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TheWorstCase posted 7/13/2014 12:20 PM

I don't even know where to start. My husband and I met in college and have been together for almost 10 years, married for about 3. He has had a great job, and I've been getting a PhD and working part-time. After college, we lived in a big city for over 5 years, and it wasn't a great environment for us. We made different friends, and he wasn't interested in spending time with the friends that I made. I also didn't make him feel welcome. I had always thought that I could be friends with a bunch of guys. Ever since high school I had a group of guys that I hung out with, and I thought it was totally normal. I thought I had good enough boundaries, and was a good enough person that I could have it all. I craved attention from men but would probably never have admitted as much. In the city, I gave myself license to spend loads of time with friends while my husband worked very hard to save money for our future. I was so selfish and impulsive. There were probably many times that I almost had PAs, even pretty early in our relationship, when I was drinking heavily during college. One time I think I drunkenly kissed another guy.I had never really told my husband about that until a couple weeks ago. I bottled up my feelings and said I could be stronger and better. I barely remember it at all, but I know something like a kiss or an almost kiss happened.

Our D-day was in April of this year when, after a few months of questioning me here and there, he told me that he had read deleted texts and found some disturbing messages. At that point, I finally broke down. I revealed to him that I was engaging in a EA/PA, and had been for several months. I also told him that it wasn't the first one, after he asked me directly. A couple weeks before our wedding I had a brief PA, and I also had a one night stand followed by a sexting relationship for a few weeks right before I met the most recent other man. I didn't give my BS many details, and I'm ashamed to admit that I wanted to protect the other men even though my husband was hurting and needed answers. I wasn't ready to be fully open and honest. Over the past few months he has learned some other miserable truths about me. The OM was 20 years older than I am. I had tried to envision a future with the OM. Last summer I was going to a bar alone quite frequently, sometimes taking off my rings. One night, I lost my wedding band, and the next morning I asked the man I had been talking to until early in the morning if he would pay for a new one so I wouldnít get caught. I didnít get caught then, and after some time had passed I considered it a good story to tell while drinking with people that I thought I could trust because they had equally deplorable stories to share. I surrounded myself with lost people who could help me rationalize and justify my decisions. I was the worst. Really.

