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my story...the short version

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ladycody posted 11/20/2013 11:59 AM

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 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) 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 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...

Crushed1 posted 11/20/2013 12:51 PM

You can work through anything if you are both on board and desire it. What has your WH done to assure you that he's not going to go down that path again? Unless your WH is willing to dig very deeply inside of himself to find the cause of why he does these things, then you'll likely find yourself in this situation again.

YOU are enough, don't let him make you think anything less. His cheating really has nothing to do with you, your looks, your abilities, etc. HE is the one with the problem and he needs to solve his issues because this is all about him and his selfish, thoughtless, pathetic neediness to have outside validation from people who should never be in his life to begin with.

He will need to earn your trust back, which can be done through his willing to be transparent and honest and open with you about everything from now on.

There are some enlightening articles in the Healing Library, the link is in the yellow box in the upper left of your screen.

MovingUpward posted 11/20/2013 14:17 PM

I do think he loves me and he swears he wants nothing more than to keep me in his life.

With that promise, I think he needs to dig deeper into why he is falling for this same scenario. What makes him forget to act such that it won't hurt you and thus keep you in his life. The words are always easiest to say. To follow them up with actions that show this promise tends to be the stumbling block of many. If he chooses to step up and show action upon action that reinforces this and doesn't sink to behaviors of cheating then your marriage has a great shot at surving if that is what your desire is too.

ladycody posted 11/23/2013 18:50 PM

Still in a fog...fuzzy brained and focus-challenged. WH has not tried to place the blame anywhere except squarely on his own shoulders and continues to try and be supportive in whatever way he can as my emotions swing from semi-stable to depressed and angry. We talked about the why and he insisits the OW was just having issues at home and pursued him at work...was looking for attention she wasn't getting at home. She's younger and he said he was flattered and stupid and he doesn't have a good excuse for why he caved other than feeling the affects of getting older...aging skin, less hair, etc and that it was like a stupid man's balm.

So I guess he's doing everything right...I just don't know if I can picture us ever being normal again...ever being really good again. Only time will tell and I'll give it the time I need to know...but if two years down the road I'm not at least heading for some semblance of happy and secure again...I've researched my options for change and will have my ducks in a row to facilitate that should the need arise. Right now I'm exhausted by the overwhelming sadness that keeps kicking me in the gut...and am hoping that will resolve to something more manageable soon so that I can get some ability to focus back. This fugue state is tough to function in.

JustWow posted 11/23/2013 19:02 PM

If I were you, I would insist on him seeing a
GOOD IC. Seems like he needs to really work on establishing and keeping boundaries, as well as examining why he really does this and what is it that he needs to work on to not keep re-running this really, really broken and painful scenario.

No MC till he gets to the bottom of his poop.
Admitting he is at fault might be a start - but only a baby-step. What the hell is he going to do to make himself a responsible, loyal, honest adult?

[This message edited by JustWow at 7:22 AM, November 24th (Sunday)]

headdesk posted 11/24/2013 12:13 PM

Just wanted to say that you're doing the right things - hang on in there. Only time will tell, you're right, but don't feel bad if it's too much for you. Sad and remorseful as he is, he still did this twice. I agree with the IC - he (and you for support) need it.

Hope2B posted 11/24/2013 15:36 PM

She's younger and he said he was flattered and stupid and he doesn't have a good excuse for why he caved other than feeling the affects of getting older...aging skin, less hair, etc and that it was like a stupid man's balm.

This was just like one of the many "reasons" that I heard. I've kept a list. Someday, I might even look back and laugh.

I put away all photos of "us" and I took off my wedding ring.

The 180 might be helpful for's over in The Healing Library, a clickable link off to the left of the screen.

I feel your pain, ((((ladycody.))))

ladycody posted 11/25/2013 12:11 PM

Thanks for the replies. Am still just taking things one day at a time. WH had surgery at the end of last week and am not going to lie...fluctuated between being ok and resenting the fact that he needed support when I really didnt want to be taking care of him. Timing for this was not ideal but he's on the mend so my annoyance factor is improving. He noticed the sadness and tried to need as little as possible from me...but am glad he's about able to manage on his own again.

ladycody posted 11/25/2013 23:07 PM

Rough day...pvc's all day long. I sometimes get them under severe stress but today seemed to spike a ton of them. They are not debilitating but they get my attention. Christmas anniversary...two vacations planned in the next 6 months...and every time I think of the future my heart has thudded almost out of my chest today. Better now but was exhausted and sad beyond words earlier.

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