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How does anyone get over this?

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angryanya posted 8/14/2013 08:53 AM

Like other newbies on here, I have been lurking for a few weeks, but felt it was time to post.

I first discovered the tip of the iceberg in March 2013 when on a family holiday in Hawaii. My H was on his phone more that I thought was normal and my suspicions were raised. I confronted him with a weird text I had read and he confessed that he was lonely, had joined an online dating service and had been corresponding with someone for a few months. I was livid, demanded he go into IC, I also was in IC due to post-partum depression, thought we were working through things. Since I truly believed that he would never cheat on me - in fact, didn't have time or much opportunity - I did not demand passwords, go crazy, check up on him. This was obviously a huge mistake.

In July, I had to use his work computer to view a legal document. Right before I was about to log off, I thought "maybe I should look at his sent emails..." and that is when my world imploded. I found not emails to OW, but a long trail between him and one of her friends, who was serving as a confidant, that he obviously had forgotten to delete. It basically laid out the affair for me, beginning with a golf trip he went on to Palm Springs in October when i stayed home with a 3 month old baby and a two year old, and continued over 4 months to when he masterminded a work trip to Chicago. Then there was a hiatus after the Hawaii reveal, then re-ignition, then it was over in April.

There was much TT at first, however an email exchange I had with OW that he wasn't privy to, along with a terrible 9 hour car ride to our fun family vacation at the end of July, gave me some time and resources to extract many details, including another transgression on a ski trip several years ago (someone is never going on another sports trip should we R?) I do believe that the affair was over in April, when he gave me all his passwords on the advice of his IC counsellor - though there was a fairly benign exchange, initiated by OW, as recently as July 12 wherein he told her "more fish in the sea, have a nice life" - but still responded to her.

There has been a great deal of remorse (I am reasonably sure of this), on the part of WH. He has had to tell his parents and face my family. He has block/deleted her email address from all accounts, changed his company cell #, which involved having to have all his coworkers update their contacts. He has written a NC email that I read, we are on a "wait list" for MC (busy summer here I guess). Even before the affair was discovered, he had stepped up parenting, was working on communicating, etc. He has talked about this in the past, but has recently revealed deeply disturbing suicidal ideation since high school, deep depression, self loathing and low self esteem. This is almost as shocking as the affair itself, because he wears such a normal-looking facade.

Except for initial contemplation of divorce, I feel like in my (naive?) heart, the best thing for our family would be R. I love him and I don't think my life would be better without him.

However - as per my username - I AM SO ANGRY. It burns inside me. As soon as I am alone with my thoughts, I go over every detail I know. I revisit every event of the last 8 months and think about what a lie everything was. I don't have a picture of OW, but every tall, blond, nasty cougar that I see, I wonder "is that what she looks like?". I feel like I am constantly being punched in the stomach with reminders. He has almost (almost) ruined "Hawaii" for me because it has come up so much. I feel deep hatred towards him when I think about how he could do this. How he went to work early, leaving me with a finally-sleeping infant and a very-awake toddler to deal with - so he could get some email loving in to her before his busy day started. I feel so ugly. I hate his OW and want to email her boss and ruin her life (because she has no internet presence and I can't track down her husband. who I would email for sure). I can barely look after my kids. He has minimized and whitewashed and I know that his claims that this was a burdensome, terrible time for him are not true. He told her that he loved her, he planned to bring her to Canada for another tryst, talked about feeling really conflicted about staying married and with his family - and while I know that this is all predicated on bullsh*t and they would not last a day in the real world (in fact I laugh to think of them spending a weekend with my toddler) - it still kills me. We had our 13 year wedding anniversary on Monday and he had the gall to wish me a happy one. Um, no. He actually was bewildered that I would never want to celebrate another anniversary with him. The only reason I have stopped screaming at him and saying terrible, cutting things, is because he is alone right now and I have real concerns about his mental health - which I have passed along to his parents to help deal with.

I know it is early days for me, but god help me, I have no idea how I will ever get past this. I feel like I have to return to the anger sometimes, because I start to forget about what a terrible thing was done to me and my family, and then I feel like that lets him off the hook and that I am weak for letting things start to return to normal. I have read so many hopeful things on here about the possibility that R could happen - but how do your start to do that without feeling like a total loser with no self-respect who is staying with a liar and a cheater? How can you ever believe a word that comes out of your WS's mouth? I know that forgiveness is about me and I don't want to be a bitter crazy enraged person, but that is what I am right now. TIA for any advice - this is such a helpful site and I can't believe there are so many good people in the same crappy boat.

nowiknow23 posted 8/14/2013 09:11 AM

Welcome to SI, honey. I'm so glad you trusted us enough to share your story.