My husband went through something when I told him about the affairs and lies that I had never seen someone go through. Raw, unbelievable, heart-wrenching grief. He was totally shocked, because I had told him numerous times that nothing was going on. I had been distant and moody, to be sure, but he didn't think I was capable of this betrayal. I told him I was confused, needed time and space (ugh, I hate that phrase now), and asked him if he wanted me to leave. He said no and yes, but eventually I told him that I was going to stay with my girl friend. His best friend from college was in town for work luckily, and tried to talk to him and console him, but my husband told him to leave. I was so torn and worried about him, but didn't want to make the pain worse by staying at our apartment. I called the OM that night from my friend's apartment and told him I didn't want to have contact with him anymore. But I was still so confused about what to do, because I somehow still hadn't processed why I was having affairs to begin with. What had I been doing for the past year if I wasnít processing my decisions???
After that came several days of checking in on him and being terrified as I saw him run himself ragged, not eating unless I made him, not sleeping at all, crying and exercising to the point of total exhaustion. I was still in the fog, was trying to go to work and get tested for STDs and set up counseling and clean our apartment when I was there instead of acknowledging that our marriage was falling apart. I wasn't even recognizing what I really needed to do to help (to tell him I was committed to him and loved him and would do anything to fix my issues), so I maintained that I needed time and space. I did need to wake up, and I still donít know if I made the right decision by giving him time to himself. I was trying desperately to find my grief, but it just wasn't there. I couldn't cry in front of him, and I thought it was because I was being strong for him. Now I realize I was just probably walling myself off from emotions because I didn't want to admit my own faults. I blamed my behaviors on the way we acted toward each other, and on him not being available to me, instead of on my own insecurities and history of needing validation and sexual attention from men. I was so wrong to do that. I knew he needed to talk to someone, anyone, and gave him the number of my friend to call who is a clinical psychologist in training. Talking to her may have saved him from some really suicidal actions (Willing his body to give more than it had, wanting it to disappear, but not having the strength to make a real suicide plan. Very, very scary. And I did this to him. Iím so sorry if reading this makes you all have flashbacks. I know it is a terrifying time for anyone who has gone through it. ).
We experienced everything in the book over the next few weeks. Hysterical bonding, victim blaming, fantasy land, etc. I stayed with my girl friend, mostly, but there were a few nights that I broke NC and stayed with the OM. I regret this decision so badly. I wish I could go back and change so much, especially the actions that communicated that I wasnít even willing to be empathetic and try. I was using a drink or two of alcohol sometimes at night to sleep, to feel, to justify my decisions, and to find the "courage" to share with others. One night, we decided that if I was so indecisive that I should be taken off the joint account. We had had many disagreements about my spending over the years, and I often used his criticisms against him and as a way to justify my negativity. We split the finances very early on, which in retrospect was another big shock to us both. It felt like everything was happening so fast.
The most important things that happened next that snapped me out of my fog were:
1) refusing to give up on witnessing my husband's grief;
2) agreeing to tell my Mom we needed her to come to visit immediately (she lives several states away) and agreeing to tell her everything , which she then shared with my Dad (her choice, since she felt it was better coming from her);
3) telling my siblings generally what was going on via email and some phone calls;
4) truly listening and hearing what my husband was saying about how I had changed and how my actions were having a negative ripple effect on so many others;
5) and saying out loud over and over again what I had done until it sunk into my own stupid head and heart.
I hurt him in the worst ways possible, repeatedly. I made him vulnerable physically without his say, and broke his view of the world and everyone in it. He wasnít able to sleep or eat well for weeks. I've been trying for the past 2 months to re-evaluate my life, be open and honest, and change many, many behaviors. We were planning to move closer to family to a smaller city this summer, so after wavering a bit and telling him I might stay in the big city I finally realized that I was killing my marriage completely by hiding away and taking time apart. He said ďthere is no way that we can work on us if you arenít thereĒ. I think it finally started to click.
What happened after that is:
- I expressed my residual feelings for the OM in an email, and tried to gauge his feelings for me. I was finally able to see how he was using me, and how he really felt (not committed to me at all, nowhere near as good of a person as my husband, no good at all for me). I went NC for good, and to this day am so proud that I did so.
- I agreed to stop going to bars, and to stop having male friends.
- We moved 6 hours away.
- I stopped talking with almost everyone in the big city except for strictly work or general information purposes (including someone I now see that I was having an EA with in grad school).
- I shared all passwords.
- I stopped drinking.
- I stopped all forms of social media.
- We have both been doing IC/MC about every other week.
- I work part-time from home, almost have a confirmed second job now, and he comes home for lunch every day. (It feels like life bootcamp, which is exactly what I need).
- We talk frequently about our feelings, we play tennis/Frisbee/bike/garden/run together.
- I have shared more and more details about the affairs even though it is so unbelievably difficult. I see how much it helps in the end, but right before I share I have so much doubt about whether it is selfish. I am beginning to actually hear him when he says that he is the one that gets to decide what is important.
- I basically spend every day trying to find the root cause of my lying and cheating, and to support him through this unbelievably impossible time. We are both reading quite a bit. "After the Affair" ďCodependent no more" "How can I forgive you" "Not just friends" "Infidelity: A survival guide" and we are both on SI quite a bit as well. I finally decided to register and post. I will definitely need ongoing support and advice in the months and perhaps years to come. I will need strength when it feels like all of mine is gone, and when I feel alone. I did adopt a cat a month after we moved, which is helping with the loneliness. I used to go out almost every night, so my new life, while it is so much healthier and something to be proud of finally, often leaves me feeling lonely and scared.
- The only people I talk to are friends of the marriage and family who care about us staying together.

