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User Topic: Things I wish I had know... Part 2
ItsaClimb
♀ Member
Member # 37107
Default  Posted: 2:25 PM, July 14th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

*The reaction of family and friends. I wish I had been prepared for the fact that other relationships would be affected by all of this. I lost a very close friend in the aftermath of D-Day and my MIL has broken all ties with fWH and me because of the affair (long story!) In my experience, people who have not been through infidelity simply don’t understand… they don’t “get” anything about this situation, they certainly don’t “get” the roller-coaster, they don’t “get” the emotions involved … No matter how close they are to you, they don’t fully understand your relationship with your spouse. In our situation, some people have been AMAZING, they have stood by us through thick and thin, they have been supportive and non-judgemental. The reaction of other people has been disappointing to say the least, I didn’t expect that, I was completely blindsided.

*There goes my dignity…. Something I have found very hard to cope with in all of this is the loss of dignity. To begin with I felt that fWH stripped me of some of my dignity by having an affair, but I have to confess that I have also done a great job of eroding my own dignity by the way I have handled myself post-DDay. I didn’t expect that, I really didn’t think that I was capable of behaving the way I have behaved… I am by nature a proud person and I have to tell you I am quite gob-smacked at some of my post-D Day antics!

Let me be frank, I have NOT handled this well. I am so clearly NOT cut out to be a betrayed spouse. Some people are blessed with a gracious, calm, controlled and forgiving nature, I, on the other hand, am more of a Type-A, highly-strung, obsessive, super-charged-emotionally, nerves-on-a-knife-edge kind of person. It’s so unfortunate!

Things around here have been UGLY. I have shouted, screamed, lay in a sobbing heap on the bathroom floor. I have broken an AWFUL lot of crockery. My husband has seen me with snot and tears all over my face and a wild, scary look in my eyes. I have cried at work. I have suffered stress-related hair loss. I slapped fWH on two occasions (I am NOT advocating domestic violence, I am NOT proud that I sunk that low, I am simply being honest.) We have had sex that I managed to turn into something nasty and bitter. I have threatened suicide. The list goes on and on….

It has been humiliating. I so wish it hadn’t. I wish I had handled this with dignity and grace. I wish I could take back some of the things I have said and done. I wish I had been emotionally mature enough to carefully consider the words that came out of my mouth and my actions. So much of what I have said seemed justified, clever even, in the heat of the moment… it was neither of those things.

Lessons learned? I think as BS we have to cut ourselves SOME slack… we are dealing with TRAUMA here. What we are trying to navigate is not just your average little domestic spat. Those who are quick to judge our erratic behaviour have not walked in our shoes. That being said, we are responsible for our actions, we CAN control the way we behave. Being a BS does not justify abuse. I know I am guilty of a certain amount of abuse towards my fWH, I am deeply ashamed of that. I am trying to do better.

*All therapists are not created equal. We saw a therapist 3 weeks after D-Day. There was a conversation that went like this:
Husband: “I just don’t know how Itsaclimb will ever be able to forgive me”
Therapist: Your focus should rather be on how you are going to forgive her for not meeting your needs and forcing you to go outside the marriage to have those needs met.”

Those couple of minutes in that room set me back so badly. It really is important to find a therapist who knows and understands infidelity and if your therapist is saying stuff that is not consistent with what the recommended books say, then find another therapist! Pronto!

*It’s not your fault – In light of the above, I spent a lot of time reading and investigating to see exactly how much blame I should take for my husband’s infidelity. It turns out that the answer is NONE AT ALL. His infidelity was NOT MY FAULT. I take my share of the responsibility for certain weaknesses in our marriage that I can see I contributed to, but those weaknesses did NOT make my husband take a mistress. Having the affair was entirely, 100%, his decision and his responsibility. If my husband was unhappy about certain aspects of our marriage that gave him a valid reason to come and talk to me about those issues, to perhaps suggest counselling, or even, if he was VERY unhappy, to ask me for a divorce – those weaknesses did NOT give him an excuse to have an affair.

