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Guidance thru this journey

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hope2013 posted 11/6/2013 09:44 AM

I had a 5 year affair which my husband never discovered. My 23 year marriage had many issues, his infidelity (once, short-lived), control, manipulation, physical abuse to both myself and my children. I left my husband twice, once for abuse and in Aug 2012 because I was unhappy in my marriage and was going to be with my AP who separated from his wife to be with me. I returned to the marriage in Nov 2012 and told myself that I was going to work on myself and the marriage and cut AP out of my life. Things were going well with DH, but I slipped and had contact with AP and saw him a couple of time in Jan-May. In May 2013, there was an abusive event with DH and I filed for divorce. I started individual counseling, but I ended up reconciling in June with my DH. I saw AP in August but then said no more and have not had contact since then. My individual counseling is about getting stronger and courageous, as I had tolerated poor behavior from DH, plus the shame and secrecy of the affair only further compounded my issues. I am a successful career woman, no one would have ever imagined I tolerated any type of abuse or control, but I was insecure. I started a new job as well and have stepped outside my comfort zone and doing well.

My struggles, I love my DH for the life we have built together, our 4 children and as my friend. DH is a handsome man, but he put on a lot of weight so I lost my attraction for him, compounded by the attraction for my AP. My DH has issues, but he is not like this all the time. It is more isolated than a recurring issue. He is doing the work to address his issues and I see a lot of progress. But I have not felt that chemistry for my DH in years, even prior to the affair. I knew that if the AP was out of my life, I had a chance of resurrecting the feelings for DH as there is more good than there is bad.

I have not told my counselor or my DH about my affair. I struggle with the guilt I feel over the secret. If my DH knew, he would never forgive me and I know his “mean side” would come out. It is out of fear that I keep it from him. I had a girlfriend who I could talk to about this but she stopped talking with me when I reconciled with my DH in June.

I miss xAP, think about him all the time but I am not making contact. I know he is seeing other people now, makes me sad but I am also happy for him. Ladies, I am struggling. I don’t want to contact xAP, I want to move beyond it. Words of wisdom…

painfulpast posted 11/6/2013 10:24 AM

BS here. My question is not really A related, but may get to some deeper issues. I understand that you feel ‘love’ for your DH, but he has shown you again and again the he will be abusive to you as well as your children. He is clearly to the point where you returning to him has frustrated your friend so much that she can no longer support you as a friend. Why would you go back to someone so abusive. Loving someone does not make abuse ok.

As for the A, what is it that is holding you back from telling your counselor?

Your story is very concerning. Physical abuse to your children is just unacceptable. Please, get out of that home for good.

She-Ra posted 11/6/2013 10:34 AM

I agree. A physically abusive home would be scary. I don't know how you could want to R with him.

Normally I would suggest to confess your A to your BH but I would fear for your safety. However I will suggest for you to be honest with your counsellor. What's the point of spending the money and time away from your kids, if you aren't laying it all on the table.

hope2013 posted 11/6/2013 16:30 PM

I have continually made the choice to return to my husband due to the fear of the unknown, he keeps trying to grow and change, security and comfort of the life we have together.
my xAP showed me what it was like to be in a different type of relationship that what I had with my DH. The kindness, gentleness, compassion and support was so very different for me. But I did not trust it because it was an affair and affairs are built on lies. Lots and lots of lies. xAP said he would wait for me and he has waited thru all my back and forth, but this last time was the final straw. I told him I was focusing on my marriage and he needed to move on and he has been dating and seeing other women.

I know I need to tell my therapist so she has the full picture. She knows my husband as well so she knows my concerns and is concerned for me as well. In my marriage, work and relationship with xAP, I did not address issues for a long time, I withdrew instead. My therapist is helping me to act more courageous, hold boundries. I have grown alot since I started seeing her. Talking about the affair outloud when I have kept it secret for so long is very frightening. But I also feel I need to talk about it in order to move on.

I returned to my husband out of fear before. Part of me does want to tell him about the affair. It was the combination of the issues in the marriage and the affair that turned me away from him. I keep trying to engage, but it feels so fake but I am still scared to do anything else. Then I think if I really do get xAP out of my system then I can move on. But how????

painfulpast posted 11/6/2013 17:59 PM

I agree with others - usually I favor telling the BS about the affair. In your case, no. He is physically abusive already. This would most likely send him into a rage and that is dangerous. Safety is first, always.

If you feel fake in your M, I'm still not sure why you returned? I understand fear, and that your H had been abusive which can cause a lot of security issues. I also understand that the A was a bandaid to make you feel better. Instead of dealing with issues, you went with AP. OK, but you state you have seen a 'better' relationship because of it. I would think you would want that, instead of more abuse. And for your children as well.

I'm sad for you. Paralyzing fear is really hard and heartbreaking. Please, tell your counselor about the A. She cannot tell anyone else, and she can help you so much more if she knows your whole story.

Please stay safe.

Skan posted 11/6/2013 19:55 PM

You really do need to tell your IC and have some very long talks with him/her. Were I in your shoes, I would be afraid to tell as well, however, these things do have a tendency to get out, to get known. What are you going to do if in 1 year, 2 years, your BH finds out about your A? What do you think that him finding out will do to your marriage at that point?

You need to think really hard about this. Really hard about the likely scenarios. I would suggest that if you do really decide to stay with your BH, you are going to have to tell him, possibly in a MC setting. Because the likelihood of him finding out later is quite real. And now, while you both are supported by councilors, seems to be the safest time. If he finds out later, it seems quite likely that he will think that he's been made a fool of by making such great changes in his life (if indeed he does make them), and attack you for that. I would urge you to consider that.

hope2013 posted 11/7/2013 07:42 AM

I just read this from another post:

Intensive IC - every other week for 3 years. My IC kicked my ass - pushed me really hard, wouldn't accept half ass answers, challenged me on my bullshit, and gave me precisely what I needed to heal and change. I wouldn't be where I am today without her - she saved me from myself.
It took about a year to really get to the nucleus of my issues. In that time, she gave me tools but really, I wasn't ready to use them. It was when I hit my own year 2 that I was open and willing. If you're not open & willing, it doesn't matter what tools you are given because you won't use them.

In my case, what's been most effective is the loving relationship I have with MYSELF. I am honest with myself about myself. I love me. I remind myself of my value and worth. I squash negative self-talk. I reinforce positive thinking as much as possible. I validate myself so that I don't need to seek it elsewhere. I am also very realistic.

You can do this - just keep doing the work. It's going to be extremely painful at times, but don't quit. You owe it to yourself.

I have been going to counseling but filtering what I put out for discussion. I feel like this big secret is trying to crawl out of my body.

Detoxing from AP, that is a good term. I still had access to some of his accounts so I was able to see what he was doing. Wrong, awful, soul-sucking I know, and I need to stop. I am allowing it to make me insane.

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