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D day 3 months ago, struggling with my head

habsfan posted 7/11/2018 10:40 AM

I found out April 3rd my hubby of 25 years was having an affair. I suspected it for awhile but though I was crazy. I asked him 2 months prior even giving the name who I suspected was the AP. He never answered my question and I thought I was crazy and that was why. I started snooping and found a receipt for a lunch for 2 while I was away. I confronted him yet again and he denied it. He came home from work early that day and said he was having an "emotional" affair with the person I thought. I couldn't understand that as he is not an emotional person and he hates her drama. Anyway, the truth came out in pieces until May 30th when I learned the whole entire truth(maybe). We have been going to counseling together and alone. I believe he is truly sorry and he was just looking for sex. The AP fell in love with him and wanted him to leave me. It was a friends with benefits arrangement and she wanted more so he broke it off with her on March 21st telling her it was over. The receipt I found was the break up meal. I told her husband and they are in the process of a divorce. She blames me calling me a homewrecker. My biggest issue is I am totally obsessed with her. I can't get her out of my mind, I can't get the image of them spending time together and screwing out of my mind. My husband loves me, all of our families, friends, children know about the affair and he has been wonderful to me. Our relationship is better then it has been since 2005. I don't excuse what he has done at all but our relationship problems are not his alone, I take full responsibility for my faults in out relationship but I don't take any responsibility for his affair. We have been reading many great books about love and affairs, trying to understand how and why this happened. My biggest problem is letting these images cloud my head to the point I can't sleep and I think about it all the time. Does anyone have and advice for me to get it out of my head?? Thanks in advanced for any response

DesertLily posted 7/11/2018 12:05 PM

Hugs, habsfan. Welcome to SI.

I think all of us Betrayed Spouses have struggled with the mind movies. I didn't even get a break from them during my sleep. I felt obsessed. It's horrible.

There's a lot of posts here on SI that deal with this, and I encourage you to browse those threads. Tons of great advice.

What's worked for me has been several things. One has been time. The further away from Dday I get, the less invasive they are. Another strategy is mindfulness. I had to make the mental decision to stop. I downloaded Calm Mind and started using the breathing ball to force the thoughts to stop. I'm also doing EMDR.

Best of wishes to you.

habsfan posted 7/11/2018 12:23 PM

Thanks for your advice, I will check it out. Can you tell me what EDMR is? I looked at the list and could not find it, sorry, I'm new and have to get use to the abbreviations

Dismayed2012 posted 7/11/2018 12:23 PM

DesertLily has given some great advice. The most important is time. It's going to take time, some more than others, for the obsessing to slowly dwindle away. Sadly there's no quick fix for it. I hope the best for you.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma.

[This message edited by Dismayed2012 at 12:26 PM, July 11th (Wednesday)]

Skan posted 7/11/2018 18:24 PM

If you google EMDR, you will find all kinds of great information about it. It is a really good therapy!

Listen. Obsessive and compulsive thoughts are absolutely normal. It's your traumatized brain trying desperately, with all of its power, trying to make sense of the unthinkable. A really scaled down version of it is when you have a cut or sore in your mouth. Your tongue naturally wants to check it out constantly, even though it hurts every time. It takes time and healing, before the thoughts (and the tongue checking) goes away. I know that it seems like you're going crazy, but what you are feeling is absolutely normal.

I would like to suggest that you get a book called "How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair." You can google it, and if you google the name along with free PDF, you can find a free PDF file of it to download, or you can do what I did which is to buy it from Amazon. It's meant for the WS (Wayward Spouse, the one who cheated), but the BS (Betrayed Spouse) can get a lot out of it too. You can see that everything that you're feeling is absolutely normal. You can get a look at the types of actions (not words, actions) that a remorseful WS will do for you, to help you to see if they can become a safe partner for you again.

Also, if you have not already, please read The Healing Library. You can find the link on the Forum page, in the upper left corner, in the yellow box. Lots of good information there written by experienced people. It also has a list of the abbreviations that we use.

