WH has been SA for most his life including 21 yrs of marriage, so for him to not A/O for this long is huge. I felt relieved and encouraged. I have also been giving my full attention to my own healing.
We still have lots of recovery/healing to do. This morning after one of his SAA telephone meetings, he came to me to share that he feels that he needs to walk in the spirit of humility. Then he shared what he thought that meant in our R. I have never heard him come up with something on his own like that...and then share it excitedly.
6 months ago, SAH would have never shared an insight with me. I am encouraged. ccg
I asked myself this question today. Do I feel better than I did a month ago? The answer is yes, not all the time, but yes.
I think my anger is starting to lessen in it's severity. I am NOT going to let it consume me anymore. It is not good for me or for rebuilding.
I AM A SURVIVOR NOT A VICTIM.
I am convinced that his infidelity had nothing to do with me or the quality of our marriage. As hard as that is a concept to grasp it happens all the time. He has reaffirmed this to me and in MC. Opportunity, ego stroking, thrill, stressful stepdaughter, midlife crisis, etc. Whatever vulnerabilities that could be factored in, he is owning up to the fact that there is no excuse for the devastation and pain he has caused regardless of how he felt that he didn't allow his "secret" life to interfere with his family life.
He kept some of his feelings in and didn't talk to me. I never thought we had any reason to talk about "feelings" I thought things were good. Obviously they weren't for him. So now he/we talk more. This whole thing has been cathartic and life changing for both of us.
Having a good marriage before all of this is a double edged sword. Unbelievable devastation and sadness, like a death. But also since we had so much love together we have a real good base to rebuild on.
WFH came from lunch today . He told me he will never forget what he did and what it has done. He will never hold anything back or in again. He thanks me over and over for the 2nd chance I have given our marriage that he says he doesn't deserve. He told me he loves me more than he ever thought possible and that his heart aches when he isn't with me and for the pain that he has caused. He is proactive with remorse, transparency and IC.
Do I forgive him? That's a hard one, especially after only 4 months. Thinking about it is a step in the right direction but I think for me it will be like all of a sudden I realize one day that I am "there". I love him but not the way I did before. Before he was my best friend/soul mate. I think that the forgiving and intense love I had will work hand in hand.
Nothing is a guarantee but for better or worse I am going to give it my all because I think we are worth it.
I am so happy.
My H is simply amazing me with his absolute willingness to own his stuff and fix what was broken. He has faced unspeakable horror from his past. He has gone to IC and done his homework. He is active in our church and sings in the choir that I direct. Not because he likes to sing so much as he just wants to be with me.
He is willing to have the hard conversations. So willing that I am really losing the need to have them so much. He asked me today if I was still having what we call "fits of the crazies". And when I thought about it, I really can't remember the last time. We talked about the A...what he thinks was his "why". He talked about how much his behavior disgusts him, how deeply sorry he is that he hurt me and our kids.
When I look at him now, for the most part, he is happy. When we are together we are downright giddy at times, and people around us are getting sick of us. "Get a room!" is a common phrase I hear. He looks ten years younger than he did one year ago.
TMI ALERT!!! Not sure if it's still HB or just a very healthy, enjoyable sex life but we are more active than when we were newlyweds. And I pointed out to him yesterday that his equipment has not failed one single time since September. Honesty is a powerful aphrodisiac, apparently.
There is no way that I could have made it through this and considered R without SI. Before I found this site, I felt that to require transparency with phones, email, etc, was being a nanny and I didn't want that. You helped me to understand why it was so important. Now every time I look at his phone and see, "Holly Holly Holly Holly Holly Holly Holly Holly Holly" etc, etc, etc... it sends my trust-o-meter to 11.
Thanks, SI. Thank you to those who asked me the hard questions, encouraged me when I needed it, 2X4'ed me when I needed that.
The main ingredients to my R have been sincere remorse by FWW and my ability to reclaim by dignity and self-esteem.
FWW texts or emails me several times each day to tell me she understands my pain, that she is sorry and that she is grateful that I have not given up on her. As for me, I got into the best shape of my life, eat a healthy diet and continue to be the best father that I can be to my kids.
