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How do you move on?? Advice needed!

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awoel88 posted 3/2/2014 22:32 PM

PLEASE HELP! My story in a nutshell: Nov 8th 2013 I discovered that my husband was texting and emailing naked pics and sexual content with several women. I later found out that he had an affair with a sort of mutual friend of ours for 3 months over the summer, which had since ended. They had told each other that they loved each other but according to him he never had any intentions of leaving me, and never told her he would. He also says he never really did love her, that he just told her what she needed to hear to sleep with him (I'm not sure what to believe). At the time of their affair, I was pregnant with our 2nd child and she is now a month old. He went to rehab for a month after everything came out for an associated drug and alcohol problem, and came home Christmas 2013.

Since then, he has been the model husband - he is so attentive and hands-on with the girls. He always gets up early on weekends to take care of the oldest, takes her out to the pool or the indoor playground, he cooks dinners, helps with housework, buys me nice little treats (like a tabloid when he gets groceries, or my favorite candy), and is much better at communicating and spending time with me and the kids. I feel guilty for saying this but in spite of all the positive changes he's made, I still don't feel the same way about him that I used to. I know he's an excellent father and a good provider, and we do have fun together... but deep down I'm still left feeling so alone, insecure, hurt, and betrayed. I want our relationship to work, but I don't know how to get over this feeling. I have no desire to be intimate with him because all I can think of is the other woman he was with... how our bodies compare, what they did, where they did it.. etc. I have never felt so terrible about myself as I do now, and I constantly find myself thinking about the affair. I feel like he's already moved on and feels like everything should be back to normal, but I am nowhere near there and it seems like everytime I try to bring it up, it just causes a fight and we end up not talking for hours or days.

I could really use the advise or guidance or someone who is going through this! How do you get over this crushing, terrible feeling? How do you move on?? Will our marriage ever feel the same way it used to? PLEASE HELP!

shatteredapart posted 3/3/2014 07:31 AM

((Awoel88)) I'm so sorry you're here but you came to the right place. Gently..The harsh reality is you don't get over it. With lots of hard work from both of you, you can heal and move forward past it. Unfortunately you have to feel the pain to heal. It's hard. It's a struggle. There are ups and downs. There will be times you want to throw in the towel and give up. Give it time. Time helps with acceptance and the healing process. Be patient. You don't have to decide now. Work on you. Help yourself become stronger.
It's good he's making changes and doing the work. That helps a lot. Read the healing library here. It will offer a lot of insight and guidance. Read and post here. You will find many people want to support and help you. Take what you need and leave the rest as many will tell you.

ItsaClimb posted 3/3/2014 07:58 AM

awoel88, I am so sorry you find yourself in this position, but I'm glad you found SI - it's a great place to get the support and information you need for this journey.

My advice to you would be to read the information in the Healing Library, especially the BS FAQ - there is lots of useful info there.

How do you move on?? Advice needed!

It takes time! I hated it when people told me that at the beginning, I wanted a quick fix - my life back! But the fact is that it takes on average 2 to 5 years to get over this sort of betrayal and it seems to me that most of us are on the 5 year program.

Of course, what you do with that time also helps. Try to process what you are feeling, rather than pushing your feelings away - "you can't heal what you won't feel". Think things through, journal your thoughts and feelings, read here on SI and post when you feel the urge. Talk to your husband about what you are going through. Communication in a situation like ours is vital.

Has you husband gone to IC? Is he working out why he had the affair and how he allowed himself to betray both you and himself that way? A lot of the healing in my marriage is coming from the fact that my husband has taken full responsibility for what he did and is working very hard on his issues. Perhaps your husband should read "How to Help your Spouse Heal" if he hasn't already done so.

In this situation there are 3 separate entities: you, your husband and your marriage. All 3 need attention to heal from infidelity. You need to work on your healing, your husband needs to work on his "whys" and "hows" and you both need to work on the marriage. The healing of all 3 can't be rushed, it takes as long as it takes unfortunately.

I have felt more pain in the last 18 months than I thought it would be possible to endure, but I have also grown more as a person than I thought possible. Betrayal is inclined to shine a spotlight on all sorts of hidden issues and I have found that working through those issues (in my case Fear of Abandonment as well as Co-dependency were big factors) has really grown me as a person. I will come through this experience a better, stronger, more mature woman and for that I am so grateful. I wish it hadn't taken my husband's affair to get me to this point, but I am glad I have been forced to face my demons, if that makes sense?! What I am trying to say is that it helps if you look at this horrible situation as an opportunity for personal growth.

deep down I'm still left feeling so alone, insecure, hurt, and betrayed. I want our relationship to work, but I don't know how to get over this feeling.

^^ it takes time. It often feels like things will never get better, but somehow, with time, they do. It just takes a lot longer than you would imagine. At 18 months out, I have lots of good days now, but I STILL have the odd bad day/ bad couple of days.

Here are the links to two posts I did some time ago, about things I wish I had known at the start of my journey through betrayal:

Things I wish I had known Part 1:

Things I wish I had known Part 2:

Hang in there. Things will get better, I promise you that!

Crushed15Feb13 posted 3/3/2014 10:10 AM

(((awoel88))) So sorry you are here, but this is a good place to be. It took me months to even make my first post here.

Itsaclimb's "Things I wish I had known" posts are very helpful, please check them out.

Itsaclimb, thanks for posting that - dunno how I missed it originally, but I'm glad you linked to it.

