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Calling all Hope 3+ years out

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AFrayedKnot posted 10/14/2013 10:49 AM

There have been a bunch of posts lately from people struggling in the 2 year doldrums. Some of them were from me.

I think it would be great to hear some hope to continue navigating the Plain of Leathal Flatness.

Can we ever truely be happy again?

[This message edited by Chicho at 10:54 AM, October 14th (Monday)]

lordhasaplan? posted 10/14/2013 11:07 AM

The second year is the hardest because you usually have gotten out of crisis mode and now are into the real work. The real work on yourself, the marriage, and at teh same time things settle into a new normal.
But yes, it gets better. As your feel you have worked through your personal issues you begin to feel empowered to open up a little and verify. Trust a little and verify. Then you get scared and usually move inward for awhile. This vaccilation occurs with greater time spent opening up with success. Then you start to realize a new place, a marriage where you are empowered and safe in the fact that you can open yourself again knowing YOUR able to handle all that comes good or bad. Followed by a feeling that you can do it together You read when the train is going off the rails and move toward each other because you start to trust again. It happened slowly for me. But it is happeneing. Each day, better.

Rebreather posted 10/14/2013 11:11 AM

Year three was much better for me. I really understood what I wanted and where I wanted to go. I put down the burden of R and had my spouse pick it up.

You are on the path. I think the worst is behind you but the past is so scary it is hard to let go of. I was very much on the 5 year plan and found some relief in year 3.

PhoenixRising88 posted 10/14/2013 11:45 AM

Rebreather.... Good to know that it does get better...

Chicho - I also am in Year Two. It's been my experience that the second year has for the most part sucked way more than Year One.

I just keep remembering Dory from Finding Nemo... Just keep swimming, just keep swimming... and I know now that whatever the outcome is, I will be okay.

sisoon posted 10/14/2013 12:10 PM

2 years, 9 months out - pre-A I was a happy man who was sometimes sad, scared, and/or mad. During the A and after D-Day, for about 18 months, I was grief-stricken, angry, and a little scared. Then my feelings started to shift. Now I feel joy again some of the time, and I'm still angry and sad sometime.

My W still has issues to resolve, and they tie into her A.

I still have issues to resolve, and they impact our M. I still have feelings about W's A, but for the life of me, they seem minor - of course, I could be wrong. I think I'm back to normal, but 'normal' now accounts for residual pain from the A, the knowledge that my partner is in pain and has always been in pain without my recognizing it. I'm less joyful, but I'm in closer touch with reality, and I keep telling myself I'm better off that way.

(But something's been going on inside for a few weeks, but when I sit down to think it through, I get stuck very quickly.)

My overall view is doing the work of recovery makes our lives better. I don't think your mileage will vary from that.

ETA: and what lhap? says.

[This message edited by sisoon at 3:13 PM, October 14th (Monday)]

I think I can posted 10/14/2013 12:11 PM

Year 3 was way way better. Year 4 was way better than that. And so on.

Year 2 just sucks.

Alex CR posted 10/14/2013 13:16 PM

3 years and 11 months out......and year three brought peace. I struggled to accept the betrayal during year two....that was so hard but I am at a point now where it happened, it's over and both H and I are still working on us....we've made us the priority again and life is good.

Looking forward to this time next year to see where we are......hopefully it will just keep getting better. I think it will because a lot of the little things we've worked to change about ourselves seem to have become a habit now. We're more considerate, kinder and communicate respectfully when we feel something needs to be addressed rather than burying it to keep peace.

I found happy times, I even feel joy......

fourever posted 10/14/2013 14:01 PM

I'm in agreement with all. Year three+ is going much more smoothly. Not perfect, by any means, but way better in communication and being able to trust without so much fear. We are in a much better place. Finding the joy again.

DutchMom posted 10/14/2013 20:17 PM

I am going on year 5 in a few months. It wasn't until after year 4 that I didn't think about it every day. Still have ups and downs but for the most part life is normal. Year two was tough but it does get better.

Jrazz posted 10/14/2013 20:26 PM

I think that the hope for the 3 year stretch is 2 fold, and I can definitely speak to the POLF fears. Relationship issues aside, I actually feel like myself more often than not lately, and that is a huge relief. The triggers are still there but they tend to evaporate as soon as they appear. Crazz's A spanned Halloween to Christmas, any I spent the last two years either being sad or pissed that I couldn't just enjoy the season with my family. Well, the magic is back this year. I'm actually looking forward to things. There's lots of hope where there was just numbness and sadness before. Things aren't perfect, but they are good and I am relieved.