My husband right now is really struggling to find hope to cling to. He appreciates my honesty, but is now starting to feel very "empty and indifferent". I am encouraged when he shows any affection or even when he shows anger and sadness, because it is better than indifference. He isn't sure if he needs to continue with IC, but seems somewhat open to the idea. There are days when all we do is cry, and there are days when we are out, active, relatively happy, and don't argue but instead act supportive and understanding. The bad days are required to earn the good days, I think. We are living together but he isn't always okay with sleeping in the same bed. I understand, and am trying somewhat successfully to give him the space that he needs. He got STD tested, and I did a second round of tests 2 months after the first round just to be sure. I know there are still risks.
I am really scared that even though I've told him I'm committed and "all-in" and "out of limbo" or "off the fence", that he will never get there. He is such a strong and committed intelligent and family-oriented person, and Iíve broken him down so that even he is questioning why he remains. I know it hasn't been that long, and that it probably seems to him as though I haven't said all that needs to be said. When I think of more of the lies, I tell him now. When he asks questions, I try my damn hardest not to be defensive and just to answer as calmly and honestly as I can remember. I am terrified of losing him, I love him fiercely, and I will give him the time and honesty that is required to start recovering from the affairs, lies, and the verbal abuse I inflicted on him along the way. I didn't know that I could simultaneously feel so proud of myself and so full of terror about my actions not being enough all at once. What else should I be doing? The IC/MC we are seeing told my husband that my affairs are the worst from a WW that she has ever seen, and apparently she said so to let my husband know that it is going to be a long hard road ahead, not to scare him into leaving. If you read this whole post, thank you for your time. I hope I didn't inflict more re-traumatization than you could handle, and I hope the benefits to us all are worth the harm of hearing about my deceit.

[This message edited by TheWorstCase at 1:32 PM, July 13th (Sunday)]

badchoice posted 7/13/2014 13:27 PM

It seems like you are doing a lot of the right things. You ask what else, I think now its about time.

It takes time, and a lot of it.

I know others will be along with more advice.

good luck.

redsox13 posted 7/13/2014 15:01 PM

This would REALLY trouble me as a BS:

expressed my residual feelings for the OM in an email, and tried to gauge his feelings for me. I was finally able to see how he was using me, and how he really felt (not committed to me at all, nowhere near as good of a person as my husband, no good at all for me). I went NC for good, and to this day am so proud that I did so.

This sounds as though you really only chose your husband after you rejected the OM. Has he asked what you would have done if the OM had responded differently.

You are doing everything you can - and the fact he is still there is something to hold onto. There are times when a BS goes through this that frankly you are just number and don't really care about anything. Nothing really snaps you out of it, either. It just seems to pass on its own.

[This message edited by redsox13 at 3:02 PM, July 13th (Sunday)]

TheWorstCase posted 7/13/2014 15:59 PM

Thank you for your responses badchoice
and redsox13. I did put my BS second, or third, or fourth...and on and on. He was never the priority. If my husband was uncomfortable with me hanging out with one of my male friends, I would go anyways. He has pointed this out numerous times. Now that I recognize this, and am doing all I can to put him first, it has to be enough. He has every right to leave, and I know that.

