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I really, really resent WH

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ItsaClimb posted 8/12/2013 01:42 AM

I am having a very tough time. I feel like I am in an impossible situation.

Background: fWH works in a city about 1.5hrs drive from where we live. So he does a LOT of travelling every single weekday. Initially we kept living where we do for a number of reasons, but mainly because of my daughters' schools and my mothers "ill health" (anorexia and alcoholism). A couple of years ago my eldest daughter married and moved to the city where my husband works. My mother died in 2008. At the end of this year my younger daughter will finish school and begin college in the city where my husband works. The work I do can be done anywhere. Soooo a couple of years ago we decided that as soon as younger daughter finishes school we will move to the city where fWH works - it makes SO much sense: he will no longer have to travel in excess of 3 hours per day, he will be able to work from home a lot more, we will be near our eldest daughter and (importantly) younger daughter will be able to live at home, saving us the enormous cost of accomodation for her, and meaning I get to have a few more years with her before she leaves home (which makes both her and I very happy indeed, we are exceptionally close).

THEN D-Day happened. The A was conducted in the city where fWH works. OW lives 10 minutes drive from my eldest daughter's house (the A was conducted via sleep-overs at OW's house). SO many of the places in that city are now HUGE,HUGE triggers for me (e.g. the shopping mall nearest eldest daughters house is where they went on coffee dates and had the tattoo done, the only other major shopping mall in that city is a couple of minutes from where OW and fWH continue to work) it's endless... honestly... I can't go ANYWHERE in that city without having debilitating panic attacks. Even thinking about it my heart begins to pound. Visiting my daughter has become a trial for me - I take tranquilisers, psyche myself up for days beforehand and once I get there I don't leave her house, don't go shopping etc, until it's time to go home.

In addition to the triggering, I have never met OW and have this ridiculous, terrifying, fear of bumping into her somewhere.

So let's just say I really hate that city. And soon after D-Day the decision was made to NOT move there. Eldest daughter was devastated and has begged and pleaded with us to reconsider, younger daughter was devastated and has also put some pressure on me to reconsider.

I have TRIED to reclaim that city. I have TRIED so hard. I have read tips, I have tried various things. If anything it has just gotten worse and worse as time goes by. I do breathing exercises, I medicate, I try visualising, I try positive affirmations.. you name it, I have done it. It's not happening for me.

Anyway (there is a point to this!) last week we discovered that eldest daughter and son-in-law are expecting my first grandchild. We have all been beyond excited. This week-end they came to spend the weekend with us and DD had a heart-to-heart and BEGGED me to please re-consider moving as she will have to go back to work after baby is born and would love it if I could look after baby. This has been a life-long dream of mine. I have literally fantasised about this happening since my own children were tots. I would love nothing more!

Then, last night younger daughter had a bit of an emotional melt-down and came crying to our room after bed-time... she is under SO much pressure to perform well in her final exams (November - crazy education system EVERYTHING rests on these final exams), she is a very high achiever, Type-A personality (*I have strong genes!) and is really working her heart out, the course she wants to do is EXTREMELY hard to get into, PLUS she has had the additional stress of a very strained family life the last 12 months and she is one super-sensitive girl*. Anyway, she was begging and pleading with us to move to the city so she can continue to live at home, as her sister did until she was 21 and left home to get married. She was getting very emotional.

I feel like I am in an impossible situation. My whole being wants to be closer to my kids, to have the privilege of looking after my little grand-child next year, to be there for my younger daughter, so that she can focus on her studies. I really, really badly want this for ME, but I also don't want to let my daughters down, they mean more to me than anything else and I don't want "my problems to become their problems". But how on earth can I move to that place that I hate more than any other place on the planet since D-Day? How can I move to A-central, to OW's home town and territory? The thought of it leaves me sick and shaking. I literally lay away the WHOLE night last night, freaking out!

The worst of it is that I HATE fWH for putting me in this situation. Really. I do. It is SO unjust. His A is like a flipping octopus with tentacles that reach into every facet of my life.

I am SO, SO over this!

RightTrack posted 8/12/2013 02:04 AM

Is there another city, maybe only 30 min away? Close enough for an easy commute but far away enough not to run into her at the grocery store?

Knowing posted 8/12/2013 07:13 AM

Wow, you are in a difficult situation. Why is all the pressure on you? They should be speaking to your WH, so he can figure out what he's going to do to make this situation possible for you!

brokensmile322 posted 8/12/2013 07:38 AM


We relocated quite a bit. Could it be possible to move to a suburb of the city?

We've done this quite a bit and the truth is, even another suburb has a different vibe than the city per se.