Year 2 is hard. Harder than year one because the reality of what we have lost gets really heavy. The upside is that with acceptance comes a newfound ability to let go and move forward. Even if things in the M are still up in the air, your feet will start to feel more firmly planted in the ground. Year 3 is better.

Mrs Panda posted 10/14/2013 20:47 PM

year 1 was a mess. Year 2 was anger
Year 3 we started to be us again. We worked towards the same goals
We are now in yr 5. The hardest is to keep it going. We both get lazy. There is complacency But we know it. We are AWARE.

toughernow posted 10/14/2013 22:58 PM


BS here and I am at the beginning of year two R. Anyone with any suggestions on how I could bypass year two completely and go directly to year three

RidingHealingRd posted 10/15/2013 00:13 AM

For me year 1 was by far the very worst. The realization and shock of learning that I was betrayed, my M in shambles, and my family a mess.

Like others I had read that year 2 was worse but I decided to avoid any possible self-fulfilling prophecy. I entered year two without any preconceived notion of how difficult it would be. Certainly there were difficult times but overall it was easier.

As I approach the end of year 3 I can say that it was much easier than year 1 and 2.

Fortunately, my Wh has worked harder than I during R. As my tagline says, he is putting 200% into it, as he should. This is probably why it was easier for me each year...he has never stopped trying to fix what he destroyed.

MrsDoubtfire posted 10/15/2013 05:55 AM

4 years and 5 months past Dday. 3 years and 7 months past true R date though( yeah- I got the dreaded false R in between confirmation and R )

Life is, on the whole, better. I still think about the A but probably because I still lurk on here and that sometimes triggers me.

We are now a fully functioning couple. We've never been able to say that before.

Year 1= pain
Year 2= working out your M
Year 3= coming to terms with your new reality
Year 4 and so forth=being comfortable as a couple.

It's hard work R but can be so fulfilling when your spouse is truly remorseful.

I am happy, contented, alive and LOVING my life as well as my FWH

Stick at it. Oh- and to the poster who asked how to completely bypass year 2? There's always alcohol but my doctor advised against it! He said it would hurt my pocket probably more than my liver

[This message edited by MrsDoubtfire at 5:56 AM, October 15th (Tuesday)]

DixieD posted 10/15/2013 09:20 AM

Year One was rough, but we made lots of progress (or so I thought) and as the first antiversary approached I thought we would be different and sail through Year 2. Clearly, the SI veterans didn't know what they were talking about.

I was wrong!

The wind came out of my sails quickly and I thought more about divorce in Year 2 than I ever did in Year One. The PLF hit hard. My husband worked his butt off to keep moving R forward because I was just too tired and apathetic to be bothered.

Something clicked in the last half of Year 2. I could feel the difference within myself. I knew I would make it regardless of the outcome.

Year 3 has improved upon that. We've built so many new and wonderful memories while the old sad ones have faded. The unhealthy dynamic has been replaced with a new healthier version.

Still a work in progress but the progress is visible to ourselves and others. And FWIW, we spend a lot of time together -- all day, most days -- and we haven't wanted to kill each other yet.......instead, we enjoy each other's company.

Many times I struggle with what to post on SI now because I'm not in that bad place anymore. It's getting harder to remember and relate to it.

So, it does get better. Hang in there.

t/j I'd love to be able to read Rebreather's hotel analogy again.

Darkness Falls posted 10/15/2013 13:09 PM

3.5 years post D-day. Years 1 and 2 were spent divorced with me working on myself and trying to move on with my life. I didn't get very far with the latter, but the former has been beyond valuable.

Year 3 has been spent reconnecting and discovering if a life together is really what we both want. I'm about 80% sure it is; I don't want to speak for him but I'd say he's around the same, percentage-wise.

I do know that the work I did in years 1-2 has made me very confident in my ability to finally participate properly in an adult relationship, for which I'm grateful regardless of XH.

karmahappens posted 10/15/2013 14:35 PM

Hey Chicho

I have been thinking about this a lot this past weekend.

