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BrokenOak posted 7/17/2013 22:34 PM

I'm still trying to catch my breath. I don't even know what to write yet, except thank you to the administrators of this site and to all those who have contributed to the Healing Library. It has been my only sanity.

D-day occurred Monday night when I found inappropriate text messages. I was 1 week into a 3 week business trip cross country. (I live West coast, but work about 20 days/month East coast) We talked for about 45 minutes that night.

The next morning I found SI and did as much reading as I could focus on. I was a complete zombie at work, trying to pass it off as a rough night's sleep (not untrue). I've tried to take care of myself. Lots of water, but I can't hardly eat. Since d-day until lunch today I'd managed a few pieces of fruit. Today at lunch I tried to eat a plate of spaghetti, only to have to stop half way through to keep from loosing it on my coworkers.

This morning I told my manager I *had* to get home (without going into detail), and thankfully he agreed let me return early. In 8 hours I catch a long flight back to the West coast to start whatever comes next.

We've exchanged a few calls, emails, and texts, but we haven't looked into each others eyes another yet. I used to think losing my dad was hard, but this...

After talking to my 5 y/o daughter on the phone last night, I completely fell apart. She is so precious, and has such a beautiful spirit. I mourn what this will do to her.

FWS and I have both read through all 3 FAQs, have a MC appointment Tuesday, and are both working on getting IC setup. I pray we both have the strength for this.

blakesteele posted 7/17/2013 22:57 PM

This is the first time I have gone into the Just Found Out forum....been nervous to read and feel the hurt involved with the discovery.

I am 10 months out. By the time I found and joined this site I was 4 months out...totally missed the Just Found Out forum stage...went straight to Reconciliation forum...then to back to Reconciliation. This path is seldom linear...don't expect that.

actually, keep expectations low. Don't expect your wife to be remorseful at the level you might expect. Don't expect you will avoid the anger phase. Don't expect this not to change you.

I feel your pain. I know that zombie feeling...the asking to leave work early with no real good reason...the seeing and hearing a 5 year old girl bubble along as they do...completely unaware of the danger lurking at the door of the safety she is taking for granted...and you being in the unenviable spot of having to maintain that safe feeling for her while feeling so unlike you have ever felt before.

Read up about the FOG. It was a critical missed step of mine and, consequently, more harm was added to our journey...try to understand the fog and put things in place to minimize the damage during this time.

remember to breath. don't rush to forgive and comfort your WS...there will be time for that. Right now focus on getting from one moment to another...and don't beat yourself up if you stumble...that is going to happen.

God be with you.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 10:59 PM, July 17th (Wednesday)]

Jospehine85 posted 7/17/2013 23:07 PM

Keep reading in the Healing Library BrokenOak.

1. Your Ws needs to be completely transparent. All passwords must be given to you: facebook, email, phone, etc

2. All contact with AP should stop immediately and a NC letter, written by both of you should be sent.

3. Counseling - consider IC in addition to the MC already scheduled.

4. Your WS will want to hide info or minimize. I think this is a natural desire. BUT your WS needs to understand that trickle truth will be the death of your relationship.

It is best to dump ALL the information out at once. Then it is just healing from that point forward. Dishing out or finding out new info bit by bit for months is like water torture to the betrayed.

5. Ask for a timeline. Specify what kind of info you want.

6. Put almost every ounce of energy in to you and your daughter. Don't make the mistake I made and put more energy into thinking about the A and your WS.

7. Expect your emotions to be all over the place.

Make sure you have a good game on your laptop to play during the flight. It will distract you. And bring Kleenex and plenty of water on the flight too.

You will survive BrokenOak. It will hurt, but you will survive.

Dare2Trust posted 7/17/2013 23:12 PM

I'm so sorry....

You will find lots of caring support here. Post any time; and someone will be here to listen.

Good luck; and I will be thinking about you.

Skan posted 7/17/2013 23:23 PM

Hey there. Try really hard to get some rest, if not sleep, during your flight home. You'll need to be as rested as possible. Do you have a relative or neighbor who can take your daughter for a play date while you and your WW talk?

If you can't keep food down (and that is common, I threw up every day for months), get Ensure or another complete nutrition food drink and keep them on hand. Pedalight is also good for keeping hydrated and your electrolytes balanced.