In reference to the LTA, I was already beginning to question what I saw in the OM, was being more critical of him to his face, but at the time I was so confused and so ridiculously delusional about what it meant to be committed that I just kept pursuing an escape from my responsibilities at school and at home by going to the OMs apartment. It did help, in the end, that the OM was not interested in any sort of committed relationship with me, but I sincerely believe that I would have come to the same conclusion in time. It would have taken longer had he not been so blunt about seeing no future with me and just wanting to be friends and have sex. It is sickening that I was drawn to this person, or to the attention of the other men, and that I maintained a relationship for so long, and didn't see what it was doing to my husband for so long. I know one of the things that I kept saying during the affair is that I was just waiting for the move out of state to end it. I thought that would be enough, but really that wouldn't have even been close to enough. I still would have been hiding my problems behind thousands of lies. I almost certainly would have just glommed on to another person. I hate that I didn't have the wherewithal to just talk to my husband or a counselor early on in my life when I saw how destructive the combination of a little alcohol and men could be for me. I *always* had to be the "fun" and "adventurous" person in every situation. I need to find the root cause of my behavior. There are many possible semi-traumatic events that I could point to where I thought love=sex and feelings and not long-term commitment and support. Nobody corrected that line of thinking, and I never forced myself to feel married. Not completely. Once the affair had started and had been revealed, I wish I had ended it immediately and completely with no more reservations about my marriage. I have a ton of self-reflection to do to figure out why I tried to sabotage a relationship with him, and why I was so terrible at being comfortable in my relationship and secure in myself. No one is perfect, but he is attractive, funny, down to earth, comes from a great family, has a great paying job, is healthy and has more energy than I do somehow, and most importantly he's in love with me and would never do anything to intentionally hurt me... I will never have that pure love and trust from him anymore, but there is still so much potential that I can't give up ever.

TheWorstCase posted 7/13/2014 16:02 PM

I am terrified of what I would have done had the OM said that he wanted me to leave my husband. On several occasions I know I wanted to hear that he had deeper feelings for me, but really I believe that was just me crying out to myself that I needed to feel like I was enough.

WalkinOnEggshelz posted 7/13/2014 16:46 PM

First of all, welcome to SI. I hope you find this site every big as valuable as I have. We are a bunch of pretty straight shooters but you will benefit greatly if you can hang in there even when it gets tough.

There is a lot if information in your posts, a lot to sift through, so I will just give you done generic advice.

Something to understand, especially given that your affairs began before you were even married, is that he is questioning your entire relationship. Every part of you marriage will seem like a lie to him. There will be several aspects of both your A and your M that he will need to process. Processing it takes time. He may need to ask the same questions several times to get a better understanding as well as get some consistency on your part. Defensiveness will be your enemy so continue to work on that. But the thing he will need from you is empathy. He will need to see that you understand the pain you have created. That you have genuine remorse for your actions.

I understand that you are terrified of losing him, but ask yourself why. Is it because you are afraid of being alone? Because the OM never wanted a full commitment from you? Or because you truly love him? If so, why are you able to say you love him, yet you didn't the OM? These are questions you will need to be able to answer. They are questions he is thinking.

With all of the reading and IC have you begun to find your why's? Are you sharing them with your H? What have you been doing to make yourself safe for him?

You don't need to answer these questions here, just some food for thought.

TheWorstCase posted 7/13/2014 17:30 PM

WalkinOnEggshelz, thanks for your comments and questions. He is definitely calling into question our relationship from the start. It is so hard to hear, but so important that I follow his pain and go back to the beginning with him. And before I met him, even.

What do you mean when you say "What have you been doing to make yourself safe for him?" Safe in what sense?

I have started to talk to him about the "why" a little. I am exploring why I compartmentalized, and I am exploring the dynamics of my family, but he thinks I am trying to blame my family instead of accepting responsibility for myself. I don't feel that I'm blaming, as he says, "we are the sum of our decisions", I am, however, trying to understand ways of interacting and communicating in my family that I never questioned before. It is tricky business using early relationships as a way to understand (not to justify behavior, but to compare to in a sense) later relationships. Very easy to shift blame and not get further with the process.

WalkinOnEggshelz posted 7/13/2014 19:26 PM

He won't feel "safe" with you anytime soon. Right now he has no idea who you even are. You might as well be a loaded gun. So all of your behaviors and habits are in question. Every time you leave the house or do anything out of the norm he is going to trigger.

Do you text him whenever you go anywhere? Does he have access to all your passwords? Do you keep him informed of your whereabouts at all times? Are you completely transparent?

In addition to that, are you sharing your process with him so he can have some understanding of what happened? Are you initiating conversations and showing him true remorse?

