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why is year 2 so hard?

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kayaker55 posted 1/9/2014 19:17 PM

It has been posted here many times that year 2 of R is hardest. We have arrived, him being the model remorseful H but I am still struggling. Different hurts now as the processing of facts has evolved thru time but I am feeling more disconnected from the relationship and him. Is this how others felt even though trying to R? Why year 2? When does clarity happen?

unfound posted 1/9/2014 19:33 PM

It's one of the approximate times that seems to hit a lot of people in similar ways.

When does clarity happen?

I think that because you have more clarity (about other things) that year two is harder. You're not looking through so much pain, but with a clearer set of eyes.

Also, by around that time, you're out of survival mode and have to make more effort to apply the things you've learned in the first year.

Are you able to talk with him about how you feel? Now is the time you can build your new normal. It's not easy by any means, and the emotions you might feel might not be as intense, but are still valid.

cliffside posted 1/9/2014 20:01 PM

I don't have anything to offer, but am a month away from D-Day and wondering about this too. I've been bouncing from emotion to emotion (sad-angry-scared, over it all, etc.,) like a ping pong ball. I'd love to hear input from those who have weathered storm too.

LA44 posted 1/9/2014 20:15 PM

We are 13 months in now kayaker so I am just becoming aware of the difficulty of Y2. I was nodding my head to what unfound wrote. I think now that (for lack of a better word) the excitement is over - the good being HB'ing and into the night talks - the bad being well, obvious, there are no great highs and mind-blowing lows. And its obvious that if we skip past old ways, they will come back to bite us everytime.

Anyway, I am new in Y2 so stay tuned!

karmahappens posted 1/9/2014 20:34 PM

IMO, year 2 is when you get down to the real work.

The storm is over but when you walk outside to examine the damage it can be overwhelming. There is debris everywhere and you kinda know you have to start picking up all the pieces.

It's also a time where friends and relatives are probably done hearing you discuss it, they don't get the long term process this is, so it can be a bit more lonely.

All of the crazy emotions have settled out and it's time to dig in and get to looking inside and picking old wounds.

The good part about entering year 2 is all "the firsts" are gone, so that's a plus.

Painful, but at the end of year 2 you feel a whole lot lighter and more in control....well, I did.

blakesteele posted 1/9/2014 20:40 PM

17 months post-DD here.

Clarity is a part of why year 2 is different. Harder? Not sure.

Year one had days were I actually and literally looked down at my work boots and "willed" them to move. I was successful in doing this for all but 3 days.

5 months into year two.... Profound sadness can creep in. The strong pain is fleeting. "Flash crying" more typical than crying I did in year 1.....

Feelings are less scary this year. Even when they are intense.

Realization that I could have 50% custody of our girls no longer scares me either.....sad reality, but no longer scared of this.

Full acceptance that my wife had unprotected sex with a man I didn't think she even knew....and have realized this is more reality than my wife's reality-of-the-moment while in her affair.

Realization that my wife is hurting....and that I can NOT change that. Also the realization that my wife IS inviting me "into her" more than she ever has ...,maybe more than she ever has.

I still DO get scared.....scared I will be tempted to try and bring some of my old coping mechs with me into my future. But even that fear is waning.....the clarity I spoke of earlier allows me to see them as less appealing. I saw them as less appealing early on...but partly because I thought I would lose my wife if I held onto them. Now I see them as less appealing because I will lose the personal growth I am experiencing . I owe it to myself to figure out how to process life rather than settle for coping with life.

For me, year two IS turning out to be very different. But "harder"?.....,not sure if that is the most accurate why I can describe it thus far.

Again, not quite half way into year I am open to being challenged (by others now or by myself tomorrow!) on this response.

I am grateful I have had 17 months more with my family intact. I had no idea what this journey was going to be like when I chose it back then.

God be with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 8:43 PM, January 9th (Thursday)]

brkn_heartd posted 1/9/2014 20:41 PM

For me, the first year was one of shock and disbelief. The pain was so immense I could barely function. Year two...I realized this was my new reality. The shock was wearing off, and the real work began. Realizing that truly my life had permanently changed. We both had to work much harder during year two. The questions continued, the talks continued, however, I was trying to understand them with a new depth...not just the "why".