I so get how you feel, but I don't think I would let this fOW rob me of time with my grand baby, and time with my 2nd daughter while she is in college.

It is a shit sandwich, I know, and no one should have to deal with it. Could you maybe visit with you WH and look at some outlying areas and see what you think?

sailorgirl posted 8/12/2013 08:15 AM

I can't go ANYWHERE in that city without having debilitating panic attacks. Even thinking about it my heart begins to pound. Visiting my daughter has become a trial for me - I take tranquilisers, psyche myself up for days beforehand and once I get there I don't leave her house, don't go shopping etc, until it's time to go home.

In addition to the triggering, I have never met OW and have this ridiculous, terrifying, fear of bumping into her somewhere.

Very gently, ItsaClimb, this sounds like a reaction that comes from something more than the A. If your husband is genuinely remorseful, kind and supportive . . . If he did the work to change whatever allowed him to have the affair, and you trust that it's not going to happen again . . . If you truly know that the affair was not about the marriage or about you but about his brokenness . . . Then my non-professional, very possibly wrong thought is that you should be able to move and be with your daughters unless something else is going on.

Does your husband still get angry and arrogant if the A comes up? If so, that dynamic must change. Maybe you could consider an MC that understands infidelity.

Are you in IC? I think that could really help you get to the bottom of the panic.

Could there be FOO issues that would cause fear of abandonment? It must have been damaging to have a mother with anorexia and alcoholism. The quotes you put around "ill" make me think that there was some secrecy/denial/minimization going on with that. (My fWH is an adult child of alcoholics and had low-self-worth, anxiety, fear of abandonment etc.)

Did you have anxiety attacks before the A? It seems like it would be healthy for you to explore all these things with a really good counselor.

Your suffering is coming through in your post and my heart goes out to you and your whole family! Your future grandchild should not miss out on the caregiving of his grandmother, and it sounds like your younger daughter would love being able to live at home. But I'm thinking you can't make that happen on your own. You need major support from your husband and professional input from IC for your own emotional health.


sisoon posted 8/12/2013 08:58 AM

Everything you say about your feelings makes perfect sense on every level except one: you've solved so many other problems, so why does this one seem impossible to solve?

Is it possible that getting yourself into the sitch will allow you to find your way of getting through the triggers?

I know it may sound ridiculous, but positive self-talk really works. My bet is that the more you tell yourself you can thrive in the new city, the quicker you'll knock off the triggers.

My GS lives 700 miles away. We Skype frequently, but we see him only 3-4 times a year. That's WONDERFUL, but being able to play with him every week, would be downright heavenly. Triggers can be awful - but the reward you'll get for stopping your triggers is far beyond what most of us get. Go for it. Face your triggers. I'm not saying it will be easy, but you'll beat 'em - and playing with your grandchild will probably help you a lot.

Don't pass this opportunity up. Playing with a grandchild is just out of this world.

ItsaClimb posted 8/13/2013 08:55 AM

Thanks so much for the responses. Unfortunately it's a case of move to this particular city or stay put... there aren't really any nearby options.

Sailorgirl: I have major abandonment issues. Lots of ugly ugly FOO stuff that I have only now (since D-Day) fully confronted. And that definitely comes into play.

Sisoon: What you said gave me a huge wake-up call. My mother always had eating disorder and alcohol issues, but they were kept pretty much under some sort of control until my brother was killed and then it was like she just gave up trying, she almost consciously killed herself slowly. I was SO mad at her, I would say to her again and again: "You are SO lucky, in a country where 1000s of grandparents have their grandchildren living overseas (emigration is rife here) you have your grandchildren living just down the road and you couldn't care less.. you are killing yourself when you could be enjoying them!" Until I read what you wrote I never realised that I am doing pretty much the same thing here. I am letting my personal pain and insecurities come between me and those I love. Wow! Thank you for opening my eyes to that.

musiclovingmom posted 8/13/2013 09:09 AM

The thing that hit me about this is that you've never met the OW. Do you know what she looks like? Two of my H's OW live in our town. It's not super small, but it's not huge either (about 50,000 in the tri-city area). Both of the OW went to school with us. I know them well. I am extremely paranoid about running into them, but when I see them, I know who they are and can make a choice to leave. If I didn't know what they looked like, I can imagine what a wreck I'd be. EVERY SINGLE WOMAN I saw would be her. Idk if that is applicable to you, but maybe seeing her in real life would actually help.
We've talked about leaving. Moving closer to my mother. Truth is, besides wanting to avoid the horrible custody battle over my daughter, my kids have more family here. They have friends here. We are settled here. Sure it would be a relief to be away from the OW, but not at that expense to my kids (or me).