Remember. You rarely get the truth at first. Rarely. Mostly what you get is the tip of the iceberg. Be ready to be lied to. There just isn't a nice way to say that. (((hugs)))

BrokenOak posted 7/18/2013 01:39 AM

Thank you all for the concern and advice. Sleep... If only. I've managed about three 30-60 minute naps since this happened. I'll take something when I get home.

I can't yet bring myself to read too many other topics here. I think the Library and my own thread(s) are all I can handle.

With that in mind, is it appropriate to share here the email (edited to remove personal details) I wrote to WS the morning after D-Day? Also knowing that I expect her to read this site (I directed her to the Healing Library), if not possibly participate in the forum.

It took all I had to write it. It started as a personal journal entry, but became a message both to myself and her. It mostly just speaks to my reaction, and choice to move forward. Thoughts?

OnAnIsland posted 7/18/2013 02:24 AM

Yes you can share that here if it will help you.

You have lots of good advice already. Take care of yourself. Let yourself feel and express your emotions, don't give yourself too hard of a time. And take your time making any decisions.

Marital counseling: just a warning on that. It may help you to talk about the A in a safe place, and to work on communication. But don't tackle any pre-affair marital problems. What you can get done in MC varies a lot depending on the health of those involved,. Your ww needs to figure out why she was able to do this and to get healthier to be a full partner in any marriage or marriage counseling. You need to heal from this terrible betrayal. IC is the best place for you both right now,

Be gentle with yourself.

BrokenOak posted 7/18/2013 03:03 AM

Thanks for the thoughts on counseling. She will be starting IC next week. I will probably be starting in about 2 weeks. Unfortunately, I think I will have to see a counselor here out East since that is where I still have to spend most of my days. I have been trying to find work back close to home, but so far nothing that will support us.

D-day was about a 45 minute phone call late Monday night when I confronted WS about inappropriate texting I discovered between her and an old friend she was befriending through his own marital collapse.

Last night my world fell apart. There was only one person that I trusted implicitly, and that trust was shattered. This is the most difficult experience of my life, and I donít have the one person I need to help me through it. I would lose my dad all over again rather than do this.

Rage, nausea, depression, doubt, betrayal, frustration, violation, foolishness, shame. Iím overrun with them, all at the same time. But I have to keep my shit together. I have to go to work and pretend Iím at 100%, when all I want to do is curl up into a ball and explode all at once. This paycheck keeps a roof over my familyís head, keeps my wifeís grandmother in the care she needs, pays part of the mortgage on my in-lawís house, and pays the other debts we've accumulated through a decade of bad decisions. Very bad things will happen if Iím not 100%; yet I am anything but.

Working away from home has been painful. When I leave work there is no one to share with, to vent with, or to just be with. I go to bed alone, night after night, more often than not having drunk too much. The numbness helps me forget that I canít hold my wife or my daughter. That I am missing time that can never be recaptured. But I donít know any other way to keep my family off the street.

I canít drink this problem away. My body would shut down before the alcohol made a dent in what Iím feeling. So I must stop. One will lead to two, will lead to too many. I have to get through this whole, experiencing the full force of every emotion, or I will not get through it at all. As of now Iím done.

I trusted. I trusted you with my very being, and I trusted that you did the same in return. I trusted you to support a friend in a difficult time, and I trusted that, seeing the damage in his relationship, surely you wouldnít do anything to jeopardize ours. Today that trust is gone. I donít have confidence that what you tell me is true. When I asked you about the situation, you denied that anything untrustworthy was happening, but it was. Where do the lies end and the truth begin?

How do you fix what is so broken? Sometimes love requires an intentional choice. A choice to trust in the face of doubt. I made that choice years ago, and today I look the fool for it. Despite recent circumstances, Iím trying to make that choice again.

If there is going to be healing, there has to be complete, raw, unadulterated honesty. This is my first step down that path, and Iím trusting that you will take the next step with me.

I want an end to all things <OM's business>. No calls. No texts. No Facebook. We are not going there again. Apparently <OM's wife> isnít completely off her rocker after all. And no more deleted messages. If you wouldnít say it in front of me or to me, it shouldnít be said. That goes both ways; Iím not asking anything Iím not willing to do myself. I want us to talk about everything that has happened. 1 rule: only truth.

Right now I donít know what it looks like on the other end of this tunnel, for I do not yet see the light. I know it has an end, but I do not know its length nor destination. All I know is that the only way out is forward.

When youíve read this, let me know what you want to do next.

