H and I met young, dated 10 years and then have been married 5. The past 3 years have been really tough, in and out of MC, no connection, very little sex, pretty much felt like roommates. I hadn't been happy and thought about leaving many, many times.
In late November 2013, I started an affair. BH found out in mid December. Two days after he confronted me about it, he admitted to having a drug addiction for the past 3 - 4 years, said he felt partially responsible for my affair, and even admitted that if he were in my position, he'd probably cheat too. He's working toward recovery and we are reconciling. He's been fantastic through this whole thing given the circumstances and I'm so grateful for that.
Some days it feels completely normal and other days there is just depression, sadness and hurt. I know it's so early, and it feels insensitive to think like this, but how long does it typically take to feel back to "normal"?
I'm also wondering how far others have gone to rid themselves of the environment where they met the OP. I met OM as part of a hobby we share. OM is no longer attending such events, but BH is adamant that I no longer participate in the hobby at all. It's fine for now, but I fear I will become resentful. I'm remorseful, but I think his expectations are unrealistic for the long-term and I'm not sure how long he will feel so strongly about it. Am I wrong to feel this way?
TIA for any insight/advice/support
Also, where can I find a list of abbreviations?
[This message edited by Jovie at 10:26 AM, January 7th (Tuesday)]
You can find most of the abbreviations in the Healing Library (the link is on the left side of this page) or jump right to here
There are a few more abbreviations that are waiting to be updated to the above link and they are found in a thread at the top of the General Forum.
Think of the haters in your life as sandpaper; they’ll scratch you up time and time again but in the end you’re polished, smooth, and spotless..while they end up useless
There are shortcuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them-Vicky Baum
I think you have to ask yourself what's more important...your H's feelings and the stability of your marriage or a hobby that you can't participate in anymore.
We all have to make sacrifices and sometimes they may not seem fair at the time but if the value of your marriage is greater than the sacrifice it shouldn't come with resentment.
Its good that you're reaching out for support
My tolerance for stupid shit is getting less and less.
what's more important...your H's feelings and the stability of your marriage or a hobby that you can't participate in anymore.
this is what it boils down to. You may find that in time, there will be other changes that might need to come that you will apply the above statement to as well.
There have been people here that have moved cross country, changed careers, and cut out toxic family members to help heal their marriages. Triggers of the affair can come in many forms, as obvious as a shared hobby with the OP (other person), or as seemingly insignificant as a specific color or article of clothing. The more willing you are to acknowledge, adjust and reassure your H to these, the more it will build trust that you are putting him and your marriage first.
It's great that you've come here seeking advice .
[This message edited by unfound at 11:27 AM, January 7th (Tuesday)]
For example: I started applying for a new job before Christmas. BH had not asked me to quit, but it was offered. Yesterday he finally asked me to resign. I immediately wrote my resignation letter, and have an appointment with my supervisor this morning. To be clear, I love the career I could/do have through this job. I risked that job by engaging in As with OM I met through my job. As reality continues to sink in (the risks, and devastation of my choices), in part through the use of gentile 2x4s, I recognize that walking away from this path is not only right for the comfort of my BH but also for my own health and well being. My BH gave me the gift of resignation. Will I miss this job? Yes. Will I miss BH more? Yes.
[This message edited by Wayflost at 2:47 PM, February 5th (Wednesday)]
I have good friends that are involved in this hobby that H has no problems with me socializing with (outside of the hobby) and he himself socializes with them too. So it's just difficult for me to reconcile that the mere act of the activity is being associated with his discomfort. Rather than it just being associated with that one person.
I get so sad thinking about giving it up, and then I feel guilty for being sad about it.
ETA - although I agree I would miss H more, so I guess that's my answer. Still,
[This message edited by Jovie at 12:16 PM, January 7th (Tuesday)]
So it's just difficult for me to reconcile that the mere act of the activity is being associated with his discomfort. Rather than it just being associated with that one person.
Jovie - not trying to be offensive here, but wow. I wouldn't say you're 'wrong' to feel that way - how you feel is how you feel - but I will say that if you are truly interested in R and healing your M, then you are waaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy behind the starting line.
For one thing, it sounds like you are trying to dictate the terms of your BH healing. This is a complete non-starter. Gently, but: Who cares how YOU think he should feel on this issue? So what if he is an addict, how did that give you permission to betray him? YOU are the one who blew up your M.
There are people here who cheated with a co-worker, thus making the JOB - not 'just' the parts of work that the WS overlapped with AP - a massive trigger. And some have not only quit that job but completely changed careers.
There are people here whose WS cheated in their house with AP, thus turning what should be a safe living place - sometimes a dream home built together - into a massive trigger. People have moved to a different house, or a different neighborhood, or a different state to help the BS feel safe. With that in mind, how serious is it to give up a COMPLETELY OPTIONAL activity, compared to saving your M?
Sure, maybe it wasn't the greatest M in the first place. If you really wanted out, you could have separated or filed for divorce. If you wanted help fixing things, you could have gone to MC. If you wanted to 're-connect', you could have started a new hobby or some other activity together with your H.
But you didn't do any of those things. You chose instead to cheat on your H.
His drug addition didn't MAKE you cheat. However bad your M was or whatever issues your M had didn't MAKE you cheat. YOU chose cheating all by yourself.
