[This message edited by DancinOnThinIce at 6:42 AM, August 10th (Saturday)]
I've never been good at sharing. ~ me
It is so hard to rebuild when what you thought you had is not what it was, and by this I mean your marriage. You sound like a wonderful person.
Sorry to hear you are having a rough time of it lately. You are not alone. Keep posting. We are here for you for whatever support you need.
[This message edited by LosferWords at 8:23 PM, August 9th (Friday)]
You are not alone. I do a lot of reading, counseling, have 1 good friend (who is not experienced in adultery but is a good friend I feel safe with), and post on here a lot. I would very much like to have a friend that has experienced this personally and navigated through it successfully....but I would not wish this on anyone.
Recently I stepped away from counseling....but will go back sometime in the future.
I am sorry you don't have counseling or a close friend right now...but that can change...and I would encourage you to keep an eye out for an opportunity to expand into these arenas.
But you don't need all of these things...but you do need some of them.
I too struggle to understand what my marriage was before the A...still unsure.
What I do realize is what I need is to continue to NORMALIZE my experience....not MINIMIZE it.
By that I need to accept several facts in healthy terms. That adultery is abundant in America today. That people that commit adultery do it because of who THEY are and not who their BS are (or are not). And that marriages both R and D because of adultery.
Once a BS can accept this then the work of processing through it begins...kind of defining a problem then going about solving it.
SI is one such place that helps me process through the above accepted facts.
I might challenge you to see if you really accepted him for what he was for 25 years.
What my journey has told me is that yes, in many ways I accepted my wife for who she was. But more importantly, this journey has showed me who my wife wasn't....she was not the person I thought she was...not completely.
I would say I knew her pretty well...but this desire or need or coping mechanism that she has had within her since childhood to conceal parts of her is new to me. This part was only uncovered to me through her affair and the work we have done after the affair. In a way, it is like she is really seeing this for what it is now too...so it was not malicious on her part.
This is why her affair is not about me.
so you might pay attention to what you were accepting of him honestly and what got snuck in on that acceptance....like pork gets snuck in on good legislation at the last minute.
Know what I mean?
Regardless...you are among friends here.
God be with you.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 5:47 AM, August 10th (Saturday)]
Just a couple of questions that come immediately to mind.
Why are you sure that he's finally come to realize that he's always had what he wanted. I'm having difficulty with that statement when you follow it up with the fact that he never accepted you for who you are.
Do you know who you are? How do you define yourself? If someone you never met asked you to describe yourself in 10 words or less, what would be your answer?
Lastly, what do YOU want this relationship to be? Can he fulfill that part in your vision of the future? Is he willing/able to make the needed changes? Why struggle so hard to "rebuild" what you never had, when you can create a new and better future for yourselves.
I'm taking for granted that he is willing to do the hard work. Are you? You need to be able to see what you want your life to be. I think you might be too focused on the outcomes and not living in the present. Decide who you are as an individual and begin living your life to those standards. He needs to do the same. When the two of you reach those goals, begin living life as a couple with shared goals.
Best I can do. I wish you both well!
I do a lot of reading and thinking...so much of what I APPEAR to comprehend is totally because of someone elses research and experience. I will eventually grasp wisdom of others after trying to apply it SEVERAL times....I hardly can think of one new thing I did right the first time through it.
I understand this is how almost all of a persons knowledge is attained...by interacting with others.
But if you could have seen me, us in action last night you would change your opinion on how wise and insightful I am.
Selfishness has no place in a marriage....and it has made itself right at home within ours. Has two comfortable rooms to stay in...hers and mine
Prayer is relatively new to me...only about 4 years into my relationship with God. But this is working well to gain true wisdom. I have went to bed struggling, prayed on it, and in the morning woke with a clear understanding of what frustrated me a day earlier.
God be with us all.
Thank you for the kind supportive words DonewithLove...they did not fall on deaf ears so sorry if my disclaimer above had that affect on you
I should also say I have been in some sort of counseling (IC or MC) almost weekly since 1 year ago...spent thousands of dollars on professional help.....so I have some wisdom from this intensive interaction as well.
You become who you hang out with.....right?
[This message edited by blakesteele at 5:20 AM, August 10th (Saturday)]
I have also witnessed my wife going deeper then she ever has with 3 of her friends...sharing with them, leaning on them some personal intimate stuff too. This is new to her.
My point? Don't underestimate your existing friend (s)....though they may not have been close enough before to bring an issue like this too...it might be a calling to do this now.
The aftermath of the affair and the betrayal we feel is unlike anything we have felt before. Some have said it was more traumatic then being in a concentration camp...so it is heavy stuff. But think about any of your friends...can you take a chance with any of them to lean on them with any part of this? I have a two brothers...one of which I am very close with...my best friend really. With regards to my journey through affair land...he is not my go to man. I tell him life sucks, lifes better, etc...but the real deep conversations I have take place with another man who I met in my twenties. My point? That a person does not have to be a life long best friend to have a positive influence on you.
