It has been a very long and very difficult nightmare of a journey- but we are both working on putting each other first and speaking honestly everyday.
We smile more, we laugh more, we are accomplishing so much in our lives- together.
We are still fresh into this, but so far I am extremely hopeful and so excited at all of the positive changes I have seen in both of us.
It has been almost a month since I've had a "breakdown" (used to count the time between by hours or days).
We still talk about it, I still cry some, and not a day goes by that I don't think about it often- but we are stronger now- and he is showing me everyday that he is in this with me.
I look forward to my next update- may be a few months. I feel confident in our new journey.
As always, cautiously optimistic, but very much enjoying our happiness right now.
I wish everyone peace and happiness.
If you have both partners 100% committed, it can work. But only then. Never settle for less.
Honey Badger don't care. - Randall
We finally are comfortable (well, probably not completely comfortable but it is "doable") working on issues that arise together and my wife can do so without losing control emotionally.
This has been the hardest thing I have ever done, and I honestly don't think I could do it again.
But, my wife is "present" in our marriage in a way that she never was for many years, and truly is able to be more support than ever before.
The funny thing is, when the affair happened we were financially in a good place, we were finally getting established securely in our home, which was quite nice, although it was small, after 3 years. Things were "falling into place" after a lot of hard work, we were getting settled. I had time off from work, only worked 4 days a week, we had plenty of cash on hand and our credit cards were all payed off monthly. True, our kids were young and there were a lot of sleepless nights though. But the real secret was what I didn't know, what was hidden.
My wife was depressed, suicidal at times, and paranoid that I was going to leave her and the kids (all in secret of course). She was drinking in secret and smoking marijuana all in an effort to control her anxiety as her mental state spun out of control, which continued and led to the affair. She was embarrassed about sex and felt dirty every time we had sex, or at least the day after.
Now, we are much older, we are in financial turmoil and have been for years due to the real estate crisis and our not declaring bankruptcy when it hit, our home we live in is falling apart, literally (we have no kitchen floor other than the subfloor, the carpet is worn out with holes in it (probably 20 years old), we had to remove the flooring from three rooms because of a washing machine overflowing and cannot afford to replace them, the kitchen cabinets are literally falling apart, and simply cannot be fixed, we owe more on the home than it is worth, and we had a disastrous final quarter of 2013 in our business and we are now near bankruptcy, with our business and personal credit nearly maxed out...not quite but it is getting there. I'm working 5, 6, and even 7 days a week, sometimes up to 18 hours a day or more, in an effort to hold on until home prices recover so we don't lose all our property (which is our only retirement besides social security). Our kids are almost grown, two are adults and out of high school, one left home last year and moved back in when her relationship with her now ex-boyfriend ended, this was very hard on us both because he is extremely irresponsible, extreme might be putting it lightly.
But, my wife is not depressed...she is not suicidal...she is not paranoid that I am going to leave her...her anxiety is under control for the first time in ?forever?....she is not drinking in secret (in fact she quit altogether almost 4 years ago and hasn't had so much as a sip since)....she is not smoking marijuana in secret (or at all for that matter, having quite nearly 6 years ago even before our counseling started because she couldn't figure out what was happening to her), and she is here, really here, involved, not just "acting" or "faking" her involvement and zoning out when she gets the opportunity, and I can rely on her when things get tough, and she actually enjoys sex.
Wow, I guess that 20K in counseling was a good investment.
"There would be no grand absolution, only forgiveness meted out in these precious sips. It would well up from his heart in spoonfuls, and he would feed it to me. And it would be enough."
"Well I've been had, yeah I guess that's how it looks. And it's not funny like on TV, and it's not smart like it is in books."
We know we can no longer hide our feelings. We both got so used to that over the years. More and more I see just how much I sacrificed by never speaking up about anything. I'd go along with anything to make life easier. But in the long run, all it causes is pain for both of us.
So we're trying radical honesty and trying to make all important decisions together. It feels a little exhausting, and hopefully it will get easier as we practice. I have to constantly check with myself to see if I'm really feeling this or if I'm hiding again.
I also feel closer to H than I ever have. I'm willing to go through the pain of inner growth for the feeling of not being completely alone in life. It's such a radically different marriage experience for us both.
