There were those days when work was a welcome distraction..Other days work was a curse..
Up until retirement, I was in the business of saving lives..
In this line of work I could easily be distracted by the sympathy I felt for those whom I was caring for..
What I hated was quiet...
Those times I was off from work , by myself , no distractions...
Eventually I confided in my boss and a couple of my co workers, this made life at work easier..
This infidelity stuff takes a loooooong time to navigate through..
One good source of strength is to have a network of IRL friends who have your back..People to confide in, have fun with,etc..Doesn't have to be the same person who is the fun one and also a confidante..
Build your own world that you like which is apart from married or family life..Photography, writing, music, art restoration, all of the above..
Everybody needs a space in his or her mind for distraction and comfort..
It is how we pace ourselves for the long haul...
[This message edited by doggiediva at 7:47 PM, February 11th (Tuesday)]
I normally don't drink, but I'm responsible. I left my WW on the day I found out. Went out of town to get away from it all. I was drunk every minute, for the first 2 days. Stayed mostly in my motel room. Even though you're drunk, you know exactly what you're doing. Did help with the pain and sadness for me.
2 days later, I finally caved in to my WW's messages and told her where I was. She immediately came to me.
Spent 6 days together just talking and being around each other. Almost felt like a honeymoon.
Anger and depression are the 2 main emotions for me. Followed by confusion.
Even though I've had a few triggers, I feel each day, I am getting "better" emotionally.
tooanalytical, when you said
I was outside my body in a quite place observing everything and everyone going on around me
jjct, wow - thanks a million. There's something to be said about people in these forums - they are definitely helpful and kind - could not have made it 10 days in without these forums, so thank you again for your support.
outside4me, these feelings are just not subsiding. I know I have to go through the hurt stage and other stages to pick myself up but didn't realize it would take such a toll on me. But again, as you pointed out, this site has been mose helpful and am learning how to deal with my WW's decision to have an A.
doggiediva, you're so right. Time is everything up until to find yourself with a lot of it and dealing with an A. That's where I'm at right now. Stuck in Manila on a work project with nothing but free time after work which I use to read these forums and take note of the good advise received from people like you. Thanks again!
UneasyFeelings, if only I had the inner strenght, I could do something similar. The fact of the matter is despite what my WW did, I have a long history with her and while I don't forgive her, I miss the real her, the one that I saw last year when she ended it and checked back into our relationship. But you said it in that there are triggers everywhere and if it's affecting me at this point, not sure how I will deal with in the future...
You will still feel love for the woman you thought she was
Came in last night, didn't say much initially, but cleaned up and went to bed - not our bed, but a spare in the guest room - the very one I've been sleeping in since D-Day. A few minutes later, WW came in, sat at the end of the bed and started talking. She knew I was still hurting and very much so still in pain - she apologized again. We talked a bit more, and the tears started flowing, she saw this, and also started tearing. We both cried non-stop and during this, she reached over and hugged me crying and exclaiming how sorry she was and wished this never happened. I did not hugged her back, but did lean in - can't say it didn't feel good, but deep within I was still hurting. The tears eventually subsided and we talked and when there was nothing left to be said, talked more.
During our discussions, I probed for details upon details - the same details I asked for previously and the same ones she already shared. It was repetitive, but I needed validation and need to see if her story changed. She did provide the answers, albeit, the same as before, no deviations. The better part of me says she is being honest while the betrayed part of me says, she's still holding back and trying to spare my feelings. Not sure who's winning the battle, but I am losing the war here.
We both fell asleep in the same bed - her at the footside and me by the head of the bed - no touching or getting close to one another - I kept my distance and she did the same.
TBH, it felt good talking it out with her, but I still have those movies playing in my head and am still consumed with the question we all want to know "why".
Not sure which direction I'm headed in. Think IC is definitely on the table at this point and we will both be looking into this in the upcoming days...my fear with any form of counceling is the councelor not listening and making this resultant of some other factor in our marriage which was never an issue to begin with or linking this back to some repressed feelings from younger days....any thoughts on this?
In the end, I know we both need help to deal with this as individuals and then if our paths converge, then will deal with that at that point, but professional help seems a must at this point.
during the last 20 years, I gave everything I have to her
Simply this has to stop. Put your needs first; worshipping her hasn't exactly guaranteed her loyalty and now its time for you to be a bit selfish and concentrate on yourself.