For the first time in 6 years I believe that the M can survive… to believe that the pain may actually dissipate.
During the date, after dinner and a movie, we took a romantic stroll along the beach where we met someone selling individual carnations. He had 3 colors, white, pink, and red, so I bought her one of each color. Every year since then, I have tried to get her carnations in an arrangement of white, pink, and red.
I love my wife very much and I am so thankful she is still in my life. I am happy to say we have successfully reconciled and I have no regrets.
Here is a picture of the arrangement I gave her today to remember our special day 34 years ago...
[This message edited by HardenMyHeart at 7:45 PM, January 20th (Friday)]
My WH had a long term affair with a coworker and moved out to be with her. It lasted a few weeks and he looked for R. I discovered after a while that he was still in contact with her and went NC for a few months.
We were over as far as I was concerned. I filed and we were close to a settlement.
He hit rockbottom.Noone would talk to him. Even his family were disgusted with him.
He did it himself. Went totally NC, into counselling and just asked that we meet sometimes. I was so hurt all of our meetings were really difficult. We talked for hundreds of hours.
We restarted dating and after 8 months moved back in together. We are now a year back together and things have never been better. He contacts me all the time, goes to no work functions and is thoughtful and loving.
I am so glad I took this leap of faith. I have changed so much myself.
Good luck to all you out there. The first 2 years were awful to be honest (DDay Spring 2009) but I don't trigger nearly as much.
The real need is a remorseful spouse who realises the hurt they have caused and a willingness to do what it takes.
Limiting the time for A conversations was also important .
Be gentle with each other.
[This message edited by willthiseverend at 11:33 AM, January 22nd (Sunday)]
A lot of these are from “How to Help Your Spouse Heal From and Affair.” There are 15 things the WS needs to do. My H is doing all of them and then some…
· Gets the wrongness of his behavior
· Gets the depth of my pain
· Told the complete truth upon discovery. No, he didn’t tell me, nor was he going to – I busted them at the height of the A. Complete disclosure of timeline and how and when he got together with MOW once I asked.
· Instant shame and remorse. Only a little defensive on and after d-day. Not defensive at all about my questions now.
· Complete NC with MOW.
· Tells no more lies. Obviously, as far as I know… he checks in all the time and snaps photos on his phone to show me where he is.
· Accepts full responsibility for his actions.
· Exhibits patience with my recovery. He actually listens and comforts me now. Pre-A, if I showed pain or emotion of any kind, he just shut down. “If I ignore it, it will go away” was the attitude. I can’t believe this is this is the same man, who now actually cares about how I feel.
· Tries to understand my pain.
· More sorry for my pain than his own guilt
· Growing in his ability to show since empathy and offer heartfelt apologies.
· Sensitive to my extreme distrust and doing everything he can to rebuild it.
· Respects my sensitivities and “triggers.”
· Proactive with checking in on my emotional status.
· Recognizes negative impact on the children and makes amends.
· Committed to lifelong personal recovery and transparency.
· Willing to negotiate his leisure activities and time away from the family. This is HUGE! I always “let” him go hang out with friends, coworkers, etc. I was trying to be the “good wife” who gave up her career to be home with the kids. I “let” him go do things that made him happy, even though I was unhappy.
D-day 9/25/11. He is moving back in tomorrow 1/25/12 – exactly four months from D-day. His EA/PA lasted 4 months, so our reconnection and positive experiences are about to tip the scales. I think I will note this, and file it away. I want to be done with marking each month on the 25th. I want it to become irrelevant to me.
When we were discussing him returning home, I told him that I was scared that we would fall into old patterns, and this caring individual that has been present for me (since around Thanksgiving) would be gone. He said that he does not feel like he is “off the hook” if he comes home. He said that he would work every day for the rest of our lives to show me that I am the most important person in his life.