How cruel is hindsight. I knew WS had gotten emotionally attached to the situation, but I trusted her. After 10+ years of struggles (financial, loss of fathers for both of us, medical, sexual), I though we had reached a place where we both acknowledged that things weren't perfect, but we had survived so much together.

Sidenote: I wish the animated emoticons at the bottom of the composition window could be hidden. Every 5 seconds when the bottom right one barfs it reminds me of the sickness in my own stomach that I'm trying not to feel.

Gipper posted 7/18/2013 06:06 AM

Sorry that you are here. The people on this site are amazing and very wise. Your email is very well written and your pain jumps off the page. That being said, the odds are that you will have to put on your stomping boots if you are to save this M. Maybe not, but it seems to be the case most of the time. It is often said on here that you can't nice them back into the M. In my case my natural intuition was to be kind and that was always the wrong move. Keep posting here and wiser folks will walk you through this. Dont let her make the decisions. Go back and tell how how it IS going to be if she wants to remain your wife.

jjct posted 7/18/2013 06:14 AM

Sending strength to you brother.
Just know, there's 10's of thousands of us, & we all got your back.
Keep posting.

TrustGone posted 7/18/2013 06:58 AM

I am so sorry you are here, but it really is a great place for support. I was also working out of state when I found out about my WH#2's A. OW called me and told me they were engaged and had been for over a year. I was blindsided and devastated. I tried to finish the week out on my job, but I just couldn't concentrate, so my boss let me fly home early. Luckily she had also been a BS at one time so she knew what I was going through. Plus OW was living in my house when I wasn't there and I felt I had to get home to get her off my property. I didn't even have a ride home from the airport and had to get my MIL to come and pick me up and take me home.

WH#2 was anything but remorseful. Blamed me for the A and his unhappiness. I didn't even know he was unhappy or that our marriage was anything but good. I totally trusted him and thought he was home taking care of everything while I worked my ass off on the west coast. He lied, said he would end it. I tried to go back to work the next week, but I just got sicker everyday. I finally got so sick and weak that WH#2 had to fly to get me. He said the A was over, then I find out a year later they are still seeing each other and had taken it underground. OW left me a note in my jewlery box. I didn't take it laying down on DDay#2 like I did DDay#1. I no longer blamed myself because I had corrected everything he said was the reason he had the A, so I then knew it wasn't about me at all. Shortly thereafter I found SI (which has been a God sent).

I now know it had nothing to do with me. It is his brokeness and selfishness that caused the A. I was just collateral damage. I wound up quitting my job because I was afraid to leave my home (my bad choice). I thought we were working on R, but found out he was just lying some more and trying to hide his A.

The reason I tell you this is that you need to concentrate on you and your daughter. Your WS needs to concentrate on what is broken in her that allowed her to do this in the first place. Do not let her use excuses and blame you or problems in the marriage. The A is 100% her choice. She didn't ask you if it was OK for her to get involved with someone else. She also didn't voice her unhappiness or seek IC or MC to fix whatever problems she had. You can't help fix what you didn't know was broken. Do not try to nice her or feel sorry for her like I did my WS. First she must deal with her own issues before you can both deal with the marriage. Expect her to lie and minimize the A. She must go totally NC with the AP and be willing to be 100% transparent. She must be willing to go to IC and fix herself. She must be willing to take ownership of the A and not blame you or your marriage for her choices. She must be willing to help you heal and reform some of the trust she has destroyed. It is a long process and not an easy one if you want to think of R. It is also OK if this is a deal breaker for you. Just don't make rash decisions and give yourself time to get over the initial shock before you make any life altering decisions. Keep posting and get support from people that have been there and know how you are feeling. (((HUGS)))

painpaingoaway posted 7/18/2013 07:11 AM

Hi Brokenoak. I was going to shorten your name to initials, but I figured 'BO' just wouldn't go over very well!

Anyway, welcome to our club of broken hearted, crushed spirits, and endless tears. But from someone several years into R, I can tell you this will get better. I know, hard to believe that now, but, it's true, one day, the sun WILL shine again for you.

I am so sorry you are hurting. Based on what you have written, you sound like a wonderful person. Hardworking, kind, generous, loving, dedicated to family, faithful man. She didn't know what she had, did she?

We have lots of men on this sight that will come along to help. So listen carefully to their advice.

Do please immediately have yourself and your wife tested for STD's. NOW. And NO unprotected sex until a doctor gives you an all clear. If you are out of town, have your wife give her doctors office permission to call YOU with her results....
Because, well, as we all have come to know, cheaters lie. You both must be tested now, and again several months from now.

