We've been married for almost 16 years at this point and have a 12 year old and a 15 year old.
The first time was right before Christmas in 2005. A full blown PA with a woman he worked with who had hit a rough spot in life. I think being desired by her and being her confidante just made him feel good about himself. I was completely crushed but he cried...swore he loved me, transferred to another store, and offered complete transparency...so we worked on it and it took a looong time...but we had gotten back to a place where I thought we were really good. I had also gone back to school and gotten into a field that would allow me to never have to depend on a combined income for financial security...and I had started to feel safe again.
WHAM! Another damsel in distress at work (younger woman this time who, again, stroked his ego I think). I found out 3 weeks ago....supposedly an EA with kissing only(when I thought to look...I found about 1000 texts per month and had to realize when looking at many of the pictures taken during our last vacation...that he had been regularly texting her in my presence.)
I'm emotionally bi-polar at this point...On top of everything else I feel like a complete idiot for being so blissfully trusting!!! I'm mostly unbearably... unspeakably...sad. There are times when I almost approach normal or am even overly attracted to him as if I have a claim to stake(go figure)...at other times...I'm just tremendously sad with bits of anger and depression thrown in for good measure. To his credit...he is very supportive of whatever emotion I happen to be feeling and seems to be trying to just be there in whatever way I need...even if that means just leaving me the heck alone.
I do think he loves me and he swears he wants nothing more than to keep me in his life... that he doesn't know what he was thinking...that he was an idiot. I worry that, more accurately, he just likes what I bring to the table in his life (friendship, travel experiences-I'm the planner and he loves going but would never get anywhere on his own, and my income doesn't stink either at this point.) I do truly think it makes him sad to know how badly he's hurt me...again...but obviously the heartache he caused the last time didn't stop him from doing it this time. So what if I'm just not enough and he's simply not brave enough to walk away....that would pretty much guarantee a repeat performance at some point and I can't take it.
I can't compete with younger-skinny-and-has-youthful-skin...I'll never be that again. Having said that, I know I don't hate him...I feel like we really do get along and I don't want to walk away from our marriage if we can survive this and salvage something worth having...but I don't know if that's possible. Right now I can't imagine EVER feeling emotionally safe with him again...and I don't want my heart ripped out again in another 10 years. I've had enough of that for one lifetime and I'd rather just be alone...I like my own company and know I'd be alright in time. I feel like I need to give it enough time to sort out my feelings and I don't feel capable of that right now...so I'm just plugging along without really even knowing what direction I want to travel in. I have a serious case of brain fog, find myself apathetic to most aspects of life, and my ability to focus is shot. Thank heavens for my kids and job...they force me to at least make some attempt at normalcy.
Is it even possible to work through this? Has anyone been through this twice and been able to reconcile and be happy again???? Can you ever look at pictures again and just enjoy the memories without associating them with heartache? Seriously don't know what to do...