We have been together for 22 years, and yes - the affair was a huge wake up call. We, actually, had a fairly decent marriage in most regards, but were really lacking in meeting each other's needs in some ways that turned out to be critical. This, coupled with some of my H's own issues, allowed him to step over boundaries, and then end up in a big, hurtful mess.
So, now we are in MC, reading a lot, and working hard. We are both happier than we've been in a very long time, in some ways. Obviously the affair is a hugely hurtful specter that hangs over us, but working through it together is really helping.
But, I would say to make sure you are not rugsweeping. Did you guys have therapy? Is your H clear on the reasons he stepped out? (And I don't mean the rationalized ones.)
DDay - June 2013, A was 2+ months
In MC & Reconciling
Global editing disclaimer - I edit almost everything I post, and I am not going to post why every time. ; )
I am grateful for the changes, but I still hate and feel pain for the catalyst.
We probably would never have made it without these changes.
Life was not good together. It forced me to look at me and how I was failing myself, accepting abuse and going back for more. I have raised my expectations.
He is facing his behavior, pre a behavior also. Our new m is in its' infancy.
We now have the chance for a healthy marriage. It remains to be seen if we can make the most of it.
Driving for me is also very difficult. I seem to go places in my head that are not healthy or productive. It seems to happen before I am aware of it and then I have to pull myself back. I try now to plan what I will think about when I am driving. I have realized that if I do not do this I am not "present" and not a safe driver, for myself and others.
Wake up call? Yeah, kind of like waking up and the bed is on fire.
for my h....the cheating exposed his substance abuse problem. he would have never gotten sober and gone to rehab had he not hit rock bottom. and rock bottom for him was being kicked out of the house for cheating, trouble with the law....broke...and a complete addicted mess.
his cheating broke my heart. it really did.
but none of these major changes in our m would have taken place had he not been the monster that he was.
hard to believe...
Otherwise I can have an affair and by that logic we should be really happy. I do get what you saying, that a M could be better after and A. And I agree as if the M is not better than what it the point. But it can be better despite an affair not because of it.
So all it took for me was his telling me "I'm not happy and I'm ready to leave" to give me my wake up call. That's all it took - was his being honest with me. He didn't have to go have an A (or 2). All he had to do was TALK to me. By the time I figured out the EA part and him confessing to the PA part, we had done so much work on our relationship that it was harder for it to be the deal breaker I always thought it would be.
We have come a long way in spite of his A's. And perhaps they were his own *wake up call* - but I realize it wasn't mine. I just needed to be faced with the fact he wasn't happy. Sad that our relationship had deteriorated so much, and we are both so conflict avoidant, that his talking to me took years and the guilt of his A's to happen.
These are not acceptable reactions to a problem in a relationship. I will never be thankful for them any more than I expect she would be thankful I spent several years drinking far too much every evening. It certainly provides me perspective, but I don't think that being thankful for suffering abuse or neglect is something anyone should ever feel.
An M can be better after an affair the same way it can keep sucking camel shit after an affair. Either you both work to make it a better relationship, or you allow it to continue sailing down the Camel Shit river in a canoe made out of napkins. Both situations that could have come about without an affair, because neither situation requires one partner cheat on the other any more than they require one partner beat the other, hide money from the other, become an alcoholic, drug addict, Apple-product user, or anything other destructive habits. The downward slide can be stopped at any time. There is no bottom. Things can always get worse. The bad shit that happens on the way is still bad shit even if you recognize it as such and put a stop to that slide. That's when you start climbing back up. It doesn't mean the world couldn't get better before hitting that particular bend in Camel Shit River. It just means someone said "Fuck this, Imma turn around now" and started paddling back upstream, getting their hands dirty and all to do it.
[This message edited by StillGoing at 3:00 PM, September 6th (Friday)]
We are so happy that our counseling has brought us both to a new level of love, communication, openess and caring.
Through thick and thin we will survive but he gets only one shot at it!
After the kids and I moved out and we started talking again, he stopped the A (that I still didn't know about) and started seeing an IC. We started communicating again. We were great, then he confessed. I thought I was going to die, wished for it actually. But after MC and more IC for both of us, We are happy again. Better than ever.
That he was able to have an A hurts. I could do without that pain! I wish we would have both woken up before it came to that. But it happened, he takes full responsibility in his bad decision. We are moving forward. We WILL make it! But without hitting rock bottom first I doubt we would still be together!
[This message edited by hobbeskat at 8:06 PM, September 6th (Friday)]
The affair helped me to see that bottling up my feelings does me no good. When my husband told me that he didn't think I cared where is was or who he was with. I absolutely did care, but I said nothing. I wanted very much to tell him that I did care, but I just didn't. I just walked away.