We just had the 4th antiversary of the day I asked for a D. It is still a difficult time of the year, but less painful then last year, and the years previously.

Jrazz posted 1/9/2014 20:42 PM

When the panic finally starts to ebb, reality starts to creep in. We're much more aware of our situation in year 2, and we seem to come into a new phase of processing.

Whereas the hot-lava humiliation and pain starts to cool a bit, there's a new kind of anger and sadness that many have found much more potent during the second year.

Good news though - this is part of the evolution that eventually leads you back out of the cave. There is clarity, strength, and happiness where you are heading. You aren't going to feel it yet, but you are not alone in your process, and it's not always going to feel like this.

(((year twosies)))

lilflower1000 posted 1/9/2014 20:43 PM

Kay, I am in year 2 as well, my WH is has been just about perfect in every way since right before Thanksgiving of last year. No more drama, no more HB, I don't feel like I've been stabbed in the gut every second of every day, anymore, I don't worry about where he is, but he allows me to track him and never goes anywhere without me except work anyway. When at work he checks in regularly and always answers his phone. He is more romantic than ever..he brags about me constantly and has gotten thee tattoos that represent his love for me Bla bla bla.. I could go on, but you get the picture..

I just feel emotionally drained, I fraught so hard for this in year one. I feel numb. I feel unattractive, old, used. I don't think he lies anymore, but I always have that thought in the back of my head when he says anything.

I agree w/ unfounded.. You are no longer writhing in pain, fighting for your marriage, the PTSD , eases up a bit and you are able to think a little more clearly, a little more rationally.

Time to find a new normal..
Very difficult. Trying not to do anything that made him so unhappy that he was willing to put me through this hell, trying not to be pathetic, by worrying about stupid stuff, just wanting someone to make ME feel good about myself! Maybe he doesn't like me for me.. Maybe he likes 180 girl! The one who goes to the gym regularly, hangs w/ friends, neglects kids and job , gets dressed up daily, acts like nothing bothers her, lost lots of weight that is coming back now). Maybe he SHOULD be with the " sweet girl who happened to be on drugs, lost kids to DFAX and enjoyed sex with married men" Maybe that's what he likes.
Edited: forgot can't call OP names here.. Oops ! Force of habit

[This message edited by lilflower1000 at 9:27 PM, January 9th (Thursday)]

looking forward posted 1/9/2014 20:45 PM

As others have stated.....

But it's also individual, of course.

For us, it's still hard....and we are coming up to 5 years.

karmahappens posted 1/9/2014 20:59 PM

sorry for the t/j

Very difficult. Trying not to do anything that made him so unhappy that he was willing to put me through this hell, trying not to be pathetic, by worrying about stupid stuff, just wanting someone to make ME feel good about myself!

Hey lilflower

This here ^^^ is one reason year 2 can be so important as well. The healing YOU have to do will make you realize NOTHING you did made him do this. You didn't make him unhappy enough to cheat.

You are good and you are also good enough. I hope you have been getting some IC, it is so very important to understand and see your worth when traveling through this journey.

(((hugs))) it may be tough in year 2, but healing and fighting for you is something that has to be done!

end t/j

lilflower1000 posted 1/9/2014 21:35 PM

Karma.. Thanks for the encouraging words.. What is T/j ?

Kiwigirl posted 1/9/2014 21:38 PM

Hi Kayaker55. That is exactly how I feel as I near the end of year 2. The raw pain has gone now but I wish I had clarity and knew what I wanted. Mentally I am not really "all in" my marriage yet but at the same I don't want to leave. I don't know whether I can live with my WH and what he has done for the rest of my life or not. I feel so conflicted when I let myself think about that. But, I have made a number of dramatic changes in my own life over the last year and I know I can live with the new ME for the rest of my life and that feels like a good start. I'm hoping that year 3 brings me more clarity in our relationship.

kayaker55 posted 1/10/2014 00:27 AM

So much wisdom and connection here to my thread SI friends. I thank you. I sat with my H and we read your responses. We continue on our journey with renewed hope in our healing.
This is so hard.
Hugs to all.