ItsaClimb posted 8/13/2013 10:15 AM

mlm, I know what she looks like from stalking her facebook profile So I think I would recognise her in a crowd...

Since writing this post and reading the responses I have tried hard to work out WHY I am so paranoid about seeing her, why I get so triggered when I go to that city. I think it's because she makes me feel like a country bumpkin (I get that she doesn't make me feel anything, it's me that makes me feel that way.. but you KWIM) I am a (very)small-town girl, she is a city-slicker. Although I was strong academically at school, I dropped out of college because all I wanted was to get married and have a family ASAP - OW and WH are big into the corporate thing and I on the other hand work for my father as a bookkeeper mornings-only. She knows and understands city life, I am too scared to drive in the city.... She is younger than me, vivacious, bubbly and pretty - I'm shy, introverted and trust me, I no longer look like the photo I posted in the new pic thread in Fun and Games....that was taken in Dec, pre-hairloss, I have aged about 100 years since then! There is a bunch of stuff like this. She intimidates me and I have this "thing" that she will look at me and think "OMG I totally see why he wanted to leave her for me.. .just look at her!" While my head knows I am the better person, she is a broken person, she is screwed up in all sorts of ways, or she wouldn't have chosen to be an OW... my heart has a hard time accepting that though...I feel inferior, ridiculous, small, stupid, vulnerable.

This A thing has pulled a number on me alright!

ladies_first posted 8/13/2013 10:50 AM

Until I read what you wrote I never realised that I am doing pretty much the same thing here. I am letting my personal pain and insecurities come between me and those I love.

Okey-dokey, sounds like you've got 6-8 months to get your PTSD and self-esteem issues conquered.

How about a combination of EMDR therapy and IC? I think if you start to feel more in contol ...

When you first hold that swaddled grandchild for the first time, your heart is going to swell with love.

Love that will overshadow whatever residual feelings for OW linger after a solid half-year of treatment.

Live your life. Love. Laugh. And listen to that grandchild laugh, smile, say its first words and take its first steps.

And let me tell you, if you're half as busy playing grandma as my mother is ... then you won't have a lot of extra time to fret about the past.

HopeImOverIt posted 8/13/2013 11:29 AM

Have you tried medication? Cymbalta gave me almost miraculous relief from anxiety. Many drugs marketed for anti-depression also work on anxiety.

Before medication I would feel surges of adrenaline course through my brain at triggers. After medication I still felt like me, but without the extreme surges of anxiety.

Dallas2 posted 8/14/2013 09:44 AM


I agree this stuff sucks. Your FWH should ne helping you. I knoow what he should do and what he does is not the same thing.

I guess I am lucky in a way. We moved and had been gone for years from where the A happened. I never worry about running into her.

Do what is best for you!!!! Do not let the others pressure you into something you are not ready for.

OTH my GS was my savior. He entered our lives way before we thought we should have a grandchild. Whole other story. However, he was and is the light in my life. When he was very little he spent most of his time here. Even now (he's almost 8) he spends as much time as he can with us. For his sake alone I stayed. We were his only security in his crazy life.

I wish I could explain the joy he brings to me. I am not staying now because of him. I feel his prescene helped me deal wit h a lot of crap.

If you haven't gone to IC, you really should. Mine helped me but has moved and its time for another one. I'm on the downside of this ride again.

If should should bump into her and there is a good chance. Count to 10 before your react. Me I would still love to slap the sh*t out of OW so I hope I never run into her.

Everone says to claim things as your own. I think FWH must help you build a new life.

sisoon posted 8/14/2013 12:49 PM

This is a 'trust me' post. I've tried to bring something like evidence to it, but no dice.

I used to have a fairly significant abandonment issue, with less reason than you did. I was able to work it out in IC, and the payoff has been terrific. I encourage you to consider IC.

Of course, resolving the issue blinded me to actually being abandoned by my W during her A....

heartache101 posted 8/14/2013 13:04 PM

I get the panic attacks and all when I would go back to the city.

Now I am like I hope I run into them. I am a stronger person now. I know they are the dirt under my feet

Look at who you are! You have an amazing family. Some of those city slickers would love to be you doll!! Love YOU!! Go to counseling EMDR therapy was a godsend for me! A good therapist.
And a good marriage counselor. Sorry but hubby needs to work on him. Or you can buy a studio type apartment and strike it out on your own?? Give that a thought if he doesn't do the work you need to feel safe! You can do anything!! You all country girlie..

bionicgal posted 8/14/2013 13:21 PM

You need to live YOUR life, not theirs, and certainly not some skanky, devoid of morals OW's. You need to go be near that grandbaby! You CAN do this, you know.

bionicgal posted 8/14/2013 13:21 PM

You need to live YOUR life, not theirs, and certainly not some skanky, devoid of morals OW's. You need to go be near that grandbaby! You CAN do this, you know.