I look back at those days so close to D-day and wonder how I got through them. SI was my lifeline. I truly think you all saved my life, and I am so grateful. With your help and finding it somewhere inside me, I am stronger than I thought. I hope this post, and more to come from me, will help those that are new to this horrible, horrible situation realize that there is hope. It does get better with time and you will manage to get through it. Somehow, I have made it this far. Now that we’ll be under the same roof again, “real” R can begin. Wish me luck!
There's a meanness inside and it shivers my bones
That's the thing about mercy I guess
There's no man so wicked he cannot come home
Nor so good he passes each test
As the fire of memories burn me
The grace of your love returns me
To this most traveled of highways
Where I'd do anything just to come home to you
I would do anything just to come home to you
As the fire of memories burn me
The grace of your love returns me
To this most traveled of highways
Where I'd do anything just to come home to you
I would do anything just to come home to you
When H and I would chat on IM, that was something I'd say to him, "I'd do anything just to come home to you."
We don't talk about the A anymore- we really are healed from it. Tonight, we were chatting on IM as he was wrapping up stuff at work and getting ready to leave. He sent me this message: "I'm getting ready to come home to you. What's for dinner? Love you."
It may seem like a small thing- but those few words kind of sum it all up- it's a reminder of what I did, how we healed, how he forgave and how things are normal for us now. He's an amazing man and I am just so grateful and humbled that he wants to come home to me.
[This message edited by Fallen at 10:44 PM, January 26th (Thursday)]
"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."
I can't believe it's been 10 years. I found out she was having affairs online and maybe for real - I couldn't find out because of how stupid I was*. She was really careful and stopped everything she was doing so I did not get to know for sure if this was really everything. She kept saying this was it but I caught her in lies after lies so I obviously didn't trust her anymore.
I thought deep down that I would end up doing what she done to me just as a form of revenge. I never did it. During my worse moments I actually thought about trying it out and went online but I just could not do it. I am really glad I did not do anything like that. But I only use instant messaging nowadays for work and for the occasional family buy milk discussion.
I was able to crack down on all forms of communication and as far as I know nothing has happened since then. I told her if I found anything else we were history and I found nothing so far. We did not have kids at the time.
A lot has happened since then. First the good news: we have two beautiful children (a girl in 2002 and a boy in 2004) and she has never done it again - as far as I know - but I am pretty sure since I have a lot of control in what she does. Our life is as good as it could be.
The bad news is actually what happened to me for a while. I had become extremely cynical and numb to life. With the exception of my kids whom I always loved dearly everything else didn't bring me too much happiness or sadness. It is really strange. I was in a point that the only reason I would care if she did it again would be because of our kids but not because of our 'love' – I actually did not care anymore. I didn't believe in love anymore and I didn't think I would ever love someone like I did (you know in an innocent soul mate-crap way :). I trust no one and I think humanity sucks :)
I didn't commemorate my birthdays or our wedding anniversaries. I still bought flowers on valentines though it always felt like I was just going through the motions. Even if I ended up divorcing in the future (not likely now) I felt that I would never trust anyone the way I trusted her.
In 2009 I realized that now I was the one with the problem and then I started counseling again. It's been too much time and it's not fair to us (or to our family), not fair to me. I wanted to live life and be happy again. I managed to heal, forgive her and we are now the perfect couple. As happy as ever. We wouldn't be able to make it if (1) she hadn't stopped or if (2) she wasn't remorseful. Luckily she did everything right.
How did we do it?
We don't hide anything from each other. We know all our e-mail passwords and we both agreed to have a permanent software to record what we did online in case we need it still. We still have the agreement though in truth we do not have it installed for years now. But we still ask the other one to check our e-mail and look for something when on the road. We both have full control of our cell phone list and credit cards and bank accounts. Our life is transparent for both of us. Although she could still do it (or I for any reason) the price would be too high – our kids.
In 2010/2011 I had several breakthroughs and I finally forgave myself for being such a fool. She used to find this amusing - i.e. that I managed to forgive me but not her yet at that time. Later, I finally managed to forgive her and we are finally past the affairs.
How did I forgive her?