The anger you are describing is a "normal" part of all this. You will find that the anger will ebb and flow naturally. I just caution you not to build a permanent home there. Visit when you need to, walk through the emotions as they come, but don't stop walking.

You ask about R, and it seems that is what you want. What are you seeing (note: I didn't say hearing) from your WH? Are his actions demonstrating an eagerness to address his issues and work to heal the damage he has caused?

angryanya posted 8/14/2013 15:34 PM

Thanks for the response NIK - I feel like I am see all the correct behaviours from him: he takes full responsibility for the affair, knows that it is about him and his garbage, not me. He got tested for STDs. He is going to the dr for antidepressants and we are contemplating job changes/moves to improve quality of life. Unprompted, he has looked into getting a house cleaner for when I return to work - which is something that would never have happened in the past. He has written apologetic emails and made full disclosure to his parents, which was terrible. On paper, he is probably the model repentant WH.

But I have to remind myself that I believed him when he lied to me in Hawaii. I was tired and preoccupied with my kids when he was exchanging love texts, sexts, selfies, pictures of our kids, pictures of me, numerous emails a day, etc. with this ridiculous stranger. I had no idea he had the capacity to commit this fraud. I honestly did not think he had it in him to do something so terrible.

So even though I believe he is contrite, willing to "do anything" to save this marriage, going to get his sh*t sorted out - I feel no degree of confidence that he won't do this again. I feel like I would NEVER be able to face his going on a conference or trip away again. And, I want him to feel as bad about this as I do - which I know is impossible unless I physically evicerated him - which is part of the reason I can't let go of much anger. I want him to lay awake at night and go over the events of October through April like I do. I think that he did, and continues, to totally compartmentalize this affair, and now that it is over, everything is fine and he is ready to move on, fix everything and not face a nasty divorce.

I feel like I want a "how to" manual to tell me how long I can be crazy and angry, when I should try to suck it up and move on, when I should stop trying to go over and over the details in my mind. When to stop trying to catch him in lies. I don't want to stay married if it means that in 3 years we are still fighting about this - though I guess that that is a choice I have to make. Which sucks, frankly.

nowiknow23 posted 8/14/2013 16:03 PM

It does suck. Absolutely. ((((anya))))

I feel like I want a "how to" manual to tell me how long I can be crazy and angry, when I should try to suck it up and move on, when I should stop trying to go over and over the details in my mind.
I completely understand this. The short answer is, crazy and angry lasts as long as it lasts. When you are ready to move on, you will.

TrustGone posted 8/14/2013 16:20 PM

Yes. It does suck that the person we believed had our back was the one that stuck a knife into it. I am 2 yrs out from DDay#1 and a yr out from DDay#2. I still can't believe he did this to me, our marriage, and himself. I have good days and really bad days still. WH wants it all to be sweep under a rug and can't understand why I am still so hurt and angry. I am not sure at this point if it's not a dealbreaker for me. We can't R because he refuses to discuss the A at all and refused IC after 3 visits, so here we are.

I am glad that your WH is at least trying to understand how he was able to do the things he did and is being honest with you now. R is a long process and some come through it with stronger marriages in the end, but some do not and it winds up being a deal breaker even if the WS is being the perfect WS and doing everthing to try and heal the marriage. I think it is a little early for you to try and decide which way that you will be able to go. You are still very raw. Most people say to give it at least 6months and see where you are then before you decide if you want to R or D. I don't know that anyone ever totally gets over the betrayal of an A. At this point I know that it is probably a deal breaker for me in the end becuase of his lack of actions on figuring out the why and fixing himself. From what I have witnessed on this site in the last year it is not the A that finally ends the marriage, but what the WS does after DDay. Hang in there a while longer to see if your feelings start to change. It is a roller coaster of emotions and I hope that you and your WH are able to weather the storm. (((HUGS)))

painpaingoaway posted 8/14/2013 16:30 PM

Hi aa, I am so sorry for your suffering. Your rage is completely normal. Should you decide to R, it will be a difficult journey, but it is possible with a completely remorseful spouse.

I have read so many hopeful things on here about the possibility that R could happen - but how do your start to do that without feeling like a total loser with no self-respect who is staying with a liar and a cheater?
We all feel this way. We all told ourselves that we would NEVER put up with infidelity in our marriages. But, alas, when it happens, we suddenly realize that no one really knows what they would do in a particular situation until we actually experience it. There are many many variables to be considered, and only we know what we can and can not accept based on the level of remorse the WS shows.

