We are both struggling with the fact our marriage as we knew it (and to be honest, it wasn't a great one) is over, that the purity is gone, the vows are broken. He thinks I will leave him. If not now, then in a year, five years, and he is sad and grieving (as am I) that the, "for the rest of our lives" vows we took only months ago seem so shaky. He is constantly sad and haunted, as am I. I see the pain he feels when he looks at my dead eyes and he expresses so much remorse for putting me there. We vacillate between talking about our future kids and then being floored by grief knowing that things are different now.
I don't want to leave him but I have been ambivalent. I feel like I need to throw myself into R. although I have been learning a lot, I am exceptionally guarded with my love for him and I often feel very flat and dead. I feel like I need to start the forgiveness process but how? I have a huge bomb waiting to go off in August: our first anniversary which I am absolutely dreading. More than anything, I'm exhausted.
I feel at a crossroads right now, that if something in me doesnt change, we're over. I don't want our marriage to be over. But I don't know what to do.
[This message edited by hobbeskat at 7:02 AM, May 22nd (Wednesday)]
I think it makes sense you are feeling this way right now. You aren't far from Dday, right? I think it is true you can't R successfully without being all in, but maybe it isn't quite time for you to be there? I often see advice about not making any decisions for about 6 months. That being said, I understand what you mean about not wanting the marriage to end. I am somewhat in the same boat. I know I want R, but I still have some ambivalent feelings.
I think you may be putting too much pressure on yourselves this early on with the thoughts of whether or not you will leave over this "someday". Plus, I can't imagine talking about planning a future with kids while the foundation of your marriage has been shaken so hard. Again, I think it is too much pressure on you.
This takes time. You need to feel what you feel and not push yourself to move onto things you aren't ready for just because you think it is time to be there. We are all impatient to get past this pain, but I don't think there is a fast-forward button.
At 5 months out, weeks after my wife found out she was pregnant and after some very lovely days together at a time when you'd think I'd go "wow, yeah, this will work - we can do this"... I looked at her and very bluntly said "I don't know if I want this" and explained how I didn't think I could do this. On that day I had zero belief in us lasting. She looked me in the eyes and said no matter what I choose, be it at that moment or years down the line, she wasn't giving up on me. She wasn't going to stop improving herself. Thus far she's kept to it, but it didn't change how I felt at the time. I'm now firmly entrenched into giving all to my relationship with my wife. Which yes, is important to longterm reconciling.
You're only 3 months out, go easy on yourself. I'm still guarded with my love for her (something I didn't quite realize until recently and now need to work on) and I'm 13 months out and our son was just born. I still know we have much more to work on and accomplish individually and together in the future. This is a lifelong process. No matter what guideline, timeline, zipline or dateline you follow this is a lifelong process.
You don't need to start the forgiveness "process." You'll feel it when you reach it. I forgave my wife in the most basic sense of being a fallible person I love who I didn't want harm to come to within days of D-Day. Forgiving her for hurting me came at around 5 months, and that was more me than her. She actually played little part in my desire to forgive. I told her I forgave her at 6 months, and she didn't think I should. Again though, it was for me, not her. All that said even, I still find myself forgiving things here and there that have happened, it's not a switch to flip, it's more of a gradual thing. Don't worry so much about having to forgive or getting there, you will when you do and you'll know it. Or you won't and you'll make your peace with that when it comes time.
For now you are still so early and still so vulnerable, devastated and likely still in shock. You may want to be married. You may not in the future. Right now stop worrying so much about that and focus on healing from the damage your husband has inflicted on you. That's the most important thing. In fact, stop worrying about how he feels. If he feels like shit and is remorseful, fine. He should. So long as he stays the course and keeps his focus on fixing his problems and helping you heal it's fine. A truly remorseful wayward spouse knows what they have to do and they do it, and you'll know it when you see it.
But no matter what you need to focus on your own healing. Find stability within yourself. It's hard, I know, we all know. At 3 months out I was just finishing with a few months long ragefest, which was scary for me considering I've spent years curtailing and changing my relationship with anger (though it was a great trial by fire to see just how much I personally changed). Feeling flat and dead is often the mind's way to give us a break from the trauma we've experienced (some around here call it the plane of lethal flatness). It's part of the process.
One more thing I can say is stop thinking of the future. Focus on the here and now. No more talk of kids, no more worrying about your anniversary. It takes your eye off of what is most important: you, right now. Focus on you, less on future possibilities or your spouse.
[This message edited by VD2012 at 12:27 PM, May 22nd (Wednesday)]
Surrender to the truth of life.
[This message edited by VD2012 at 12:20 PM, May 22nd (Wednesday)]
If your H is genuinely remorseful and you feel in your heart that you want to try to R then the possibility exists that, with time and work on his part (to resolve the issues that lead him to the A) and work on your part (to heal and figure out your boundaries)you may well build a marriage that looks better than yours did before. But give yourself time to figure it all out - a year at least IMO.
[This message edited by ItsaClimb at 12:20 PM, May 22nd (Wednesday)]
It appears as though, just from reading this one post, that you may be putting some of the blame on your new marriage. How bad could a brand new marriage really be? You two were still fully in the honeymoon phase. I would caution you not to let any of the blame for his infidelity fall anywhere other than where it belongs.... squarely with him! It doesn't matter how bad a relationship is, the WS is never right to choose to cheat rather than work on the issues.
The key for me has been compassion. Putting myself in his shoes. My compassion for him and his actions is what will help me forgive him completely.
For now, follow your gut. Do you want to be with him and give him a second chance or not? If you don't have an answer, wait it out a little longer. Be patient. Healing is a long, long journey.
[This message edited by hobbeskat at 7:32 PM, May 24th (Friday)]