It took years. But I realized what was bothering me: she was still blameshifting, even if a little. She was still minimizing. I used to call that her "I'm-not-Hitler defense". There was always someone that did something worse than what she did. So I called her on that. She loved someone else for 6 months, she can't deny that. She can't say it wasn't real love. She can't say it was a fantasy. It was real, she did it, she would have to own it. I also had a lot of help from SI when I was in this stage, writing my forgiveness letter, etc.
So I offered forgiveness but IF AND ONLY IF she stopped blameshifting and she stopped minimizing. She accepted the conditions. Still, forgiveness is a process you have to do it every day, but it gets easier every day. She also sometimes back pedaled and so did I, but we soon set things straight and we were able to move on.
What I have learned and what are my values/beliefs now:
- Don't sell yourself short. If your SO has an affair and you still want to R demand unconditional surrender: full remorse, no "I'm sorry but"s and full accountability. She must be by your side and supporting your decisions. Fuck the OMs. If you don't value yourself nobody will. 180 is your weapon of choice. It can lead to divorce but you'll have to live with yourself forever and that's the best way to do it.
- For me, there will never be a "fence". If you are on the fence you have already decided. I'll move on. If you are not NC, if you are still doing and hiding things that's it. This is not R and you have to do a full 180 in the direction of divorce until there is proof this is not happening again.
- I can snoop her whenever and however I want. I won't feel guilty about this. I felt a little guilt at the beginning. Not anymore.
- She was my first and only. I only had sex with her (online or otherwise). I don't feel the need to go and try someone else. Don't get me wrong, I love sex. I believe I am (at least now) an "alpha" male and I had opportunities during all these years. I just don't think it is worth it. She is and always will be enough for me. We have a great sex life, several times a week and sometimes twice a day. I will never hurt someone like I have been hurt, especially someone I love. When I die, I'll have in my grave "always faithful" :)
- There are no second chances. I am not a forgiving man and it was very hard for me to forgive her in the first place. But no matter what happens I will always love our years together and I will always respect and treat her right because of our kids. I won't jeopardize both our relationships with our kids even if she has a new affair. In my view kids always come first. I wouldn't stay married though that's for sure.
- We have our daily time together. Every night we spend at least one hour with each other - hugging, snuggling. It's the best time of the day.
- Tell each other your feelings. Don't hide whatever you feel. Be specific in how something hurts you. You must solve every little issue if you want to get better. Do it again and again if necessary. Some things take way longer than others.
Do I still hate the OMs?
It's been more than a decade. Of course I still hate them and always will.
Well, it's 2012 and it doesn't hurt anymore. IT DOESN'T! WOOHOO! I'm so happy!!
[This message edited by nuance at 6:49 PM, January 28th (Saturday)]
My H brought up renewing our vows. Well, mainly his. I have to say I was surprised, I have not really put much thought into rings and vows, figuring it would come up way down the road some. When we said our vows the first time, we wrote our own and then took turns saying them, like a conversation at the altar. It was pretty cool. Then we exchanged rings that were engraved with a sappy love quote in a foreign language. only then did we find out which ring was purchased for each other.
Anyways, today I dug out the notebook they were in, he looked at them and got real quiet. He broke them all and told me that he needs to make new ones. He wants to do this at the beach. We do agree that we love our rings but I think they should be polished up to look new again. I think he might do this. The fact he brought it up and was adamant that I should hear him make new vows blew my mind!
I think its the small things that make the biggest jump down the road sometimes.
We are done fighting with each other and decide to fight FOR each other.
Everytime we hit a mile marker in comparison to the A, I feel like I have regained so much. The A was 2 1/2 years so it wont be until Dec 5th 2012 until we reach that 2 1/2 year mark for it being over, however, I have regained so much in this time and look forward to getting to that mark.
Since we have had our share of rollercoaster moments. FWW quit her job on dday, we walked from our house and moved, sold the car, had a baby, had some family fallout, etc. We have had our very tense moments, and moments of connection that were never there even pre A. My FWW vowed from dday to spend the rest of her life proving herself, making it right, and most importantly to find out through counseling and self exploration why she did what she did, why she needed the validation.
