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The rollercoaster

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Smileemptysoul posted 8/15/2013 01:03 AM

So it's been a week since DDay. MC has started and we both felt was a hesitant but productive start. We have spent hours every day talking and there have been some very important and informative things said and found out on both sides. Yesterday was hard, but it was civil and I was answering as many difficult questions, the best that could. Jesus, why is it so hard to not even know the answers yourself sometimes? can you really not know or have the ability to verbalize an answer to something that you have done? I have found that this very problem - an impossible inability to communicate - is the reason that I am here and at least partially responsible for what I did.

But today is a different day. My BW is angry. Really angry. It feel like all of the headway that we have made over the past couple of days has all been thrown out the window and that we're right back to square one. I know that this in it's infancy and that there is a very long and difficult road ahead. Is this what we have to look forward to....two decent days followed by one, two or ten bad ones?

1DumbHusband posted 8/15/2013 01:14 AM

Unfortunately, the answer is yes my friend. I am nearly 2 months out from DDay and we are still in this cycle. I have read a lot of good information here on what to expect. I suggest you do the same. Strap in because the rollercoaster is going to get worse before it gets any better. Some days it's harder than others. But realize your BW needs time to heal and process the information. This could take a LONG time. The best thing you can do is ride the rollercoaster and be as supportive as you can. I wish you the best of luck and hope you have more good days ahead soon!

SurprisinglyOkay posted 8/15/2013 07:58 AM

We're at 20 months out.

I can tell you, it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

It really is a roller coaster ride.

- an impossible inability to communicate

This was a HUGE problem for us. We read a book called "The Marriage You've always dreamed of" by Dr. Greg Smalley. It is a very faith based book, but the activities in it really opened our eyes, and helped along our communication.

"The 5 love languages" helped a lot too!

The act of reading these together, and discussing them, opened up the door to our increased communication.

Also IC helped me open up too.

My old coping mechanism was to wall off, and not give anything. I had NO idea how to communicate anything of importance.

I would curl up in a ball and hide, quite literally, face down, knees up to my chest, arms wrapped around me.

It's a process. Sometimes slow and frustrating, sometimes huge leaps forward, followed by steps back.

It's incredibly painful for both sides.

Be honest. Practice communicating. Be transparent. Buckle up.

It does get better.

Another good read is "How to Help your spouse heal from your affair". Get this one! Like yesterday.

It's a quick read that is tremendously helpful!!

TimeToManUp posted 8/15/2013 08:35 AM

Yep, this is how things will most likely be for you. I have never seen swings like the ones that we have experienced for the last 20 months. The weight of our situation is crushing at times. The past few months I have woken up for work, then gone and laid my fat ass down in the shower and let the water hit me while I ponder what our life has become and find the strength to face the day. But it has gotten better for us. The intensity of the bad days has not decreased, BUT the number of good days has increased. A few tips for you, based on my mistakes and observations along the way:

The "rollercoaster" does a good job of describing the ups and downs of R. However, I think people typically ride rollercoasters for pleasure... There is nothing fun about this. I think the bad days are like standing on a beach and looking up to see a tsunami bearing down on you. You have no time to get to high ground, you are going to be swallowed by it; You see it coming, but it's too late. What to do now? You can't hope to stop it, you can't fight it... It's coming. Don't struggle, you'll just wear yourself out and will surely drown.Just go with it, and try to keep your head above water by comforting your wife if she wants your comfort, or giving her space if she wants to be alone. Maybe the intensity of the wave will be too intense, and even this is not enough, maybe even without struggling you can't keep it going long enough. And this is a very real possibility. We knew it was a possibility when we chose to go outside of our marriage. We can't be angry at the wave, can we? But maybe you'll be able to keep your head above water long enough for the waters to recede and leave you once again on dry land. Hopefully, in time you will become more attuned to your wife's feelings and you'll see the wave coming sooner, and be better prepared to take a deep breath before it hits. In the end, you'll br able to see it coming early enough to get to high ground and head off her feelings at the pass, maybe even defusing them before they hit. Once you are at this stage, you can start building defenses like sea walls that will prevent the waves from ever striking again. Remember though... Anything manmade can be broken or worn down. Take the time to inspect the defenses occasionally to make sure the barriers that are necessary to keep your marriage safe are in good working order.

Make sure you REALLY look deep inside for the answers to her questions. I went the TT method... It doesn't work. Like the world's biggest band-aid stuck to your hairy leg, just rip that shit off and get the pain over with so you can get down to business. From the WS side, it is a crushing blow to have your genuine efforts negated by that detail you kept to yourself when it finally comes out. Just get it all out there.

And your wife doesn't hate you. She hates what you did. It is painful for her to say nice things to you. When she does, make sure you realize how much effort she made to do it, and appreciate how special that moment was.

I'm typing on my phone, so I tend to ramble. I hope some of this will help you on your journey. Good luck to you... It's a brutal ride to a happy place.