I didn’t find SI until we were close to 5 years out, so maybe my healing would have been faster if I had some direction? I dunno. I was definitely on the 5 year plan.

For me, after year 2 which was difficult, as others mentioned, I found myself needing to address the crazies.

We had gone through plenty of digging, talking, unearthing FOO issues, IC….you name it. I got to a point where I knew I would be ok. But I still allowed myself to go to crazy places. I could set myself back with negative thoughts if I allowed my crazy brain to drive me. I could be in a puddle on the floor, full of doubt, making big out of small and creating a chaotic mess for myself.

It had become almost normal for me. But it was far from healthy and certainly not a normal I wanted to live in.

Through the last 3-4 years I have learned how to let go and accept. It took me a long time to do it. I had a spouse that did everything he could to make things right, to fix himself, to help me with my pain and to walk a path with me we would both be happy down.

I realized this part was about me, he couldn’t get here for me and it was unfair to continuously be holding him accountable for things he had no control over. I had to learn that I was enough, that I was good and worth him giving his all to me. I had to start to put into play all that I learned from my healing. Prior, I “knew” what I had learned, could tell you the answer to the question, but still wasn’t always living it.

I had to remove things that were not A related from my pain, if that makes sense. Not everything is A related, but in the first 1-2 years its as if everything is connected…I had to reverse that and only address A issues as A issues, not letting my life be the A issue…KWIM?

So I started to let go. I let go of the voice that would spin webs in my head. I ignored little nagging negative things that were really nothing.

I replaced them with action, a different kind of action since dday. I did positive things for my M, with my spouse, because I wanted to, not because I was escaping a trigger or trying to right a wrong. We began to live married again. I removed the A from my motives to do.
I was in my M because I wanted to be. I wasn’t in survival mode; I wasn’t fighting for my life.

We had won the fight, but I had to realize it was time to stop fighting and let things be.

The pain of the A is behind me, behind us. I don’t worry about him cheating; I don’t control him or his life. Right now, in this moment we both live respectfully and aware that what we do has an effect on the other. We communicate our wants, needs, frustrations with each other. Neither of us is right or wrong at any given moment, we are different. What one needs the other may not, but we both take into account that when the other is in need there needs to be attention given to that need.

We share everything, happiness, successes, failures, pain, doubts and fears. We ask each other for help, we both carry the load and occasionally carry more than our share when the other is tired.

We do this because we love each other, and we choose to fuel that love. We choose now to pay our marriage and our family the love, respect and attention it deserves.

It isn’t easy to get through but I can say that my life has a clarity it never had before. I don’t question the future, I am content with my past and I am able to go forward without fear holding me back.

For me, it’s an amazing place to be and I am eternally grateful. We were given a second chance and we both grabbed on and took it. I don’t ever take the blessing for granted.

LivinginLimbo posted 10/15/2013 14:46 PM

I'm in year 2. It's actual comforting to know that the anger I'm feeling is normal.

I think it's the reality of what my life has become that's weighing heavily on me. I have so much resentment that I find myself wishing he'd screw up so I'd have an excuse to leave.

I'm 4 months away from the magical year 3 to start. I do hope it gets easier.

LA44 posted 10/15/2013 14:48 PM

Thank you Chicho for starting this and for all of you who contributed. Us newbies are reading.

I can see this thread getting bumped in the months and years ahead.


I think it will because a lot of the little things we've worked to change about ourselves seem to have become a habit now.

That is impt. Doing things differently so the new good stuff becomes habit. Like going to the gym.


I don’t question the future, I am content with my past and I am able to go forward without fear holding me back.

This made my nose tingle in a, "I hope that is me one day" kind of way.

Thanks again wise ones.

IGaveItMyAll posted 10/15/2013 15:00 PM

Just wanted to say thanks for this post. I needed it today. I am in year 2 and yes it sucks at times. We are both working on ourselves and FOO issues, what kind of relationship we want, how to let go and open up. Its hard. I go through the "I'm Strong to being an emotional wreck" learning how to control my thoughts and emotions, what I am willing to put up with, how I really want to be treated and what I want out of life. I believe this will get easier. I look back and see how far I have come. I believe I will truly be happy again. Weather its with my wife will depend on her actions, limiting beliefs and if she has the vision to bring our relationship to that level. For once in my life I am only giving what I get in return.

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