Since then I have learned to dog paddle. OW was served with a cease & desist, and did. WH is remorseful, and working very hard to fix what he broke. We're in counseling, his, mine and ours. And we're making progress.
We've talked more, and more honestly, than we have in years. He thanks me daily for the opportunity to continue living with me, and apologizes for the hurt he knows he's caused. We've rediscoved our enjoyment in one another's company. HB happened, then faded, then returned in the form of a rational, lovely (albeit tenuous) emotional and physical intimacy like the one we had in our early years. I've let myself be vulnerable -- it's hard not to be, when you are as broken as I feel -- and he has rewarded that vulnerability with tenderness, kindnenss and care.
Which is why it was such a gut punch last night when -- in a cozy moment as we were falling asleep -- he called me her pet name.
We both realized immediately what had happened, and time sort of froze. He didn't mean to hurt me, he apologized immediately, and he swears he was not thinking of her. Since he said my name immediately before the pet phrase, I sort of believe him. But it kills me just the same.
He associates those tender, warm, happy feelings we were sharing with someone who is not me. He has been more intimate with her in 7 years than he and I have been in 22. It wasn't just a bubble fantasy world: he really loved her, more than he loved me. He chose me in the end, yes, but her ghost will be around forever. There is a tiny chance that if we both work very, very hard, we might be able to salvage a relationship worth being in. But it is equally possible that we could struggle for years, and still end up deciding that D is only workable solution.
These are the dark, hopeless thoughts I am drowning in today. I hurt today as much as I did those first weeks. And D is seeming like the easier way out.
Anybody have a life jacket handy?
[This message edited by krsplat at 11:41 AM, May 19th (Monday)]
With that said, I feel your pain and I am so sorry this has happened to you. For a while - how long I don't know because I'm still there - your life will feel like it is upside-down as you try to reconcile with this person who has hurt you so incredibly badly.
Sometimes (today being one of them), you will wonder if you really want to make it work with him. It seems so much easier to just let it all go - him included. But you are doing the hardest thing and I give you credit for it. You are working hard to try to R. I am guessing he felt awful when he used her pet name. He will feel awful about a lot of things for some time to come. I wish you the best of luck - I really do. I am here for you if you need to vent - a lot of us are.
I have a theory, perhaps not a popular one but one I believe to be true. The more you are confronted with those nasty moments the healthier you will be in the long run. Not immediately but down the road. It is like immersion therapy. You hear it, you experience it and you are forced to work it through in your mind. It is my belief that we will be confronted with reminders from now on and the sooner you can come to grips with the reality of the past the easier it will be to live in the future.
Meanwhile, big, huge hugs.
It's amazing how a single word can bring us to our knees. Don't tell me what it is but is it a common pet name or a very specific one?
The reason I ask is that 'Babe/Hun' triggered me big time. I've bristled when called either in a romantic context. Xs pet names for me were also what he called DDOW. Unfortunately it is also what a lot of couples call each other.
As far as triggers go that has to be the roughest kind. There will likely be many more triggers. DDOW was Indian and it took me almost a year after DD to eat Indian food. The affair happened in London a few months before they hosted the fucking Olympics!!
I'm divorced now but I will say that you won't get a handle on the triggers for quite some time. Some of them will never go away. Triggers happen in R and S/D - the biggest trigger for me was my then husband. Now it is a TV show we used to watch together. I can't bring myself to watch it and I wince whenever an ad comes on for it. Of all the triggers I could have I don't know why THIS is the one that torments me.
You can't escape them. As we say here "The only way through it is through it." There are no shortcuts (I've looked) even if you do divorce.
I'm mortified for him and my heart aches for you. You'll never know if he was thinking about her or if he does ever think about her. There is a kind of detox I've read about here where it can take quite a while to detox from their A and detach from their AP. I imagine that is the case in LTAs especially. My M only lasted 8 years.
You're building trust right now - deciding to R doesn't built it automatically. You don't have to believe him. You can be on the fence and decide to decide later on. He needs to be OK with that.
TBH you'd be feeling all of this even if he hadn't used the pet name. This has just brought it all to the surface. I have to think its a good thing to get it out on the table, right? It's the worst silver lining but the best I can come up with.
He called AP MY pet name. he's not allowed call me that anymore. He's slipped a couple of times...
Even worse... Another girl he dated showed up uninvited to our wedding... Signed our wedding photo mat with the pet name he used for her, and later named a character in his novel. I had to look at that shit for 7 1/2 years... I recently covered it with a piece of paper...
I almost threw it away... But then I caught my step mom signature... She passed away 2 years later... Then my grandparents' signatures.. They passed in '12 and '13.
Don't tell me what it is but is it a common pet name or a very specific one?
Maybe TMI here, but he called OW "my good girl." This was a reference to the fact that she was his D/s sub. It was also the title of her very explicit blog, which she sent me in the aftermath of DDay. The phrase makes me feel nauseous.
What he said to me was, "Oh, [regular nickname for me], you're my girl," a phrase he has never, ever uttered to me before. Right first name, very wrong ending. Again:
[This message edited by krsplat at 1:15 PM, May 19th (Monday)]
With 7 years of that and 'multiple one night stands' as mentioned in your signature line, I can see why divorce seems the better path.
I feel like you're compromising every single piece of your being just to reconcile with him and it makes me feel so bad for you.
[This message edited by NeverAgain2013 at 1:43 PM, May 19th (Monday)]
You're kind to give him a chance that he doesn't deserve, but what about you? Maybe you deserve more?
It's NOT kindness that has me considering R, it's enlightened self-interest. Fixing what is broken would be better for my kids, and better for me emotioanlly and financially. If it can't be fixed to my satisfaction, I WILL D and start all over. I certainly deserve better than what I got. We all do. As to what I deserve from here on out...
I deserve someone who will never cheat on me again. While that remains to be seen, any only time will tell, WH is working on getting to the root of his issues, getting the right kinds of help and working it as he should. And he understands that if there is even a whiff of someone else, I am gone.
I deserve truth, and he is doling it out without hesitation at this point. I deserve remorse and reparations for the damage done to me and to my marriage, and he is doing what he can, and all I ask, when I ask it. From what I read here, that's about as good as it gets.
I deserve the marriage I thought I had -- a better one, actually -- to the man I thought I was married to. WH is working to become that man. Again, we'll see what happens.
Thanks for all of the wishes and suggestions. SI members never seem to disappoint.
A small, maybe not so gentle 2x4: Kudos that your H is working on himself and convincing you. I just hope you are being realistic about the work that YOU will have to do. The fact that he prefers subs is not something that can be fixed. How long do you think that he will be able to surpress those preferences? How will YOU address that? I don't want to get into tmi and really do not want an answer, but are you considering joining that lifestyle? Or are you prepared to police Craigslist, bdsm websites and so-on for the rest of your life? You can't trust him, ever after he lied for YEARS. Keyloggers at home are useful, but my stbx carried on a two year online email/video affair at his work. No way I could have ever known.
End of 2x4. Sorry for my cynicism. I hope you have IRL family and friends helping you look at your sitch from all angles.