Keep posting. We're all here for you.

marji posted 7/11/2018 18:40 PM

habsfan Discovery of betrayal is very traumatic; if you'd like to read about complex PTSD created by betrayal there's a very detailed analysis by Omar Minwalla. It doesn't offer therapeutic suggestions but many of us find it helpful to find resources that articulate our thoughts and feelings now that we know about the betrayal. The mind movies, nightmares, difficulty in sleeping, triggers, are part of the traumatic effect.

Time can make a difference; your discovery is very recent; some of ys found that working a good mindfulness program helped; reading; journaling, engaging in hobbies, volunteer work--activities that require our attention and care and/or interest can be helpful.

EMDR is one fairly new method for processing trauma; if conducted by an experienced therapist it can be very healing; there are many other new methods as well. Working with an experienced betrayal trauma therapist can help as well.

I know you said you knew you were not responsible for the betrayal but you're also talking about your "relationship problems." The betrayal is on him; the problem is not about your relationship. Sometimes we almost wish it was to do with us--that might make us feel we had some control--if we fixed ourselves, if we were somehow better in the relationship then . . . .It's not a good way to think. We have to exercise self care--work on our healing; they have to work on theirs. It's lots and lots of work. But those images in your head will fade--just please don't blame yourself for anything--just focus on your self care.

If you are not already, you might also find it helpful to join an IRL support group. It helps to share and be with others who understand.

[This message edited by marji at 6:42 PM, July 11th (Wednesday)]

NoMercy posted 7/12/2018 08:18 AM

You found out just over 2 months ago about your husband's affair. I honestly don't believe for a moment that he took her to lunch that day to 'break up' with her - especially since you were out of town. That story just sounds completely phony and I think you're going to find out a lot more truths down the road you haven't been told.

In either case, my point is that you're trying to fast forward this reconciliation and you can't do that without it eventually failing on you.

I say this because you've said your relationship is better now than it's been since the year 2005.

This is all TEMPORARY. Right now, he's on his best behavior - it's either do what he's doing or go to divorce court. Those are his choices. Of course he's going to do everything he can to avoid divorce court. A lot of us have had our cheaters turn into Super Husband after D-Day just like yours. It's typical. But eventually, that persona starts to wear thin for most of them and they go back to being the person they've always been. that's just human nature.

Right now, damage control is Job #1 for him but you're not being realistic. It takes 2-5 years to TRULY reconcile and it's the bumpiest roller-coaster ride you'll ever take. I just don't want you to have the rug ripped out from underneath you because I'm getting the impression that you think everything is all good again and the only 'problem' is your inability to stop obsessing about his OW.

This is NOT going to be your only problem in the next 2-5 years. It's just the one you're having right now.

An awful lot of BS's tend to direct all their anger and hurt at the affair partner rather than their cheater. That allows them to make up with their cheater without having to constantly deal with the anger, hurt and disgust at what they've done. By dumping all that on the affair partner, they're able to engage with their cheater.

I think that's what you've done. You've directed everything toward the OW so you can be open to being with your husband. You're obsessing about HER because you don't want to direct any of your negative feelings about this affair onto your husbands shoulders (where it belongs) and you don't want to risk this new improved marriage you feel you now have.

Trust me, I'm NOT trying to be snarky. I just think you're setting yourself up for a huge fall if you're thinking your marriage is better than ever since D-Day. This is a long, slow, painful, very hard climb and you've got miles to go.