I do think, and this is my own personal opinion, a person cant handle this completely on their own. And in my case, part of my growth through this is to let go of MY false notion that I can somehow control my entire life...and that I CAN control me. A third party is important to get this done. God is a big third party to me..and I see him working through my friend...and I see him working in other people (giving people abilities to research, observe and write about adultery, selfishness, habits, addictions, trauma). So...in a way...a person can work through this without the real life one on one type of interaction...but cant come to full wisdom without externalizing this experience somehow...through prayer and reading and venues like SI.
I think if it were possible to do this...navigate through this mine field that is our marriage now without external guidance...neither of us would be here now....an affair would not have been a part of our past.
key is to keep an open heart...a heart that can gain wisdom. This type of heart is vulnerable. The type of heart that is not vulnerable is the type that is hardened off...this type is unable to grow and change (mature).
I am trying to keep an open heart....and it is scary. My heart has been scared badly by my wifes affair. I have a scar on my thumb from childhood...that area has less feeling then the non scared area around it....
So I am not sure how this works...
So I pray on it.
God be with us all.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 5:44 AM, August 10th (Saturday)]
I am learning that he was always more closed off than I ever suspected. All those times where I thought he didn't give a crap were really just him shutting down.
By I have no one. I really mean I have no one IRL. I have literally no one. I am a sahm. I have lost every person I ever thought was a friend because of infidelity either in my own M or in theirs.
If I had to describe myself in 10 words or less I would say loving, hopeful, hopeless, changed, intelligent, insightful, intuitive, capable, stubborn, and cautious. I know exactly what I was and I know what I have always been. I know what I am becoming.
I wish I was what I used to believe I was and that is his soul mate. I don't think there is such a thing anymore. I used to be optimistic. I believed. I don't anymore. There are times when I see what I did way back when and I wonder whether its just an illusion or if I deceived myself into thinking it was there.
I doubt this makes much sense. I do appreciate SI and all of you folks here. I've read much over the years. I never believed like all of you that this would happen to me... Even though this is not the first time. I wish I didn't believe it won't be the last. I think that's part of what's changed. I often trust and when I do now I ALWAYS have that voice screaming at me saying you're going to get hurt. This is what I mean by I'm changed. I have fantastic instincts when it comes to reading people. Even my therapist said I should become a therapist because I see through people's bullshit. I saw through his. I just didn't trust myself. I never believed he was truly capable of hurting me as much as he did.
Thanks for listening. And thanks for the comments too. They've given me a lot to think about.
When you posted...I know who he is and I always knew he was capable of hurting me...it gave me pause to think for a while.....
I cant expand on that right now...but wanted to assure you that you have wisdom to share...and that you are at least partly understood by me.
I say partly...because I have personal issues with full understanding what others say...and I am working on this issue. But, given time, I know I will fully understand most anything.
I am sorry to hear about your real life situation. A known, confirmed 6 people of the 65 I work with have had adultery as part of their history...and I am aware of at least one inappropriate EA going on right now...so that is an easily defined 10% of my office! I think it highly probable to think there are more that are covertly conducting their lives in similar fashions.
I bring this up because you mention some of your friendships dissolved over affairs.
Early on I asked our Pastor if he could put me in touch with a man in our congregation (250 strong) that had successfully navigated adultery. The only thing he could come up with was a man whose wife left him for her AP....so this is very much all around.
I will pray a specific prayer of peace for you this morning. I know we are not supposed to hate...but I do hate the amount of pain and turmoil adultery causes our world.
Peace to you dancinonthinice.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 7:45 AM, August 10th (Saturday)]
By I always knew he could hurt me, I meant that I knew I trusted him and that he had the capacity like all people do to hurt the ones they love. He was the only one whom I ever truly trusted with everything. I just didn't think he would ever use my trust against me the way he did to manipulate me so completely.
I am sorry for your situation. I've read a lot of your posts here. Much of what you say resonates with me as well.
If I had any idea years ago how prevalent adultery really is, I doubt I would have had the courage to marry. There is so much out there that reads like a handbook to cheat. Whole websites devoted to discussing the how's and whatifs.
It amazes me how people can deceive themselves into believing they have the right to make themselves happy without any thought given to the consequences. To themselves, their partners, their family and friends, and even to their affair partners. Any relationship based on lies and secrets nurtured in the dark is not a true relationship. I wonder how anyone could believe it was.
I'm better today. I struggle sometimes. I'm not as happy or carefree as I was. I don't laugh as easily. I do cry more easily. I rarely believe I have value even though I know I do which makes little sense even to me.
I'm glad prayer works for you. I wish it had for me. When I was very little I discovered that the only person I could truly trust was me. I forgot that for a while with him. Now I've had the harshest lesson to remind me again. I won't ever forget it.
Peace to all of us and ours today.