I am so sorry for your pain.

Stay strong honey.


1Faith posted 7/18/2013 10:18 AM


So sorry to find you here a place no one every wanted or thought they would be.

Our hearts, hugs and prayers go out to you.

Your email was very good. What was your WW's response?

Stay the course and be true to yourself.

Post often and know that there is always someone here that understands and cares.

Good luck. Keep moving.

blakesteele posted 7/18/2013 10:58 AM

Oh snap! Great advice throughout. All of it great...some of which you wont be prepared to heed and put into play...don't beat yourself up over is a very confusing, trying time. This is serious trauma for BS's. As you process you will be able to embrace and put into play the advice you will find here. will hate that word for a while...wanting this to have a quick fix...but at some point you will see TIME is a key component.

I never even thought of the unprotected sex thing until AFTER we had done it several times. Of course, for the first month after my fWW swore it was not physical...and I believed her. Miracles of miracles my wife did not test positive for any STD's. How much harder would this be if she did contract something from him?!?

BE PREPARED TO BE LIED TO. That does not mean to bring a case to the won't convince her to come clean....nothing I did like this made the truth come any faster.

Request transparency....all access to known accounts. Realize that if she wants to continue her A...she will find a way. Presidents do, famous people do...and they have more people watching them then or wives do.

Dont set yourself up to be lied to. Refrain from too many questions right now...and I know they flood in like crazy.

I asked too many questions early on. All questions should be asked...but there is a timing for them. During the FOG stage is absolutely not the time for that. My wife bold faced lied to several very specific direct questions...and did this multiple times over a period of time. It is hurtful but appears to be normal behavior from a WS still in the fog.

Be prepared to NOT recognize this person you devoted yourself to. If she is committed to working hard to right these wrongs (the damage she caused you, your family, and herself) she will learn, through time, that she did not recognize her ownself during her A.

Allow yourself to be confused...dont try to figure this out.

Keep expectations of her low...while staying true to the boundaries and vows that you did not forsake.

Don't expect real remorse from your wife. Dont expect her to read the library...and if she does, dont expect her to want to really talk about it.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 11:12 AM, July 18th (Thursday)]

BrokenOak posted 7/19/2013 09:32 AM

Small Steps

Thank you all for the advice and comments. 1Faith, I won't post her response verbatim, but she expressed regret, shame, personal weakness, love of the life we had and appreciation for how I have taken care of our family, and desire to earn my trust back. Good first steps.

I flew in, at 9AM. She was stuck w/ a check engine light half way between the airport and home, about an hour either direction. After sorting that and getting to our home town, we went to the beach to talk while the MIL watched our daughter.

For all of my emotions, I was strangely numb and detached during most of it. Of course, new "facts" keep emerging, one at a time. She's read some of the FAQs, I can tell from the way the conversation goes. There is remorse, acknowledgment of selfishness, foolishness. She hasn't balked at NC, doing a timeline, STD testing, IC or MC. I have full access to her phone & computer, and she's blocked and/or unfriended the related people.

I know it is very early, but my gut says there is not yet a sense of complete repentance, or even an understanding of what that honestly entails. I am hoping IC & MC help in this area. Blakesteel, your words are well heeded. I find myself, having read more on here than she, expecting more than she (and probably I) am ready for. Other than our "to do list" (NC letter, STD testing, starting IC/MC, etc...) and establishing/maintaining the dealbreakers, I'm ready to back off on saying "what she needs to do" and let time & counseling start to work. I'm not volunteering remaining details that I'm aware of (or continue to discover); that is now her job.

Today she is supposed to put together the timeline. I know it will tear me to shreds again, and that it is just the beginning. Early in our marriage I struggled for many years that she had sexual relationships before "us", and once in between us when we had broken up for a year. Much the way "movies" are discussed here, I had the same mental images. I can honestly say that I (eventually) got past that and it was no longer a stumbling block for me. I don't know now if that experience will be to my benefit or detriment.

After the beach, we spent the rest of the day with our daughter and trying to reconnect our family. Bowling, and a movie together (BS, WS & daughter) on the couch, daughter went to bed. Once alone we watched a show, then talking some more before bed. I was torn on where to sleep, but ultimately decided to share our bed. No shenanigans, but an affirmation on both our parts to continue to do this together.