*It’s not about you – Okay, this is something I have REALLY struggled with and in fact I’m still struggling with it. How can his affair NOT be about me? If it’s NOT about me, then why am I in so much pain? I read up on this and read some more and still I couldn’t get it. Then one day a picture came into my mind that has helped me understand to an extent. It’s really quite silly, but it helped me get perspective on this: Imagine a woman has a newborn baby, one day she decides that she is tired of being a mother and she wants to have a break, to go out shopping for the day. She leaves her newborn baby home alone. She goes and spends the day shopping and having coffee and lunch dates. She gets home and that baby is in a mess, dehydrated and in a bad way. Was what she did about the baby? No, she did what she did because of her selfishness and the weaknesses in her. Was the baby injured and in pain because of what she did? Yes it was. Did she have a responsibility to the baby that she neglected? Yes she did. I see the situation between fWH and me in pretty much the same light. What he did was about him, not about me, but his actions hurt me and damaged our relationship.

*The ugly truths. Little did I know that my husband’s infidelity would shine a great big flash-light onto all the nasties, not only in HIS personality and our marriage, but in my personality too. To me this was unexpected, at the beginning I really thought that all the work would need to be done by HIM, after all HE had the affair. Turns out that’s not the case at all. It’s like no stone is being left unturned. Every weakness, every character flaw, every FOO issue, every weird quirk in our personalities and our marriage is being laid wide open. It can be quite overwhelming. The volume of work that needs to be done by BOTH of us is scary. What’s even more scary is that we have lived with all these nasties in our lives for 28 years! I am still horrified that I was in total denial about so much “stuff” for so long. I mean I consider myself a reasonably intelligent human being, how did I not SEE it? How did I live like that? It’s like the blinkers are finally off and I am seeing all these things that just lay there festering for years and years….

*Forgiveness. A hot topic this one! I have spent hours reading about forgiveness. Some believe forgiveness can happen early on, some believe you have to forgive to reconcile, others believe forgiveness is not necessary, there is even debate about what forgiveness actually IS! IMHO you can’t forgive until you have processed all the details and emotions regarding the affair, and that takes time. Wish I had known this at the start of this process! I made the humiliating mistake of declaring my forgiveness very early on… and then having to say something along the lines of “Remember I said I forgive you? Well I don’t!” I still haven’t forgiven, I don’t know if I will ever be able to. Eventually, I hope to reach a place of peace and acceptance and in order to do that I feel that I will have to forgive, so I hope I will be able to. Eventually.

*Healing. Early on I believed that time would heal my wounds (I drastically underestimated exactly how MUCH time…) I have since learnt that healing doesn’t just happen, it’s a conscious choice. It’s not only about time, it’s about what you DO with the time. Healing takes commitment, it takes effort. (Sometimes it feels like more effort than I am willing or able to give!) Irrespective of whether we decide to reconcile or divorce, we still need to heal. I have come to realise that I cannot rely on my husband to heal me and my healing is not dependent on his behaviour. He can certainly help me in my healing if he chooses to, but he is not responsible for it and it is not dependent on him. I am working on my healing daily (some days with more success than others!)

*Which choice is braver? I have no idea why, but it mattered a lot to me to know that I was making the “brave” choice. I didn’t want my choice (whether to reconcile or divorce) to be considered “weak”. I have recently realised that neither choice can be considered weak – it’s not about that. Our unique set of circumstances will, over time, dictate whether we should stay or go, we have to listen to our intuition and make that choice. And that choice is neither brave, nor weak, it is simply the “right choice” for us. The bravery lies in dealing with the infidelity, in processing all that pain, in acknowledging and dealing with our issues, in healing ourselves, THAT is what is brave and THAT needs to happen regardless of whether we stay or go.

Like I said at the beginning, these are simply my personal thoughts. Things I wish I had known and fully comprehended at the start of my journey. I by no means think I "know it all"... no doubt a whole lot more truths will emerge as I continue my journey.

Big {hugs} to all BS who are just starting out on this path that none of us want to take.