Or are you waiting for him to come to you with what is hurting him, with his questions? Answering them honestly is great but he will need to know that he isn't in this alone.

Are you being proactive? Or reactive?

ophelia24 posted 7/13/2014 20:31 PM

Wow. You sound a lot like me. Read my profile. Constant inappropriate behaviours over the years, before and after marriage, ONS,inappropriate flirting/drinking/mockery, and a full blown affair. Always restless, not being able to stand still for very long, life of the party, running away from and to everyone but myself and my BH. No ability to self-soothe at all and just BE. And what I realised, is how terrified I felt....all the time.

Lots of work for you ahead. And some of that will be in not necessarily the obvious areas. For me, things kicked off when I dealt with some family relationship dynamics. Realised how much terror I had held in and how angry I was.

Keep posting and sharing. We all right here.

Nitrobob posted 7/13/2014 20:52 PM

I read your story, and the first thing I noticed is that you are very very smart.

That is going to help a lot here, if you want to R.

The hard part is accepting that time is an ingredient you can't control. It passes at its own speed. The aphorism that it is what you do with the time that's important is only part of the truth. You being there for him, over days, months, years, is what solidifies in his mind that he is who you wanted.

I wouldn't tell him about being rejected by OM. That will make him feel like the consolation prize for the rest of his life. Honesty is important, in general, but there are some details better left out. Others will disagree with that, I'm sure.

I found on my wives phone the comment to a friend" it was the best sex of my life". I wish I hadn't seen it. Logically, women have sex partners before marriage too, and they break up even if the sex is amazing because other things are lacking. So logically, it shouldn't matter. Emotionally, it was the worst thing I read in my life.

redsox13 posted 7/13/2014 21:34 PM

This post is a real trigger for me. The question of whether I am really the first choice haunts me 5 years later.

You face a real test when it comes to telling him about your last contact with OM. To be told that information will devistate your husband. If you don't tell him though.can you say you are really being honest. Isn't this information he should know when he decides to R.

What is your explanation to yourself? Doesn't he desrve to be someone's first choice. And if he isn't your first choice isn't the marriage doomed

I am not my wifes first choice and the realization 5 years later is killing me

[This message edited by redsox13 at 9:47 PM, July 13th (Sunday)]

TheWorstCase posted 7/13/2014 23:34 PM

Thanks for the continued feedback and advice everyone! Keep it coming, it is so good to think with other people on-board. It is very disheartening to hear people talk about years of no progress. I've had enough denial and lying to myself, I'm ready for growth. I sometimes feel so naÔve, though. Is that where I am heading anyway? No feelings of self-actualization, no feelings of confidence in myself without others building me up only to tear myself down when things don't go exactly as I want them to go??

WalkinOnEggshelz: Ah, I see what you mean. I think I'm doing okay with making him feel safe. At the risk of sounding like the ideal wife...which I am not (duh, see first post), because I do make mistakes during this time of trust-building (e.g., broke a promise last week about not watching Netflix without my BS, since it is my primary form of procrastination), my trust-enhancing behaviors involve:
- I write out everything that I do during the work week and we have a google drive where we keep marriage-related documents such as that.
- He has every single password, and I still volunteer information such as when a friend texts or g-chats with me. It feels amazing to be that open, to have nothing to hide. Selfishly I like it, and I know he appreciates it because if I get behind on writing out what I've been doing he asks about it.
- Since I used to waste all kinds of money on food, tea, and alcohol, I have reinvigorated my efforts at home with cooking and living economically. The cat has made this a bit difficult, but overall I've been good.
- I initiated date night on every Friday so that I don't start resenting being home the rest of the week. It is something I look forward to immensely, and we trade off who pays and sometimes also who picks the restaurant. It seems like I end up picking usually because I enjoy that process and he doesn't.
- I have not been to a bar since we moved here, nor do I intend on going to one for a looooong time, and never ever without him again. I'm guessing we would only go for a really specific reason, like a special event for a friend. I don't drink at all anymore, and when we go out to a friend's house (maybe 1x per week or every other week) I am the designated driver for him. That's also a new thing, since we used to not own a car and took public transit everywhere. Honestly I am happy to not drink, since drinking only ever lead to heartbreak and foul odors. I suspect that it will be more tempting to break the no-drinking lifestyle change around my family, since wine is part of how we've bonded in the past, but I've told my parents not to figure me into the bottle-count next time I'm there. Also, I have willpower, and I don't need alcohol to be with my family.
- Since I am working at home, the only time I leave is if we go somewhere together or if I need something at the grocery store. Even then, we usually go together.
- So I barely ever go anywhere without him, and when I do, I text him regularly.
- I know some of this will change when I get a job outside of the home (hopefully by the end of this month), such as the not going anywhere without him, and having ample free time to write out everything I'm doing. But as much as I can, I plan to continue.
- I am positive that I am leaving some things out, but that's probably the bulk of it.

