I had the same questions as you for years. I may have them again in another few years. (I find this stuff rears it's ugly head for me with life stressors). The aftermath of an affair never really goes away. I will probably never see him the same way again...but that's on me. I think if you really put your mind to it things can and will change for the better. It's very tough mental work (if you have a very remorseful spouse)! I'm still working on this head of mine:)
what kind of pain would someone have to be in to do this?
It does help to put yourself in their shoes as rachelc suggested. I also try to tell myself that I'd rather not carry the baggage of being a wayward spouse around for the rest of my life. I can rest easy knowing I've never hurt someone the way my FWH has hurt me. I'm not disgusted with myself or ashamed of my actions. Hang in there sadandbetrayed!
Woke up late today and I still feel the sting of the pain
But I brushed my teeth anyway
I got dressed through the mess and put a smile on my face
I got a little bit stronger...
D-day: June 14, 2010
We are 6 years out this month. And this is how I feel now
I just wish I could get to a place where if I thought of this whole mess I could say "wow that sucked" and just think about something else
I still struggled at 3 years, 4 and 5 too. It's just been the last year things have just "gone away" for lack of better words.
I have gotten foggy about a lot of it. The pain is a distant memory and I don't think about it in a negative way anymore...it's just a few months out of our 25 years of marriage. It has it's own chapter in our book, but not one that defines us or makes our marriage any less. KWIM?
You will get there...just keep talking, connecting and healing.
Practice gratitude and forgiveness.
Remember the days fly by whether you live joyfully or ruminate on an unhappy past.
What's done is done and can't be changed.
You know who you are, and you know you have the strength to endure.
And that you have the strength to create the best life possible.
And have a sense of humor
[This message edited by m334455 at 1:27 AM, August 5th (Monday)]
I think about it every day, every night, every morning, and I'm thinking of it right now.
I can't wrap my head around it.
I finally just had to accept that I would never really understand what this was like. I'd had opportunities, never taken, but I could see and feel and hear the pain that would ensue (although admittedly I didn't grasp the severity of it by far until it was done to me). I could read, I could understand the concept, but not the feeling or lack thereof, of betraying someone that I loved and who loved me.
Trying to understand the thinking of someone who would do this, when you would not do it, it impossible. But, understand that their brain deals with this differently than you do. A psychopath, who kills and maims people, has a very small part of their brain that does not light up when they see someone in pain. This is known from active brain scans. Your brain (hopefully) lights up in that area when you see someone in pain.
Your WS (hopefully) is not a psychopath, but during their affair their brain didn't work like your brain does, probably still doesn't, and never will till they change their life consciously.
I know all about compartmentalizing and all that
No, you don't. I don't. We don't know what it is like to live that way, from day to day, month to month, doing it with many other things besides affairs.
Those are the things that I can't move past. Those are the things that haunt me.
You have to get to the point of realizing that "you can't make irrational behavior make sense" it is by it's very nature something that is not rational.
You just have to accept it.
That is all you can do in the end.
My wifes Mom passing was a turning point in our marriage. Other stress within our marriage played into this as well. I think it finally got so tough for my wife that having an affair was a real viable option. It hurts my heart to write that.
It hurts more to read the question above ...What kind of pain would someone have to be in to do this?...
God be with us all.