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Horrible intrusive image... Slight tmi

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bytheboard posted 5/10/2014 07:25 AM

Feeling wrecked this morning and really need to get it out. Apologize in advance for a tad bit of tmi around the image but thanks so much if you read:

I was drifting off to sleep... Mostly asleep I guess and my hazy thoughts were pleasant sexual images of my husband getting ready to put himself inside of me. I felt relaxed, happy, peaceful, receptive, aroused etc. In the dream, it was like watching our own homemade movie with close up on the action. Then, right as penetration was occurring I realized with shock and horror that it wasn't me.. It was the ONS from Abu Dhabi while I was pregnant with our son. I SCREAMED in the dream and woke myself up in absolute terror. It had that quality of when you snap awake because you feel like you are falling off a cliff.

Upon awakening, I was totally distraught. I tried to go out to the living room to calm down and to my surprise I was filled with overwhelming hatred towards my husband who I have been working hard to reconcile with... I wanted to scream at him, hit him, find some way to make him understand the gravity of his actions against me. I breathed, got as calm as I could then went to him, and spoke my feelings and urges as gently as I could trying to turn to him as support, be authentic and hopefully work through it together. I told him I was struggling with the raw pain of the image and the truth that he had put himself inside a total stranger and contracted mono which he gave to me while pregnant. I told him I was struggling with how he could so easily betray me. In a flat voice he said " I have no idea" and he left the room and slept on the couch.

I didn't follow. I worked on calming myself and truly being alone in the bed helped. This morning he came to me told me he loved me and hugged me. He is clearly upset and he wrote me an email describing how much it hurts to see me in pain and that he wishes he could take the burden of it on himself. He has real difficulties with intimacy and face to face support. We are pretty much avoiding each other now.

I can't get the image out of my head. I can't get away from the truth. I want to reach acceptance of the truth but at 20 months out, it still feels so surreal and nightmarish. I can't wrap my head around this actually being real. My husband pursued total strangers on AFF, CL and IM... He took anything that he could get. He was doing this for 20 years before I met him. It has nothing to do with me but it has destroyed everything I dreamed for our marriage. I don't know how to accept reality with out completely succumbing to pain and anxiety. I have found ways to control it and actually prosper and grow when I am awake... But then it plagues me while I sleep.

This isn't the first time I had this particular image, it happened several months ago and I woke up sobbing. The response is so deep and visceral. It sticks for days. Right now, I just want to hide from the world or drink enough to cut off the thoughts in my head just for a while.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read. I truly and deeply appreciate it.

[This message edited by bytheboard at 12:54 PM, May 10th (Saturday)]

SisterMilkshake posted 5/10/2014 08:40 AM

(((bytheboard))) I am so sorry, that is an awful dream and a horrible way to wake up.

I don't have any advice, but just wanted to let you know that you have been heard and understood.

Branca posted 5/10/2014 10:22 AM

Yes. That is truly horrible. But I'm glad you have a place to let it out.

Sometimes what makes it feel worse is if your WH isn't giving you enough hope for the future (by being unwilling or unable to do what it takes for true R), it can seem that all the suffering is in vain.

I really hope things will get better for you soon.


Regretswhatidid posted 5/11/2014 12:29 PM

My lovely wife,

Happy Mother's Day!!! You are such a loving ang good mother to our 4 children!! I'm so happy that we were able to get through yesterday!! My foremost feeling when I read your post is tormented and regretful. They would both rate a 10 out of 10. Visual image would be the red tail hawk that we see being chased relentlessly and tormented by the crows. If it was a color it would be pitch black, a pitch black that you are unable to see your hand in front of your face and you can here strange noises that you are unable to indentify. If it was a sporting event it would be your beloved Redskins quarterback being sacked over and over by the Cowboys. The defense being tormented over and over by the rush and blitz and the defense being regretful ever time they sack the your quarterback. A shared experience would be some the issues that we went through with my older son late last year.

I love and cherish you! I'm not perfect but I'm tryin! When I read your post it feels like a hot knife slicing through my heart. I want to take the hurt, anger, and nightmares and remove them from you and place them in me. You did not deserve any of this! I do appreciate the care and love you gave me when I read the card and seen the video if my mom last night. I promise to love and cherish you, provide for you, take care of you and the kids, and be faithful to you the rest of your life. I do hope that is the best Mother's Day ever!!!! My heart and soul belongs to you forever!! Love always!!!

PollyA posted 5/11/2014 12:50 PM

dear regrets,

I realize I don't know the details of your story, but the thing that jumped out at me was when you said "I have no idea" regarding how you could make such choices.