[This message edited by ItsaClimb at 2:32 PM, July 14th (Sunday)]


BS 46
Together 29 yrs, M 25 years
2 daughters 24yo(married with a brand new little daughter) & 18yo
D-Day 18 Aug 2012
6mth EA lead to 4mth PA with CO-W. I found out 8 1/2 yrs later

Posts: 782 | Registered: Oct 2012
OK now
♀ Member
Member # 14459
Default  Posted: 9:09 PM, July 14th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thank you so much for all the time and trouble you have gone to to draft this very perceptive post. I can relate to so much of it.

The only advantage I can see to making this a very emotional, traumatic event:

Things around here have been UGLY. I have shouted, screamed, lay in a sobbing heap on the bathroom floor. I have broken an AWFUL lot of crockery. My husband has seen me with snot and tears all over my face and a wild, scary look in my eyes. I have cried at work. I have suffered stress-related hair loss. I slapped fWH on two occasions (I am NOT advocating domestic violence, I am NOT proud that I sunk that low, I am simply being honest.) We have had sex that I managed to turn into something nasty and bitter. I have threatened suicide. The list goes on and on….

Is that this has been such a rude shock to your WH, I can't believe he'd risk going through this again. Certainly given him something to remember next time temptation is dangled in front of him.


Posts: 1491 | Registered: May 2007 | From: NC
Snowy
♂ Member
Member # 14028
Default  Posted: 9:38 PM, July 14th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

ItsaClimb, thank you for your posts. I wish I had these when things hit the fan in my case.

Just a couple of comments;

Comment 1

Things around here have been UGLY. I have shouted, screamed, lay in a sobbing heap on the bathroom floor. I have broken an AWFUL lot of crockery. My husband has seen me with snot and tears all over my face and a wild, scary look in my eyes. I have cried at work. I have suffered stress-related hair loss.

I wish I did some of this. I took the calm, dignified approach. I still lost my dignity and ended up getting hurt more and percieved as some kind of fool who was endorsing my WS affair.

Comment 2
Both people need to be trying to make the marriage work. If this is not happening, then it is a lost cause and you need to seriousily consider withdrawing yourself from a toxic relationship

[This message edited by Snowy at 9:39 PM, July 14th (Sunday)]


Posts: 149 | Registered: Mar 2007
PhantomLimb
♀ Member
Member # 39668
Default  Posted: 9:49 PM, July 14th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The IC my WS saw during our failed R told him: (1) not to feel guilty; (2) that I would be all over the place emotionally because of DDay and to leave me alone until I settle down; (3) the fact that he slept with her one more time after DDay must mean that he isn't as conflicted as he claims and that he had truly picked her, so he should abandon R. And he did.

Are those normal recommendations for WS in IC? I don't know. But they sure pissed me off.


BS / D

Posts: 787 | Registered: Jun 2013
freshstart78
♀ New Member
Member # 39556
Default  Posted: 10:42 PM, July 14th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Once again....well done. Waiting for more!!!!!!


Don't be afraid to start over. Its a new chance to rebuild what you want! D-day 8-05-2011. Me/BW-41. Him/WH-41.

Posts: 33 | Registered: Jun 2013
standinghere
♂ Member
Member # 34689
Default  Posted: 4:02 AM, July 15th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Itsaclimb

I love this post, but one part stands out for me.

I am so clearly NOT cut out to be a betrayed spouse.

It was my wife, the WS, who threw the crockery, who did most of the raging, and who became suicidal in the aftermath of her confession. It was rough on me as well, I was not composed at times removed from specific confessions as the implications of those confessions hit home.

But, I do know one person who must be cut out to be a betrayed spouse...your first therapist!

Therapist: Your focus should rather be on how you are going to forgive her for not meeting your needs and forcing you to go outside the marriage to have those needs met.”

Anyone who has this kind of wisdom should be able to handle their spouse betraying them without any problems at all...because their head is so far up their ass they will never realize they were betrayed or have any feelings about it.