Around December I told my FWW that I forgave her. This was after reading a few books on forgiveness, my continued IC, my spiritual searching (a major part of it) and her continued accountability for her actions. Even today she continues sharing with me her insights, she carries a deep burden of remorse which is completely authentic. We talk not so much about the A itself, but the new M we have. She picks up triggers i may have and holds my hand, gives me a look of total empathy and understanding.
There are still triggers, Although they usually pass quickly, they don't hurt as much, the A isn't my first thought in the morning anymore, nor my last at night. We still fight sometimes, we aren't perfect, but I know I love her, and what she has done over the last 15 months has shown the most authentic love from a person I have ever known.
I am taking proactive steps at healing myself, and making sure I become wiser and more compassionate from the pain I was burdoned with. I refuse to become bitter and let this defeat me. I am going to go back to school this April in a field I am passionate about. I have removed bitter, angry people from my life, and am currently trying to nurture those connections with positive people. I firmly believe that happiness comes from within. The world will always be unjust, people will always hurt you. All you can do is be as strong and fortified as a person you can be. Surround yourself with people who support you. You have to love yourself to love others.
We are not all the way reconciled yet, but we aren't too far away from it. We are both still in IC. I would say that our M was flawed very badly from the beginning. While it wasn't a horrible M, it wasn't a healthy one either. We have broken down the old house to its foundation and have started over. We work hard, and there are setbacks, but we love each other, we love our children, and we will make it.
[This message edited by thundersdad78 at 3:37 PM, February 5th (Sunday)]
I would describe it as mortal hell.
Right away my FWH wanted to stay together and committed himself to doing everyting in his power to make it right. After realizing that TT had caused me so much more damage, he came clean with all the details and the new complete information put me back to square one.
He has been very, very good to me. He is and has been transparent, said and done all the right things, read books went to MC and told me repeatedly that he wasn't going to let me push him away.
Even with that effort this mountain of details and betrayal just seemed to be too hard to climb and I found myself at times just wishing I had bailed. It was too much.
Don't get me wrong, I tried everything I knew to try too. Showed lots of love and dedication, spending time, talking, reconnecting..everything. But that feeling way down in the pit of my stomach, the "am I doing the right thing", the "God, is this what I want? and the "I will never get over this" laid there like a rock.
My FWH threw himself into being a better husband and dad, became very involved with my daughter and her interests and really just stepped up and took a lot off my plate and I just kept taking it one day at a time praying this feeling of still wanting out would leave permenantly.
Which brings me to this weekend which is about 2 years and 9 months out from D-Day.
I walked into my DD15 room to put some clean laundery on her bed and as I turned around I noticed her computer screen had a picture of her and my FWH on it, and it was a post of her Facebook page.
The caption underneath read..
"Anyone can be a father but it takes a very special person to be a step dad <3".
Yep, he's her step-dad. We've been together since she was two.
I looked at all the replies from her friends, their picture, their smiles and I thought...
I stood there alone in her room thinking no one has any idea what it took for this moment to come to pass but me. And I couldn't possibly be happier knowing that all the hard work has paid off in a way that makes my DD feel fulfilled, loved and important to her dad and it came wrapped in the pretty package of him earning my respect back. She, we, are reaping the reward of having a happy and stable homelife. And the feeling of accomplishment replaced the doubt, just like that.
Today I've been thinking that something so tragic, so awful, so damn HARD and so challenging didn't beat me.
I made this happen, and it benefitted my child in such a positive way.
You know, us BS, our self esteem takes such a detramental hit. And it may sound cliche to say this but I'm so proud that I no longer put value on my sex appeal, my looks, or spend my days worrying about if "she" was better in bed than me. It's natural to think such things but along with healing comes knowledge. The deep down in your gut knowledge that comes from truly knowing that this didn't destroy me but brought a true appreciation of who "I" am.
And I'm proud of me.
SI has just been a blessing every single day to me since 5/19/09 when I discovered this site. I love the people here and the special friendships I've made along the way. To have a network of hurting people reach past their own pain to help me through a day, many nights, and scary times has made me believe in humanity again. Thank you SI.