ItsaClimb posted 8/15/2013 01:29 AM

Thank you SO much you wonderful SI people. I'm feeling better about things. Have stewed on this for the last few days (I had a particularly nasty "rock-bottom day" yesterday) and I am now feeling a lot stronger in myself.

I am definitely going to look into IC. We have seen all 3 local people while trying to find a MC - not much help here at all: there was the one who told us that WH had to forgive me for not meeting his needs and forcing him to look outside the marriage to get those needs met The next one was fWH's IC for a couple of months and she peed me off when she told him he was being too hard on himself in his search for the "whys", that he needed to forgive himself and move on from the A and that he didn't need IC at all so not to come back "unless something happens", and then the final one was too "freaky weird, airy fairy" for me, she would ask a question and then would just stare at me, expectantly, with this slightly scary HUGE smile and wide open, unblinking eyes....creeped me out. When I told fWH we would not be going back to her the look of relief on his face was quite comical.

Anyway, I am going to look further afield and hopefully find someone I feel comfortable with. I have figured out that I DO need IC.

silverhopes posted 8/15/2013 02:11 AM

You might have already answered this, and I'm sorry if I'm asking you to repeat stuff:

Has your WH been trying to look for another job away from the OW? Does it bother you that they still work together? How NC are they at work?

I'm sorry. Your situation sounds so very painful. How is your H helping you through this right now? He brought this on you, so how is he helping you heal?

ItsaClimb posted 8/15/2013 06:20 AM

silverhopes: The chances of him finding another job are really slim, although he is keeping his eyes open. Unfortunately in our country and in the current economic climate, white males of his age are last on the list when it comes to job-hunting. Quite honestly I am not all that bothered about him working with OW anymore. Of course I'd love it if he didn't have to work with her, but realistically I know that's not possible. The A has been over for a very, very long time and they have nothing to do with each other nowdays, although they may see each other once or twice a week in the office. He can't stand the sight of her now and she does not acknowledge him at all. She has claimed to a mutual colleague (who is a friend of the marriage) that my H "ruined her life" by telling a couple of colleagues about the A (at my insistence) and since then she does not even greet him So I really have no worries there. Thankfully.

As to how my fWH is helping me through this. It's so complicated. He is very willing to do whatever he can to help me. He is putting no pressure on me to move, he says it's entirely my decision. He asks again and again what he can do to make this easier. The problem is really what can he do? In a way, that is why I feel so horribly resentful about this... he created this monumental mess and now there is not a whole lot that he can do to fix it! I think all of us BS are in the situation where ultimately we are the ones who have to suffer the most painful consequences of the WS's actions... it just pisses me off quite frankly.

I have been feeling really rattled about all of this, it's been the hugest trigger ever. I think the reality of exactly how far-reaching the A has been hit home in a big way. I had a hideous day yesterday - did the full-on ugly cry, complete with snot smeared all over my face (TMI!) and I got a lot of the negative emotion out of my system. I think I was literally grieving the peaceful, calm, happy existence I would have had without all of this in it.

I'm feeling much better about it all today. I'm ready to accept (for now at least, I'll probably be bawling my eyes out again tomorrow ) that THIS is my reality and I have to make the best of it. I can throw my hands in the air and give up (which is pretty much what my mother did when life fed her a shit-sandwich!) or I can put my Big-girl Panties on and face my demons and get to enjoy my daughters and little Peanut (when he/she arrives)

The last couple of days have really brought home to me that I am going to HAVE to find an IC if I want to properly heal from all of this - probably long, long overdue.

I have set the ball in motion re: the move. We will be looking at a couple of houses in the city on the week-end. fWH is going to have a chat with my daughters this weekend as well, and explain to them how VERY difficult the move is going to be for me - he wants them to understand and be aware that I will probably have some ups and downs along the way. Holding thumbs things fall into place for us!

Thanks again for all the support, could not get through all of this stuff without SI. It's amazing to me how often there will be insights in the responses that I would never have cottoned onto on my own.

bitterbetrayal posted 8/15/2013 10:34 AM

Hello ItsaClimb,
I am sending you a huge are a brave women and clearly have amazing love for your children. I can completely understand how desperately painful this must all be.I felt very tearful reading about your pain. I hope all goes well for you.

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