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I feel lost but still love her!

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311inlove posted 1/6/2014 15:02 PM

This is my first post and I guess that in and of itself is a good thing. I found out on Friday 1/3/2014 that my wife had a one night stand back in July 2013. We had our 17th anniversary on August 16th and were together for almost 1 1/2 years before that.
The back story of the past 17 years is one of ups and downs. Our marriage has been very cyclical. First thing to note is that 4 years ago I was diagnosed with adult ADHD and social anxiety brought on by the ADHD. I am the first to admit that even though my knowledge of these disorders has grown since then, I have done a very poor job of learning to live with them. I have always had a hard time completing simple tasks, mainly things around the house. I would eventually get them done, but obviously not as quick as my wife approved of. Most of the bigger, more daunting tasks, especially in the past 3-4 years, I have been able to follow through. For the first decade plus of our marriage, I was stuck in a highly stressful career that included long hours but was highly lucrative. In late 2009 I was "let go" and decided that even though I was REALLY good at what I did and could have gotten on with any number of other companies in the area, I wanted to change careers and went back to school, and within 6 months, had a entry level job in my new career. I quickly advanced in the company and after almost 3 years, was able to land a job with a very large company that I have been with for the past 14 months. I have already been promoted and am making just under 10% less than what I was making in my previous career after 12 years in.
I feel that I have not changed much, at least not in a negative direction, since the day we met.
I am also sure we are like a lot of couples in that we periodically have money problems, especially during the period of time I was unemployed, we have a 14 year old son and a 10 year old daughter that we have butted heads over the years on discipline issues, school issues, schedules, etc. But for the past 7-8 years, about 2-3 times a year, my wife will become very distant and will eventually tell me how unhappy she is and that I need to change the way I do things or we may not make it. I am a very non-confrontational person and would much rather avoid an argument at all costs. And I would try my best to change the things she said were making her unhappy. But like i said, almost like clockwork, 3-4 months later, same thing.
My wife is a very strong person, very driven and extremely smart. She comes from a very dysfunctional family. Her father was very emotionally abusive to her mother, sister and brother, both of whom are younger. He died in 2007 of a massive heart attack while in an argument with her sister's husband at the time. Her mother is an alcoholic, just as her mother and father. Her sister has 3 beautiful kids but has estranged herself from the entire family and her brother has been in and out of jail and has never held a job for literally more than a year. Yet my wife decided after she graduated high school, she didn't want to be like the rest of her family. She moved in with her paternal grandparents and went to community college and then off to the university that we met at. It is my opinion, and i have recently expressed this to her, that she has some responsibility in driving her family away. She is constantly trying to be the "big" sister and give them advice on how to live their lives, raise their kids, etc., and gets upset when they don't take her advice. In other words, she is very controlling.
But I adore her completely. I always have even though I know I don't always overtly show her. I am very passive-aggressive and assume that people should understand all the little things I do or say. Over the past year or so, I have thought about what it would be like to be single and not have my confidence back and not have all my decisions always questioned. Early on in this thought process, I felt like I was just scared to be alone. But since Friday, I have discovered that it's not a case of being scared to grow old alone, but I get a pit in my stomach even when I picture myself with another woman. I fell like I can honestly say that I want to grow old with this woman.
The infidelity occurred over a 4-5 day period when my wife went out with some of her other married friends and she met this guy. Apparently they exchanged numbers and throughout that night started having "texting fun". Then a few days later, they agreed to meet for drinks. She says that she had too much to drink and ended up back at his house and I can't even type what happened. It hurts too bad to imagine it, even though it is a thought I cannot seem to get out of my head. Being a visual person, ever since I found out, I frequently replay the moment she told me like a movie in my head, and often get images of what else may have happened. I found this out by going through her social media and regret ever doing it. I feel like I was just torturing myself, yet I still fell like I need to know everything to be able to get over it.
Ironically, the way I found out was I was doing one of those things she asked me to change. She was going through the bills and I asked to help. I was going through the medical bills and found one where she had a pregnancy test done(I have had a vasectomy). I jokingly asked her why, knowing now that I would have believed anything she told me. But she got quiet and I looked in her face and knew. She has profusely apologized and said it was the only time it has ever happened. I so much want to believe her. Yesterday was the first time I allowed her to touch me. and this morning, we made love for the first time. I know we probably should not have, and I was fine until I closed my eyes. I have asked her to stop apologizing because it makes me think about it and the hurt starts all over again. I have tried not to break down and cry in front of her because I know she will start crying and I adore her so much that I hate to see her hurting, regardless of my pain. My emotions have been all over the place since I found out, and I know if I tried, I could block it out and forget that it ever happened. Am I supposed to entirely forget about it, at any point. We are both starting therapy later this week.
I am sorry this post is so long, and I could go one for a while longer, but I just needed a sounding board and to hear how other people have dealt with the overwhelming feeling to stay with the one who has betrayed me in the worst way possible and has made me feel like, for the first time in my life, that my heart is truly broken.