A great sigh of relief, as I approach the two year mark. I'm happy because all the research shows that the average years it takes to heal ranges from two years to five years. I remember being shocked when I learned this during the honeymoon phase of our reconciliation, thinking we were already past the pain and moving on. As time unfolded I wasn't so shocked. The ups and downs were tumultuous, the pain of acceptance a hard pill to swallow, the tortured thoughts of her and him and the betryal unrelenting, but the rewards of holding on to myself and growing were worth the torture.
I was a lucky one. My husband and I reconciled immediately after his one year affair with a co- worker. We hardly knew each other when their affair ended, he even assured me that our marriage was dead. But it wasn't.
I went into recovery mode the moment he revealed the affair. Before I even stopped to evaluate my injuries I was performing CPR on the marriage. Adrenaline kicked in and I had to fight to save the life of the marriage. It was only months later that I finally learned of the pain I had suffered, saving us was all I cared about in the beginning.
We talked, really talked. I learned who he was after 24 years of taking each other for granted. I learned his needs, and he learned mine. We became emotionally intimate, something we had lacking in our marriage, something I never thought we could achieve, but we did.
I was willing to change and so was he and that is what saved our marriage. That is crucial. I was willing to look at how i could be more compassionate and closer to my husband. I learned who he was, deep inside, which was a way I had never seen him before. Our marriage needed to change and our intimacy emotionally needed to become ore mature as our lives grew.
My husband came to terms with what he had done to our marriage by betraying me and he understood that turning to an affair was not the answer to solving our marital issues. Eventually he took the blame once he understood how the affair happened and his remorse was profound and healing for both of us.
I went to therapy and read every single book on infidelity (every single one!). I left my ego at the door and discovered what he needed and what I could give, he did the same for me. we committed to the change that had to happen in order for us to stay married.
It wasn't easy to get to the place we are now. Their was pain, sadness, loss, and fear, but we have come out so much better as people and as a couple. He is my best friend now. We spend more time together because we enjoy each others company not just because we live under the same roof. When I am having a bad day at work or the kids drive me crazy I don't take it out on him, instead I go to him for comfort, and he readily gives it. We respect each other and our marriage and love how our lives have changed. The marriage comes first always.
Sadly the affair happened. Happily we are blissfully in love now. Do I take it for granted? No, never. Am I still sad at times? Shocked? Changed? Even angry at times? Yes.
The two year anniversary doesn't erase the fact of the affair, betrayal, pain, sadness and loss but it does say that I am a survivor, him too, that we are human and flawed, and that we saved our marriage from certain death and are now continuing this journey together hand in hand.
Me: 50, bs
Him: 50, ws
M: 25 yrs, two kids in 20's
In my mind the whole early part of February has been something I have been dreading because our anniversary is on the 5th and last year we were not good.
So fast track to the last week. Yes there were some rollercoaster moments of sadness and some anger at the situation but all in all it was good.
WH has made an enormous effort over the past twelve months. There have been MANY tears and recriminations and I am sure there will be more. However 12 months out we really are good.
We have re-evaluated our life together. WH has taken full responsibility. I have made efforts to listen more.
Even with occasional trigger we are good. Yesterday morning WH asked "well are we past the antiversary yet?". I said yes because really the dreaded weekend had been anticlimatic. I didn't have the triggers and devastating sadness I was expecting.
He then pulled out a beautiful ring with a card of apology and said I should look at the ring every day as a reminder of how much he loves me and how sorry is for the pain.
He didn't have to do that. I didn't need it but I find myself sitting here at work and looking at it and feeling thankful that we have gotten through the first year.
I love him more than ever and while I know I will still get angry at him I also know our M will last.
Thank god and thank you to the SI'ers stories that have helped me over the last 12 months.
Choosing to stay together was positive. Working through our son's cancer together was positive. Going to counseling was positive. Her next to me at my brother's funeral was positive.
In the end it was all worth it. When going to a MC she looked at us both and stated that we had been through alot together and decided to stay together. She also mentioned how some of her clients had seperated for lessor reasons. Sometimes it takes a third party to remind you what you've been through.