Dreamland posted 1/10/2014 01:08 AM

Yes this year has been so hard. More for me than mfwh. He too is remorseful and does everything but I have distanced myself taking in all the damage that has been done.
Yes most if the drama is gone. Ocasdionslly the shock comes back but because something triggered me. I am not into sex anymore. So the thing I love between us is gone. He never appreciated it before anyway. So I feel like pre A.
I feel Very alone how about you guys. He is alas wuss reaching out but I'm just not here.
It's like I think 'well things are calm kinda like pre A so WTF once everything goes back he's gonna get bored or whatever and cheat again. I am constantly scared that I am being fooled.
So I don't feel like we are in a better place like fWH thinks. Yes we don't fight like before. It's not as violent. Andyes if I don't think about it things seem better but yes year two has been a bitch.

BeautifulEmpty posted 1/10/2014 02:31 AM

I'm there now too. Still suffering and it feels like everyone thinks I should be over it all. Mine's a pretty convoluted mess. I'm not even sure where in a healing timeline I should be.
I get raging lye angry out of nowhere. I can be perfectly fine, doing my thing...and suddenly be overwhelmed with pain so deep I struggle not to gasp as I choke it back so as not to alarm anyone around me. I still trigger a lot...but a whole lot less than I was. I don't really get much credit for doing better though. It's like I'm the only one who notices..idk. I just know I hurt. I feel like I've dug myself a hole within a cave and I can barely peek my head out to look around.
While all of that is messy, I do feel quite a bit better. Nothing particularly bad is going on. My WS is being pretty lovely and isn't pursuing anyone for friendship or fucking...both is his preferred modus. He is talking the talk and walking the walk. He tells me all the time how beautiful I am etc...I just can't take any of it too seriously but we seem to have much of our sweetness back. Because our situation is convoluted, we never really had much of an HB period. That happened after our first separation...but after the last mess, I just felt entirely burned out.
I still struggle with embarrassment.
I struggle with truly feeling things like love and joy. I feel numbed.
Idk I hope I make it through year 2 in one piece. I'm afraid because this process takes so long...I'll be in it alone..for taking too long. :/

catlover50 posted 1/10/2014 06:04 AM

Sometimes I'm reluctant to post my Pollyanna outlook, but I do have a different experience. We have settled into a new normal that is so much better and I am in a much calmer place than last year, less fraught, able to think about other things sometimes.

I totally get what others are saying, and that's completely normal, I just don't think it's inevitable in year two.

blakesteele posted 1/10/2014 06:28 AM

I wonder if having an immediately remorseful and repentant WS is a factor in year two experiences? Maybe the quick about-face of a WS ADDS to the time it takes a NS to get to the clarity of what the hell just happened? Kind if like a BS thinking....

"Adultery??? This is not the person I married!" Then , when the BS expresses that to there WS and gets the "you are so right honey, I am NOT that person, I will stop immediately!" allows a bit of a "BS fog " set in....pushing clarity off into the future for that particular BS? The continued actions post-DD would simply not allow me to generate this "BS fog"....even though I personally tried like hell to make it foggy!!!!! (FOO issues).

I did NOT have a remorseful WW upon my DD. As such my 4 months after DD were dreadful.....lies, continued A, TT'ing.

At one point I figured it hurt our journey .....and it did . But I wonder if my wife's "lack of team spirit " has had an affect on how my year 2 is going? Maybe when you have a model WS you get into a "comfortable" state that allows the BS to not fully embrace how the original M died upon adultery being chosen?

Maybe a BS in that situation never feels as I do....that my original M died by my wife's actions. Maybe they realize it later than I did?

In those cases maybe year two is when that fact catches up with them?

I admit I have lots of ????? In this post, so don't know for sure.

I lean more towards catlover50's post.

For the record ......we didn't HB sex either.

I have mixed feelings on what we missed vs gained because of this as well.

God be with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 6:37 AM, January 10th (Friday)]

bionicgal posted 1/10/2014 06:41 AM

Catlover- please post your "pollyannaish" experiences! We are all different, and it was heartening to hear.

karmahappens posted 1/10/2014 07:48 AM


t/j means thread take someones thread and change the topic/derail it for a minute.

Mine was a mini t/j but I was addressing your words and I didn't want to ignore kayak's needs...

t/j, once again, over

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