I knew something was horribly wrong during those 2 months, but never in my wildest dreams suspected an affair. We were one of those "good marriage" couples. We had a fun, adventurous life, a good sex life, and were best friends.
He came clean on October 23, but followed up his NC letter with almost immediate contact, and didn't truly end things until 2 weeks later. I didn't find out the extent of the relationship, or the actual end date, until 12/31, when I discovered letters and emails stored on his laptop.
We were living overseas during all of this, and I moved back to the US about a week after DDay, when it became clear he really had no remorse. 24 hour flight, 2 kids, 6 suitcases, dog.....nightmare.
Anyway, as soon as we left, he decided he wanted to work on our marriage. Of course. But it took another 6 weeks for him to get transferred back and join us here. During those 6 weeks, he was still deeply in a fog, and was a pretty big jerk at times, especially at first.
But now we're all here. He says he's committed to working on our marriage. We're in MC and he's in IC. He's not so foggy anymore, and I know he's extremely ashamed and filled with regret. He's being open and transparent, and I believe he's sticking to NC. We've had some really good talks, and he's working on being a better husband, in some ways, than he was before the A.
But here's what is of huge concern to me - he still gets too upset to hear what I need to say, much of the time. He'll get angry, or detached, and shut down. Last night, he initiated a really great talk. He was patient, understanding, and seemed to really be trying to "get it." But the talk went on way too long, and it turned to a more negative place, where I was saying things that were really hard for him to hear. So he shut down, we didn't talk again last night, and he left this morning without even saying goodbye. This is the pattern.
So I feel pretty confused about the possibility of R. I'm working on my own healing, and generally my head is in a pretty good place. But I'm so so sick of feeling optimistic about progress, only to have this stupid stuff happen over and over. He seems to be coming around, but he isn't there yet, obviously. How long do I wait around?
Plus, it's so confusing to try to decide how to approach the whole thing. Do I just work on me, try not to worry about his work, knowing I have no control over that anyway? Do I try to work on the marriage, trying to be loving and understanding while he deals with his crap? It's like I go back and forth between feeling strong enough to be a little vulnerable and work on us, and being guarded and needing to work exclusively on me. Between being honest and open about my hurt and anger, and being numb and indifferent.
Basically, I feel crazy. *sigh* So sick of it.
Me 42, he 44
It truly amazes me how many of us believe we have good marriages and great lives only to have our SO cheat on us.
You are incredibly strong to have walked out so quickly after DDay, and to completely move continents....wow. Give yourself a huge 'ol pat on the back for that.
You WH sounds much like mine. They just want to rug sweep. In other words, forget the bad stuff ever happened and push it to the back of the history book. They want to just pick up their regularly scheduled life where they left of and pretend that the affair never happened at all. I think they do this because the don't want to acknowledge that they screwed up so badly. Keep pushing! If he Truly loves you and is remorseful, then he will acknowledge his behaviour. I told my WH that we cant move forward without acknowledging the A and finding out the reasons for it. If we don't then we just risk history repeating itself. Good luck!
Live in today.....
Dream of tomorrow.....
I hope we can R, I really do. It gives me hope reading the stories and hearing the advice of those who have been dealing with this far longer than I have. I know I'm only a few months in, and I have many more ups and downs to go.....so scary to think about.
Have you discussed him getting angry and shutting down in MC? Has he read "how to help your spouse heal from your affair"? When you look back over the time from true DDay to now, do you see improvement?
Those aren't questions you need to answer here necessarily but things that helped me/us.
And... It takes time. We're at 7 months out, it's so much easier now but there is still hurt and pain and difficult talks. I need to know that my H will discuss the A (or anything else for that matter) forever if I need him to. He knows that and every time I initiate a talk and he responds lovingly my trust goes up a notch.
Also, I really think it's hard for WSs to know, to see the damage and hurt that they have caused. I cannot imagine how terrible I would feel to see my H hurting as badly as I am and know that my stupid, selfish choices were the cause. I have zero sympathy for the affair but I do have a bit empathy for how he must feel now.
Keep doing what you're doing. The only way through it is through it.
Then there are times that I feel like why should I hold back anything I want to say just because he doesn't like to hear it. If I'm feeling angry, hurt, or obsessing over the details and I see he seems just fine, I lose it. He caused those feelings so if I'm feeling it, so should he and I just unleash. That gets us both nowhere and it reinforces his habit of shutting down or detaching. So I know what you mean...I can't find the balance either.
