I feel like this is a pattern. . .I get to a relative state of ease (and I mean relative. . . the cloud is always there) and then I ask more. Is this healthy? It certainly is painful. H is forthcoming, and honest even when it hurts. He actually told me more than I wanted to know last night -- which compounded my pain. My initial question was, "What did you let her think she was giving you that I didn't". (Remember, this is a friend, someone I knew.)
So, my H wasn't a big compare-guy, she knew me and he couldn't get away with how awful I was. But, the area where he let her believe was better was so personal, and hurtful. Is it reality now? No. Was it even reality then? No, not really. It was rationalization and justification for his behavior and flagging ego. But, it is so acutely painful.
So part of me wants to dig deeper - to get the grimmest of facts. . .just minute, raw data about the sex. But another part of me knows that it was all jacked up to begin with -- in the end, (and during, but unbenownst to them) meaningless and empty. But I still get stuck in his reality at the time.
He sees that it isn't true now, so where do I go from here?
I edit, therefore I am.
I was up last night with obsessive thoughts. I hate it = he's not that man right now so why do I "go there." It IS part of processing trauma but I am further out and can put up a stop sign - hard to do when sleeping though...
H is forthcoming, and honest even when it hurts.
this is good. It WAS jacked up. It isn't reality now.
I'm so sorry you're hurting. Wish i could help more.
4 kiddos in lower 20's
“Slide the weight from your shoulders and move forward. You are afraid you might forget, but you never will. You will forgive and remember."
I feel like this is a pattern. . .I get to a relative state of ease (and I mean relative. . . the cloud is always there) and then I ask more. Is this healthy?
This ^^ to me is healthy. You can't learn it all at once, so you go through "patterns".
You ask, you hurt, you process, repeat.
Until you are done....and that day will come.
The time between asking and hurting will diminish and eventually you'll have a few questions and realize, hmm, I don't even need to ask. KWIM?
Process the new hurt, relive the then and when you are ready now will be here.
The reality of today is what matters, it takes time to get there. Living authentically, honestly and thoughtfully. The thens will pass when it's time.
[This message edited by karmahappens at 8:45 AM, January 30th (Thursday)]
I had the same pattern all through at least 18 - 24 months from d-day. Then, when I had questions, I decided to wait on them for a week and see if they were still important and if I wanted to ask them. Funny thing is by the time the week passed, I forgot what the question was. Not saying I didn't have questions probably going into year 3 but they were very few. Your timeline will vary, most likely.
"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson
Don't let that happen, process, walk through and let it go.
Time, time, time. You don't see it when you are in the middle of it, but when you start to get to the other side the weights will lift off your heart.
It will come.
Ya'll give me hope. I need it today.
Life is not measured by the breaths we take
but by the moments that take our breath away.
Maybe that's not much comfort, unless knowing others have made it through helps.
I also feel as though my imagination is not worse than reality, and I get SO hung up on the "feelings" aspect of the A.
It's such a positive that your WH sees it isn't true now. Are you able and willing to believe him that he sees things clearly now? If you both are on the same page about that part, then hopefully the reality of NOW will slowly become more and more convincing, replacing the painful memories of then.
I'm not sure my H is quite there yet. His actions are what I need them to be, but I still don't trust the clarity of his feelings. And sometimes I'm okay with that, because I think he'll get there and realize the complete absurdity of the "reality" of his A, and sometimes it hurts so bad that it paralyzes me.
I try to keep an image in my head of what we would look like as a healthy couple on the other side of this. I visualize us as healthy, clear-headed individuals, and loving partners. (In my head, this is always in an airport, interacting in a loving way, and I look awesome, and AP happens to walk by and see us, but my warped details aren't important ). Anyway, this picture of love and partnership and clarity helps calm me down when I lose my center.
It helps to know that asking these questions isn't just pain shopping. I feel like I need to know everything, both so he doesn't have any secrets from me and also to process that this really happened!!
