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was the affair a wake up call for anyone else?

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torn2pieces posted 9/6/2013 12:29 PM

my husband and I are a year and half out from finding out about his affair. Things are going really well, probably better then ever. I remember when we were in marriage counseling she said to us that we may be thankful that this affair happened. Im not at that point but I do wonder where we might be if such a wake up call hadn't happened. He had the affair which he has been taking full responsibility for but I also realized that I checked out of our marriage at that point also.I think we were almost like best friends/roomamates with alot of stressors to deal with. I know that I was not happy and at one time didn't really care what he was doing because I had little ones to take care of, I trusted him, and I was exhausted. We have come along way and I am happy for that but sometimes I wonder if I let him off to easy. I decided not to ask for alot of details because I got what I needed and didn't want to have to deal with more then I can handle and possibly function. When I am driving long distances I think about certain parts of the affair and get upset and wonder how could he have but then I try to move it out of head because I want to be in the present.My husband has changed for the better and I guess my question is do betrayed spouses see the affair turning into a positive and can one really move on. I do think I will never fully trust him and he knows that. At first I stayed for my children to see if it would work out but now I think its for all of us. I have read post re: forgiveness and the suttle way it arrives in your life and I agree that also is happening with me too. Life is moving towards the positive, thankfully!I even find that seeing her doesn't upset me as much as before. I will always keep my eyes and ears open and trust me instincts for sure. I would love to hear anyones responses about their relationshops being better now and the struggles they may still have.

bionicgal posted 9/6/2013 13:17 PM

There is a whole thread up top about positive reconciliation stories. . they are great to read!

We have been together for 22 years, and yes - the affair was a huge wake up call. We, actually, had a fairly decent marriage in most regards, but were really lacking in meeting each other's needs in some ways that turned out to be critical. This, coupled with some of my H's own issues, allowed him to step over boundaries, and then end up in a big, hurtful mess.

So, now we are in MC, reading a lot, and working hard. We are both happier than we've been in a very long time, in some ways. Obviously the affair is a hugely hurtful specter that hangs over us, but working through it together is really helping.

But, I would say to make sure you are not rugsweeping. Did you guys have therapy? Is your H clear on the reasons he stepped out? (And I don't mean the rationalized ones.)

cantaccept posted 9/6/2013 13:20 PM

As much as I hate to admit it, h never would have begun the changes if he hadn't been through this catastrophic event.

I am grateful for the changes, but I still hate and feel pain for the catalyst.

We probably would never have made it without these changes.

Life was not good together. It forced me to look at me and how I was failing myself, accepting abuse and going back for more. I have raised my expectations.

He is facing his behavior, pre a behavior also. Our new m is in its' infancy.

We now have the chance for a healthy marriage. It remains to be seen if we can make the most of it.

Driving for me is also very difficult. I seem to go places in my head that are not healthy or productive. It seems to happen before I am aware of it and then I have to pull myself back. I try now to plan what I will think about when I am driving. I have realized that if I do not do this I am not "present" and not a safe driver, for myself and others.

Wake up call? Yeah, kind of like waking up and the bed is on fire.

sri624 posted 9/6/2013 13:27 PM

it was for both me and my h. for me, it helped me get my head out of the sand...and be a strong, confident woman...deserving of a good partner in my life. i learned that life is not like it is on tv....and that i needed to take my rose colored glasses off. i am a better woman for that painful lesson.

for my h....the cheating exposed his substance abuse problem. he would have never gotten sober and gone to rehab had he not hit rock bottom. and rock bottom for him was being kicked out of the house for cheating, trouble with the law....broke...and a complete addicted mess.

his cheating broke my heart. it really did.

but none of these major changes in our m would have taken place had he not been the monster that he was.

hard to believe...

Bikingguy posted 9/6/2013 13:43 PM

Sorry I have to disagree with your MC. We might be better off DESPITE the affair. But My mindset will never be "happy because of the A".

Otherwise I can have an affair and by that logic we should be really happy. I do get what you saying, that a M could be better after and A. And I agree as if the M is not better than what it the point. But it can be better despite an affair not because of it.

Lucky2HaveMe posted 9/6/2013 13:43 PM

I used to think that. But when I look back at our journey, it didn't begin with his confessing to the A... and I trusted him that she was "just a friend"

So all it took for me was his telling me "I'm not happy and I'm ready to leave" to give me my wake up call. That's all it took - was his being honest with me. He didn't have to go have an A (or 2). All he had to do was TALK to me. By the time I figured out the EA part and him confessing to the PA part, we had done so much work on our relationship that it was harder for it to be the deal breaker I always thought it would be.

We have come a long way in spite of his A's. And perhaps they were his own *wake up call* - but I realize it wasn't mine. I just needed to be faced with the fact he wasn't happy. Sad that our relationship had deteriorated so much, and we are both so conflict avoidant, that his talking to me took years and the guilt of his A's to happen.

