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My Story So Far: will we make it?

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Jdnrte posted 1/2/2014 16:00 PM

Resentment was building for some time before D-day. Couple that with the fact that neither of us are good fighters,. We both watched our parents fight horribly as kids that we ran in fear from communicating anything uncomfortable. We'll, WS ran, I just pushed down the emotions until I never thought of them.

My WS was never one with a weak moral compass. He's always hated cheaters, and I've known many. Both my parents included. He had no sympathy.

When he finally confessed, which was about a month after we finally acknowledged that are marriage wasn't right (and later, about 2 months after the affair started) we started divorce proceedings right away. He didn't want to deal with the guilt any more, and he knew my stance. It was a whirlwind, and it was ugly. I had no time to process.

Three days later, he finally showed some remorse. I took cue and told him it's not too late until the papers are signed, and he should probably make sure this was what he wanted lest he end up in a few months divorced and STILL unhappy. He took my words to heart and text me the next morning that if we could come to terms on our reconciliation, we would give it a shot. I agreed.

We sat down and went over our lists that next night. We agreed on everything in them, things we need to work on, but now we're stuck. Granted, we haven't been back to counseling since the holidays, and this is still new, but it kind of feels like we're falling into our old patterns on the outside.

I don't necessarily want to bring up the EA, but I feel like I need to in order to process it. I don't want to hurt him or make him run, but it would help. Though, I don't know what I need from him to "get over it".

We have had one conversation about the EA, which did end in a fight. Though, the fight was finished with neither of us leaving . It was about the fact that I got news that the EA had given me a very minor STI. One round of antibiotics would be enough. His first comment, intentional or not, hurt me. "I should tell her" he said. They've been NC since the day we decided to work on us. I would have expected him to be more concerned about my feelings, than hers. If she actively pursues guys with no respect to their marital status, she can take responsibility for her own health just like I had to, because of her. Sharing these feelings of hurt I had with WS caused him to run away. I followed after him, told him if we didn't talk then we were just repeating old patterns.

He agreed. He said he wasn't happy (I think he's depressed) and he'll talk to the therapist about it. I said ok, because that is important, but I also need to talk about my hurt. I need to be able to trust him again if this is going to work. At least we made it through the argument and were able to communicate our feelings and talk respectfully.

I don't want to punish him forever. But I do want to process. I want to mourn the relationship I lost and build a new one - hopefully with him.

I wish there was some sort of list I could follow, a roadmap for the path to reconciliation. I don't know what he needs, I don't know what I need. I love him dearly, but I don't trust him yet with my feelings or anything really. I wonder if I'm just setting up myself for continued hurt. How do I know that he's back?

What's next so I come through this healthier and stronger? How can I protect myself and rebuild, too? Or are those two options separate of each other?

How do I talk about my feelings with him without shutting him down because he feels guilty? This is a tough road to go, and I don't know the direction.

Thanks for reading.

rachelc posted 1/2/2014 16:17 PM

Honey, there is a saying around here - you have to be ready to lose the marriage to save it. That means you draw your line HARD in the sand - you talk about it when YOU need to, he cowboys up and listens and puts his own selfish feelings (guilt, shame, whatever) on hold so YOU can heal. And he deals with them in IC.
YOU set the conditions of recovery and be ready to walk if they're not met. DO NOT let him rugsweep.

Jdnrte posted 1/2/2014 18:50 PM

How do I know where to draw the line? I love my WS. I want to take care of him, because I love him. If I want to take care of him, how do I reconcile my needs with his? If I make mine more important, won't that be the end? Or maybe not, because I've always taken care of him, and look where it got me.

How do I know that we're actually on track? What are these feelings I'm dealing with?

FightingBack posted 1/2/2014 19:08 PM

I think you are still in shock. You will know where to draw that line when you are ready to recognize what it is you really want in your marriage.

Have him read How to Help your Spouse Heal from your Affair by Linda Macdonald and Not Just Friends by Shirley Glass.

Seriously, have him read these.

kansas1968 posted 1/2/2014 19:11 PM

Get a good book on surviving affairs. Everyone feels like they are in a whirlwind when this happens, but a good book can give you that roadmap.
"Not Just Friends" by Shirley Glass helped me a lot and there are other books further down in the forums list under the books forum.

It takes a long time and a lot of work. I was afraid of the fights at first, that they would just push us apart, but they never did. He just didn't want to give up, so we weathered the storms and even after three years are still having some doozies! Don't be afraid of your emotions, but try and have calm conversations if possible.
You have to tell him what is hurting you and you have to ask for the information that you think you need. Good luck and hugs.

Jdnrte posted 1/2/2014 19:24 PM

Thank you for the book selections, all. I'm here trying to feel like everything is okay and it's really not ok. Three days after Dday, in the whirlwind of shouting after the kids were in bed, and petty fights, mean texts, separating accounts, talking to lawyers and realtors.... I was brave when I told him that I would be fine with or without him, but divorcing me won't absolve his guilt, and he needs to figure out if that's what he really wants, and I got that text saying he was sorry, and he wanted to try. Try. I was so elated. I thought I lost him, that I failed as a wife, but he picked me over her! I was surprised. But now, I'm supposed to keep being brave, tell him how I feel and tell him to accept me for my feelings and either help me or leave? How do I start that conversation? How do I tell him what I need? Maybe no one can answer that but me. I don't know. I'm lost.

badmedicine posted 1/2/2014 19:57 PM

Sorry you're here. But, I'm glad you are reaching out. Also, if he is asking what you need that is a good start.