Please just stay grounded is all.

habsfan posted 7/12/2018 09:56 AM

No Mercy, thank you for your response. I do believe that he ended it that day with lunch as she left and that is why he got stuck with the bill. I have evidence to support that. He tried to break it up on February 23rd after they had a fight because he had to change plans with her for a family obligation and she ripped into him for cancelling. He told her she was out of line, his family came first and she crossed the line with their friends with benefits arrangement. She kept trying to call him to get him to change his mind. He had some things of hers and wanted to give them back and break it off in person. He wanted to just return to life with me and he had no intentions of ever telling me. He left the receipt on his dresser and I found it.That is when I confronted him and he spilled the beans because I kept pushing and made him so mad he exploded with the ugly truth. We have been together for 25 years, this is not who he is. I am confident that we can get through this. I get what you are saying but I am sticking to my thoughts. Our relationship has been bad for many years due to lack of communication, selfishness and depression. I know that it is not on me that he had an affair but the problems in the relationship are on both of us. We are in counselling and we are communicating like never before. I know it will take a long time to feel like I can trust him again to not break my heart. My biggest issue is getting it out of my head. I am directing most of my anger at her but make no mistake, I am more angry at him and I am not letting him off of the hook and either is my family or my children. He tore a whole in my heart. I know that we had problems before she came into the picture but that is not helping me to not obsess over her. She was my friend, and even after I had proof, she still lied an denied. At least my husband came clean. She owes me nothing but as a woman, she can own her mistakes as he has his. But I do get what you are saying and realize this is not going away tomorrow, maybe never but I do feel we are headed in the right direction and I do feel he has been 100% honest with me.

habsfan posted 7/12/2018 11:51 AM

This is supposed to be a support group, No Mercy, your comment is very negative. You do not know me or my husband, sorry for whatever you went through but just because your partner hurt you again does not know you know me or mine. We are all human and we all make mistakes. I will give him a chance and I will be leaving this support group because of your comment. I don't see much support in you telling me your beliefs about my husbands intentions or how he decided to break up with his AP or do I think you can tell me that our relationship is better then it has been in a long time. You know nothing about me or my husband. He is a great guy who made a very bad decision. We both know that. He is so mad at himself for what he put us through including our adult children and parents. He will live with that for the rest of his life but I will be dammed if I come on here for support and get your 2 sense. Telling me how I should feel and how I should be ready for more failures. You have not one clue as to who we are so go preach to someone else your educated opinion

marji posted 7/12/2018 18:28 PM

Habsfan Please don't let the insensitivity of one SI member drive you away. I think you were right in pointing out just how inappropriate certain remarks can be. You're absolutely right--none of us can speak for your H or your relationship--and, at least, as far as I understand it, SI is here to help, to lend support, to share the ways that might have helped us to cope and to heal and not to presume we know people we have never met or have a relationship with.

I know it's easy to suggest you ignore the comments that seem wrong, ignorant, insensitive-- even angry or mean -- but please try. There is a group for those dealing with the effects of LTAs (long term affairs) in the I Can Relate Forum; I was there when I first came to SI. My H didn't have a traditional affair but did what he did for over 10 years and there was no group for EI type infidelity at that time. The members in LTA were very supportive, very kind as are the vast majority of SI members in all the many groups. You seem to be very kind as well. So let me apologize for what surely seems like the gratuitous harshness of another and suggest that you not give up on us just yet.

What we deal with in our heads, our thoughts our feelings, it awful. But truly those mind movies do fade--can't be soon enough that's for sure but please know they will --that this is all still very new for you but those images will lose their energy; the shock will wear off. And please try some of the methods many of us have found helpful along the way.

leafields posted 7/12/2018 18:48 PM

Hey, habsfan -

You'll get all kinds of responses. Take what you need and disregard what doesn't apply. You're right - we really don't know all of your circumstances and can only provide suggestions from what you've said.

Although the posts may seem negative, it is coming from a person who has gone through this and is trying to provide a different point of view.

Sorry that you find yourself here. I take Valerian root to help calm anxiety and Benadryl to help sleep.

Unfortunately, it will take time (dreaded four-letter word). My dday was about a week before yours & I'm still struggling. I've recently purchased a book, "Living and Loving after Betrayal" by Steven Stosny. There are some exercises in the book, which I only purchased today, that I'm going to try to use to get the thoughts out of my brain.

leafields posted 7/12/2018 18:48 PM


[This message edited by leafields at 11:14 PM, July 12th (Thursday)]

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