me (WW/BS): 48
4 kiddos in mid 20's
The conditions we face do not define us. They remind us of who we are and who we want to be.
I remember dates, but they are not "anti-versaries" any longer. They are just "that happened then, yep." and now is very different from then.
I was worried that I would never be able to heal. The pain and rage were tremendous. Amazing what time and work can do! I had what could be callled a "trigger" a few weeks ago, but it was a flash, and nothing more.
No matter what your outcome, you will still need to go through the grieving/healing process. I can't speak to separating or divorcing, neither of those happened here. It can be a tough process to try to reconcile with someone who hurt you so badly. It took a long time for me to actually "see" that my husband was working hard to be considered trustworthy again. The veil of pain and rage was mighty thick! As time went on and I got treated for PTSD, the healing stepped up and I feel a lot like myself again. A less naive self, but like me.
Yes, 16 months out the pain morphs. I still have days were I feel the raw pain from my wifes intentional choices...but it is morphed into a profound saddness.
Pain and saddness use to morph into anger and rage....but then back down to saddness.
TIME plus INTENTIONAL work are the two main ingredients.
I like the statement a fellow SI member made that....."The pain is intense, but pales compares to the immenseness of my world."
You are 3 months out....go easy on yourself. I never felt the pain (co-dependent plus FOO issues) until 2 months out....was even slower to find healthy rage!
So I am on the bottom of the SI bell curve...but hope I comforted you some. It absolutely does improve....
God be with us all.
My experience at 7 months out is that when I feel the pain, I'm not sure it is any less than it was at first. If I think hard about my moment of discovery, or those first few weeks, or about the relationship my husband had with OW, it hurts just as much and I can still find myself unexpected in tears. But...the great news is that the moments when I feel this pain are definitely fewer and farther between than they were in the first couple of months.
As others have said, the journey isn't always linear. For me the first two months I thought I was doing well, but in retrospect I was just numb. Then...once my husband decided to end all contact with OW, I thought I'd really move past the pain, but the pain actually got far worse. I think that my husband's taking active steps to start R and make me feel safe allowed me to feel the pain that I'd been suppressing for the first two months. So months 3 and 4 post-D-day were a living nightmare.
Eventually I decided that I would need to throw myself into R and to do so, I'd need to feel the pain but also be willing to let go of it once I'd felt it. Since then, I think about the A every day pretty much during every moment that isn't occupied with some other mental activity, but it's more something that is just there and part of my life. What actually triggers the most emotion in me now is thinking about how great my H has been these past few months and how much better we're doing and how much stronger our relationship is. It's not exactly tears of joy, but the strangest positive things trigger me like crazy and I turn into a sobbing ball of emotion. I'm counting my blessings and definitely prefer this sobbing to the sobbing I was doing right after D-Day!
Good luck to you and hang in there. It does get better.
I think, for me, the healing is seriously impacted by what is happening in our relationship over "time". Am I getting more bombs dropped on me? Are there compounding, new, fresh wounds to heal from? Is my H being truthful with me in the little things of life? Is he being transparent and sharing himself with me? Am I feeling validated and respected and valued? - or at least are those things being sincerely expressed towards me even if I can't feel or accept them from him yet? Are we making new memories and is my H actively moving forward and doing everything possible to make me feel safe again?
I sincerely thought I would die from the pain. I prayed to die. But here I am a year later, and that intense pain is getting further into the distance. It can't be undone, and I am moving towards acceptance of that. I am capable of feeling happiness. I am very clearly healing from a pain that is in the PAST. It is overwhelming at times, but it is BEHIND us. If I face forward, my journey is not overwhelmed by the magnitude of it. It's getting closer to being a rear-view mirror kind of thing.
But the imperative thing - and the game changer for healing from the pain - is that the A and the pre-A behaviours are not happening NOW. I'm not sure I will ever be at a place where it is so far behind me that I couldn't bring it all back up with a fury should I need to access it again.
OW - multiple, just found out about ALL of them, Husband coming out of years of fog due to multiple childhood and military events.
Hopeful but cautious
Without question the pain subsides, the triggers (those that I am unable to remove from my world) lose their impact, and the mind movie no longer play like a continuous loop in my brain.
It took me at least 18-24 months to feel a true sense of peace and to rid myself of the rage, anger, and deep hate that I felt for my WH.
If however, you engage in suppression then no, I don't believe that the pain will subside. It may disappear for a while as you block it out but it will come back with a vengeance.
I too remember feeling as if i would never be happy again. I genuinely believed that I would never smile again. Thankfully, I was wrong.
As long as you want to R AND as long as you have a remorseful WH whose actions are proving to you that he is 100% committed to you, your M, and to fixing what he destroyed then I would say hang in there ~ it really will get much easier.
The truth hurts, but I have never seen it cause the pain that lies do.