This was a 3 year LTA and is approaching unforgivable. She needs to earn your forgiveness with every ounce of remorse she can summon.. Genuine remorse that is, not fake pretense in order to preserve her convenient marriage.
your new mantra; you first, her second.
I'm sorry to read about your ordeal. I just joined this website and your entry was the first I read. It sure didn't take long to find someone in the same situation as me. For myself, my wife confessed to me about her affair three weeks ago. It was going on most of last year and it ended two months ago. Like you, I was devastated. We've been together for 17 years and I was blown out of the water with this confession. She said that she confessed because she knows what she did was wrong and if she was going to start a fresh life with me, she needed to lay it all out. She went back and forth on whether to tell me or not. She read a lot of forums and came to the conclusion this would be the best thing. Me finding out on my own would have been worse, though I don't know how it could be any worse. Here is my biggest problem. I love her and want to make this work. I even am willing to use this horrible experience to make our marriage better. However, she is still sorting out her feelings. She doesn't necessarily have strong feelings for the other man, but she has feelings for the excitement of the secret life she had last year. I can't sit here and say I want to work on things when I know she isn't totally on board yet. We've discussed a separating with her moving out, but it's easier said than done. It's been three weeks since the confession and many of the times we're together are like I never knew what happened. However, there isn't a stretch of more than five minutes when I don't think about what she did. I'll never forgive her, but I really want to make it through this, but it won't work unless I have a full committment from her. I think her moving out is the best thing for now in hopes that it clears her mind one what she would be missing with me and our children. Three young ones. Very heartbreaking.
Man, I am so sorry to hear your story.
I know you are currently in the maelstrom-- trying just to hang on to something, anything, while the gale force winds of trauma knock nearly everything down around you. It's such a violation, such a devastating shock, but take what comfort you can from the community of survivors here. (I wish I'd had even one affair survivor to talk to when I went through the nightmare over a decade ago!)
It's really important, as others have noted, that you really know, I mean truly know, that you are not to blame for this. The affair is not proof of some failure on your part. Your wife initiated it (or accepted its initiation by him) and then she lied about it (directly and indirectly) for years without, apparently, much of a moral dilemma about it. This speaks to profound character defects on your wife's part- brazen selfishness, a frightful capacity to compartmentalize, inhuman cruelty towards you. And that's just for starters... So do not let her moral weakness assign you a deeply discounted sense of male self-worth!
The duration of her affair and the fact that YOU had to unearth what she'd have happily buried is an especially worrisome reality. She has behaved monstrously.
Unless your wife experiences guilt, regret, and shame commensurate with your profound suffering, there is no hope for true restoration. Honestly, I think the odds are actually quite low for that to happen- barring divine intervention. Her actions have broken you and the marriage into a million pieces-- while she remains relatively in tact. She may cry at her new reality since exposure, but the truth is, she did not come to you overwhelmed with guilt and desperate to confess. Even her tears then must be viewed with suspicion- she could just be upset to have been caught, or be embarrassed to have been confronted by her family, or mourning the loss of her Cake Eating Wonderland.
You may feel the very strong urge to reconcile--- because it might seem as if this could provide some shelter from the storm she summoned. But the last thing you want to do is draw strength from the very person who has broken you so completely.
Consider very seriously whether you want to try to build a future with this woman in light of what you now know of her. You may be tempted to try to let the depth of your own love for her become the foundation for your reconciliation. But it won't work unless she truly and radically changes into a woman deserving of that love. You'll know she's become that woman when she, too, is shattered into as many pieces as you are, yet all she longs to do is put you back together.
We're rooting for YOU. YOU deserve far better. So please don't let yourself believe anything less!
“No, Lord,” she said.
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
I am so sorry to hear about your situation and it sounds in line with mine to an extent. Obviously this is not easy and I wish there was something I could do or offer to help you along. I've been using this forum for the last week and a half and it's proven to be a great sounding board and has helped me in so many ways. Wish I can offer sound advise to you at this point, one which would genuinely help you, but I am also seeking comfort in this forum. At this time, all I can offer is my support as we work through this. Keep reading and posting - you have more friends out there than you can imagine and we are all here to support one another....
[This message edited by after20yrs at 3:55 PM, February 18th (Tuesday)]
Here is my biggest problem. I love her and want to make this work. I even am willing to use this horrible experience to make our marriage better.
Like staystrong2014, my biggest dilemma is that I love and care for my WW and eventually, I do want to at least know I gave R. The fact of the matter is that we have a decent history together that neither of us can easily let go of (even my WW, despite her A, would admit to this).