After DDay, I kept wondering what healing wold look like. I couldn't imagine it. But now I can see it and it's amazing. I feel like I'm rediscovering who I am.
My hubby has dementia and doesn't remember his A. at all, but that's okay in his case. I love him, unconditionally, and am grateful that I have him in my life!
We'll be celebrating 20 yrs. of "wedded bliss" on 1 June, 2014. Mind you, we'll go out to eat, and it will be just fine. He's not able to walk much at all; so, we use a wheel-chair access form of transportation which is costly ($100 RT). We need to get out of the house for something besides doctor's app'ts. and the ilk. On a fairly regular basis, we meet an older couple whom we've known for these past 20 years (hubby knew them long before I did). I try to help him by drawing his friends near him as often as possible.
The only down-side for him and me is that I just don't have any sexual feelings/desires one way or the other. I DO love my hubby more than "anybody in the whole world" as I tell him repeatedly. He tells me that he loves me about (what seems like) 50x a day! Yeah, that does get annoying, but he can't help it. I suppose that I just need to realize that I should enjoy hearing the words, ILY, because one day I won't be able to hear his voice say them; then, I'll wish that I hadn't said anything about the repetition!
Now, you know what our life is like these days. I love him (FWH) and am grateful for our togetherness. That's IT! I have providers who help me to take care of him; so that I may get out and relax/unwind/run errands every day of the week for 8 hrs.
Cheers, and know that the marriage can be made strong, again. It's up to the parties involved as to whether or not it gets reconciled. I couldn't imagine my life without Hubby. Here we are, about 11 years from d-day, and I'm happy!
[This message edited by Ole Restart at 1:23 AM, March 30th (Sunday)]
Today is our 6 year anniversary of D-day. I still get a sick feeling in my stomach when I think of that day. I remember so clearly how I told my husband that I was unfaithful. We had a really rough time moving forward but we were committed to each other and our marriage so we worked hard at recovery. We went to counseling and had faith-based help too. Those beginning days were especially hard as we both owned our parts in our broken relationship. Triggers were still touchy for a few years. It wasn't easy but it was so worth it. Today I actually had to remind my dear husband the significance of the day. Time does help to lessen the pain.
We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary in January. We now understand how much a good marriage is truly worth because we had to fight for it and work for it. We are much stronger now than before the affair.
Best wishes for all of you on your path to healing, in whatever form that takes.
As a WS, I fought against R for about 2yrs. Then I hit bottom and gerrygirl had found SI, so I signed up too. about 6-months later she discovered False-R, and that was the real rock bottom. But, she fought for R and for our M.
That was 2010. So I guess we are at 4yrs in R, and it was most definitely worth it.
After everything, it turns out that communication was the main problem (not the reason for the EA...). Even deeper than that though was the fear of communicating certain things. We both had this problem, and still do to some extent, but now we are able to get over our fears and communicate the tough issues. Part of communication is listening, and we've both become better listeners.
I love my wife. It is something that I lost site of a number of years ago. We are happy now though. We respect each other. We check in with each other. We look forward to seeing each other. We pick up the slack for each other when we need to. We know each others strengths. We trust each other.
Dday 5/03/09 TT til 6/22/09
I wanted to put a summary post here, in hopes that it might be an encouragement to other Betrayeds pursuing Reconciliation with a truly remorseful Wayward spouse. (I am sorry in advance if this grieves anyone stuck with an unremorseful Wayward.)
I am more than a decade past my wife's brief affair. It was the darkest chapter of either of our lives-- a period in which she became an entirely different (and frankly pretty awful) woman.
A partial discovery on my part led to our separation for the better part of the year-- and elicited TT confessions of an emotional affair from her. (I wanted so desperately to believe that-- and yet I was consumed with paranoia, rage and suicidal temptations-- so certain was I that she was lying.)
She ended her affair after my separation-- and spent those months growing more and more horrified and disgusted with herself, promising God and herself she'd never stray again. But she refused to confess the full truth to me-- knowing that I'd divorce her before she had a chance to prove to me and herself that she really could be the best wife in the world.
Her prayers grew more desperate, asking God to forgive her, to give her a second chance, to give her a sign, something!-- yet they only made her feel further from Him.
