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About a month in now, and healing seems so far away..

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pointofnoreturn posted 11/1/2013 20:30 PM

So, I found this board from Reddit, and it seems like a better place to post this stuff than there. I understand what I did can upset others not even related to it, but being called a piece of shit with no hope isn't what I need right now.

This may get a little long, but I have to just pour out a bunch of horrible crap I've been living with.

Anyways, I cheated on my boyfriend twice. (Cue Maury booing) The first guy was only a one-time thing, and the second was with a coworker where it happened 3 times.

I have severe codependency issues. I'm always looking for a second opinion because I can never trust my own. I also suffer from extreme social anxiety. It's literally hard to say no to anyone for anything. Boss wants me to work a double? (gives up)

In the sense, I make fear-based decisions. In my mind at the time, it was a lot better to just let these guys have what they want rather than saying no, even though the consequences of those actions are a lot worse.

The one small factor that leaves me hanging on is that similar situations would happen before I was in a relationship. Guys would "talk me in" a relationship (i.e. pester me until I said yes), and then do things to me I didn't want.

I assume then at that point, the basis of my cheating falls under these points:

A) Gullibility. I was way too trusting of these men, despite being fooled over and over again. By the time I realize what they actually wanted, it seemed like it was too late.

Guy #1 also did things to take advantage of me by saying things like, "You're here with me, obviously you don't care about him." My stomach churns thinking about it now. How could I believe his bullshit?

B) Irrational fear of rejection of others and an unnecessary need of validation.

I might as well have a target painted on me saying "EASY". I'm always worried what others think of me, to the point where I'm freaking out over downvotes on Reddit. I'm always thinking I'm stupid, socially behind, and inadequate.

C) Both of these affairs occurred while my relationship was still an LDR.

This doesn't make it any better by any means, but it gives me some kind of hope that since I'm here in our home, I wouldn't have the time or place to even cheat. I live with my boyfriend. I work, and come straight home. If I have to be home late, such as staying over at work or stopping at the store, he is the first to know. If any incident occurred that was out of the norm, such as being approached by a guy, I tell him.

Now, I want to emphasize that this is merely the reason, not an excuse. To say something like, "Yeah, I cheated, but I have mental problems so it's a-okay!" is ridiculous. I know that in my heart if I don't solve these problems, it could very well likely happen again. And that's where I feel so alone at times.

At the basis, I'm like every other Wayward. I was selfish for my own reasons. Even at the very chance of losing the best thing I've ever had, I just let it happen. I just let it happen twice. I feel disgusted at myself.

I confessed both times. The first time, I confessed on the night that it happened. The second, I held in for two years. But, I knew he had to know. Sure, I wanted to not feel guilty, but it wasn't just that. He deserved to know. We had talks of marriage, and how could I honestly marry him if that was looming in the back of my mind?

Anyways, I did many things to try and reconcile. The both of us just buried the first incident and pretended like it never happened. I blame myself for the second time even more, because if I took the proactive approach, it might have never happened again.

We talked, and we cried, and those first few days after the second confession, he was completely destroyed. I now know how it feels to completely destroy the one person you supposedly love more than anything else and do nothing but just hold them... There's nothing else you can do.

It's been just over a month now. I've been trying to hold strong for him, and he seems like he wants it to work. We have our good days and our bad's a tossup between which we have more now.

I found out I had an employee assistance program, and I'm taking advantage of it. I have my second appointment this week.

I've gone from feeling numb to suicidal. I feel the only reason I haven't killed my stupid self is that to kill yourself is a sign of weakness. How can I show him I can be better if I kill myself?

I feel really remorseful for what I've done. Everything seems to be a trigger. Song on the radio singing about how that dirty cheater done broke his heart, seeing those TV shows where a cheater confesses on stage in the break room...I feel nonredeemable.

Even if I ever got 100% better and was assured it'd never happen again, I still have the red A attached to me. If I lost this relationship, there would forever be this burden of distrust to a future SO. "Oh, you cheated before? Better dump ya before you do it to me!"

I'm sorry if this doesn't make sense. And I'm sorry if you don't believe me (who'd believe a cheater?). I just want to know if there's anything I can do to make this pain go away short of killing myself.

Is there any hope for healing? Will I ever be able to forgive myself?

Vulcanized posted 11/2/2013 03:36 AM

Of course there is hope for healing. The big chink in your armour seems to be not saying no to other people.

How do you plan on changing that?

Zayda1 posted 11/2/2013 06:43 AM

I'm a betrayed spouse, so I hope you don't mind doing me posting.

It is good that you are being proactive and seeking help for your problems. However, I have the same issues as you (social anxiety, thinking I'm not good enough etc...) and I didn't cheat. You need to figure out why you let yourself use this as an excuse to cheat. How will you stop it the next time someone talks you into it? Honestly I don't buy the "they talked me into it" excuse. You need to grow up and own your actions. You are blame shifting and that is not going to help your betrayed boyfriend.

Keep going to therapy and really dig into yourself. You know you can be a better person, please don't let fear hold you back.

pointofnoreturn posted 11/2/2013 07:28 AM

Vulcanized: Well, right now I haven't gotten much in advice from the therapist because the first visit was just a general one for me and my boyfriend. Getting down the basics and all that, etc.