In my own case, (H had 100+ anonymous CL same sex partner), until I know how/ why he made such dangerous choices, I can't know how/ why he WON'T make those choices again. just saying he won't doesn't work because previous to me discovering his secret life, he also said he wouldn't.

I hope we can all get to a place of love and acceptance. be well.

[This message edited by PollyA at 12:51 PM, May 11th (Sunday)]

bytheboard posted 5/12/2014 17:10 PM

((( SisterMilkshake)))- thank you so much for your kind words and support... So often the best medicine is just to know that you are not alone!!!

(((Branca)))- what you said makes total sense, it is easier to deal with the pain when you have hope for the future... My husband is working on giving that to me but he is in the process of healing as well. Sometimes it overwhelms one or both of us. Sometimes I just want the pain to stop and it is hard to be patient.

(((PollyA)))- this EXACTLY:

In my own case, (H had 100+ anonymous CL same sex partner), until I know how/ why he made such dangerous choices, I can't know how/ why he WON'T make those choices again. just saying he won't doesn't work because previous to me discovering his secret life, he also said he wouldn't.

I hope we can all get to a place of love and acceptance. be well.

You just spoke the words straight from my heart... And what my soul knows that it needs to feel safe again... I truly hope that we all get these answers we need so greatly...

To my dear husband:

(((Regretswhatidid)))... I love you. You broke my heart and shattered my world but I still love you. I know you are tormented. I know your addiction didn't appear out of the blue. I know you want a different life and I know you want to experience a kind of love you have never known before. I can't tell you how much your answer to my post meant to me. I know we haven't used the tools we learned at Retrovaille much since our courses ended... But to see that you utilized them here... In the way that you did, when you didn't know how to reach out to me any other way truly touches my heart and soul. It shows me that you are growing, that you are retaining the knowledge that we are fighting so hard to gain.

It makes me feel so much less alone with this agony.

I am still struggling today. I am fighting against these intrusive images with everything in me and yet the battle feels just barely in my favor. I want to get past the pain and the fear. I want to move beyond the disbelief. I'm not sure how, but I am surely dedicated to the fight. Please keep fighting to find those answers my husband, to heal yourself and to be whole. Please stay the course and help to hold me up when I am falling. You know I will do the same for you.

Thank you all for your support and for lightening this load that I carry.

brkn_heartd posted 5/12/2014 21:45 PM

I know the type of dreams you are talking about. I struggled with them pretty bad the first 2 years, now they only come occasionally. For me, I did some hypnotherapy to help with the panic that would come with the dreams. The session helped me to learn to calm myself and move on in the day. I was given an audio tape of my session so I could keep using it to help myself cope. It really helped tremendously.

While you are working on healing with your husband, your IC might be able to help you with some coping skills. It does not make your forget it, but helps to work through the pain of the dreams. I found it very helpful and could not have survived with my sanity if I had not had the hypnotherapy.

Sending support your way.

bytheboard posted 5/13/2014 13:00 PM

(((Broken hearted))))

Thank you for the suggestion... I really think I need to look into it... I am four days out from the dream and today I am really suffering from it again after having my feet under me yesterday. The pain is simply visceral. Times like these you start to wonder if you will ever get past the absolute horror of it all. My husband is trying so hard and I often feel guilty when I get so deep in this pain and anxiety... I know it feels so helpless and discouraging when it persists for days. I end up feeling exhausted by the intensity which is where I am now. I have been so grateful for the support given here...

Listeningclosely posted 5/13/2014 13:38 PM

bytheboard - I think one of the important things for you to know is that what you are experiencing is not only real, but under the circumstances normal. We are now coming up on 8 years since D-Day, and there are still times when my BW experiences insecurity and pain from my actions back then. It can be just the way I turn a phrase, or an action I take where I don't immediately see the connection but she does. And at that moment, the critical thing is to do what you did. To be honest with your WH and to help him understand what you are going through.

Regrets - A small change in words can make a huge difference in all of this. I've adopted some feedback a few counselors have shared not only with me but with our children as well. Instead of saying "I have no idea", say "I have no idea...yet.". That last word is critical. It helps to show that you are actively pursuing your own truth. You are taking steps to gain understanding into what you did and why you did it. And that pursuit can't end until you find an answer. Because if it does, you risk doing the same thing again because you won't see it coming.

R can and does happen. My BW and I are proof that you CAN work through this and find a happier tomorrow. But it takes active work over time to get there. Then again, healthy marriages require that even without the strain of infidelity. Work is what makes it all worth it for both people involved.

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