He came home September 1st of this year, and my life changed. He came home and was completely shut down emotionally. He couldnt look me in the eyes. He was cold, distant...not the man I knew and loved. He eventually asked for a divorce and said he wanted to be alone. He gave no explanation, and I assumed it had something to do with going back to the place of rape. I thought he had PTSD. I begged him to talk to me, to talk to a counselor, assured him of my love, and refused to give him the divorce he seemed to want. I didn't beleive he truly wanted that. This went on for a month, and he finally asked for help and started seeing a counselor. After the first counseling session, he came home in tears, completely broken and asked me if I really thought we could make it through anything. I said yes, and he he told me he had an affair during his deployment. I thought I'd be infuriated, but was shocked to feel relief. I could see emotion in him again, and he was able to look at me and tell me how much he loved me. His has been completely open with me, cut off all contact with the OW a month BEFORE he came home, is so remorseful, and is doing everything he can to show me how much he loves me. His reasoning for asking for a divorce was because he thought he that is what he deserved. I have told him that I am willing to forgive and rebuild our marriage. We have even had a bit of a "honeymoon" period. I feel my emotions are all over the place. One day I feel like my marriage can conquer anything and am confident that God can make something broken into something beautiful, and the next day I'm sad and go through the "how can he do this to me" thoughts.
I want some badly to heal my marriage and make it even better than before. I guess I'm looking for stories of hope and healing from others. I have chosen not to tell my family...I know they aren't capable of truly forgiving him like I am. I truly believe, and he does too, that this is the worst mistake of his life...completely out of character...a moment of human weakness at his most vulnerable time. Despite what he did, I think he's a great man. Even still, I'm having trouble with understanding how he could let this happen. I know I'll never understand, but how do I get past these feelings? He is willing to talk about it as much as I want, has answered every single question honestly, and has given me every detail that I ask. I don't want to keep bringing this up. I feel like since I've chose to forgive, I need to find a way to do that without bringing it up over and over again. I know I don't need to worry about his feelings in this, but I worry that he wont be able to forgive himself and will never feel worry of me as well.
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit" Psalm 34:18
I feel like since I've chose to forgive, I need to find a way to do that without bringing it up over and over again.
What I learned was that I needed to keep bringing it up until I didn't need to bring it up anymore. It took quite some time, and quite a few retellings of the same details, and that's OK. I tried stuffing my feelings, but that always ended badly. You need to process things, and what you're dealing with is a big thing.
Forgiveness is a process. For something this big, you can't just say I forgive you and move on with your life. There are a lot of feelings to work out. Be authentic with yourself and with him, and you'll get to true forgiveness
The people you do your life with shape the life you live
I hope your H is still in counseling. He has been through a lot of trauma and most likely hasn't processed it all yet. If he doesn't, and if he doesn't regain his self esteem and his boundaries, he remains vulnerable for this to happen again.
I do not mean to make light of his rape. I've been there more than one time. It's a horrific thing to have happen, I would guess, possibly even more horrific for a man who has not considered that this might possibly happen to him, unlike women for whom, IMO, the possibility of rape is always in the back of our minds.
My FWHs ONS and his cyber-sexcapades were a far worse trauma to me, than my rapes. My rapes haunted me. My FWHs betrayal shattered me. I'm still picking up the pieces and trying to glue them back together.
So please. Know that you have gone through some horrific trauma yourself. At one moment, you were happily married. In another moment, you were facing a stranger. And the next moment, you found that you were betrayed by your husband who vowed before God to have no one else but you.
That's trauma. Just as he needs to let what happened to him out so that he can purge it, get the support of you, his church, his pastor, you need to do the same. YOU need to talk about this until you don't need to talk about this anymore. Please do consider seeing a councilor. If you don't deal with your trauma, I guarantee that it will come out in other ways, in another time. You cannot ignore this, nor sweep it under a run. It will simply grow and become a monster.
You need to keep talking. He needs to keep digging why he decided to betray you, and make no mistake, it was a decision, not a mistake. If you two are to heal and to heal together, you need to be utterly honest with each other and seek support. IC or MC or a combination of both.
I'm not going to lie to you. It's hard. It's the hardest thing that I have even done in my life. God and I have had some interesting conversations, some of which have been with my fists clenched and screaming upwards at heaven. It's not been pretty. But if the two of you have the earnest desire to R, you can. If the two of you can be utterly honest with each other, seek understanding, and ultimately have compassion for each other, you can make it. It sounds to me like you had a good marriage before, with work, you can create a good marriage from this point on. I would like to suggest that you read both "Not JUST FRIENDS" by Shirley Glass, and "Beyond Ordinary" by Justin & Trisha Davis who are the founders of RefineUs Ministries. I found both to be quite helpful.
And keep coming back for support. Christian, Agnostic, Muslim, Zocasternarian, we are all human beings who seek the same things. Love, support, comfort, and community. We are all here for you. (((hugs)))
D-Day, June 10, 2012
Skan, have I told you that I love you? You have the most beautiful, eloquent way of writing/speaking here and I appreciate your wisdom and strength so much.
Cotk, I sent you a pm but wanted to reply here too. There is nothing in the bible that I have ever found that commands us to forgive and forget. God says He does. But He made us. He knows our hearts and how we function. If you and your H do not process this, it is very likely to come back and haunt you.
Hugs. It's a tough path ahead of you. But there are a whole lot of us walking with you.
I want to do this the right way, so I don't end up resenting him later on and can find true forgiveness. It's only been a month. Is there even a "right" way to do this?
If I wanted to ask a Q to make my W feel bad, I usually didn't ask (but sometimes I did). Usually, I realized I wanted to hurt my W because I felt so badly hurt myself. Hurting her rarely helped; what helped me most was to let her know I was sad/mad/scared because of what she did or said. Hurting her wasn't healing; expressing my own feelings was.