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How to reach acceptance?

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Newme123 posted 3/18/2014 11:46 AM

So I am 17 months past dday. My wh came home on his lunch break one day and told me he had cheated on me. Over the next week or so, he slowly told all of it. He has essentially been cheating on me since before we were married. Starting with porn and strip clubs then to actually physical cheating with 5 different people over 4 years. The last pa was in 2009 but then continued with porn and strip clubs/ lap dance until he confessed. These were all ONS with complete strangers except for 2 who were with coworkers although still only ons. He is a very different person now. We had a rough 1st year after dday but things are going well now. I love him and I do want to be with him I think, although I do fantasize about moving on and finding someone new, but when I try to actualize doing that, I can't imagine not being with him.
I even understand what he did had nothing to do with me. That he was broken, trying to fill a whole, a void within himself with whatever he could. So I understand the "why". What I'm stuck at is how! How could he, how could he do the things he did. How was he not disgusted with himself. He said he didn't even feel bad afterwards. He just didn't think about it. He let some complete stranger give him a blowjob outside a hotel behind the dumpsters!!! How!?!? How do I learn to accept he did this. The man I was married to! He did this! I'm not in denial that it happened I just can't make it make sense and I know I never will because it doesn't make sense. So how do I accept that reality? And move past the fact that it will never make sense. Btw my wh NOW, doesn't know how he could do the things he did back then either. He has said he wishes he could go back and " kill that little piece of shit".
I'm just so ready to move past this but I just feel like a little piece of myself dies everyday until I will just be empty shell just waiting to blow away...

sadone29 posted 3/18/2014 12:10 PM

Can you tell me a little about the work your H has done since DDay? Is your H in IC? Has he seen a certified sex therapist to rule out addictive issues? He needs to figure out what this void was so that he doesn't fall back into that pattern.

If he isn't doing anything, I'm wondering if you can accept it. If you don't feel safe in the relationship, you'll get stuck. I'm not saying you don't feel safe a this point, just throwing possible ideas out there!

Edie posted 3/18/2014 14:57 PM

My wh came home on his lunch break one day and told me he had cheated on me. Over the next week or so, he slowly told all of it. He has essentially been cheating on me since before we were married.

Why did he come home and tell you this?

Newme123 posted 3/18/2014 19:42 PM

Thank you both for replying. To answer, what has he done... in the very beginning, he did go to ic. right after he confessed, he drove directly to our pastors office and confessed all to God. according to our pastor, he was on the floor crying out for God to forgive him. He said it was one of the most sensire confessions he has ever seen. My wh is military and he was approved for 10 sessions with an outside counselor. This person was not a CSAT but did tell my wh he had SA tendencies and actions, he did not however believe he was a SA. I agree. He never actually went out and pursued these occurrences. With all but 1 of his pa, they literally almost fell into his lap, although my wh definetly put his willingness out there to be propositioned.
After the 10 sessions, the military did not approve more sessions so he saw a military counselor. This was during a time my wh was not suicidal but was harming himself. He during this time was beating himself up. he gave himself black eyes, bust blood vessels in his face and busted his eardrum which required surgery to repair. He said the whole session the guy talked about how he should not harm himself and he said it was a waste. We did have a mc that we also occasionally would schedule ic with as well but nothing regularly. He did read "How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair" in the 1st few weeks after dday but at this time he is not in IC or doing any reading. I have repeatedly asked him to go but he says that just because I dont think he isnt dealing with his past, doesnt mean he isnt anyways... we meet with the counselor my wh went to in the beginning for mc this week as I lost confidence in our old mc.
as to his why, one of the posts in general pretty much sums it up
"What if the reason simply because an opportunity presented itself and the betrayer was selfish enough to enjoy the attention, the ego boost, the sex?"
"What if the betrayer just never really cared that much for their spouses feelings? They didn't choose to cheat because they wanted to hurt their spouse, just didn't care enough for them to deny themselves what they wanted. Especially if they were confident that their affair would never be found out, no one would be hurt right?"
At this point he is disgusted with himself and I believe he had a self loathing and due to a NPD mother, hated himself deep down although on the outside he portrayed a severe level of cockiness. it was fake. He is a different guy now. He really is.
and Edie- why he told me then... im not really sure. since his last pa in 2009, a week after it happened, I did find out about it through the OW husband in a facebook message. He lied and I believed him. I think the difference was he actually had sex with her whereas the others had been oral sex only. also because I had found out and he lied. I think those 2 things caused him to feel guilty. He says he couldnt compartmentalize this pa as he had the others. He says he would think about what he had done several times a week. We also started going to church regularly. All in all I think simply he began to develop a conscious. also 2 days before dday, I found out he had been lying to me for over 2 years about him dipping. I kicked him out of the house. He said he knew that if we had any chance of having a good marriage( it hadnt been ever really) that he had to come clean about what he had done. However my mom thinks due to his own former passive aggressive disorder(I diagnosed him with this, its not official, however he fits every single trait!!) he did it out of revenge for me kicking him out of the house. He denies this as being why.
Sorry this is so long, but as I said, he really is different now. I dont see hardly any passive aggressive traits or narcissistic traits in him any more. He treats me like a queen. He does let me talk about the affairs but he does tend to withdraw from me some after I do for a day or at least a few hours. I just want to get past this, and build our future together, I just dont know how to reach acceptance of the past as it really was, not what I want it to be. I wish every single day for a magic wand or a time machine.