BH - Me - Late 30's (now late 40's)
WW - Her - Late 30's (now late 40's)
4 Children
Her - Love of my life...still is.
Reconciled - Partly...she can't get over it.
Her - Thunderstruck by what she did.

Posts: 894 | Registered: Jan 2012 | From: USA
TheBestMe
♀ Member
Member # 39476
Default  Posted: 6:15 AM, July 15th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

This post is so timely and I can relate to so many of your experiences. Often, I have thought "who am I"? Since the donkey contacted me and confirmed their LTA of 7 years, I have had a couple of one sided MMA matches with my husband. I have never been so enraged and out of control. All I wanted to do was to inflict some kind of pain onto him. The depth of the pain that his choices have caused me are beyond words. The recent deaths of my father and a close relative was a pain that eventually subsided. The pain of my husband's infidelity comes in tidal waves that sometimes leaves me sobbing and in total disbelief.

I had no control over my husband's choice to lay up with some POS. However, I do have control on who I discuss the relationship with. I call it a relationship because anything lasting that long has an emotional attachment. Well, I told my family, his family (many knew about the donkey because years ago she made herself known) and some very close friends. I needed to reclaim my dignity!!!! Besides, that POS flaunted her "man" to her family and friends (based on FB pictures and the comments). By me dispensing the information directly to these people, I answered their questions and was able to feel that by doing so these people would become my allies.

The decision to tell or not to tell is something that each individual must consider. There are ramifications for letting people into this mess. His family wants me to hang in there and to give him a chance to prove himself, "he knows what he has done to you and will never do it again". My family wants to cut his - off. But my brother says "he doesn't have any".

On the flip side, my family is supportive of my decision to give it some time. I have given this man 24 years of my life and together we have built a comfortable financial existence. Reality is: at my age I have to consider my economic future. That donkey sure is not going to get her hands on anything

Will I ever forgive him? Probably not. The Bible, the Koran and my IC all talk about the need to forgive. One is supposed to forgive in order to heal.I beg to differ. I know what he has done and this betrayal will always be a part of our history. I have been clear with my husband that I do not forgive him. The hurt is so deep, the triggers are everywhere and quite frankly sometimes I hate him. This roller coaster of emotions is a ride that I want to get off of.

The positives out of all this hardship is "the light that his infidelity shone". It has shown me the need to continue making progress on myself. I was so busy trying to love him past his FOO problems that I got lost. Love may not be enough to fix the hole in another's broken soul.

Once again, thank you ItsaClimb for sharing your thoughts. Your words are just what I needed.


ME Doing Better
WH Trying As Best He Can
Married 23 years
Status: Working towards friendship
D Day #1 - 2007 My gut told me
D Day #2 - 2010
D Day #3 - 1/11/2013
LTA 7 years

Living with both feet pointed in the same direction


Posts: 222 | Registered: Jun 2013 | From: Inner Peace
painpaingoaway
♀ Member
Member # 27196
Default  Posted: 6:35 AM, July 15th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Great post Itsaclimb! Well done!

Husband: “I just don’t know how Itsaclimb will ever be able to forgive me”
Therapist: Your focus should rather be on how you are going to forgive her for not meeting your needs and forcing you to go outside the marriage to have those needs met.”

That's horrific! Our first therapist contributed to my H tting for another year. I wanted to know who the whore was, and the therapist said, "why is it so important for you to know? He said it was a woman he met in a bar, isn't that enough"? For Gods sake he gave me the whore's STD and this idiot MC doesn't think it's important for me to know WHO the whore is???!!!!! FTG!

I immediately stood up, told H, 'lets go' and told the MC that he was not helping our marriage, he was destroying it, and told him not to dare send me a bill, lol! (And he didn't I think he was scared of me )

All that was after SEVEN sessions with the idiot! So I suggest to everyone that if the MC is not delving into the meat of the A issues by the end of the second session, then you need to find a different MC.

