die immediately when they are deprived of this fuel of interest. If you don’t associate with the thought or give power to the thought, it will wither away quickly.

What Are Thoughts?
Past events get stored as memories. Your mind conditioning and beliefs are also stored as memories. All this is unconscious storage; the mind does all this in auto mode. Perceptions and interpretations are created in the mind based on its past “external” conditioning and also its natural conditioning (genetics). These interpretations, perceptions and judgments come up as thoughts in the mind, and they can positive or negative depending on the mind’s conditioning. Thoughts are generated based on the past incidents/memories, future projections and interpretations on the present life situation. It’s like a computer trying to predict or conjure up projection based on the data it has collected so far.

When thoughts are negative in nature (thoughts of worry, anxiety, stress, lack, resentment, guilt etc) they produce resistance to the movement of your life, and this resistance is felt as suffering. Negative thoughts will always stand in resistance to the movement of your life, like blocks of stone in the midst of a swift current of water. Life is a stream of pure positive energy and hence any negative thought will stand in opposition to it, causing friction which is felt as suffering in the body.

The thoughts in your mind gain power from your attention and interest. Your attention is the fuel for your mind. So when you give attention to negative thoughts in the mind, you are unconsciously fueling it and thus attracting more momentum for these negative thoughts. The momentum of negative thoughts in your mind will slow down, and ebb away, automatically when you stop feeding your attention to it. Stay as an open space of awareness without contracting your attention on the negative thoughts of the mind, and soon they will lose their momentum.

You can focus on the positive thoughts generated in the mind, and thus develop a positive momentum in your mind. Every time your mind produces some positive thoughts, e.g thoughts of love, joy, excitement, abundance, beauty, appreciation, passion, peace etc, focus on it, milk it, and give attention to it. This will cause your mind to attract more positive thoughts and thus build a positive momentum. Whenever it thinks negatively, don’t give it attention or interest, this will cause the ebbing away of the momentum of negative thinking. It’s really that simple. Once you understand the mechanics of how thoughts gain momentum in the mind, you will be in total control of your state of being.

The Practice of Watching the Mind
All you need to do to get rid of obsessive thoughts is to watch the mind without getting involved. You will get really good at this with just a little practice. This practice, or “sadhana” as called in Hindu scriptures, is the root of awakening from the illusion of mind.

Without trying to understand this practice just implement it. The more you try to understand the more mind gets involved. Just watch the mind and you will soon see that you are not the mind at all. That the mind is like a machine in your head that generates thoughts based on your attention/interest. Be free of your mind by depriving it of your interest. This is the only direct path of becoming free of the mind.

tarnishedring posted 7/4/2013 18:19 PM

Wow, I really needed to read this post!
Thank you to the OP for posting!

I'm actually at 1.5 years since DDay and R began, but I feel very stuck. Things have been going well...
My hubby has done everything he can to help us move forward, we've gone to counseling, we've talked everything to death...
But, I just feel like I'm not really "over" the A. (Don't know if that is the right word...I feel like I can't truly move passed it.)

Reading the posts here are really helping.
Honestly, I think part of me is afraid to be truly happy again. I was truly happy, before my world imploded, so I don't trust being happy anymore. (It feels like a trick.)

Anyway, back to reading. Thanks again!

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