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Anyone else finding their relationship incredibly stressful?

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Althea posted 4/25/2014 13:47 PM

I've been doing some Spring cleaning, changed my name on SI, and taking stock of things. Year 2 has been everything all of you said it would be, and I am feeling horribly stuck. R has been a roller coaster, but trajectory is always up. WH and I are working hard on FOO issues and communication issues, and it is paying off in a better relationship. BUT, I feel stuck. Because of my dysfunction growing up, my way of dealing with a relationship that starts to sour is to distance myself from it quickly, either physically or emotionally. A friend says something I don't like, I just stop calling. A family member is not there for me, I close myself off emotionally requiring absolutely nothing of him or her so that I am not hurt again. In my FOO this was how I survived.

But, now I'm trying to change. I want to have more intimate relationships, real friendships with strong roots. And, I have chosen to stay married to a man who hurt me more than any other human being has in my life. Every ounce of me has wanted to leave him since Dday. We have small children so I forced myself to give R a try. Then we had a surprise pregnancy, which turned out to be high risk and difficult, then we had a newborn and two other children under the age of 6; and time has just clicked on. Being too busy to deal with my feelings (or get in trouble) has been another coping mechanism I've fallen back on. Recognizing this, I have purposefully scaled back my plans to return to work, and forced myself to put my healing front and center.

The big problem here is that I am seriously fighting myself every single day. Every time my WH does anything problematic, I am immediately in flight mode; and it is incredibly stressful to go against that. I think through divorce, and I don't think it is what I really want. God, I'm just so tired. Tired of questioning myself and my motivations, tired of being sad, tired of R; but none of this goes away if I divorce.

Is anyone else going through this? Does this even make any sense? I'm headed back into IC, and I speak candidly to my WH about it; but it would be nice to hear from someone who is going through it. Thanks.

jj21 posted 4/25/2014 14:19 PM

Yes, Althea. Yes!! I am in a very similar place. I am in the early part of year 2 and I'm hating it.

Tired of questioning myself and my motivations, tired of being sad, tired of R
This is exactly how I feel. And I can't help but wonder if all this would go away if we were to separate. I don't know.

I'm constantly second-guessing my decision to stay. My biggest fear is that I'll stay and a year later will find myself feeling exactly the same way as I do right now. What a waste that would be.


Every time my WH does anything problematic, I am immediately in flight mode
Yes, I agree. It's like their infidelity opened a giant sore. And now every tiny infraction is like a grain of salt rubbing into the wound. It's like we're overly sensitive. I'm not sure, though, if it's because I'm expecting him to screw up, or if I'm expecting him to be perfect to prove to me that I was right in staying.

Anyway, I know how you're feeling. It sucks.

anothermoron posted 4/25/2014 15:05 PM

Yes. I think anyone reconciling must be finding their relationship incredibly stressful! Is your husband doing anything to make you want to be with him? as opposed to making you not want to leave him (i.e. just not having the affair anymore)?
Because when I think about my marriage (which I really crapped on) I know that the only thing that can make it non-stressful (and good) for either of us is to focus on making my wife have fun. Because when she's having fun, she's not stressed, and she's not thinking about the affair, and she knows that I'm putting her first, which rebuilds a millimeter of trust in our relationship. I know it's not easy to have fun with three small kids (well it's a different kind of fun), but I guess that's kinda what you have to aim for...?

Althea posted 4/25/2014 15:50 PM

anothermoron, that is a good question. He is doing a lot to make me not want to leave him. He tries to do nice things for me every day and has really stepped it up in terms of being a helpful dad and spouse. He is very much a changed man in that respect. But, these fall under the category of things he should have been doing anyway. This is what a good marriage looks like. So I stay.

I don't know exactly what I need to want to stay married. Thus, I am stuck.

jj21 posted 4/25/2014 17:02 PM

He tries to do nice things for me every day and has really stepped it up in terms of being a helpful dad and spouse. He is very much a changed man in that respect. But, these fall under the category of things he should have been doing anyway

Oh, Althea, we are one and the same. My worry is whether or not he really is a changed man or if it's all an act of desperation that will eventually fall by the wayside. I feel stuck too.