Ask up front what the MC's stance on infidelity is and how they plan to address the A issues. If you don't like what you hear, find another.


me BS female 55/him WS 58
Married 33 years
D-day July 09/he gave me his slut's STD
Watch my movie: "My wayward husband's adventures in STD land":
Episode 1: youtu.be/9Jv0-d_CdYc
Episode 2: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8Tz822H82Gk

Posts: 6763 | Registered: Jan 2010 | From: Coastal South
ItsaClimb
♀ Member
Member # 37107
Default  Posted: 1:14 PM, July 15th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks so much for the responses. It's quite concerning to see how many therapists seem to approach infidelity the "wrong" way, isn't it?! When you are feeling incredibly fragile, vulnerable and traumatised, it's quite devastating to be told that you are somehow to blame for your spouse's infidelity, or that they shouldn't feel guilty etc etc. I wish there was a way to get the word out there to these people that they are approaching this all wrong!!


BS 46
Together 29 yrs, M 25 years
2 daughters 24yo(married with a brand new little daughter) & 18yo
D-Day 18 Aug 2012
6mth EA lead to 4mth PA with CO-W. I found out 8 1/2 yrs later

Posts: 782 | Registered: Oct 2012
thecosmogirl
♀ Member
Member # 39707
Default  Posted: 3:22 PM, July 15th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Very timely as I myself was just on the bathroom floor last night.
I have also broke some things, put a big dent in beautiful fridge door and accidentally hit my WH in the head with a jar. It knocked him to the ground and his head was bleeding pretty bad. I say accidentally because I was throwing stuff toward him but I thought he was ducking. I didn't mean to actually hit him. But I didn't feel bad for doing it. I did go help him. Got him cleaned up and told him to duck faster next time.
I've been told by some how much they admire me and how I've handled this whole thing with such class and grace. And sometimes that is what starts my meltdowns. Because I'm trying so hard to not fall apart in public and then I just crumble when I get home. It's so exhausting. I'm so tired and sick today I'm not sure I will make it much longer. Ugh, I used to love roller coasters :(

I guess there are idiots in all professions. That therapist needs a new job!

[This message edited by thecosmogirl at 3:23 PM, July 15th (Monday)]


Me: BS
Him: doesn't matter anymore...or does it...

Being very, very careful

D-day 14 June 2013


I'm smart, good looking and gosh darn it, people like me!


Posts: 122 | Registered: Jun 2013 | From: trying to figure it out
cocototo2
♀ New Member
Member # 39776
Default  Posted: 3:40 PM, July 15th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

ItsaClimb - Thank you for your post! As someone so new to this, I struggle so much with what my personal journey will be. Thank you for reflecting so personally and honestly.


BW (me) - 40
WH (him) - 42
Children - 1 DS(9), 2 DD (6,2)
OW - married with DD (7)
DD - 7/6/13

Posts: 42 | Registered: Jul 2013
Gr8Lady
♀ Member
Member # 36307
Default  Posted: 5:51 PM, July 15th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Very well stated.

I will add as a BS the infidelities put a big flashlight on all the insecurities in us both.
I have recognized and learned many things about myself during counciling.
Yes I too have been taken to the ugly place in my soul. I believe the worse in me had to come out to begin to heal.
Thanks for sharing... So relatable


BS: Me (63yo)
FWH: HIM (65yo) serial infidelities over past 35 years
OW: Many, most recent 1/2 his age
DD: Multiple unconfirmed until 2012 when I presented evidence, plus LTA with his friends wife lasting 10 years. TT over past year
So done,

Posts: 552 | Registered: Jul 2012
ItsaClimb
♀ Member
Member # 37107
Default  Posted: 12:38 AM, July 16th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks to all who have responded. I think one of the things that has made SI so vital to my recovery has simply being knowing that there are others who are in the same place I am, who have felt the pain I am feeling and gone through all the same emotions. Being a BS can feel SO lonely.