ophelia24: I read through your profile. Wow, what a life. Much of what you said scared me. Especially during the affair I was constantly on edge with horrible heart-pounding anxiety, constantly comparing how good or bad I was with others. It is such a human process of upward and downward comparison, and yet it can be such a damaging process to the body and soul. Much of the rationalizing and never feeling good enough I can relate to. As far as putting aside feelings and truth-telling for another day - I swear I just figured I would write a memoir someday and lay it all out as if I expected someone to make a movie of it that everyone would be in awe over. So shallow and lame, right?

I definitely want to get more into the family dynamics. Compared to many, I have really wonderful loving parents and intelligent and fun-loving siblings. Being the youngest for sure made it easy for me to adopt an attention-seeking and spoiled/entitled attitude. Sigh. It just doesn't add up to why I let things get so out of hand with my relationships. Sure, people encouraged me to be the fun and outgoing one, but I was raised with values. When did those start becoming optional and "too traditional" for me? And why? The more I rebelled and the more I realized I wasn't getting called out for it but encouraged by my nice/appeasing friends, the more I did it.

I used paper-writing as an excuse to be out of the apartment all the time. It was so convenient to just say I was going to get tea and do work. Since I never felt like my work from home was praised "enough"(probably because I was acting like a child and procrastinating all the damn time), I would go out. Sometimes I truly did go and do work. I did have some deadlines, after all. I still didn't feel like my efforts were acknowledged. Often I went to the bar, or to the OMs apartment so that I could tune out the bad feelings and be with someone who I perceived as not judging me harshly but instead appreciating my intellect. Often I sought attention from people who would just encourage me to procrastinate more. I knew it was pathetic and I did question my lack of motivation (I spent probably a solid 6 months during grad school just watching TV all the time because I was so insecure about my abilities), but it was like I just couldn't focus and didn't care at all about my career. I never felt like I would reach a respectable or equal status with my husband, never felt like my actions were enough. Well, first of all...they probably were not enough. And second, none of that justifies putting my husband second and not telling him about my fears, desires, shortcomings, and eventually my affairs. In fact...after I switched advisors at school and was doing much much better with my research, that is when I was acting the most selfish and the most entitled to living that single life.

Nitrobob: There is no "IF". I want to heal my sick self and have a great marriage. I want my anxieties to be replaced with contentment because my future me will say "I have worked so hard and done so many things to be proud of in my life."

I have told him everything. Not because it was easy, but because it is what I want in return - totally open communication. Be the change, right?

I hope over time he realizes that he is the gold medal. Even if it is with someone else. He should get back to that place inside himself some day, because he makes great decisions (except with me, apparently). I unfortunately have experienced the "dating scene" because I acted single for so long. I never found anyone who could even half-way inspire me to be humble and healthy like he does). I'm not using hyperbole. He's in a sucky place right now, and he's still strong and funny and fit and capable. He has insecurities that I'm trying to be more aware of. I assume too often that he doesn't need encouragement. Everyone does, even those that seem very self-assured. In the end, it comes from within. But being surrounded with positive role models is a real help.

