I have cried every day since then and maybe that's a good thing -- maybe it means I'm finally dealing with things like I SHOULD'VE been for the past 49 years of my life. I am slowly realizing that feelings had better be dealt with and not just tamped down. I have felt major guilt but I think maybe I'm compensating for NOT feeling guilty during the A when I should have. That might have given me an impetus to stop the A, but I felt little remorse then. It really was almost as easy as turning off my phone or computer. The distance and the inherent secrecy of the OA really appealed to me and worked for the warped kind of WW I am. H and I have no kids together ( I have adult children from my 1st M as well as 7 grandchildren). H still very much considers divorce to be an option down the road (we agreed to not make hasty decisions right now when we both have such emotional frailty, but to wait for 3 months). So the clock is ticking. I have to show him I care enough about myself, about us, and about HIM, that I get shit figured out.
A lot of times, reading the posts here have triggered me to think, yes, that's how I feel exactly, and this allows me to keep digging as to why I identify with that feeling/behavior and come to a greater understanding of myself and, consequently, my actions. I am trying to learn all I can about affairs in general, so I can be better equipped in this battle to be honest with myself and my spouse, for the sake of growing in my personal life so that my marriage can thereby grow and blossom into what a relationship should be. I acknowledge that I have not done my part in this in the past, not in this marriage nor my first marriage - truly, not with many of my important relationships. I am self-aware enough to realize I've usually actively avoided conflict - I think most likely it comes from how I learned to operate as a kid. Major issues with domestic violence on the part of both my parents. My dad had many affairs the whole time he was married, as far as I can tell. I believe my mom had some, as well. I think that during the '70s my parents probably engaged in an "open marriage". I say this not to minimize or in any way discount the fact that I cheated on my husband -- but, again, coming from the perspective that I must examine my behaviors and try to realize what I'm made of, and what made me the way I am, so that I can make me better, and hopefully my marriage better. It's really either that or give up -- because if I do what I've always done, and give up, then I won't have my husband. He's made it clear that we must communicate and be honest and open with one another from here on out, or divorce will happen. I completely understand where he's coming from; it's crunch time. I don't have the option any longer of not dealing with things, not owning my shit, not being an adult.
I have a younger sister who is a hard core alcoholic and it would just piss me off seeing how immature and selfish some of her behaviors were. Now I'm slowly beginning to realize that I am doing the exact same things just in a different way. Refusing to take responsibility for myself, my emotions, and my actions, and yet pinning blame on some other likely suspect, like my H, for my fuck-upedness.
And now, onto my 2nd question -- the How can I? part ...
I want to show my husband that a) I want to meet his needs (i.e. short term - telling him whatever I can about A so he can work through it and also long-term - that I am willing to learn how to communicate more effectively and not run from conflict). I have given him open access to my journal, my computer, and my phone. Although he pointed out that's only of limited help, as I could just use a co-worker's phone, etc. to contact AP. I give him honest answers to his questions. We also talk every day, about deep, important matters, and mostly about things relating to our marriage. One time we talked for 14 hours straight. It's more talking than we've ever done, and certainly more than I've ever done. I just wish there was more I could do. I want to express my love, but now what I've done has tainted even that. It's taken away so much ... much more than I ever, ever bargained for or realized could be affected. And understandably any kind of expression of love or intimacy on my part is taken with a grain of salt by my H. When my actions have been so unloving, I can see how it would be very difficult to take me at my word now.
BTW, I haven't had any contact with AP since DD - PM'd him and told him there'd be no more contact and then my husband read it and I sent it. My husband did have to urge me to send the message, as I just wanted to never contact AP again. I could see how this could be misconstrued as wanting to leave a little window open. But I couldn't say goodbye to AP fast enough. Which really I'm not proud of either, as it's a pretty good indication that I didn't have true genuine caring feelings for him on any level ... which meant that basically I used him. I used him for what I needed during the A, then shut my computer, and put him away in his little box 'til next time.
Sorry so lengthy -- thanks for reading this far.
[This message edited by mrs7 at 2:29 PM, February 18th (Tuesday)]
I'm pressed for time right now, but I wanted you to know that I read your story and you seem to have a lot of deep remorse and you sound like you're trying really hard to make things right.
Hang in there...others will come along to help you
My tolerance for stupid shit is getting less and less.
Also, can someone please tell me how to open this up to BS and change the stop sign for my post?
[This message edited by mrs7 at 2:36 PM, February 18th (Tuesday)]
I have a younger sister who is a hard core alcoholic and it would just piss me off seeing how immature and selfish some of her behaviors were. Now I'm slowly beginning to realize that I am doing the exact same things just in a different way.
Bad coping mechanisms rear their ugly head in many different ways. Which is exactly why it is so important to work out your "whys" and learn to change the behaviors that lead you down the path you are on. Without doing the hard work, you can find yourself at rock bottom once again, not necessarily another A, but unhealthy behavior non the less.
That being said, for someone just under a month from your DDay, you seem to be on the right track. "Not Just Friends" is a great book. Another is "How to help your spouse heal from your affair". Short and to the point.
My biggest advice at this point is to be completely open and honest. Don't hold things back for the sake of "protecting him". I put that in quotes because it's not protecting him but trying to protect yourself when you hold back information. It's much better for him to know exactly what it is he dealing with rather than attempt at guessing. Don't make him become a detective. Offer any information he wants.
Be apologetic. Be proactive in discussing your A and how it makes you feel. Don't be defensive. Understand that his questions and anger come from a place of pain. Be consistent. Healing from an A takes 2-5 years. Get into IC. He would benefit from that as well. IC will help you work through those why's.
I'm glad you found SI. No one wants to be here, but I can't think of a better place to be under the circumstances.
I had 4 EAs. Three online. Well, fourth one was "techincally" a PA, but not really. *sigh* Complicated. All of it was wrong. Anyway, welcome to the club nobody wants to join.
How does someone trust after being repeatedly lied to?
How do you help your husband? Well, have you read this book?
May give you some tips and pointers.
Others will chime in soon. Just wanted to say hi.
"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne
"What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, what if you fly?
I betrayed myself, too, and what I believe in and what I formerly held as standards of decent, compassionate behavior toward others. I didn't think I could ever sink so low as to do what I did.
Thank you for your responses - this place has been a lifeline.
I'm so glad you replied to my post. I really need some people who get where I'm coming from. And thanks for the heads up on the book. It sounds like it would be helpful. I will add it to my reading list.
But this club hurts worse to belong to, because I chose it and it damaged my husband, maybe beyond repair.
Hi Mrs7. I am a BH of a PA.
All I wanted to say is that not all hope is lost. Trust, new memories and a future together can be rebuilt.
I'm assuming you've read through the reading library and see what you can do. It appears your husband is making an effort and I can say that's a good sign.
The marriage will never be the same, but there is hope for something new, and sometimes better.
She no more will have that power over me. I can make, and will make, my own happiness. We we're a good team at one point, but I am great as an individual!!
I've been reading articles in the healing library as well as all sorts of posts here. I'm glad I'm here - this has helped so much! Right now it feels as though his trust might never be extended toward me again and I wouldn't blame him - just hoping that down the road my actions can match my words and help him to see me as a person worthy of his trust once again.