She did notice that when I got timid, my boyfriend would talk for me, so in that environment, she gave me a chance to talk.

I've had a number of smaller victories, and hopefully they'll add up. Yesterday I was able to say "no" to working a double shift. Typically, I'd just go with the flow, even if I didn't want to. It was a shaky and awkward "no", but a no at the least.

For the time being, I'm not going outside, at least not alone without permission. Work has been strictly business, and since I moved to a position where I'm alone, I don't have to worry about coworkers.

I'd like to be able to not have restrictions like this, but right now I don't trust myself to not say "no".

Zadal: Not every case of social anxiety is the exact same. For example, some may feel really nervous and anxious to be seen eating in public, I don't have that issue.

I guess take it as all cheaters are selfish, but not all selfish people cheat.

I'm speculating that my anxiety is the root of the problem, due to my past sexual abuse. I don't know if I want to get into too much detail about it, but basically it's a repeat of what happened with my infidelity.

Again, I want to emphasize that I don't want this to excuse the behavior, but rather what caused it.

I know I let my fear win and that's what caused the cheating. I put MY fears above HIS trust, and that's not right.

I'm quite honestly scared of what would happen. I was approached once at work. A guy was jokingly asking, "So, you have a boyfriend?" I of course said yes (I have a ring on duh), and he says "Want another one?" I don't say no, but I tiptoe around and go all like, "Haha...I don't even have the time or money for a second one." like an idiot.

My boyfriend and I talked about this, and it made me realize that how I phrased it could very well imply that perhaps I "wanted" another boyfriend, just due to circumstances, I didn't have one.

Socializing outside of the realm of my close friends is really scary now, knowing that something could imply something completely opposite of my beliefs. So right now, I'm staying far away from any events that do.

TheAmazingWondertwin posted 11/2/2013 15:07 PM

I am a BS. I hope this is okay to post
The reason I am posting has nothing to do with my WHs A.
I was you. Every word. The past abuse, not being able to say No, the reasons why I let things happen.
ALL OF IT. I understand that part of your post so very much.
When I married- my WH pointed out instances where I behaved Inappropriately- I too have had the "do you have a boyfriend conversation" almost identical. I wad pretty much unfaithful to any LT boyfriend i had until i met my H. I NEVER thought there was anything really REALLY wrong with me until I met someone that I truly cared for and did not want to hurt.
I never cheated. I knew what my weaknesses were and I did not want them to effect my M. I did seclude myself in order to protect myself and my M. Without cheating I closed myself off and took myself out of sketchy situations that I began to recognize now that I had my eyes open to how my actions effected my H. I also lied about my past and tried to recreate who I was so my H would love me. That's a whole other story with ties to his A.
I went through this early on in our relationship. I became a loving, faithful wife and committed mom for fifteen years. It was amazing and I grew stronger everyday (now I say no all over the place!)
You are broken and handling things the way a broken person will.
It wasn't until my WHs A that I realized how my past (many ONS type encounters when I was very young ) effected who I was, even so much later.
here is why there is hope- I was broken too. I felt I could never forgive myself- there is a lot more to my story and this is the first time I have ever really mentioned THIS part of me on the site.
But I heard you asking for help and I felt I had to let you know that it will take time - you can get better and be okay- you can heal and change and truly learn the whys- gently I say this- the why's you listed are your story, but I don't believe they are really your whys.
That takes a lot of time. Please give that to yourself. It all hurts now. But please please know that things can change.

I am sorry if this didn't answer your questions or help you wry much- just know that I wish you peace truly I do.

pointofnoreturn posted 11/2/2013 15:54 PM

Any response is better than listening to my empty silence. Thank you.

This is truly a hard shell to crack. I want to understand why I did what I did. I'm certain that my issues I have stated here contribute to it, but like you said, it's probably not the why I'm looking for.

What I do know right now though is that regardless of "why I did it", what I did isn't excused by the why. And that the why isn't solved until I know what the why is and how to prevent it in the future.

In the meantime all I can do is try and comfort my boyfriend and go to therapy. Oh and stay far far away from those situations again of course.

SurprisinglyOkay posted 11/2/2013 16:12 PM

my empty silence

Weekends are slow around here.

all I can do

There's a lot you can do.

Get some books and read them.

"How to help your spouse heal from your affair"

"Not Just Friends"

"After the Affair"

Ic is a huge help, but so is posting here, writing in a journal, talking to people you trust.

You've got a lot of work ahead of you. But hang in there, it's worth it.

A month out is not that far along. You've got a long way to go. Buckle up because it's a hell of a ride.
It eventually gets easier.

If he's not on here already this might be a good place for your BS. Mine is on here and it has helped both of us immeasurably.

pointofnoreturn posted 11/4/2013 08:34 AM

Thanks for the books. I'll get paid next Friday, so I'll pick up at least one of them. (I'd just buy them all on the App Store, but alas I'm broke). I am reading the samples provided though.

I had started a journal, but didn't realize this forum had a journal feature. Neat.

As for counseling, I got one through an employee assistance program. Once my five sessions are up, I'm going to proceed to a psychologist.

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