[This message edited by Newme123 at 7:45 PM, March 18th (Tuesday)]

Edie posted 3/18/2014 19:50 PM

I just can't make it make sense and I know I never will because it doesn't make sense.

it sounds like you have already made a great deal of sense of his actions and his past and possible effects of his FOO on his self esteem etc.

I am glad that you are seeing less passive aggressive and narcissistic behaviour from him, although it would be good if he could keep up counselling because of history of self harm. (are you aware of the concept of FLEAS - little tics of narcissistic behaviour that you can 'catch' or learn from a close NPD relative, that are just that: tics, not the whole syndrome or disorder, that can be kept in train by someone who is self-reflexive.)

sadone29 posted 3/19/2014 09:09 AM

Thank you for the additional information! I'm glad that your H is treating you better and is taking accountability. Since he isn't in IC, I would keep an eye out for any behavior that might indicate that he's starting to fall again or self harm.

As for acceptance, it is a difficult thing. I'm glad that you mentioned God, because I try not to talk about that unless I know it's okay. But for me, a big part of my healing has been to consciously try to give it over to God. To realize that I can't control everything and I can't force the future into something I want it to be. It's so difficult because I do tend to try to control others. But I'm seeing more and more that it's impossible. All you can do is change yourself and become aware of what you can and cannot put up with. Learning to be confident with your own boundaries is a big thing.

1Faith posted 3/19/2014 09:50 AM

Dear New

You have accepted it happened. You aren't in denial and making excuses for it. You know it happened, you accept it but now you I think you are struggling more with how to forgive and move forward.

Acceptance never has to mean you condone it, understand it, affirm it. You don't ever have to. It's been 3+ years for me since DDay and I hate that it happened as much today as I did 3 years ago.

I have learned where my FWH was in his life and in his mind when it occurred (an understanding of him if you will) but not of his actions or choices.

Breathe. It takes time even though 17 months feels like an eternity. You are still healing, processing, grieving. All completely normal.

On average it takes 2-5 years to heal from an affair, if you ever truly heal. You will have good days and bad and you will still wonder "how the hell did this become my life'? Allow yourself to mourn and then move forward.

God is with you on this journey. Two people can build a better future if you both work at it. You can. Doesn't mean you aren't ever going to think about it or wonder. You will and that is okay, you are human.

Talking is key. Feeling what you feel is key. Don't try to stuff your feelings down or ignore them. When they come up, deal with them the best you can and focus on the next thing.

You can't erase the past but you can direct the future.

Good luck. Hang in there.

deena04 posted 3/19/2014 09:53 AM

I don't know an answer to this other than time most likely. I don't know because I have not accepted it myself yet. That is what I have been told. If you can't accept it, you'll have your answer to what you need to do.

IsthereEVERanend posted 3/19/2014 22:40 PM

I. Wish. Time. Worked. For. Me.

peoplepleaser posted 3/20/2014 02:10 AM

I'm only 7 months out, but I know why. Even
Though I know "how" I get stuck on it. At those times I force myself to remember that it wasn't about me, and that she compartmentalized and believed things about me that minimized the damage she was causing. I also remind myself what acceptance is. It's not condoning or excusing what happened, but it's recognizing that it happened because it was set up to happen. It happened because of WS's internal and external experiences and how they interacted with how she was in our relationship, what was it wasn't happening in our relationship, and the opportunities presented to her. She wouldn't have made a different decision because she couldn't due to all those factors. It is what it is. When I get stuck on "how" I am trying to describe my pain in rational thought. It's less about the how and more about the intensity if the pain it caused that comes and goes. When I realize this I let go if reason, honor the pain for what it is and assess what I need in the moment. The reason we hurt is because they did something that traumatized us, that's it. We hurt because what they did hurt us. And that's ok.

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