The fact that he left you with two babies and one being 3 months old while he was out getting his rocks off would be enough to make me slap him silly, but the fact that he was exposing you to STD's while nursing an infant would push me over the edge.

I'm not trying to make this worse for you, but he MUST understand how horrendous and dangerous his behavior has been, not only to your marriage, but to the physical health of yourself and your baby. (And by the way he must repeat his HIV test several more times, and YOU must be tested also.)

You have every right to be terribly terribly enraged.

There are some things he could do that may help to numb your pain, and may help to jump start R, (if that is what you want).

Let's see him put his money where his mouth is. How about having him sign a post-nup? You have young children to protect financially, lets see how committed he is to remaining faithful for the rest of your marriage.

Is he willing to help you track down the OP's husband? That should help convince you how committed he is to R and healing YOU.

Think about it. What are some things that you would like him to do that would help to sooth some of your anger?

angryanya posted 8/14/2013 18:05 PM

Thank you for your responses. I can't actually believe that I did not think about the possibility that if he contracted HIV while I was breastfeeding, it could be passed along to my son. Huh. And I thought I was angry before...

Thanks for raising the issue painpaingoaway - and also the thoughts about him tracking down the miserable OP's spouse. It looks like I need to do some research on a post-nup. Great advice.

I have to give some serious thought as to anger balms - at this point, I have a white wine and a newly renewed relationship with cigarettes - probably not the best tools :)

1ost0ne posted 8/16/2013 08:42 AM

I feel like I want a "how to" manual to tell me how long I can be crazy and angry, when I should try to suck it up and move on, when I should stop trying to go over and over the details in my mind. When to stop trying to catch him in lies. I don't want to stay married if it means that in 3 years we are still fighting about this - though I guess that that is a choice I have to make.

Sucks, sucks, sucks!! It's been three weeks since DDay for me and I still feel this way. Let me know if you find the manual. In the meantime, continue to share and vent.

TxsT posted 8/16/2013 09:00 AM

You guys are so lucky you found this site so early in your discovery faze. I didn't find SI until I was in my 10 th month of R.

The one key advantage to this site is that we are among people who are going through something similar to us. I say that because every story here is so different. You will hear a lot said just takes time. Through the passage of time the hurt will either fade and you will move forward together or it won't and the path will be very different.

The best piece of advice I got from my IC/MC about the huge mountain was that he wanted me to stop at the end of each day and think about just one thing that had gone right. I was to write it down in my journal. At the end of the week he wanted me to read all the positive posts I had put for each day. He said it is from those that I will see that I am moving forward. He said that as each month passes the pain will slowly fade.

He was a wise man. Now 1 year into this hell I can honestly see how far we have come. I feel so much better now and the act of writing out positives helped me focus on looking for them actively each day, even when I felt so damn bad I thought I would burst.

I still have a ways to go before I will honestly believe this is behind me and us, probably another year before we are completely out of the woods BUT what we have been able to create between us in this time is huge.

Keep is worth it.


1ost0ne posted 8/16/2013 09:27 AM

TxsT, Thanks for the reply. I'm taking the Daily Positives from you. Yesterday was horrible for me and us. Actually reflecting through that day for something good (and I did find something) was a lift I need.

RippedSoul posted 8/16/2013 09:29 AM

Our stories are so similar, angryanya. Even if they weren't, though, I'd still feel for you. My "babies" are older, I have four of them, and we've been married 22 years, but my husband is also on anti-depressants, also traveled out of town to have his 6-month fling--which included Hawaii (a place I'll never be able to enjoy with him now, huh?), and also seemed the type of person who'd NEVER do this.

It's still such a shock! Seven months past d-day, I still can't believe sometimes that all this is happening to us. I--someone who never had sleeping issues--don't sleep well or uninterrupted anymore. I get up and make notes of questions I still have. I read SI. I read about sexual addiction. Instead of sleeping. Sigh.

I wouldn't trust his words with a 10-foot pole because he not only hid it from me, he lied about it to me. Does that distinction make sense? We had a birthday dinner date for me before he left for Hawaii (he was with her on my b-day so we celebrated it this year 3 months early) where he assured me my suspicions about her (I thought EA) were groundless. Ha!

