I will say, for me, it was really important to have an individual therapist, i had some not so great ones and then I found a really good one, that listened to my pain and walked me thru it, rather than pushing me to "move on" I had to face all the things you mentioned and sort them out, not sweep them under the rug. Keeping a journal was super helpful, b/c my mind was spinning, I couldn't explain my needs to my H, when i wrote it out it helped me pinpoint my needs.
It did really hurt for awhile, it was probably about 6 mos before I found some equilibrium and another year before I had extended periods of normalcy. Year two was when I got myself sorted out.
but I broke it down, small victories! The first day I didn't cry at all that day, yay! The first day I laughed, etc. It's all working toward the big goal of being happy again.
I will tell you that I have no pain about the A. Things changed, we talk more, I'm different than I was, I was scared of the different person but I like her more now. I like my marriage more now. I would never with an A on anyone, it was the worst pain I've felt but I made it through and now I'm happy and things are good and my H is a great H. You can do this. One foot in front of the other and you'll get there.
I'm sorry you're now a member of the biggest club that no one wants to be a member of. Being betrayed is horrible. You feel like your world is turned upside down because it was. The person you trusted most in this world, the person you thought would be there for you no matter what, has emotionally attacked you. That is really difficult to reconcile in your head. We've been there.
If your family thinks you should be over it after 2 months, they are very wrong. The healing time is said to be between 2 and 5 YEARS, not months. This is not an easy process. It will take a very long time, and a lot of work.
We've all begged for honesty, and most didn't get it right away, or ever. There are a million reasons why, but the result is always the same - longer to heal, longer to trust the WS. It is a very dumb move in the long run, but many a WS has tried to keep lying. The claim is always "I didn't want to cause you more pain" but I call bullshit on that. There wasn't a thought of me when this started, so why care now? No, I think it's all about shame and embarrassment. After all, who wants to tell their spouse about the cutesy junior high level romantic things they did together, or the disgusting sexual acts? No one, that's who. Suddenly, it's not so romantic anymore, is it? It isn't so 'special'.
WSs lie, a lot. They lie every bit as much as cheaters. The difference is that now you know how much they will lie to you, and you know what smells like utter lies. It isn't all behind your back anymore.
So, a few key points:
First, and I'm sorry, but I doubt it was only a few weeks. That is a very short period of time to already be booking romantic getaways. That usually would take more than just a few weeks.
Second, be prepared for him to take the affair "underground", meaning it's still happening but he's being much more careful this time. Disposable phones, fake emails, even hidden laptops, all used to communicate where you can't find them or find out.
Third, see an attorney. No, you don't need to get divorced. You do need to know your legal rights in case you decide to end things. You should also know how to protect yourself. This leads to #4.
Fourth, take some of your joint checking and savings and open your own account. Yes - it is necessary. I know you're thinking "Oh, he'd never leave me penniless." because you never thought he would cheat. This board is filled with women that didn't do this, and ended up penniless and worried about how they would feed their children or keep their home because WS took it all, without warning, and waited until a forced court order to pay child support or spousal support. That's right - they let their own children suffer - because just like they felt 'entitled' to cheat, they feel 'entitled' to leave you high and dry. So put some money aside so you will be ok in the event that you have to wait months before receiving any kind of support.
Fifth, get tested for STDs. I know, he says it was just emotional. If they are in the same town, it's not likely that he was waiting for a getaway. Who takes a getaway with someone they aren't intimate with already? That's a bit presumptuous, don't you think? So get tested, because there are horror stories about catching diseases on this board too, from crabs right up to HIV. Scary - please get tested.
Sixth, if you feel you're being lied to, then it's time to 180. You can find this in the healing library, questions for the BS, #11. This is for you, not to punish him. This is to make you stronger in the face of this devastation. This is to make you see that you don't need hiim to be happy. This is to practice life without him or this mess. Yes, it has turned a great many WSs around, but it's not about that. It's about you.
Seventh, and this is very important - do NOT cry, beg or plead with him, about anything. Do not try to 'nice' him back to being 'in love' with you. It doesn't work, ever. In most cases, the WS has already demonized the BS in their minds. That is how cheating was even possible. They need you to be the bad guy so that cheating on you is ok. So once you learn of this betrayal, being nice or trying to show them how wonderful it is at home is viewed as desperate, not loving. It's viewed as if you are so scared to lose them that you'll accept their cheating. It usually gets more cruelty and selfishness. Be strong, confident, and happy, as the 180 describes. Let him feel what life will be like with you moving on without him. Let him feel what his selfishness has caused him to lose. Let him see just how bad his actions were - so bad that he's losing the woman that loved him. Be tough, and accept nothing but honesty and faithfulness, period.
And finally, this is NOT your fault, at all. He did this, and whatever justifications he's come up with this week are just excuses from someone that wants this to be anyone's fault but his. He'll say he loves you but isn't in love with you. He'll say he's unhappy, he'll say you didn't cook or clean or have enough sex. He'll say he was stressed over work. He will say some truly stupid things to try to make this not his fault, but it is.
Even if there were problems in the marriage, even if he was unhappy, even if you hadn't had sex in a decade, cheating is NOT the answer, ever. Cheating has never solved on problem. Cheating is nothing more than a weak, selfish person with very poor coping skills. HE has issues so HE cheated. HE wasn't happy with the marriage so HE cheated. HE was feeling old so HE cheated. It's a cheap and easy solution to feeling bad. It boosts an ego and gives a cheap thrill. Instead of talking to you, or a family member, or a counselor, he cheated. He did the least helpful and most destructive thing possible.
This is NOT your fault in any way, so do not accept any blame from him.
You'll get through this - we all did. It's so hard, but you've come to the right place. There are thousands of caring people that have seen and heard it all, and they are more than willing to help you. Stay strong, even when you feel your weakest.
Mepe27 it's great to hear that you are doing well now, it gives me some hope that something positive might come out of all this mess in the end.
And painfulpast thank you for your honesty and for taking the time to write such a long reply - you have given me some really important things to consider. Just to note, when I said my family might think I should be over it by now, I think I more meant that is what's in my own head and I don't want to become a burden to them - they have been amazingly supportive of me. I have taken a look at the 180 and there are certainly some useful things there even if they just help me feel better in myself.
LMomof2 and beginningagain thank you so much for your supportive words and hugs, some of the things you said are so exactly how I am feeling that it feels good to know that people understand.
And kra127 my heart goes out to you, it seems you are at an even earlier stage in this than me and your feelings must be so raw just now, thank you so much for taking the time to reach out to me even when you are at your most difficult time. Hugs to you, xxxx