That said, he really needs to own up and just listen! I know most waywards have shame and some people flood very easily with emotion, but he needs to be ready for this. Really, just taking off the next day without an apology or reconnection, that's more wayward behavior!
I say this as a former WW: I'll listen as long as I need to. My husband however, is a "flooder.' and can't handle very much.
Read anything by John Gottman - he explains this all pretty well.
The faster your husband can get over his shame the easier it will be for him to talk. I know some people here say to schedule a time to talk about the affair. I suppose this makes sense. It infuriates me, though, that I have to put my hurt inside a little box and get it out when it's the approriate time. FTS.
At any rate, you can't lose by working on yourself!
There's a saying around here, it's a race for the WS to "get it" before the BS runs out of patience.
Does he read here? Many WS have had lightbulb moments when they post in wayward.
[This message edited by rachelc at 2:25 PM, January 24th (Friday)]
I had never heard of John Gottman beore so when you mentioned it, I looked him up. I just finished reading the sample part of his book, The science of trust. It was so good I bought and downloaded the whole thing. Have you read that one yet?
So sorry you found yourself here, but welcome anyway.
My DDay and TT end days are pretty similar to yours, and we sound like we are about in the same place--except my WH's biggest struggle is anger vs withdrawal. He also gets flooded quickly and easily...and it's so frustrating when that happens, because other times we communicate so wonderfully. We just had a crazy bad fight a couple of days ago where both of us were ready to throw in the towel. Hello, roller coaster!
I'd say have him continue to work out his communication/intimacy issues in IC and consider going yourself. It could be that you inadvertently contribute to the argument patterns--as I've recently discovered I do.
I am also reading John Gottman.
My best advice is that if you believe he's truly remorseful and trying but messing up once in awhile, keep plugging away. Long held habits take time to break. That said, he needs to be making a real effort to make the marriage work. Proceed with cautious optimism, but make sure you take care of yourself in the process.
So glad to have found some support on this site. And so sorry we're all here.
Do I just work on me,
Im sorry you are going through this. It sucks. Cheaters put their selfish want before commitment.
I tried to R. I held in there for 7 months. I just couldnt do it anymore. The images, the obsessions, and the triggers were torture. I threw in the towel and moved out.
Although, i lost everything. I am at peace.
Good thing too because I then found out her affair had never stopped after D-day. Even after the NC.
In the end after 7 months of HORRIBLE LIMBO i learned:
1. Once a cheater, always a cheater.
2. Never ever limbo. At least 180D their ass.
3. Trust your gut.
To me R only exists due to fear. Deep down, all of us BS' know what we need to do. Leave their cheating asses.
Just my opinion.
Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it's cracked up to be. That's why people are so cynical about it.
I agree. I have noticed that BS who are younger or don't have kids eventually divorce and leave the WS.
Actually, noone deserves a cheater to spend their lives with. JMHO.
"You can't fix a broken man, but he can break you"
I get that some of you don't believe in R, but this is the Reconciliation Forum! A blanket statement that no such thing exists doesn't seem appropriate for those of us who believe it's possible.
Now, I'm not saying it's possible in my case. I don't know if it is or not, and that's why I'm trying to sort out my feelings about it. But clearly it's possible for some people. And if it's possible for us, then I feel like my marriage deserves a shot.
To me R only exists due to fear
no, it exists because some people know they have something special and they want to try again, knowing that shit happens and people cope the best they can. they understand the affair had nothing to do with them but how broken their spouse was, they R because of love. There are many on here with successful recoveries.
Stay the course zengirl. Continue to work on you. the easy thing to do is leave. that is perfectly acceptable. But you will hear of many who are glad they stayed and worked it out. The road is OH SO BUMPY. I think about divorce STILL everyday! But I have options. And I'll be healthy no matter what choice I make.
Since the pain was a given, I just let it come and focused on getting what I wanted.
To PRNDL (& Melian),
You're generalizing on one data point, and that usually leads to invalid conclusions.
IMO, your best bet is to focus on your healing now. Forget about analyzing your experience until you have some perspective.
I'd probably be better off financially if I had kicked my W out. I'd have a much wider range of potential sexual partners. I'd have a lot more freedom to live where and how I want to.
Sure, I feared the unknown, but that played a very small part in my decision to R.
I fully expect to succeed in R'ing, but even if we don't, I see many people here and IRL who stay together for many years (in one case decades) after an A. R is most definitely possible.
And making R work takes a lot of moral and emotional strength.
[This message edited by sisoon at 1:28 PM, January 25th (Saturday)]