Numbandshocked posted 1/6/2014 15:33 PM

I am pretty new to the BS Club myself but I feel like I can sort of relate to you. My WH is very remorseful and we are also starting MC and some IC. I have no idea on how to handle the emotions coming up but I feel like the ones that are loving towards my WH are a positive sign. I think we are on the beginning of a roller coaster. One day you will feel deep love for her and the next intense pain/hatred. Counseling is a great step that will help sort out these issues. Personally, I'm trying not to ignore good or bad feelings as they come up. I'm hoping for quick recovery and repressing feelings seems to be counter to that.

I understand the desire to make love too. I posted the other day on my confusion about that. I have intense feelings toward my WH in that way - feelings I haven't had in a while!! I won't have sex until he gets tested but we have made out more passionately than maybe before we were married. Or ever actually. I feel guilty about it like I'm breaking the BS rules but I also feel like I should get some pleasure while in so much pain! Plus, my WH doesn't seem to let that affect his level of showing remorse.

Btw, I think I'd let her see you cry. Crying together can be healing. We are reading a book together on this stuff and it's opened up good but painful dialog. I think it can help heal. I keep reminding myself of two things: sometimes things need to get worse before they get better and nothing good comes easy. I think our marriage needed healing pre-A, now we are forced to go down that road.

Sorry so long, I'm a talker! :)

BAB61 posted 1/6/2014 15:45 PM

I'm glad you started IC, that is a very good thing. Full disclosure by the WS is critical. There are a couple of books that may help 'After the Affair' by Janis Abrahms Spring, PhD., and 'Not Just Friends' by Shirley Glass.

True remorse and a willingness to work at R on the part of the WS are necessary to heal from the pain of infidelity. Much success to you as your work through this season of your life.

[This message edited by BAB61 at 3:52 PM, January 6th (Monday)]

happyman64 posted 1/6/2014 21:21 PM


Therapy will be good for both of you.

But she must learn the "why" she cheated.

Then you both can put proper boundaries back into your marriage so this crap does not happen again.

Keep venting here.


TheAgonyOfIt posted 1/7/2014 00:25 AM

Reading the books suggested will help to at least normalize your feelings and gain understanding of the paths toward healing.

So sorry you are so heartbroken.

311inlove posted 1/8/2014 13:13 PM

Thanks for all the advice so far. Is it too soon after finding out to make the decision to fight for the marriage? Also, of all the emotions that are swirling through me, why do I not feel as much anger as I think I should?

ZedLeppelin posted 1/8/2014 22:40 PM

Do not go to therapy together until you have all the facts. Otherwise it is a waste of time and money.

1) Adopt 180.
2) Ask for a written timeline. If she refuses you know there is more to the story.
3) Threaten a polygraph. If she refuses you know there is more to the story.
4) Ask her to leave the bedroom and sleep elsewhere (guest room if you have one).
5) Go see a lawyer and find out your options.

Cheating is a choice. If you are going through a bad time, you can either: Ask to go to therapy together, threaten to divorce, divorce, cheat etc. Cheating is one of those choices.

Regardless of gender, cheaters CHOOSE to cheat. You may not have been the perfect husband but you are not at fault for her behavior.

The fact that you had to find out, instead of her confessing is a bad sign. Therefore you cannot be absolutely 100% sure that for her this was a one time fling.

A cheater can do all the crying they want to, but at the end of the day you owe them nothing. You have to do what is best for you.

Your old marriage is dead. You have to decide whether you want to build a new one with her, or move on.

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