Most people I speak with about my situation say one thing - leave her and move on. But, the bottomline is they have never walked a day in either of our shoes and don't know about our relationship and the potential it had and could still have. My WW and I have spoken quite a bit in the last two weeks, and have disclosed things neither of us knew about - things about our relationship (good and bad) and how she genuinely feels for me and how I felt about her (keep in mind, I'm still holding strong and trying my best to adhere to the 180 even though my actions or words may seem to contradict this).
As mentioned before, she is seemingly doing all the right things at this point - she has committed to a NC letter which was mailed out certified to the AP. She has answered all my questions and sworn that she is telling the truth. Granted, it's up to me to believe her, but after questioning her time and time again, the bigger part of me (my gut) says there is truth in what she is saying, although the betrayed part has his guard up - internal struggle I know, but at which point do I start believing her? At which point do I start trusting my gut again? From what I gathered, at the time, she compartmentalized this A - she was able to separate me and her from her and him....any thoughts on this? Anyone? Futher to this, she was the one that called it off, knowing that it was not right and realizing that she needed to make amends and snap back to reality. I'm not praising her by any means here but just acknowledging commenting on some of her actions which as much as I would like to deny - I can't. She is not blame shifting and knows exactly what she did and how it affects us and our surroundings and is taking ownership. She accepts and has mentioned that she is fully responsible for her actions and is willing to do whatever it takes to make it right and she expressed to me that she wants to be a better person and wife should I ever want her back.
Further to this, she has shown remorse - genuinely broken down and apologized time and time again and begged for forgiveness. She has contacted her job to block his phone number and email address and is looking into changing her mobile number at this very moment. She is also working on a list of all accounts that she has with passwords to be shared with me in the effort of being transparent. She is even working on a list of rule breakers - things she knows that will mean grounds for immediate divorce should we reconcile and is actively looking into counceling options for herself and us.
Like staystrong2014, we are both willing to use this damaging experience to make our marriage better - she acknowledges this is her lowest of the lows in life...biggest mistake and number 1 regret in life (something she even detailed in the NC letter). I have not made any commitment to her and have not acknowledged anything either. In fact, she knows I have not ruled out separation/divorce. She understands that I will never forgive her which I made very clear and that this has changed me but yet, she is trying.
From knowing her all these years, I know she realizes my pain and hurt - she even said it herself, and she is trying to help in what ever way she can to make it better. She is humiliated, embarrassed and disappointed in herself, but at the same time she shares every detail I ask for and volunteers information. We have a close knit family structure, and she has even read the NC letter to her Mother, Brother and Sister. The NC letter BTW contains the details of their relationship even on an intimate level which was quite embarrassing for her to read to her family, and after doing so, she declared that she wanted to make our marriage work, learn from this and never wanting to hurt me or her family again.
Not sure if I am caught up in my emotions here, but I do feel she is trying...again, she is the one that comes over and talks to me - asks me how I am doing - what I am thinking - offering suggestions to help me cope, and she breaks down when I do as well - leans in and hugs me. Again, I could be a fool in my judgement here - I do understand that this is her fault and what she did was free will and I should not succumb to any feelings for her, but is there a possibility that she is really being remorseful and genuine here? If our marriage is worth saving? How do I know and go from there? From reading these forums and other articles, she is doing all the right things. So I ask, when do I start to rebuild? What further signs should I be looking for? When do I know she is worthy of me again? Should I discount everything she is doing? If our marriage is truly worth saving and we both realize this and are willing to give it a shot, should we risk pushing each other further away? I'm not saying I want to just brush this under the rug and move on already as it was the most devastating event in my life to date. Instead, I just want answers to help guide me along. I know I have a lot of repairing to do - she wants to help with this process, but right now I have not entertained her offer. I know something like this takes time and needs to be handled delicately and to allow enough time and thought to heal, but again, when do you come to the realization that you need to focus on the road to R if that's even in the cards? Obviously there's no magic formula, but given all the above, if you were me, what would be your next course of actions?
This infidelity crap is exhausting for both the betrayer and the betrayed...If the betrayer is genuinely remorseful he or she won't get tired of doing what it takes to help you heal and live life again..
There can't be an expiration date on her remorse, on showing patience and kindness towards you..There is no expiration date on how long it should take for you to decide whether or not you want to stay in the marriage vs leaving..This is an individual/personal decision based on your physical and mental health, your situation, your level of tolerance to what is happening in your life..