Five months in, she was called up for Jury Duty on a drug possession with intent to distribute offensive-- and she and 11 other people voted to send another man, who'd confessed his guilt and asked for leniency, to prison.
This and many other small encounters with crime and punishment, guilt and confession, finally led her to confess the full truth to me in my apartment. She barely got through it-- choking on her sobs-- and asked not for a second chance, because she knew I wouldn't grant it now that I knew the full truth. She said, "I know you're going to leave me, and hate me, and I deserve both and so much worse. But please, please tell me that one day you might forgive me. I don't have the right to ask it, but I just need it so badly."
I threw her out. Called my family. My brother counseled divorce- my parents said they support whatever I choice I made. I went to bed weeping and praying and screaming until I finally had nothing left.
And the next morning, I woke up to a jarring thought- almost spoken out loud in my skull. "You are forgiven, and you can forgive. You can do it. You can."
I called her back to my apartment-- and she came through the door, ready for divorce papers, rants and the rest. And I looked at her and said, through tears, "I don't know how to do this. But I forgive you. And I'll stay with you."
She collapsed on couch, just sobbing so hard she couldn't talk for five minutes. And when she finally could, she said, "I will never forget this feeling. I've never, ever seen this kind of love before and I know I don't deserve it. But I will spend the rest of my life trying to earn it. I know you can't trust me now, but I will never, ever hurt you, or give you a reason to doubt me again. Ever."
Our new marriage started that day, in the wreckage of the old. And she's kept her promise, and became a better wife than any that I know. Though Reconciliation took years, and was full of all the usual pains, forgiving her was the best decision I've ever made. And choosing it, and loving her, has made me a better man, and made me happier than any husband I know.
I hope the same for anyone reading this.
“No, Lord,” she said.
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
As our MC explained to me, my FWW's situation was "the perfect storm" where depression, mid-life crisis issues, lack of good boundaries and relationship issues with her father all met at once. My WW has suffered from depression for several years and takes medication daily. I had never known her to be very depressed as the medicine kept her in check but last winter she fell into a deep depression and never told me about the darkness which had come into her life. And she didn't tell me that she wasn't happy with any aspect of her life due to the depression either. She had traveled with her father to his annual Viet Nam reunion where several of the veterans attended along with their children. The OM was the son of one of the veterans. After the reunion in 2012, the OM befriended my W on FB and started sending her PMs. He is single and lives 2000 miles away. These PM's accelerated and soon there were text messages and phone calls and it became a long distance EA for my WW which turned into a weekend PA at the reunion in 2013. The EA & PA was one way as the OM had no intention of having any sort of relationship, his sole motivation was to have sex with her. She is a beautiful and smart woman and way out of his league. She was attracted to him because he paid attention to her in her time of vulnerability. Of course she made a horrible decision to allow him to continue his advances and is equally to blame.
About a week after she returned home, her mind was spinning out of control and her conscious was eating her alive. She made an appointment to see her therapist and he told her that the only hope in saving her marriage was to come clean and tell me. So that evening she came home and confessed it all. To say I was crushed and devastated would be an understatement. The pain was the worst I had ever endured and I was a complete wreck for several months. We had a very good marriage, a brand new dream home, great careers, success, happiness and two wonderful young children. We were seemingly living the American dream and I did everything in my ability to always focus on her and to make her happy. And yet, somehow it was not enough and she still cheated. It was the most heartless, selfish, hateful thing she could have done to me and it is still unbelievable that she did such a thing to jeopardize everything in her world. I did not believe she was capable of doing such a thing and blindly trusted her.
Now I was forced to make a choice. R or D? I was on the fence for a while and spent much time praying and eventually decided to try R. My WW was extremely remorseful, apologetic and ashamed about her horrible choices from D-Day forward. She was completely honest and answered every question and frequently apologized and tried to comfort me every day. I guess if there is such a thing as a model WS then she was and it helped tremendously.
Our MC helped us both very much and we are still going to see him monthly. He identified one problem in our marriage which we both needed work on which was to open up more with each other; for both of us to be better communicators and not to hold in problems. We have both worked on this and our marriage is now well on its way to being better and stronger than ever before. I just hate the fact that it took an A to realize that we needed to improve our communication skills. We have always tried to carve out time for just the two of us but now have pledged to have weekend getaways about once a quarter and we have really enjoyed these little trips immensely.