Because my husband's job is classified, I have no access to his work e-mail or phone/text accounts. We can't build trust that way. It sucks, really. I'd like to believe that he's changing, but I'm also not naive enough to think he is without witnessing it. So words don't work and access doesn't work.

Instead, what I do is "read" his actions. He was DEEPLY into the fog--even when he "recommitted" to me. She, however, had broken it off two months earlier, so (at least for a time) I could suppose there was real NC. In the ensuing months, though, he's gone with me to MC. That's a positive action.

He chose a 4-day period, recently, when the rest of us were out of town to go off caffeine. That way, he reasoned (I'm figuring), we wouldn't be subjected to his irritability when he was going through withdrawals. He did say he did it to save money. That's a positive action.

A couple weeks ago, he sent me a list of employees (from several companies) who were going together on a research trip. Her name was on the list. He just said I should know. There's NO WAY I'd ever have known without his telling me. That is positive action.

He--not necessarily a sweet man--has become progressively more tender with each week that passes. Even though his Wellbutrin dosage has been cut by 2/3s (which would result in a more anxious, annoyed person), he's not being "mean" to us. When he does lose his temper (with the kids--never with me since the A), I can see him take a deep breath, calm his voice, and take the conversation in a different direction. That's a positive action.

So, while I can't believe his words yet, I CAN believe his actions. They're telling me that he's changing. How much? I don't know. Enough to never cheat on me again? I don't know. Twenty-one years of fidelity is a good track record (although there were some friendships that made me uncomfortable and that I now believe would be EAs but that were NEVER secretive; he has "boundary" issues), but . . .

I'm still scarred and wounded. But I'm here to tell you it can be worth it. And I can tell you that it's almost impossible to wrap your mind around it (ever) but certainly not as a newbie. Take it slowly. Observe. Go to MC and IC. Take care of yourself. Meditate, ponder, pray (if you're a religious person). Focus on your children and yourself. Do nice things for your husband when you feel up to it. Let him know, without groveling, that you love him. Stand up for yourself. Improve yourself (not for him but because it helps YOU to repair your shattered self-esteem). And keep posting here where people understand and EMPATHIZE.


[This message edited by RippedSoul at 9:32 AM, August 16th (Friday)]

doesitgetbetter posted 8/16/2013 10:33 AM

I'm so very sorry you are here angryanya!

First, YOU must also get tested for STD's, and all of them at that. Ask to be tested for Herpes, they don't typically run that one when you ask for the full treatment because it's so common to have it. You also have to be very aware of a little STD called HPV. HPV is a virus that causes cervical cancer in women, and throat and mouth cancer in men. The really nasty thing about this STD is that it can lie dormant, and completely UNDETECTABLE for years before it rears it's ugly head. So you MUST stay on top of your annual exam's with your gyno, and be very aware of any irregular results from a pap and follow up with that. Also, WH needs to be very aware of what's happening with his throat and mouth from now on as well.

The anger you feel is incredibly common and totally normal. After some MC or IC, you might find out that anger is really just a masking emotion for something else, like pain. It doesn't make the anger any easier to bear, but it can help push through the anger to get to the pain and discuss that, but that involved being vulnerable to the person who hurt you so bad and can be even more daunting than just being angry. So go with what you're comfortable with when you want to. Be VERY careful to keep this away from the kids, even though the oldest is only a toddler, they can still understand more than you know and they remember more than we think they would. I have memories from back when I was 3 and they are still very vivid for me today almost 40 years later. Try not to argue or discuss A stuff in front of the kids. It's very common for healing from infidelity to take 2 to 5 years, so you KNOW the kids will have memories of stuff by then, so start practicing not talking in front of them now before you're both comfortable with doing it and forget how old your kids have become.

My H compartmentalized for his entire life, it was something his parents taught him how to do. He also had terrible self esteem and incredibly low self worth. He cheated as a form of self punishment, much like a cutter cuts themselves, to let out his pain and prove he was worthless. Much IC and MC really helped him, but the thing that helped him the most was Retrouvaille. I wouldn't recommend it until several months at least after DDay, but it literally changed my H's life. It helped him take the lid off of those boxes in his head, and learn how to FEEL and how to express those feelings. He was so stunted emotionally that I have had to help him figure out what feeling he was having by listening to him describe what it felt like, then reading the definition of the feeling out loud to him. I had to teach him about feelings. Anyway, it's a program that many people on here have been through and it has great reviews. It might help your WH take the lids off of his boxes and actually be present in his life as well.