[This message edited by TimeToManUp at 8:36 AM, August 15th (Thursday)]

Smileemptysoul posted 8/15/2013 09:58 AM

Thanks everybody for the replies. It sounds like what we're going through is normal and to be expected under the circumstances. ManUp...that is one of the most accurate analogies I've ever read in my life, regardless of the subject matter or topic. Right now, I feel like I have a steel lifejacket on and the waves just keep pounding me.

I think that it was the extreme swing and sudden anger that hit me the most. I thought that we were doing as well as could be expected under the circumstances. There was open and honest dialogue and honestly, I've shared more and deeper stuff with my wife in the past week than in the past ten years combined. And right there is the root of all of my problems. It's amazing to see just how damaging things can be to other people, when you are constantly worried about protecting yourself and unwilling to open up and share. I see the pain and hurt and hate that I've caused, and know that the simple inability to talk about myself, my wants, desires and fears has put me here and so badly hurt somebody that I love and care about.

And that's the rub...I've spent so long keeping everything bottled up, that now that I am forced to share and be honest, that it hurts so much. It seems that whatever I say, it causes more pain. A double edged sword. If I stay clammed up, I'm not being honest and truthful and while in the midst of trying to work this out, that is the last thing I want to do. But then when I do answer the questions that she asks, I get attacked for what I tell her. It's taking everything that I have to not retreat back really is. But there will be no chance at all of R if I do that, so I guess this is my cross to bare.

TimeToManUp posted 8/15/2013 10:29 AM

Been there, done that my friend. My wife would ask questions and get upset at the answers, and either become depressed or angry or hurt or whatever it caused her to feel. This would often cause her to run away (often literally), and bring the discussion to an abrupt halt. But that didn't mean she was done with the subject, just that she couldn't handle anymore at that time. So when she was ready to revisit, I would hold back (more TT) to avoid further emotional extremes. And it's somewhat instinctual if you think about it. Why would you keep hurting yourself on purpose? If you kick your dog everytime you come home, how long will it be before he runs away when you walk in the house? But the thing is, you need to treat this emotional damage like an open wound. You clean it, you pack it a d put a bandage on it. And if you want to heal it properly, you are going to have to take that bandage off, take the packing out, clean it up and repeat. For a long time, this process is going to hurt, but if you want to heal it properly, it has to be done this way. ONLY this way. And everytime you do, the wound will heal a little more, and the sting will lessen. Eventually there will be nothing more than a scar, and the better you treat the wound, the less noticeable the scar will be. If you DON'T treat it properly, don't open it up and clean it out, it will begin to fester, become infected and make the original wound even more painful.

Nothing about R is fun, and nothing about it is easy. I have been a pretty good example of what NOT to do if you wish to R for a long time. Do yourself and your wife a HUGE favor and don't follow the path I did.

Smileemptysoul posted 8/15/2013 10:37 AM

You're just rolling out this very accurate analogies. But they so very much make sense. It's wife has a little Dalai Lama book that was stuffed into our bookcase and a few days ago she brought it out and started reading it to help with what she was feeling. I had never read anything by him and honestly didn't know much about him or Buddhism. She suggested I read some of it and I did...and was amazed about how goddamn simple a lot of the things were in there. How easy and logical and unpreachy his views were.

I don't know why, but your bandage and tsunami comparisons struck me in a similar way. Simple and logical things that make sense. Why in the hell couldn't I think that way myself?

TimeToManUp posted 8/15/2013 10:45 AM

I have always been the guy that could point out the flaws in any plan. But when I was then asked how we could approach things differently, I'd draw a blank. I've learned of this the wrong way, and I would like to help keep others from needing to do it the hard way, too.

If you walk down a hall and a man hurriedly pops out of a door and slams it shut, clothes torn, bleeding and sweaty and he tells you "Do NOT go in there!" You should probably listen to him.

[This message edited by TimeToManUp at 10:46 AM, August 15th (Thursday)]

jrr111800 posted 8/15/2013 14:26 PM

Man oh man, do I understand what you are saying. We are 1 month out from DDay and like many stories here I have a similar one. At first TT, then after reading ONE post on here I came out with everything. Of course, at this point she doesnít and wonít believe a damn thing you say. Rightfully so! Also, one word of advice, from which I still need to work on, When that Tsunami is barreling in on you after a great session of surfing, do not whatever you do is get angry. Hard to do, yes because after all we are human and we do still a sliver of emotion. In my case anger just makes me say stupid shit that I donít mean and certainly isnít what my BS wants or needs to hear. For me I am lucky to have a BW who is giving me a chance to redeem myself, even though I do not deserve her or her love, however, I am pretty sure one day my mouth and temper will ruin all of it and she will leave me for good if I donít get that under control. Hopefully you have already figured this out and not made the mistakes I have made, it only makes matters worse. Good luck.

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