It has now been a year since D-day and it is still a struggle for me some days. I think about it every day but the sting is gone and my heart does not race when the thoughts come. I have accepted that it happened and have forgiven her and she is so happy to know that she has been given a second chance. I hope that somebody will realize from my story that there is real hope and R is possible but it is not an easy road and there are many potholes and detours along the way. I would have never thought it possible that we would actually be in such a good place only a year later. God Bless!
During the last week, we had another family member’s serious health scare (hence my last posting), it gave us time to think. A second time this year where someone close to us was ill. I think someone above was pointing out to us that we need to stop and reflect on the path. Time we needed to process so much that has happened over the last few years. Meditation and yoga are a wonderful thing.
As it is said, over and over on SI….3-5 years is the norm. This is so true. It takes time. I know it is a dreaded 4-letter word, but time is one of the major keys. The path to full healing is not a straight line; it is indeed a rollercoaster. Enjoy the highs, because you will need to cling to those during the lows. It took a long time to realize that. A very long time. But I understand the path now. The highs and lows now are not as extreme as they were a year or two ago. It takes time to rebuild what was lost so we don’t swing to either extreme as wildly.
Once my H finally took ownership of his brokenness and finally addressed ALL the demons, things changed. It took him so much time to finally agree to get help. I had to do some ‘toughlove’ and draw the proverbial line in the sand. I needed to heal myself completely. I needed time to finally realize that I had to be ready to just walk away knowing I did all I could to save our M. As I could not continue to cycle up and down due to his not addressing his issues fully. I had gotten as far as I could go. I was in a perpetual loop as he had not addressed what was broken inside him. If we were to move forward, it was his move or my checkmate. He decided that he was not ready to throw in the towel, and made the move I wish he had made two years ago. (We can bring the horse to water, but it is up to it to drink, it just takes a while sometimes to realize it is thirsty.) Once he did this, the AP became a non-existent human being to us both. That weight around his neck that threatened to drown him and I, was dropped to the bottom of the ocean. Because in the end, this person was/is nothing, nothing more than a part of and reflection of the sickness and what was broken in him. Once he was ready to truly face what was broken inside himself, true and complete healing truly started for him.
Then this last week his eyes were opened up in a whole different way, when a family member’s words mirrored his during the initial fallout of the A. The words, the lack of being anywhere near rationale…well…it severely hit him. Probably did more than anything either I or our counselor have ever been able to say. I realized that once and for all, he truly “got it”. One evening during all of this we had some time together and he just out of the blue stated “I really was ‘that’ sick, wasn’t I?” I told him yes. I told him that even at the time of our initial MC sessions, as angry as I was, my first thought was still of him. That something was very wrong with his perceptions and rationale when he was answering questions. He is intelligent and rational, and everything he did and said at that time went against that in him. I was worried for him, worried what he may do to himself at that point. He was that far down the rabbit hole that all of his perceptions of his life were so completely skewed. Even at the moments after impact. It was the strong bond that we have had all these years that still had me worried about him at that point. I could not walk away or make any decision until I knew he was at least ok….it was just something I felt I needed to do at that point. No matter if we R or D.
We spoke about brokenness. That we as humans seek like company. It is part of our social makeup, instinct over many millenniums to our species. Our friends are a lot like us if we stop to really think about it. We look to what mirrors us at different times in our lives. He was afraid at the time to discuss any brokenness he was feeling with me, as he perceived it as a sign of weakness and men are not suppose to be weak, they don’t cry, they hold it in, they are suppose to be strong enough to handle it all (FOO issue). So when H was at a ‘broken’ time in his life, well ‘broken’ sought him and together there was brokenness. This was the realization that almost destroyed him once the fog lifted. The veil of it was gone, and he saw in the true light of day what he had done, the nuclear impact, and the full scope and landscape of it all. Impacts that lasted years, and continue in small ways to impact our lives still. It took him a very long to finally realize and accept the fact that he needed to completely address this in a healthy way. He is still to this day so amazed that I did not walk away, that I stayed strapped into the rollercoaster and rode it through with him. (Talk about an e-ticket) Many times he said it probably would have been easier for me if I had walked away, that he would understand and never hold it against me, as what he did was just so unforgivable. But I love this man, I loved our life together, I was not willing to give it all up without a proverbial fight.