I guess you could say that I had an affair with the lowest scum of the earth (a bar-rat who was somewhat overweight, old enough to be my Dad, loud and attention-seeking, had a habit of forming relationships with much younger women and then blaming their "mental problems" for the relationship ending, and serious commitment issues resulting in only seeking women he couldn't reasonably have a real trusting relationship with). He knew what to say to me to make me feel confident and free to be whatever I wanted. The problem was, around him, I didn't act like myself at all. I acted like a free spirit who didn't care about how other people felt. That isn't me. I was selfish and petulant. Again, I sincerely hope that isn't who I am at my core.

[This message edited by TheWorstCase at 6:51 AM, July 24th (Thursday)]

TheWorstCase posted 7/16/2014 19:33 PM

I had a hard day. My instincts were all telling me to feel sorry for myself. I am trying really truly hard to just be there for my husband and show him that I can be strong for us.

TheWorstCase posted 8/12/2014 18:45 PM

Hi everyone... It has been awhile since I've posted on here about developments, so here goes.

BH and I are still in rollercoaster mode, but not like before. It has been almost 4 months since d-day. It has also been a couple weeks since I've had a "breakthrough" about who I am, or trickle truth about what I've done. For this reason, I feel like we are definitely making forward progress (but there are still weeks like this week where my BH seems pretty detached).

We just registered for Retrouvaille. It was BH's idea, and I'm SO glad he brought it up. It shows me that through the tough moments he absolutely is not giving up on me. I still have this fear that he'll just retreat into himself and never come out again, and I really cling to any evidence he gives me about where I stand. I don't know how else to be.

This week is starting to get really depressing.
He can't sleep in the same room as me right now, so I've been on the couch almost every night. I know it isn't because he doesn't love me, but because he has horrible thoughts in his mind and looking at me/thinking about me touching him is too much for him to deal with. I don't want to make him feel bad about needing personal space, so I just tell him that I will go and then I go into the other room. I do try to make sure he knows that I would prefer to stay with him, and that I'm open to talking or just cuddling if he changes his mind. I want him to know that I very much want to hold him when he is sad/mad.

Last week, we were becoming much riskier than usual with contraception, so when he brought it up, I agreed that it wasn't in-line with our plans, and we decided to stop with the risky stuff. I realize that it is a two way street, and that I could have brought it up first, but I do tend to leave the contraception decision to him lately. This week he did a 180 and doesn't even want hugs. It is making me insecure. I needed to write that whole story out so that I could process why my anxiety was heightened today.

On a positive note, he is really trying to develop a social life here in the new city, and I'm happy for him. He's out with 2 guys from work now, and I'm sitting with dinner ready waiting for him to come back. I very much want him to feel comfortable making friends. He asked me the other day if he is boring in social settings. I said no, and that he is just quieter at first than many people, so it is maybe difficult for other people to get to know him right away. That doesn't = boring, it is just his style. I think he ends up with a certain kind of friend because of that...but it's a good strategy IMO. He ends up with friends who aren't just looking for a sensational story. Part of me is scared that once he makes a good group of friends here, he will realize that he is okay without me, but ALL of me wants him to be happy, so I'm just trying to be supportive.

I started sending apology letters to friends and family. I got one response telling me about how what I did affected my friend. It was tough to read, of course, but I know it was just the truth, and I'm glad that I now know how she felt at the time. She feels like she has now been heard, when at the time (right after d-day) she was too scared to tell me how I was making her feel.

I know the apologies are a really important part of the process for me. I would encourage others to consider writing apology letters. Even if they don't get sent, they really force you to consider all the little and big ways that your actions impact other people's lives. The content and time of delivery of the letters was important to my BH, so he read the apologies and asked that I send them at certain times (before/after trips to see the people I was apologizing to).