To figure out what you would need you have to look inside yourself. What was missing? What do you think a partner should provide to a relationship? Reading in the HL might help, as will reading the posts of others. I would think about what you need to heal and restore your trust in him but also what you need long-term in the marriage. I made a list and I did it over a few days. Plus, if you give him a concrete item like a list it is easy for him to review and consider each piece. Time is your friend right now. Since you have both agreed to try reading and thinking will help. The pain is still so raw and fresh that talking can be so difficult and make things feel worse. Some of this is inevitable; talking about feelings and reasons and wrongs will hurt. And it should hurt him, too. Focus on the actions he will need to do to convey his remorse and his understanding of the pain you are experiencing. You don't have to tell him *how* to do this, however...unless he can't figure it out himself. IC can help with this introspection.

Hope that helps for a start!!

karmahappens posted 1/3/2014 00:01 AM


Welcome to SI. You have been dealt a huge blow and recovering from this kind of trauma takes a long, long time.

Whether you R or D YOU will need to heal.There is no book, but I will tell you my opinion, take what you want from it and leave the rest. It will be based on my experience, because that's the only perspective I can give you.

You are not even a month from dday. Forget about "fixing" the marriage right now. You have been handed a raw deal and in the beginning it's about survival and navigating.

This affair is the burning building. He has gone NC and said he wants to commit to the marriage.

What needs to be done first is individual therapy. You get a therapist and so does he. Deal with the affair, the STI, the rage, fear and feelings that come along (how is it you got an STI from an EA?)

He needs his therapy to try and figure out what in him is broken. What made it ok for him to possibly throw away his family, wife and life for some ego strokes and attention? Where did he go that allowed him to trash his wedding vows?

The marriage is not to blame, nothing you did was to blame, this is all on him. If the marriage was so bad that he wanted out he should have left or come to you and discussed the situation. The answer is NOT to go outside the marriage and have an affair. Period.

He needs to own his actions. He needs to understand you will be going through hell for quite some time. You will wake up some days and love him and be thankful he is beside you and other days you will wake up and wish he were dead. You will love and hate him. It's all ok and any feelings you have are normal.

You need to accept the feelings as they come. Work through them, do not rug sweep and pretend everything is ok. I promise you, if you do, you will be back here in 1, 2 or 5 years asking what the eff happened.

He maybe saying he is sorry, but really, right now he is a liar and a cheater. His words mean nothing, promises....zilch. Actions matter right now, not words. Long term repetetive actions that support you and R, words will have meaning again eventually, but he needs to earn the trust back.

He needs to start and stay in his therapy and work his ass off trying to fix this, make what he did not hurt so much.

He needs to at the very least

#1. Be transparent.
All passwords, cell phones, email accounts...everything needs to be an open book. All bank accounts, everything. NO secrets. He has lost his "right" to privacy.

#2. Answer all questions, over and over again. Until you are done asking. And then he needs to be ready to answer them again. Without any anger, eye rolling, telling you to get over it ....

#3. Complete honesty.

Shouldn't need explaining...

#4. NC with the affair partner. No contact. She contacts him in any way, shape or form, he tells you immediately. He does not delete any emails she sends, answer any phone calls, respond to any texts...and he does NOT delete them without showing/telling you first. (her number and email should be blocked)

#5. Send a NC letter if he hasn't already.

#6. Give you a timeline of the affair, leaving out nothing, or giving you as much info as wanted.

#7. All "boys nights" should be over. An inventory of your friends should be done. Are they safe? Are they friends of the marriage and have your best interests at heart.

#8. Jump through hoops to do anything you need so you feel safe again, help you through this roller-coaster he has put you on. It is a long road, a hard road and he needs to have the ability to take your pain and carry it....until you are able to carry it with him.

The reason I believe you both need to put the marriage problems on hold right now, your life has changed as you know it. This affair is bigger than your marriage issues. You need to get your feet under-neath you before you try to address the marriage. You need 2 healthy, emotionally available people to have a healthy marriage. Right now the affair compromises your emotions and it needs to be in check before anything else can be done.

So, um that's a start

Really though, be good to you. Know that you do not have to R and making any decisions immediately aren't needed. If he doesn't get it (it is really too early to tell) if he doesn't do what you need you will need to be strong and stand up for yourself.

I know you want to R, I love R stories and hope everyone can make it through. Some can and some cannot. It's a personal journey and one you will have to navigate.

Listen to your gut.

Be prepared for bumps along the way.

Know that there are a ton of "issues" that can come up. Something does, come and ask of us, if not many, will have already seen it or done it. We can help you navigate through this.

Know what your dealbreakers are and be prepared to draw your line in the sand. Sometimes you have to, sometimes you don't.

(((hugs))) you will get through this, just remember to deal with it, all of it. It is ugly and shitty, but it will ultimately make you strong as hell and if you both can do the work might just give you the marriage you have always wanted.

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