Was this road easy? Not by ANY stretch of the imagination. R is some very difficult work. (insert sarcasm). There have been serious ups and downs. Times where missteps were taken by both of us, words misconstrued, trust issues, TT, health scare due to STD, etc…you name it….we went through some difficult things. But guess what??
We are still here.
We are still together.
We still laugh
We still enjoy each other
We are making wonderful future plans
We are happy!!
I am sitting here trying to remember exactly how long ago it happened and I think it was 7 yrs ago?? Crazy that I can't remember anymore when I used to know the months,days, hours, ect.
I was fortunate (if you can call it that) in that I had a spouse who was ridden with remorse and wanted nothing more than to not lose our marriage. He was struggling with depression at that time and when he finally sought treatment what he had done in the preceding months surfaced and he came clean to me (I had no clue!). Something that I can now look back on and imagine was incredibly difficult for him to do. I can't imagine the fear and anxiety he must of felt knowing he was going to come out with something that would shatter our world.
Once I found out I realized all the signs were there in front of me down to the cell phone bill I looked at every month itemizing the 100's of texts and phone calls to one another. I never noticed or paid attention.
My husband and I really worked hard at rebuilding our marriage. We had to work through not only the damage done by his cheating but during the 18 months of depression we had grown so far apart and he had become borderline "mean" during that time. He was nothing like the man I had known and loved.
I look back now and I know our marriage is better and stronger. I can honestly say, I don't know if I'd change anything that happened. I am one of those people that believes everything happens for a reason. We had a good marriage before all occurred but the process of healing and rebuilding took our marriage to an entirely new level that I didn't even know it could. I would say we now have a great marriage. We finally learned what communication really meant. We learned it was safe and really open up with each other.
There came a point that I had forgiven him and I think that was around the 18 month- 2 year mark. What I didn't realize a first is that forgiveness didn't mean I trusted him completely again. That part confused me. He was being everything you could ask for and I didn't understand why I still couldn't trust him 100%.
That I found, just took time. I can say today that I do fully trust him. I believe he would never hurt me again. The only thing that bothers me still is that I know he never forgave himself. He never will do that. He has moved well past and doesn't dwell on it. I know him though and I know deep down inside there is still a piece of shame he carries for what he did.
We don't talk about it anymore, there is nothing left to say about it. We are in a different place now. While it's something we'll never forget it's something that doesn't hurt anymore.
For each person new in this "club" I know the pain is intense right now. You don't know if things will ever be the same. The truth is, they won't. You will be a different person who has changed in some way because of going through this. Your relationship will be different too. I can only hope for each of you those changes are all for the better. I believe the changes because of this in me, my husband and our marriage are all for the better. Everything takes time and I think that is the hardest part.
The #1 lesson I learned that I would share is NEVER-EVER throw the infidelity out there in anger just to "stick it to the other person". It was REALLY, REALLY hard at times to bite me tongue. I just made the promise to myself on day 1 of reconciliation that I wouldn't turn everything into a "but you cheated" battle. There would be times to talk about it (and you have to) and the feelings that were occurring. However there also had to be time "away from it". So at the beginning we'd set activities that were just about us and spending time together and not rehashing what occurred. That was very helpful at the start to be able to "take a break" from the pain and even in some ways reality for a moment.
It's been 4 and a half years since D-Day. My life is immeasurably better now compared to what I thought was the ideal life before. We are closer and so much more grown off. And to top it off we have two beautiful children.
We are in R after my husband's sort of ons. Long story. After 18 months, I thought I'd be 'over it.' So I thought I was abnormal to be taking so long. After all, he is doing everything in his power to earn back my respect and love. He is deeply ashamed and so embarrassed. We haven't shared this with anyone so not having an outlet was making me feel as if I'd explode!
It helps me to hear that people have felt this betrayal and have eventually let it go so they can be happy again. I love my husband but hate where he has put us.
I hear here that time is a healer and love. Without love, I don't know if I could be here :)
Thank you for sharing your successes!