At the end of the day I did have more peace. Being able to face one another in person, both of us remembering and experiencing what "works" about us even in the midst of this. Those moments may be fleeting, but they help and I'm thankful for them. I was able to sleep about 3 hours in total last night, a welcome improvement.

Hunger is a strange comfort. The emotional knot and constant nausea has passed. However the slight pain of actual hunger and grumbling from my belly... has become something of a friend. Always there, somewhat distracting from the other pain, but manageable. I kinda feel like naming it "Wilson" from Cast Away. Maybe I'll paint a red hand print on my belly.

I do eat, generally a piece of fruit or two here and there. Never a whole meal though, and I've become very conscious about what I eat. If you read the email I sent WS, alcohol is right out. I am sober and much like NC with OM I am removing all attachments to it from my life. I can also recall every item I've eaten since D-Day. Some bananas, banana chips, peaches, a couple of pretzels, 1/2 plate spaghetti w/marinara (the almost fateful co-worker lunch that I had to abort), water/club-soda, tomato juice, some bulgar, iced tea, and 2 bites of vegan ice cream last night. Wilson and I. (can one have an EA with their own belly?)

I also never thought I'd be a Dead Head, but Touch of Gray came on the radio Wednesday and gave me a smile. I downloaded a greatest hits album and find it brings peace. I'd forgotten the affect music has on the soul.

WS and daughter should be waking up soon. Here's to tomorrows.

BrokenOak posted 7/19/2013 09:45 AM

Also, thank you, each and every one of you, for the words of encouragement and advice. Whether it be a 200 word essay or simply "thinking of you," that any of you take the time from your own situations to support me warms my soul.

I am a strong person, and I have conquered many dragons. One of the greatest gifts my father encouraged in me was an unconquerable spirit. When that spirit starts to weaken, your thoughts and words remind me and help to shine a light on a shadowy path.

Some day I will be in your place, offering words of encouragement to others who find themselves in this forum. For now, and for whomever, I will share these two poems. "Invictus" has long been a strength for me. "If" is in a similar vein, and is also becoming a personal favorite.

Rattus2000 posted 7/19/2013 10:06 AM


I am new to this too (Late May) as well so I will let the others give the experienced advice.

I just wanted to comment on the appetite/eating things that was so bizarre to me. I too have had my share of real life trauma (in a mass shooting with my friend dead and bleeding next to me etc), but I never had this nausea/wretching/lack of appetite thing until I found a couple texts just like you.

I was 167 lbs on Jun 1. Now I am 153. My hobby is cooking far-out dishes yet I can barely get down a bowl of Total. I will be walking anywhere and at anytime, I start to wretch from the emotional pain. I don't actually throw up, but it is bizarre. I go to my favorite restaurant and get an appetizer and take some home where it rots in the fridge.

I recognize these symptoms as consistent with reactive depression (I am a physician), but I am now in awe at the physical power of this emotional pain.

I guess when that crazed gunman shot some of my friends, then put the gun to my head and bluffed he was going to kill me too, I was happy to be alive and everyone, an entire college community, came to my support. Also there was an end, the SWAT team took him out. Maybe that's why I did not experience eating problems after this trauma.

Here, the person you trust has committed the unspeakable act, you are in turmoil and have very few people to turn to. There is no end to the misery, even in divorce. The pain lingers, then disappears and then re-presents itself. It sucks, its unfathomable.

Just wanted to let you know this appetite thing is experienced by a lot of us. It will pass in the coming weeks and if you are like me, you will appreciate the weight loss as a component of the 180 and feeling good about yourself.

BrokenOak posted 7/19/2013 10:22 AM


Food and drink have always been a defining character of my relationship with WS. We were known for throwing great dinner parties where I would tackle pulling off some culinary feast. We actually came very close to taking ownership of a fine dining restaurant once.

Due to an autoimmune disorder, about 3.5 years ago we moved to a vegan diet. Not to say that we don't both still love food, but our relationship with it changed drastically. I had been 250 lbs, and dropped to just about 220 at my best. Working out of town the way I have for the last 9 month, I've put on about 20lbs, so yes the weight loss is appreciated. I also am trying to use this to redefine my relationship with hunger and food. Instead of eating until I'm stuffed, and then having a little more because it "is just so good," I want to eat what I need to provide my body the fuel it needs, but not to use the comfort of food to fill some other missing piece of my self. I'll look into reactive depression.

Thank you for sharing about your own trauma, and the differences between how that affected you vs becoming a BS. I wish you strength, peace, and resolution, together.

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