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So...what next?

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ArableSands posted 7/19/2013 14:54 PM

Here's where I am: 2 weeks after discovery. Spouse has been a total wreck. She has been exhibiting remorse pretty much constantly, and has been voluntarily transparent about everything. She's convinced I'm going to end up leaving and she is grovelling. While there was some physicality to the affair it was limited to kissing and some feeling up, 3 times in all over a few months. Sexting about 8-10 times. Oddly the physicality didn't bother me much. It was the violation of trust that intimacy was reserved for us as a couple that caused me to bleed out from the inside.

And she's come to realize how much she hurt me. She's openly said that what she did was completely idiotic. That she risked what was worth everything for something that was worth nothing. That she wants to grow old with me, and she understands that whatever we rebuild will always have the memory of her betrayal, even if I forgive her. She says she has never felt so deeply ashamed, and regretful, and thinks her betrayal is the worst mistake of her entire life.

We've talked a lot in the last two weeks, for hours every night, from after the kids go to bed until after midnight. She's offered me massages constantly, as she knows how much I enjoy them. Most of the talking was me unloading on her, and her listening, and apologizing, and crying, and feeling ashamed.

And oddly, last night, I felt like I had hit a threshold. I woke up this morning and felt at peace for the first time, even as I replay the images of what she did in my head, which usually triggered unbelievable pain. No pain this time, just sadness. I think I had just managed to process one of the larger chunks of pain and anger.

So while I am sure there are plenty of triggers left, lots of pain and anger to work through, I wonder how I should act now? Should I carry on with life? Should I treat her as my wife, as if we were to stay together? I'm committed to staying together until I work through enough pain and anger to see clearly whether or not there is anything worth saving in our marriage, but at this point I remain on the fence. 50/50. She thinks I'm going to leave, but is staying until the end, one way or the other. Advice, please?

Skan posted 7/19/2013 15:36 PM

Well, here's the thing. You really don't have to make a hard and fast decision until you're ready to. You have the right to take the time that you need, to come to whatever decision that is best for you.

Having said that, I will also say, that if you do make the decision at some point, that you are committed to staying, I think that it's helpful to let your spouse know. Always reserving the option of changing your mind should something else come up. A truly remorseful spouse really does live in fear of the BS leaving, and that fear can quite often paralyze them and/or keep them so distracted that they, IMO, find it hard to be completely without barriers because of their fear of driving the BS away. In my case, I could see how fearful my FWH was, of my leaving him, of him being abandoned. Once I was able to take that particular fear away from him by my decision to stay with the marriage, it took a lot of stress off of him and helped both of us.

solus sto posted 7/19/2013 16:23 PM

Skan is right. You don't need to make decisions right now. And, really, you shouldn't.

Today, you're feeling relatively hopeful.

But you're still right on top of d-day. Your feelings are going to swing in ways you can't even imagine yet.

Tuck this good day in your mind, to keep you going on days when the LAST thing you can imagine is staying together.

With a remorseful spouse I think it's reasonable to approach life as though R is expected. I would encourage you to express your feelings, and to ask the questions for which you'd like answers. I'd encourage her to tell you EVERYTHING, and to openly and honestly answer your questions, no matter how often you ask the same ones.

All you can do, SFB, is take things a day (or an hour, or a minute) at a time. Focus on the things YOU can do, and the things YOU can change.

Do a lot of observation. How does your wife behave as you observe how things unfold? Is there rugsweeping behavior? Does she make proactive changes in the way she thinks, feels, and acts? Does she make IC appointments for herself? Does she share with you how she feels, and how this is different from the way she felt during her A? Does she look for her whys? Does she work to acquire new coping mechanisms so that she never finds herself heading down that same path? Or does she become complacent or, worse, impatient with you or defensive?

The observations--and the work they indicate is necessary---take time. That's why you will frequently hear that healing takes 2-5 years.

I think it sounds as though things are quite hopeful for you, and I think you can take some comfort in that. But I would caution you about rugsweeping. As one who did that because the "first" infidelity was "not a PA," I can assure you that real reconciliation does not occur without both complete honesty and hard, hard work.

The last thing you want to do is return to your old status quo--even thought it IS familiar and therefore gives the illusion of comfort.

But I think there is an awful lot of hope for R. That is, if your wife has SAID she wants to R. That sounds nitpicky, but for me, it was pivotal. You see, I assumed that, like I, he wanted to R. I didn't ask---and that was a HUGE mistake.

You've asked, right?

canteat posted 7/20/2013 00:30 AM

Just food for thought-
While reading your post I couldn't help but think about a book I am currently reading. "Not Just Friends" by Dr Shirley Glass. You may want to check it out.

Might want to consider IC and MC to help work through things. There is something in WS that allowed her to participate in an A. She needs to understand why and learn how to cope in different ways so she never does it again. And you need to work through your feelings of betrayal, grief and anger. You need to learn to forgive and trust again. These things don't happen overnight and I, for one, will take all the help I can get.
Keep coming here and reading and posting. It helps a lot-especially when you need to vent and feel as if someone understands. *hugs*

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