I, too, see how much he is changing and know that his feelings will necessarily change over time. I'm not ready to hear about that stuff til he's at the point where even if he has to tell me how "great" he thought it was at the time, that I can see and hear the disgust in himself.... Don't know if that prolongs my healing, but I don't need the extra pain. sigh.
Karma, thanks for your words. Gives me hope.
Thanks for the thread. This is a BIGGIE for me. Good to know I am not alone.
It was more a self-deception/deception than a purposeful lie. He thought he loved her, thought the sex was great, etc. In retrospect of course, it is all BS, but it isn't the kind of lie he'd have known even when he wrote the NC letter. So, no -- no solace to be found there, except that now he sees it for being as empty and devoid of meaning as it was. Or so he says.
This is exactly the "reality" I'm struggling so much with. The "love", amazing sex, etc....
My doubts about WH's clarity on these heartbreaking feelings is the only thing that makes me truly feel like I just might not be able to do this.
I'm so sad there are several of experiencing this particular version of awfulness.
Breathing in, breathing out.
The WH's A feelings are a part of the sickness of this. They aren't/weren't real. Reality is loving enough to choose to be trying to heal from this, with us, and on their own, even though it suuuuuucks. I know my WH is struggling mightily to do what he needs to do right now. Without the true, genuine love behind his desire to heal our marriage, he wouldn't be able to come even close to looking at the dark places within him. He'd still be avoiding that hard work like the plague, as he has his whole life.
And we're all going to be okay. <3
[This message edited by Zengirl at 10:49 AM, January 30th (Thursday)]
[This message edited by Zengirl at 10:51 AM, January 30th (Thursday)]
Day 1 - Deep Fog: H thought he had lost something incredible (but still knew in his heart that his place was with me. Luckily he hasn't wavered on this.)
Second Week: Felt regret, struggled with remorse because he still had "lingering feelings of gratitude." (Sorry - that was one of the worst. I almost got a Volvo out of that line alone - ha! )
Second Month: Actual remorse sets in, he sees AP as a "high" and realizes that it "may have been for nothing." Writes apology to OBS. But, still holds out that the sex was better than we had before dday.
Third Month: Realizes he used her, had no self-respect, and drove a truck over his family for his own ego gratification and selfish needs. Reads "Sexual Detours" and starts thinking about his "why." Describes them as "sad."
Fourth Month: Holds me, and my sweaty hand, close the first major time we see her. At this point I think he has seen the sex for what it was.
Fifth-ish Month: Starts writing a thorough and thoughtful "why" letter.
Sixth - Ninth Month: The remorse actually gets more profound I think, as we go along. I trigger and hurt, and he actually feels my pain. I think this is good. He is hurting at work, and I am hurting at home. Not fun, but it will pass. My point is, that the more you share the pain, the more they can feel it. He'll get completely there if he is a good guy. My H's clarity came over time, and I think he is mostly there.
That helps, but unfortunately, can't take away all the old hurt.
[This message edited by bionicgal at 11:12 AM, January 30th (Thursday)]
"What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
There was no lurve but there was the excitement of newness and that is something we can never have. We started dating at 16, we went to college together and as I've never deceived him, I have no secrets, nothing "new".
Also... I went pain shopping last night. Big time. I'm horrified at myself, humiliated and disgusted. We were kissing and getting frisky, I turned off the light and while in the act of love making I told him to pretend I was her, that the lights were off and he could pretend I was someone else. Oh my god, it was awful of me to do that. He talked me through it (saying no way, he only wanted me etc.) and I changed it to "tell me you wanted to F her and so you did! Just tell me!!" I can't believe I did that. I really can't. I think the pain and fear just reached out and gripped me at the worst possible time. But he came through for me, he never wavered, he reassured and was loving and calm, didn't pull away, was so sorry etc.
Sigh... the roller coaster is so exhausting. I'm so happy to be able to share it with you awesome people.