I also read and reread the FAQs, for both wayward and betrayed spouses, a lot.

doggiediva posted 3/3/2014 10:39 AM

Just like grieving the death of an extremely beloved immediate family member in your household (who you see every day), this takes time to get through..

I hate to say it but some of the aftermath of a serious betrayal such as A is gonna be life long.. Betrayal by a spouse is harder than the death of said spouse in that the betrayal is intentional..The WS knows there is a risk that you will cut all ties with him and still proceeds with A anyway..This is one of the worst pills to swallow in life, it stings going down..

When both spouses realize the seriousness and magnitude of what they are dealing with, it will affect the decisions they make and how they reach out for help needed to move forward in a healthy way..

Best case scenario is if you both face the betrayal head on without rug sweeping...It is better of course, if WS is remorseful, but remorse isn't needed from the WS for you or he to face this issue head on..For instance you may have to ask your WH to leave so that you can get better clarity on where your married life is going and what you want to do..

In other words it will take time to see how life unfolds before you will REALLY be able to believe or trust that your WH is remorseful.. Or begin to know what you want to do..

With a betrayal of this magnitude his remorse may not matter, the A may be a deal breaker..

It is okay to take as much time as you need to come to a decision that is healthy for you and your kids without sacrificing your happiness and soul..

[This message edited by doggiediva at 10:50 AM, March 3rd (Monday)]

NeverAgain2013 posted 3/3/2014 11:22 AM

Wait a minute.

Your D-Day was ONLY a couple of months ago!! He's got some collassal nerve to argue with you if you bring up his crap cheating behavior because you need to talk about it. What's he think - just because it was a whole whopping 60 days ago, your trial period has run out and you can no longer be angry or sad or devastated???

Rule Number One - HE doesn't decide anything. HE doesn't decide how you heal, HE doesn't decide when you heal, and HE doesn't decide if you've healed. He needs to be knocked down a few pegs and realize that he's damned lucky you didn't kick his ass out the door, instead of trying to run the show.

Secondly, you're supposed to be ecstatic about what a "great" guy he is just because he throws a National Enquirer or a Milky Way bar up on the counter to bring home to you when he's paying for his coffee at the Quickie Mart?????

And being honest, all this 'good behavior' that he's suddenly displaying should have been stuff he was ALWAYS doing - his share of the housework, his share of the child-rearing, etc. etc. etc. Women are expected to just do it ALL and no one acts like we're anything special. But let a guy actually do HIS share, and everyone applauds him like he's some kind of demi-god or something. He should have been doing it all along, Awoel88.

I think the reason you're not able to begin the healing process is because he thinks now that he's acting the way he should have always acted, you should just magically get over it. Well, it doesn't happen that way.

We all heal at our own pace, and for some people, it takes YEARS. He needs to stop pressuring you into thinking you need to get over it and you've had long enough to heal.

You HAVEN'T nearly had long enough. YOU'LL know when you've had enough time. Not him.

Why don't you consider counseling so you can talk to an impartial 3rd party who isn't just expecting you to suck it up and get over it?

Your feelings are perfectly normal and they're yours, so don't EVER be afraid to own them.

Good luck to you in your healing journey.


[This message edited by NeverAgain2013 at 11:23 AM, March 3rd (Monday)]

awoel88 posted 3/3/2014 15:30 PM

Thank you for replying! I did read through the Healing Library after your suggestions. The information in there is very helpful... although the "180" did make me want to punch someone. It does sound like valid advice but SERIOUSLY?!?! "Don't let your spouse see anything but happiness and contentment" and "don't ask any questions about the M until your spouse is ready".. REALLY?!! I have been nothing but a crying, angry mess since I found out and for the first month probably asked 1000 questions a day. I feel like my spouse should see/hear/understand exactly how much he hurt me and how angry I am.

ItsaClimb - The links you provided to your earlier posts were very enlightening - a lot of the things you described in there I can completely relate to. There are days when I feel so lucky to have my husband and am just in love with our family.. and then there are days like today where I just cry constantly and feel like the whole situation is hopeless. It's only been 4 months and I am already exhausted of feeling this way. I can't imagine being able to keep this up for 2 years (or 5!), it just seems like such a long and painful journey. Sometimes I feel like leaving would just be so much easier and less painful. :( My husband is going to IC - the treatment centre he was at also dealt with his affair and they suggested it sounded like a sex addiction; which to me is totally bizarre and seems like such a cop out (a whole separate issue I am trying to come to terms with), so his reasons sound something like "I wasn't thinking, I wasn't myself, I knew what I was doing could ruin my whole life but I just did it anyways"... reasons that I do not find helpful at all. It would almost be easier to swallow if he said something like "we didn't have enough sex, you got fat/ugly, I felt unloved".. anything! But he maintains that we had the "perfect" life and I was the "perfect" wife... This might be the most frustrating thing to hear.

DoggieDiva - I do believe WS is being remorseful. He is attending IC and is arranging marital counselling for both of us. He has owned up to his actions and is available to answer any questions I have about the A. I never understood how people could recover from an A, and always thought that if I were ever cheated on, I would immediately leave. Now that it's happened to me, I am trying R because I do believe we were happy together, and I want to be able to raise our kids as a family unit... but I still deep down believe that this is a deal breaker for me. I hope that over time, that feeling will fade. I just don't think I will be able to be with him after this.

NeverAgain2013 - Thank you! Whether intentional or not, your Milky Way and demi-god comments actually made me laugh... it is true though, I put so much value on these small gestures. I do have my first IC appt tomorrow evening, so hopefully I'll be able to work on myself through that avenue.

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