I feel like my head is spinning with every emotion I ever felt about my marriage. The joy, the sadness,the stress, the frustration, the hope, the obvious signs that I banged my head up against for months...as I veered between sadness and rage today, I felt for the first time I was losing my grip. I've been gripping for almost two months and today....buh-bye grip. I have hit the point where I feel if my WH had believed in us and in our marriage the A never would have happened. How did you reconcile this reality? How did you see the forest through the trees? How did you reach a point of peace when you reached this point? How did you come to grips with someone giving up on you?
The sickening melange of emotions. I get that too.
What I have found for myself (and keep in my that I am still relatively new to this as well - 2 months since DDay) is that most of those emotions have filtered out. At the moment, it's pretty much anger that I'm feeling right now, which I know doesn't sound encouraging, but the way I see it, I'm gradually shedding each of these feelings one by one. Eventually the anger will fade as well, I hope.
I'm fairly certain you can't play games like, "If only X was true, the affair never would have happened." Maybe yes, maybe no. My marriage was on rocky shoals before the affair, but this is the way I see it: the troubled state of our marriage presented a test to my wife, and she failed on every level. It was a test of her perseverance. She failed. It was a test of how much she was willing to invest in the marriage, to save it, to improve it at the 11th hour, when everything was at stake. She failed. It was a test of her devotion to her family, not only to me but to our daughter. She failed. It was a test of her faithfulness. She failed. It was test of her character and her honor. She failed.
Sometimes we never get to see people for who they truly are until we see how they behave when they are tested and tried, until we see how they act when the going gets tough.
This knowledge made it easier for me to let go. For a long time, my WW was walking away from me and I was chasing after her. Coming to grips with what her affair and abandonment really meant made it possible for me to start moving away in the other direction as well.
It hasn't necessarily made me feel better. As I said, I'm mostly working through my anger at what she has done, but now I'm sick with one or two emotions instead of dozens. I think that these will fade as well.
You will stop feeling rejected when you realize it wasn't at all about you. The OW could have been anyone. There was nothing special about her. There was a void in your WH and he filled it with sex.
Undoubtedly OW sees nothing wrong with his drinking. She probably tells him how fabulous he is and encourages the drinking behavior as something positive:he's a fun guy.
Had you been trying to get your WH to stop drinking? If you did, you just stood as stark contrast to the OW. Your WH just can't see that you were interested in what was best for him. OW is just interested in the attention/ego strokes.
This is what was happening with my WH and his OW.
This is the "order" of events: spent the last six months educating myself about alcoholism and attending open AA meetings and Al-Anon meetings. I was witnessing a terrible relapse almost two years in the making, and was so focused on dealing with the addiction, I never placed how it was related to the A...how they went hand in hand. Finally worked up the courage to confront his drinking head on after my stepdaughter had a terrible incident at school (she lashed out at a fellow student and stabbed him in the back with a mechanical pencil because he "annoyed" her). Her cry for help became my action. When he refused treatment, I got my stepdaughter to her mother's home out of state, and I left. After I left, I found out about the A. He is with the OW now. She has also left her husband. He tells me loves me and I'm an amazing woman who deserves better. I don't disagree, but wow it's hard. I can't get around the idea of someone shutting down his wife and his daughter for his own satisfaction...turning his back on our team and placing himself above all of us. I know it speaks volumes about what is important to him...just makes me so angry he can be so selfish. The one thought that keeps me going is I had the courage to confront alcoholism in the eye, and I will find the same strength to confront the A in the eye, too.
I like the thoughts dbellanon shared about failure. Seeing the test of marriage as a test the person failed.....
The final kick in the head? Finding out three days ago my dad is dying of cancer. It's so much to process at once....and I'm starting to wonder if I was a serial killer in my past life that this life is currently paying me back for
It's a process through wich you integrate the reality at your own pace. The denial bouts, the numbness and the parts where you are holding on to your marriage are slowing the pace so you can absorb the shocks. The crying, the searing pain helps the reality to sink in. They will alternate, but perhaps you are starting to progressively letting go now. Be gentle on yourself. Pieces of this new reality will gather one by one as you greive the relationship you thought you had.
I know it's hard. A lot of caring peeps are here on SI to help you go though this, day and night. Try us.
Use the deep breaths and meditation to stay with your feelings, not to tame them. While this seems counter-intuitive, you will find out that accepting every moment as a legitimate part of the process will help you make it through the day.
[This message edited by burnt_toast at 7:22 AM, July 3rd (Wednesday)]
Everything you are feeling is completely normal. Completely.
Ups and downs will happen and for a long while. Just be kind and patient with yourself.