If you run out of money, is your first choice to go rob a bank? Probably not. You would first explore other options, such as getting a second job, or cutting expendable items from your budget, or borrowing money from family or friends, or getting a bank loan, or pawning or selling things you don't need any more, or ..... You get the idea. Running out of money doesn't MAKE you rob a bank. Robbing a bank is just the most unhealthy of the options available to you.
Similarly, no matter HOW BAD your M was, you always had other options. Including making an honest break in the relationship, rather than the selfish way you chose to behave.
I do not mean to sound to harsh here, I just want to open your eyes to what might be a new way of thinking than how you seem to be. A way of thinking that would better facilitate healing your M, if that's how you and your BH decide to go.
I think it is very brave of you as a new WS to post without a stop sign. So I assume that you are open to hearing perspectives and advice from all sides. Keep that open mind and let your BH's feelings - NOT yours - be your guide in this.
As the others have said, if this hobby is more important than your M, at least have the decency to let your BH in on that. If you are instead interested in making a go at R, then you will have to understand that your hobby - again, a completely OPTIONAL activity - is a very painful trigger for your BH. If you are truly remorseful, you will do what you can to remove that trigger from him.
For you to even suggest that he shouldn't feel that way about the hobby if OM isn't there suggests to me that you are not yet at complete remorse and still have a lot to learn.
At some point in the future, maybe he will change his mind about your involvement in the hobby. Or maybe you will. Or maybe you will split up because your differences over it cannot be reconciled.
Fasten your seatbelt, you're in for a bumpy ride, no matter what the outcome. The general timeline that's cited for healing from infidelity is 2-5 years. That's right - YEARS. And that's when you are both doing the work. You are only a few weeks into this process now. And you (neither of you it seems) has really started doing the work yet.
In any case, I wish you both the best of luck. You will find a lot of guidance and support here if you are open to it.
Running is on the approved list, but no gyms. OM has left my gym (heard through another friend), but I'm not sure H believes me (understandable). But even joining a new gym in a different area is out of the question for now.
I think I'm maybe influenced by my feeling like I was trying to improve our M for the past 3 years, going to MC, IC, trying to be understanding, and accommodating, etc., even trying to involve him in my hobby, all those things you mentioned. And I feel somewhat "betrayed" by him for lying to me for so long about his addiction and how it impacted our M (and it did in a HUGE way - lack of physical and emotional connection is hugely attributable to him being high, IMO). I understand I could have left before beginning an A. So I do have to deal with that and I guess figure out how that (being my anger toward him) effects my remorse and how I show my remorse to him.
[This message edited by Jovie at 2:21 PM, January 7th (Tuesday)]
It's so hard bc no one IRL knows our story except for me, BH, and OM.
OM has left my gym (heard through another friend)
So I have a question. How is it that your friend is reporting on OM to you and has no idea that you cheated with him?
Something that is pivotal to the Reconciliation process is being honest with yourself about which friends of yours are friends of the marriage. Getting healthy and helping your BH heal means taking every step with integrity. Food for thought.
For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning. - T.S. Eliot
I'm choosing to look at those choices (leaving what I like behind) as an opportunity to grow my marriage. In time I am hopeful that we will fill MY hobby time with OUR hobby time. I'm looking for things we can enjoy together. That, and I know there is potential that in the future some activities might be bearable again.
How is it that your friend is reporting on OM to you and has no idea that you cheated with him?
It was in casual conversation. I'm close friends with the reporting friend and she and her H are also friends with H. I would say OM will not remain in contact with friend now that he is gone. She may be suspicious now though since I haven't been back and don't really know what to tell her. She is understanding and non-intrusive, but probably worried/curious/confused about my not being around.
I do understand your point though.
how long does it typically take to feel back to "normal"?
If by normal you mean when can you start doing the things you used to do that now trigger him? A long time. Maybe years, maybe never. You're new normal will have to be built from a new solid foundation, as his old normal was not what he thought it was and he won't want to risk going back to that.
it's just difficult for me to reconcile that the mere act of the activity is being associated with his discomfort.
Even though your AP isn't included anymore in your hobby, it's a connection to him. Just the same if you were in a car accident on a bad curve..it wouldn't matter if you were in a different car the next time you drove down that road, the memory would still be there. It's not the car, it's the road. It's not the hobby, it's you.
[This message edited by unfound at 2:20 PM, January 7th (Tuesday)]
And I feel somewhat "betrayed" by him for lying to me for so long about his addiction and how it impacted our M
imho, You don't need 'quotes' around the word betrayed here - there are many types of betrayal that are not infidelity, including substance abuse/addiction, financial, workaholism, etc... where the other activity - unbeknownst to you - becomes the primary activity/'relationship'. And you are stuck with something that you didn't bargain on, it's a bait and switch where the other unhealthy bits were hidden from you.
Right now though, I think it's way to early to try to address M issues. Not that the M issues aren't serious or important, they might even be dealbreakers. But dealing with the infidelity needs to be the top priority here if your goal is to truly mend your M. Don't use his addiction as a tit-for-tat ('well maybe I had an A, but you weren't perfect either getting high all the time').
Dealing with the A issues first in no way means that the M was perfect. But you didn't have an A because your M wasn't perfect. Something inside you led to you considering that an acceptable option. Your BH was in the same less than perfect M. I'm assuming that he did not choose to have an A. So it can't be the M that MAKES you have an A (again - not saying he made great choices either).
Make helping your BH to heal and figuring out why you chose this your priorities. Because if you don't, your BH might not choose to stick around to work on the (pre-A) M issues.
Keep posting. It can help you to work through these things.