The realization of wanting to stay clicks in one's head and heart pretty much the same way it does when one realizes he or she is done with a relationship..
[This message edited by doggiediva at 9:19 PM, February 18th (Tuesday)]
I'm slightly over a year into R. It's better now. I don't think about the A every second of every day now, but comes up frequently in thought each day. Time does heal. Like most "step" programs, take it day by day. My work suffered (I have to travel myself), I sincerely hope yours doesn't. Wish I had some advice on that front...I really do.
My marriage is better now. It's not where we want it to be, but on a positive trajectory and not in the destructive manner it was in during the A.
You're getting a lot of good advice here. You're discovering there's a lot of good, caring people here. Keep sharing as much as you feel the need to. Take what advice you need.
Best wishes, thoughts and prayers for you and your family!
If you are to successfully reconcile you both need to understand this disrespect and what has to change to prevent it happening again.
In response to my FWH's adultery I changed; became harder, put myself and the kids first, stopped the dewey-eyed adoration and total trust attitude. Went on the occasional weekend vacation and left him with the children; became much more independent and basically changed the near co-dependent relationship. FWH doesn't like my independence too much but the respect is definitely back. I'm not a push-over anymore and I can survive quite well without him if it comes to that.
The message is that you need to change in response to your wife's near-contempt. You can't go back to the same marriage and expect a different result.
You won't know what it will take for you to decide to stay until you know the depth and breadth of your wife's remorse...OVER THE LONG TERM
The key words here is "OVER THE LONG TERM" which I understand. I know this is not an overnight process and even if I wanted to just rush this along, I will still hurt and am just ignoring the core issue, which will not help the situation or me. I know I need to take the time to heal and also have my WW show remorse during this time, however long that will take. Again, appreciate your thoughts and support.
I never realized how cruel this world can be and how many others are or were suffering as much as I am. While I do find comfort in those of you that have encouraged me and shared your story, I feel sad that I was so oblivious to the fact that this is affecting so many individuals than I could ever imagined, and more so, it saddens me that I can not reciprocate my support for you. So firstly, congrats on making strides in your struggles - I'm sure it was not easy but you did it and are here offering me advise.
I'm lost at the moment as you can tell - I feel that my wife is on the right path and we are sharing and trying to understand what happened and what needs to happen in the future, both on an individual level as well as on a relationship level, assuming our paths towards healing converges. Again, I have not told her of any intention to R, but did tell her that we both need to heal and through healing we will discover where we both want to go.
I do miss the good days, as you all are aware of, and do miss feeling happy and loved. I don't want to just put my hurt aside for comfort from the one who caused me so much pain to begin with. But at the same time, what if I wanted to R? What if she wanted to R? Should I just ignore the opportunity and potential to make this damaged relationship stronger than ever? When do I start to focus on rebuilding? Yes, I am hurting and the ga-zillion triggers out there in the world does not help, but I am trying to cope and find the strength to pick myself up - and my WW is helping me to do this (through her own remorse). The fact is that her A was from late 2009 - late 2012 and was not consistent, meaning they did not met every day or week. She ended this in early 2013. Yes, this was a LTA. We both acknowledge this and she understands the gravity of the situation. While she hid this from me, she has had more time to process this in her head and now that the truth is out, I feel she is unloading and accepting her true feelings of embarrassment, humiliation, devastation, hurt, despair, guilt and remorse. She understands how much this has hurt me and will forever change me. She understands the ripple affect on how her actions have affected those close to us. She never had the opportunity to release her emotions as what she was trying to do after ending it was to "protect" our relationship, and yes, protect herself. Again, yes, she voluntarily did this and caused the pain and suffering and I acknowledge this and am not making any excuses but knowing her for all these years, I do feel she has finally, for the first time, been allowed to show her remorse which she is doing, or trying to do. She knows there is nothing left to hide at this point and I can see her guilt and understanding of my pain. She is not rushing this and even mentions that she will help me for as long as it takes to heal. Like you, I want to get to that point where if we decided to R, we can learn to cope and make new memories. And, I understand it will take time but what I am most confused about is how to go about day-to-day? I don't want to push her away, but at the same time, I am keeping arms length. I know I don't want to hold onto what was, but instead, I want to take our history and build on that by creating a new chapter in our life. Any further thoughts would be appreciated but I do thank you for your support - it means a lot.