Angel177 posted 4/25/2014 17:56 PM

I can relate to this as well. I also don't know what I need to feel better...wh is doing everything he can. Deep down I feel like the only thing I need is for him not to have had sex with someone else, that's the one thing he can't do...so I feel stuck. I can't get over it but I don't want to leave him but I can't get over it....ugh

hopefull77 posted 4/25/2014 18:06 PM

I hear you loud and clear...so often I think so this is our new normal?? But looking back pre -A I know I don't want that...I was in the dark and fear kept me there long and hard.... no more fear...
this morning I do my usual. Up at crack of dawn take dogs out to feed them. Look up at the sky. It is gorgeous...the sliver of the moon and Venus shining...pink clouds...I grab him a blanket and tell H get up and look at the sky...we stood outside wrapped in blanket..dogs eating...all felt right at that moment...these are the moments we cling too...
don't give up wanting to feel better!!

TheBestMe posted 4/25/2014 19:42 PM

I'm trying to change. I want to have more intimate relationships, real friendships with strong roots. And, I have chosen to stay married to a man who hurt me more than any other human being has in my life. Every ounce of me has wanted to leave him since Dday


I can relate to this as well. I also don't know what I need to feel better...wh is doing everything he can. Deep down I feel like the only thing I need is for him not to have had sex with someone else, that's the one thing he can't do...so I feel stuck. I can't get over it but I don't want to leave him but I can't get over it....
ugh

Each day that I come onto this site there is a post that speaks directly to me. Just today I was thinking about divorce; again. No matter what happens, I still need to continue making progress.

Althea posted 4/25/2014 21:06 PM

I sort of feel comforted that so many of us are experiencing the same thing; but sad too.

I talked to WH again about the feeling of being so, so tired. I realized as we were talking that it had been several weeks since we had done any reading or talking about FOO issues, which have and continue to be a big problem in our relationship. I felt disconnected, and it brought up the fears that led me down the road of questioning whether I can trust the changes he is making and questioning whether I really want to be married to someone who I feel this way about.

We read together tonight and talked and I feel more at peace. Less tormented. I think getting in to meet new IC's next week will help too.

jj21, I felt a lot of those same feelings regarding fear that the change wouldn't stick. Or worse that the changes would stick, but that a year later I would still feel just as conflicted about the marriage. Don't get me wrong, I still feel conflict as is evidenced by this post; but it is better. I just keep looking for the forward progress...

Angel177 It just sucks. I just hold on to the hope that time will make it easier. It is just so hard feeling stuck in the in-between.

Hopefull77, that sounds like a moment worth clinging to. I struggle with that. Just a few days ago we had a beautiful weekend vacation with the kids, and I was so wrapped up in how disconnected I felt that I feel like I didn't appreciate the truly beautiful moments.

TheBestMe,

No matter what happens, I still need to continue making progress.
This is how I've gotten through, taking it day by day.


4everfaithful83 posted 4/25/2014 22:01 PM

Oh my god...yes!

Stressful is a nice way of putting it! I think R is a different road for everyone who travels on it.

Some days are bad, and some are (surprisingly) good.

I really relate to you going into "flight mode" whenever your WH does anything problematic.

I think R is so scary and uncertain that (at least for me) whenever it doesn't seem to be going the way I think it should, or my WBF doesn't do what I expect of him, I immediately start to think of leaving...or that I'm making a mistake by giving him the gift of R.

Its stressful. And quite honestly, its awful.

But something keeps me here. I try to just take it one day at a time. I try not to think of next week, next month or next year. I just focus on getting through today. And then I wake up and do it all over again.

I'm sorry you are in pain. I'm sending you strength tonight.

itstoomuch posted 4/27/2014 00:43 AM

Oh yes! Absolutely I can relate! Totally makes sense what you are saying! On almost every aspect of your post, I can totally relate- really!!