As you move through the A you start to realize that the pain is yours and unique to yourself, so is the healing. When you take the strength from survivng and combine it with the resolution of staying together you can get a very positive reconciliation story.
In those first days, months and year I'd come here and read stories of couples that were a few years out. I'd read them with the hope that someday I'd be one of those people. Their stories would get me through some of my darker moments.
I wanted to share my story to maybe help someone else.
We had been married 8 years, and it had been in a bad place for going on a year. Only I didn't realize just how bad. My husband upped and confessed one day to me, and I was blind-sided. I had no clue and I most likely would of never found out. He had developed a close friendship with a women he knew through work. Eventually that relationship turned physical.
He says he couldn't live with the guilt and wanted to repair our marriage on all levels. However, he felt he couldn't do that without being 100% honest. I do need to add in that the OW lived a thousand miles away. My husband traveled there for work weekly and met her there. It definitely helped our reconciliation process that he took a new job that kept him in our local area immediately as well. Him being gone so much was one of the things that was hurting our marriage.
I was so raw with pain. I couldn't concentrate at work. I couldn't get the OW out of my mind. I was borderline obsessed with her. She was in my thoughts almost every second of every day at first. I scoured the internet for her, and eventually found a way to send her an email. Ironically she apologized a million times over and said she felt just as guilty as him. She was very much in love with my husband but immediately and silently went away when my husband had gone NC with her. He had done this about 2 weeks before he confessed. I would almost believe his initial reaction was to end it and hope I never found out. He says the thought crossed his mind, but as each day passed he couldn't live with the guilt.
That first year was a roller coaster ride to say the least. The smallest things would trigger me. I'd cry at anything. I quit my job because I couldn't concentrate and felt overwhelmed. I'd cry anytime my husband and I were intimate. I sunk so low that I bought a bottle of vodka one day (just a few weeks out) and sat in a parking lot near my house and downed quite a bit of it. I am not a drinker, maybe once or twice a year at best, but I felt so much pain and my head was so cloudy. I felt so alone and so much distrust in the entire world. I felt like I didn't even know myself anymore. Anyhow, that was the last "stupid" thing I did to try and cope. I found this forum the next day.
My husband became an open book from day 1. He gave complete access to his cell, email, ect. He accounted for any time we were apart for the first year in detail. In all honesty he didn't really push the envelope and try to do anything that would make me wonder.
In time I started to trust him again and forgive him. There was a turning point about 18 months in that I knew he had let himself down as much as he had let me down.
Being 5 years out, I cannot tell you the last time I felt pain, anger, or cried over his infidelity. A "trigger" now will make me remember but it moves on fairly quickly and we have come to a place that we can just process through without those feelings taking over. My marriage today is better than it ever was. Our communication is entirely different, it's positive and productive. I love my husband and I know he's a good man. I make sure he knows this too.
He is still open with things like his cell phone and email. He no longer accounts for every minute of every day. He doesn't need to. Mind you, he would if I asked him. However, I can honestly say that I trust him again. That took the longest, but I think I realized that about 2-3 years ago.
On d-day I made myself a promise that I'd never-EVER throw his infidelity in his face during a disagreement. To this day, I never have. I think that went a long way. After the initial year passed I also stopped bringing it up randomly. It was just too exhausting and kept that emotional roller coaster in overdrive. Rather I decided to set aside time, as needed, to discuss my feelings, concerns, and new questions with my husband. I think this helped him heal, which was important too. He could stop living on egg shells, so to speak.
I think realizing that we both had pain from his infidelity was something that took me awhile to "get". I was angry and it didn't seem fair that I needed to account for him hurting too. However, he truly felt terrible for the pain he caused and he needed to heal from that too. Once we both started to heal together, I think things really began to change.
For those that are just starting the reconciliation process there are moments that it will seem easier to give up. However, if both partners are committed 110% everything will be better in time. It's hard work, but I have been at a point for quite some time that I say strongly it was worth it.
[This message edited by Kilee at 1:14 AM, February 19th (Sunday)]
You made a fool out of me and she made a fool out of you