And lastly, I want to tell you that you're not stupid for wanting to work it out. He's been your partner for a very long time. Even though he's the one that hurt you, you probably want him to wrap his arms around you and hold you until you feel better.... because that's what he's been to you this entire relationship. He's been your partner, he's been your other half, and it's hard to turn that off in one day. So you are normal in your feelings of confusion as well. I kicked my H out on DDay, the next day he came home and we've been together since. We are almost 6 years out from DDay now, and our M is the marriage that we've always wanted and thought we had, only better because it's real now. You can read my story in my profile by clicking on the little smiley face to the right side of the screen from where my name is.

Take care of yourself, take care of your babies, and find comfort in knowing you're totally normal and you will make it through this. (((angryanya)))

angryanya posted 8/22/2013 14:45 PM

Again, I totally appreciate you all taking the time to respond. Even though I know we are all here in the same boat, it is comforting to be in a community of people who truly understand how this feels.

I just had a weekend away w WH - to attend another wedding. Just doesn't get any better than hearing two happy people pledge their love and fidelity to each other in front of friends and family. The weekend had good moments and very ugly moments (as per my post under "Physical Rage" - ugh).

I finally feel like I have extracted as much information I can about the A through my psychological warfare and n@zi interrogation techniques - and have ferreted out every possible thing from every electronic device in our house. I feel like I am assimilating the details of the A, I have completed a timeline and understand where/what I was during all the b.s. and have been able to eat food again, for the first time in a month. This maybe means I am moving on?

TsxT: I too am glad that I found this site so quickly after Dday. It has really helped me to understand what is "normal" in this circumstance. I feel like your advice to record something positive each day is wise. Like I mentioned above, I almost don't want to think about positive things because I want to hold on to my anger. But I can't do that and at the same time hope that things will get better.

1ostone: I hope your Daily Positives are continuing to help. I didn't even know what the 180 was until today, but I certainly need to incorporate for my own survival. PS aren't you pissed that half of your summer has been ruined by this garbage?

RippedSoul: thank you for these words of encouragement -

I'm still scarred and wounded. But I'm here to tell you it can be worth it. And I can tell you that it's almost impossible to wrap your mind around it (ever) but certainly not as a newbie. Take it slowly. Observe. Go to MC and IC. Take care of yourself. Meditate, ponder, pray (if you're a religious person). Focus on your children and yourself. Do nice things for your husband when you feel up to it. Let him know, without groveling, that you love him. Stand up for yourself. Improve yourself (not for him but because it helps YOU to repair your shattered self-esteem). And keep posting here where people understand and EMPATHIZE.

doesitgetbetter: thank you for the reminder that my kids are not oblivious to this. My daughter has asked many times over the last month "mommy sad?" and it breaks my heart.

Hugs to all of you.

1Faith posted 8/22/2013 16:02 PM

My message is just about time and actions.

Such a traumatic event in your life leaves big wounds.

The wounds require lots of care and time to heal.

It sounds like you are doing all the right things, taking good care of you and your children. That is the priority right now. It has to be.

Questioning your WHs motives for staying is normal.

I questioned my FWH's reasons for staying for a year. I often wondered why I stayed! Time will answer your questions.

If your WH is truly remorseful and sincere in his desire to save your marriage, then time will tell. Words don't matter. It's all about actions.

It is also totally normal to ask WHY he cheated. I obsessed over that and it almost killed me.

The affair isn't about the OW. It's about the WH. She was just available. She could have been anyone. She wasn't special. She was just a willing warm body.

In IC your WH will learn why he cheated. It was all about his issues, not about how special the OW was. Not for a minute.

As time passes you'll be able to feel more confident in your emotions regarding your WH. You are not stupid in anyway just because you don't trust your WH's intentions. He threw all the trust you had in him away.

He has to work to earn a little back.

This is a very good place to be when you are trying to find your Road back to Happy. Lots of people here have survived and thrived after infidelity. Ask anything. Write often. This forum saved me. It'll help you, too.

Good luck and God bless. Keep moving.

Snowy posted 8/22/2013 21:30 PM

Hi Angryanya

Sorry you are here. From your post you have come a long way.

The anger is normal. It is part of the process.

You shouldn't bottle your anger up. You need to let it out in a controlled way. Look to ways to let your anger out. Throwing a plate at your WS isn't the correct way (may feel like it).

When ever anyone gets to this part in the process I always suggest you go to a gym and belt the crap out of a punching bag. Another idea is to go to a remote place by yourself and scream what ever you are feeling. Don't hold back. I am sure the cows will not get offended if you scream F***** Hell or worse.

Hope this helps

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