Wish it weren't the case for any of us on here- so sorry 😔

[This message edited by itstoomuch at 12:45 AM, April 27th (Sunday)]

n0tm3 posted 4/27/2014 01:01 AM

I can relate and wish I couldn't. I have tried occupying my mind so I can't trigger. I just keep waiting for the axe to fall again. I am going into my second year. I am hoping that after this it will be better. I am tired of thinking about divorce. It is nice to know that this is normal. Now I know I just need to wait and get through these days for the light at the end of a dark hellish tunnel.

rachelc posted 4/27/2014 14:30 PM

not stressful at all - but I am just starting the third year.
what it is now - sad. A realization that although he's being great, he isn't nor will he ever move heaven and earth for me. He is doing what he can, in his own way, and it's up to me to accept that's all he can offer.
So everything is really on me. If I can accept the things as they are, then we'll stay together and perhaps be "good enough." It's not stressful for me, just sad.
I still live day to day myself

HeartFullOfHoles posted 4/27/2014 16:19 PM

Year two was really hard for me. To be honest I'm surprise I didn't die from a stroke or heart attack. My WW says she is working hard (doing the best she can), but at times I have no idea what it is she's actually working on. Count your blessings if you can see and feel the work your WS is doing.

Changing oneself is really a gift to ourself because we get to be a better person no matter which path we ultimately choose.

My children also factor into my decision to stay and work on the relationship. Though at some point in time I will do what is best for me. To me trying diligently to R for a few years is okay. That's probably my age speaking as well as a little trepidation for the financial gutting I will experience if we actually D.

not stressful at all - but I am just starting the third year. what it is now - sad.
I am at a similar place in time and feelings. I personally feel better, but am completely sad regarding the relationship. I guess the hard part is figuring out if the best they can offer is really "good enough" for the long term. The best my WW can offer is likely below the level that others would consider acceptable for a good relationship. That leaves me healing by myself in an already strained environment.

MomtoRoses posted 4/27/2014 16:21 PM

I feel this way every day. I'm only 2 months out past the last dday. Some days I want to die and some days, I think I can make it. It's hard.

Loyaltoafault posted 4/27/2014 17:54 PM

I am in a similar hell at the beginning of year four. WH is in fight or flight. He is pushing us into fights and being paranoid. Tonight he thought when we went car shopping, he said I was looking for him to buy me a car so I could leave him. Its so odd, I finally got IC feel great and on a good track, and he has been choosing now to act like a guy who has had enough of trying to R., or thinks I have and wants to leave me first. No I dont think he is cheating again, but what do I know? He says I beat him up for the past three years. I was so traumatized by his OEA and PAs that I may have been difficult to work with at times, but for the most part always wanted to keep trying. Tonight I will force the issue and just ask if he wants out. I am ready for either answer at this point. I just want to live a real life and not wait for the merry go round to stop.

[This message edited by Loyaltoafault at 5:56 PM, April 27th (Sunday)]

Althea posted 4/27/2014 19:09 PM

He is doing what he can, in his own way, and it's up to me to accept that's all he can offer.

RachelC, I can really relate to this. At the end of the day, this is what has me so scared/stressed/anxiety ridden. What if the changes he is making are just to appease me? What if they aren't real? If I divorced him, and stopped being the squeaky wheel driving R, would he just revert back? If he does, what does that mean for our kids? What if he dates someone like the OW? God, it just snowballs. My WH talked me off the cliff a few nights ago by reminding me that returning to IC was his idea, and suggesting we do some reading together from a book about FOO issues; but it seems like this replays for me every few months. Usually it is precipitated by some drama from his family, but other times it seems to come from feeling disconnected from WH.

Really just want to get it under control

jj21 posted 5/3/2014 12:48 PM

WH talked me off the cliff a few nights
YES!!

but it seems like this replays for me every few months
YES!!

I just want to live a real life and not wait for the merry go round to stop
AND YES!!

It's so sad that we are all going through this.

Daisy312 posted 5/4/2014 07:44 AM

I wish I had advice, just wanted to let you knw I understand exactly!
For me though, I think I have decided to R but I'm still so guarded. My heart is on the fence. I go back an forth and to be honest Idk if I'll ever b able to forgive him. Idk if I want to ever fully commit to him. He's doing everything he can but he can't change the past and I can't move past it. I just want to be happy and content and I'm not. I often hate my life!

Edie posted 5/4/2014 07:51 AM

It sounds like the whole business of the A and aftermath have helped enormously in some way with your determination to reverse your previous coping strategies of cutting people off and that your husband is helping with that. So if he is sorting himself out, and you are sorting yourself out, it seems that it is a safe environment for you to keep challenging your issues with commitment and hurt.

Having 3 kids under 6 is hugely tiring and stressful also. Have you built in time just for you? and for you and FWH? It seems a cliche, but is so important.

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