It is normal to question everything. What is reality, what was reality? I hated revisiting holidays etc. after finding out about the affair. There were many times I felt my whole life was a fašade.
Deep breaths. Nothing in life is absolute. NOTHING. So yes, he did a horrible thing but not everything about your marriage was false or a lie. Know that in your heart.
It takes a lot of IC and time to get to the point where you can accept this has happened and only then can you really begin to heal.
I am sorry you are hurting so.
Please consider seeing your doctor as you may need help with depression and anxiety. They are very normal occurrences after finding out this horrible news.
Sending healthy hugs.
Your WH doesn't sound like he has the strength to stop drinking. I imagine every time he looks at his family he feels like a failure. And I still bet that OW is accepting, if not encouraging of his drinking.
He has to hit rock bottom and he hasn't yet. I am so sorry for you.
It really sounds like his A is a side effect of his drinking.
You have tried. You have done your best, but ultimately he has to want to change.
How do you see the forest through the trees? How do you reach a point of peace? I haven't. I don't see past it yet. It's too new. It's too raw. The hurt, the anger, it just spills forward and I wonder at times if it will ever stop. But at some point, I decided that I wasn't going to give the OW who had up to this point been my best friend the satisfaction of seeing me at my lowest. That I had given all I had to give, even in our rockiest of times, to making our marriage work. He didn't give up on me. He gave up on himself. He stopped trying. And when I realized that, the pain and anger subsided to a manageable level. Because I realized, I couldn't have changed his choices if I tried. She was in his line of sight, she offered him everything he could ever have wanted and no responsibility. This was his wrong. And, while there are plenty of things I could have done differently, I can't change his actions. I can only change my response to them.
You're hurting, and with good reason. Don't run from that hurt, friend. I'm not saying allow yourself to drown in it, but pain is there for a reason. If you don't acknowledge it, it's going to pile up and become this monster hiding under the bed. I urge you to seek counseling. Maybe not even MC. Just for you. Seek out someone who is in your corner, and only your corner.You're stronger than you'll ever realize, and I commend you for holding yourself upright and strong. One step at a time, one day at a time.
A Dates: March 2013-May 2013
D-Day 2013: May 24
MW: My former best friend.
Thank you so much for your responses, thoughts, insights and words of encouragement. As I'm sure all of you have experienced and know, each day brings a new round of thoughts and feelings. It's quite a roller coaster! I'm letting myself be on this roller coaster and feel it all...process it all...when it hits, I sit with it and say, OK, it's hitting...feel your way through it. Don't push it away. I am in touch with the feelings...it's wanting to touch them that's the hard part!
Had to have contact with the WH today to discuss a divorce question from my attorney. At the end of our conversation, he told me to have a good independence day. Couldn't help myself...I responded being independent of alcoholism and a lying, cheating husband was reason to celebrate. Normally, I would then recoil in horror at myself for saying such a "mean" thing. Oh no, he's going to think I'm a mean person. But today, I let myself have that moment. I let myself have that expression. Of course I got crickets in response, but that's OK. I suppressed so much anger and frustration over his alcoholism during our marriage, that I think this is just natural for it to spill out. So let it spill and be a little messy. Not everything has to be neat, and I have nothing to lose at this point.
Josephine85: I absolutely agree with what you said about his drinking, her encouragement, and that he is far from rock bottom. The AA meetings I've attended have really illuminated that for me. It's also an issue that runs deep in his family. His mom is struggling with alcoholism, and has had As herself. He has a long road ahead of him.
As for the road ahead of me? I see the potholes and rumble strips....just need to keep steering back into my lane. I do have the choice to turn the wheel I will keep posting and keep reaching out. I've contacted a few therapists and am working to get myself into therapy. I know I have a good future, just need to do the work to see it.
I have hit the point where I feel if my WH had believed in us and in our marriage the A never would have happened. How did you reconcile this reality? How did you see the forest through the trees? How did you reach a point of peace when you reached this point? How did you come to grips with someone giving up on you?
Be sure to ALWAYS keep in mind that his affair had nothing to do with you or your marriage .
Infidelity stems from personal issues - not from marital issues. It had nothing to do with how good or bad your marriage may or may not have been nor was it about how good or bad a spouse you may or may not have been. Unresolvable marital issues result in separation and divorce - not affairs.
Also, it is not a matter of him giving up on you or your family, which he certainly did, rather, he long before gave up on himself.
What he was looking for was something lacking within himself - not something lacking in the marriage.
These are truths that will help you come to terms with what has happened. It still does not relieve the senselessness of it all, but that relief will come with time and you realizing the strengths that existed in you that, believe it or not, you are showing right now.