Scubachick posted 9/6/2013 14:19 PM

Very much. My husband is a workaholic and I have been trying to get his attention for years. I've been in counseling for over 10 years and I've begged him to come so many times. He went one time and hated it. 2 years ago I gave up trying and decided to just stick it out until our son graduated high school next year. I questioned if I was even still in love with him at this point. He works nights and sleeps days so we hardly see each other anyway. As disconnected as we were, I still never thought he'd cheat. I trusted him 100%. Then in late April I found out about his EA at work and it rocked my world. His too. It took almost losing each other to wake us up. He's now in counseling. He's finally involved in his son's life. Spends more time at home. Involved me in the business so we can spend more time together. We now know it takes both of us to make this marriage work and it has to be our priority. I don't think we would have made these changes any other way. And I found that I am still in love with him...more than ever. My mom and best friend thought I would use his EA as an excuse to leave because I was so unhappy and lonely but no...leaving didn't even cross my mind. I want to fight for my marriage now more than ever.

gettingthere2013 posted 9/6/2013 14:27 PM

Very much so. While I am not there yet,I can see the day when I will be glad I found out about the A. Never,never,never will I be glad he had one,but we needed the shake up,an Earth shattering shake up, to push past the walls standing between the us we had turned into and the us we once were. We are on the road to being better than we've ever been.

StillGoing posted 9/6/2013 14:54 PM

No, I am not thankful. If the affair was a wake up call in any way then it was one that told me I could not trust anyone, ever, completely. Because my wife lied to me, cheated on me, stole from us.

These are not acceptable reactions to a problem in a relationship. I will never be thankful for them any more than I expect she would be thankful I spent several years drinking far too much every evening. It certainly provides me perspective, but I don't think that being thankful for suffering abuse or neglect is something anyone should ever feel.

eta:

An M can be better after an affair the same way it can keep sucking camel shit after an affair. Either you both work to make it a better relationship, or you allow it to continue sailing down the Camel Shit river in a canoe made out of napkins. Both situations that could have come about without an affair, because neither situation requires one partner cheat on the other any more than they require one partner beat the other, hide money from the other, become an alcoholic, drug addict, Apple-product user, or anything other destructive habits. The downward slide can be stopped at any time. There is no bottom. Things can always get worse. The bad shit that happens on the way is still bad shit even if you recognize it as such and put a stop to that slide. That's when you start climbing back up. It doesn't mean the world couldn't get better before hitting that particular bend in Camel Shit River. It just means someone said "Fuck this, Imma turn around now" and started paddling back upstream, getting their hands dirty and all to do it.

[This message edited by StillGoing at 3:00 PM, September 6th (Friday)]

TxsT posted 9/6/2013 17:44 PM

We continually say to ourselves and some of our friends that our new M could never have come about without the A. We both believe this and I was actually the first to admit it and I am a BS. A's are a product of many factors converging together. Most of us put off dealing with these factors for whatever reason. I really think most of the feet dragging or compartmentalizing has to do with being scared of what our spouses would think if we brought up the crappy stuff. I also feel most Married couples do not have the effective communication needed to deal with such high stake things.

We are so happy that our counseling has brought us both to a new level of love, communication, openess and caring.

T

lucy17 posted 9/6/2013 19:42 PM

I am new to reconciliation...possible reconciliation.
I agree with StillGoing. I will never be thankful for his affair. I can't imagine I will ever fully recover from it--never have the confidence or the trust for ANYONE that I once had.
That being said it was a total wake-up-call. I used to say to my daughter, "Don't worry about it. Your dad will do his thing and you and I will do our thing." Because that's how it was these last two years and I had accepted it. Why? He had started to pull away when she was born 8 years ago and I told him to figure it out because I wasn't happy and he did. This time when I would express unhappiness he kind of sidelined it and I allowed him to. I was busy being a teacher to needy but wonderful children and a mom to a lovely young lady and he had experienced a catastrophic event that even now he can't completely get away from. We were too wrapped up and wounded to fight for us.

Wake up call? Yeah, kind of like waking up and the bed is on fire.

Such a great description.

shatteredheart7 posted 9/6/2013 19:54 PM

Happy because of the A? NO! Happy in spite of it, YES! I can see now how unhappy we both were. I didn't really see it then. I knew I wasn't happy. I knew he was always in a bad mood. I had checked out of our M and didn't really care most of the time where he was as long as he wasn't at home. When he was home all he did was either yell at the kids or shut himself in the bedroom with phone in hand and the tv on. About a year into his A I started sleeping in the guest room. Things were pretty horrible.

After the kids and I moved out and we started talking again, he stopped the A (that I still didn't know about) and started seeing an IC. We started communicating again. We were great, then he confessed. I thought I was going to die, wished for it actually. But after MC and more IC for both of us, We are happy again. Better than ever.

That he was able to have an A hurts. I could do without that pain! I wish we would have both woken up before it came to that. But it happened, he takes full responsibility in his bad decision. We are moving forward. We WILL make it! But without hitting rock bottom first I doubt we would still be together!

hobbeskat posted 9/6/2013 20:06 PM

Yes. But I would honestly slap anyone who said I'd be, "grateful". It should not have taken my heart to be broken for things to be better. My marriage may have been improved but I am irrevocably damaged by his affair.

[This message edited by hobbeskat at 8:06 PM, September 6th (Friday)]

Girlietoo posted 9/6/2013 20:34 PM

Absolutely. I realized how much I love him and want him to be part of my life. I had bottled up so much resentment towards him that I started closing myself off. I was not very nice to him for about 2 yrs before the affair. IMO he wasn't very nice to me either.

The affair helped me to see that bottling up my feelings does me no good. When my husband told me that he didn't think I cared where is was or who he was with. I absolutely did care, but I said nothing. I wanted very much to tell him that I did care, but I just didn't. I just walked away.

torn2pieces posted 9/6/2013 21:01 PM

Thanks for all the responses. i think what i meant was not happy the affair actually took place but the aftermath from it. i chose to stay and we've become stronger but as many of you have said i also could have done without the pain..its as if i have ptsd! Hoping for brighter days for us all...

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