BS 46
Together 29 yrs, M 25 years
2 daughters 24yo(married with a brand new little daughter) & 18yo
D-Day 18 Aug 2012
6mth EA lead to 4mth PA with CO-W. I found out 8 1/2 yrs later

Posts: 782 | Registered: Oct 2012
standinghere
♂ Member
Member # 34689
Default  Posted: 3:20 AM, July 16th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I just happened to notice your disclosure was years after the fact, read your profile story and perhaps can give some useful feedback.

That time lapse and then disclosure really hit home. My disclosure day was 9 years later, although at the time I had suspected inappropriate behavior and had confronted her, only to have denial and "just friends, nothing more" pushed back at me.

My wife did the same thing, compartmentalized, tried to forget, tried to not think about it, etc, etc, etc. She also recommitted to the marriage and tried her damnedest to be the best wife and mother that she could. It wasn't working; to many odd things, withdrawing, shutting off, unable to have a good sexual relationship, unable to have an emotionally safe relationship, and life didn't make sense. I was out of ideas.

She began confessing, albeit slowly and mixed with lots of lying on the 18th anniversary of our first date.

Eventually, I got the truth, also I got some details, but only about the sex, the emotional stuff was absent, she simply could not remember what she was thinking at the time. She had worked so hard to not remember, not think, to do anything to not remember. I also had to ask for every detail, she just went crazy if she tried to dredge it up on her own.

Yes, there was a lot of lying in those interval years, lying to do anything to not address the truth. However, as the years have passed, I realized that those interval years were not "all built on a lie", but a lot of it was built on the truth as well. The lies had crippled it though. What we had was not only a shell of what it could have been, but a shell of what it became after the truth came out. We couldn't grow as a couple with the lying.

I had a hard time understanding the inability to remember details of such a breach, but gradually it became clear that when she was doing what she was doing, she was not only living a double life but was also doing whatever it took to keep from thinking about it. At the time, and later, if she started to think about it she would drink wine, or smoke MJ, and do all this in secret and by herself, to suppress the feelings that came up.

She did OK when she was with the kids, or friends, but when I came home from work each day she remembered that she had cheated on me.

She was also horrified to learn later that I had not been cheating on her, I'd actually been at work when I'd said I'd been at work, I'd been stuck in traffic when I said I'd been in traffic, which made it all that much worse.


BH - Me - Late 30's (now late 40's)
WW - Her - Late 30's (now late 40's)
4 Children
Her - Love of my life...still is.
Reconciled - Partly...she can't get over it.
Her - Thunderstruck by what she did.

Posts: 894 | Registered: Jan 2012 | From: USA
ItsaClimb
♀ Member
Member # 37107
Default  Posted: 8:21 AM, July 16th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

standinghere: Thank you SO much for sharing your experience with the time lapse.

Our stories seem very similar.

she simply could not remember what she was thinking at the time. She had worked so hard to not remember, not think, to do anything to not remember.

^^ I found this so hard, still do! My fWH can't remember some details that I feel he should be able to remember, it has driven me insane. How can he NOT remember these details?? For a time I felt that he was keeping stuff from me on purpose, but I have come to realise it is exactly as you describe above. He spent so long working VERY hard at forgetting that he literally CAN'T remember. The bottom line is that I have all the important stuff, you know - how many times he slept with her, that he told her he loved her etc. I can work with what I have, but it's frustrating that I can't get ALL the details I want.

However, as the years have passed, I realized that those interval years were not "all built on a lie", but a lot of it was built on the truth as well. The lies had crippled it though.

^^ Yes! It took me a while to get to this point.

One of the things that really got me down when the truth first came out is the number of people close to me (even my married daughter) who said "but why are you so upset, it happened long ago, you have been so happy for years now" Total lack of understanding from numerous people... I don't let it bug me anymore, I know what I am dealing with and I just keep on dealing with it. But it helps so much to hear from people like yourself who have been here too and who truly "get it"!


BS 46
Together 29 yrs, M 25 years
2 daughters 24yo(married with a brand new little daughter) & 18yo
D-Day 18 Aug 2012
6mth EA lead to 4mth PA with CO-W. I found out 8 1/2 yrs later

Posts: 782 | Registered: Oct 2012
Topic Posts: 15

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