I haven't been regularly going to my IC (maybe once every 3 weeks), and we haven't been back to MC at all. However, we are still both on SI, still reading and re-reading book sections, and trying other methods of working through problems (watching Gottman lectures on youtube, etc.). I'm really not sure what's going on this week, so I hope the tides turn soon. I just need to keep showing him that I'm here and willing to work on myself/us.

My new job started a few weeks ago, and my BH said I was doing a pretty good job of sending him all the new passwords, info about my coworker interactions, etc. I'm trying to be proactive. I have nothing to hide, so it should be easy, right?

I guess that's the big stuff. I am interested in hearing how others are doing about 4 months from d-day.

[This message edited by TheWorstCase at 7:13 PM, August 12th (Tuesday)]

RMarred posted 8/12/2014 19:00 PM

TheWorstCase, thank you for your post and your story, as well as all the other replies here. As it was mentioned, your intelligence is admirable, as is your own determination. I quite frankly hope to have progress comparable to yours.

Best of continued good fortune, and may the positive times multiply for you and your husband both, together.

plaljrs posted 8/13/2014 00:45 AM

[This message edited by plaljrs at 4:42 AM, August 13th (Wednesday)]

TheWorstCase posted 8/14/2014 09:13 AM

In case anyone was wondering, this is what the previous post said, which came to my inbox, but was deleted from here within a few hours (at 4 am??). I'd like to take a moment to respond, given that nobody else has 2x4'ed me on this forum quite like this. The 2x4 isn't about anything I'm doing right now, it seems like a personal attack or the words of someone in immense pain because of their own experiences. Nonetheless, I feel obligated to respond in some way.

Your relationship is doomed.

When males are in their 20s it's generally very difficult for them to get attention from high quality females. Your husband is only 29 and so is likely resigned to the belief that women will just never be all that attracted to him. That he didn't dump you straight away after learning everything you did essentially proves that he feels he has very few options besides you.

But he is on the cusp of a major transformation in his life. He will soon discover that fit men in their 30s with high paying jobs are intensely sought after by women of all ages. This comes as a huge surprise to these men but it doesn't take them very long to settle in and enjoy their newfound popularity.

In a couple years he'll be 31 and will have sweet, pretty girls throwing themselves at him all the time. When confronted with this, all he has to do in conjure up the image of you fucking someone else a couple weeks before your wedding and you'll be history.

In response, I found this post to be quite hurtful and not supportive at all. Some of it made no sense to me at all. Perhaps that's why it was deleted. I hope you are incorrect that my relationship is doomed. I am proceeding with the assumption that by being the best version of me, my relationship will survive and maybe even thrive. Right now it is teetering along, and I'm sure many WS and BS have bailed at this exact moment. They get a bit of confidence back, see what life could be like without all this baggage, and they say "see ya, I'm moving on".

I see his heartache, but I also see how capable we are of supporting each other emotionally, when we let each other in. I know what I did was wrong, and I know every day is a blessing, and even if I do all I can do it might not be enough. I was reading the "I can relate" forum for EAs today, and was struck again and again by the severe pain inflicted in each story.

You sound sad and bitter, and I'm sorry if you have been betrayed. I really do hope that you find someone to talk to that can help ease your pain.

To all the WSs out there who have received these types of messages, be strong. You have the capacity for good, no matter what anyone else says. You can't erase the bad, but you can earn back some measure of respect from others and conquer your self-hate with acts of kindness. It is really the only way.

[This message edited by TheWorstCase at 9:43 AM, August 14th (Thursday)]

nokidding posted 8/14/2014 11:33 AM

Oh WorstCase

I am angry that was sent to you, and I am so sorry.

That is not who SI is, or stands for and I hope you see that.

Keep working, keep trying, keep posting.

[This message edited by nokidding at 11:35 AM, August 14th (Thursday)]

TheWorstCase posted 8/14/2014 13:35 PM

Thanks nokidding. I know this is mostly a very supportive community, and I appreciate your response.

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