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14 months later-still picking the wound

TheThunderRolls posted 7/11/2020 11:52 AM

How do I get out of the drama triangle & loop I have created in my head and move on? I know what happened, I know I canít change it yet I canít seem to stop picking at the wound. I know I deserve better & didnít deserve any of this. No one does. Itís a complete shit sandwich that I didnít ask for. Iím so angry at the situation and even more angry with myself for staying. Yet I stay because of a variety of reasons. One that I still love WH. I have not seen an IC, have only told one other person and have only now been brave enough to share my story. I feel a lot of shame for being cheated on & shame for staying when I always told myself I never would. I have always told my self that if something like this ever happened, I would leave. But you truly never know how youíll react until you are in that situation. My WH wanted to apologize to my parents but I didnít want them finding out. Iíve had thousands of conversations going over the same thing with WH yet itís still not enough. I know my first step should be IC & I plan on doing that once this pandemic is over. In the meantime, how did you get out of the downwards spiral? I want to move on but my mind will not allow it.

Rosepetal2 posted 7/11/2020 12:00 PM

I literally couldíve written this myself. I always said Iíd never put up with cheating yet here I am. I wish I could just rip off the plaster and end it all to be honest.
Not much advice other than speak to someone , lots of councillors do zoom type consultations so donít wait for the pandemic stuff to end .
Sending hugs 🤗 xx

TheThunderRolls posted 7/11/2020 13:33 PM

And now itís starting to cause issues. WH and I argued yesterday and again today about it. WH always asks every morning how I slept, if I had nightmares etc. I tell if I do or not and then he apologizes and tells me heís sorry, how he wish he could take it back and that he loves me.

Argument yesterday started via text like so:
Asks the above question. I respond telling him on my nightmare, get the same standard answers which normally help. Yesterday it did not. I started questioning his timeline and heís like for Godís sake why are you tormenting yourself over this again. We talked about this and settled it why do you have to keep picking the wound? I question him further and I get the honestly donít remember speech. Which I call him out on. How can you not remember something of that magnitude? He then says can we not do this? It ruins the day. I respond and say all I needed was reassurance but ok. Then I ignore his texts. He apologizes, says he loves me then goes on to say how thinking about everything causes him overwhelming disgust with himself and remembering the pain on my face the night he told me. Then goes into say that itís making him angry again at OBS scaring me & our children. Which totally set me off and I responded OBS would have been Er reacted that way if WH didnít cheat w/ his wife. Then WH goes into say he doesnít understand why I need to keep questioning things, and that if I donít believe him to ask OBS and compare notes. I reply, Iím not talking to OVS to invite your nastiness and trifling ho back into my life. I then told him I was done discussing it, I had work to do. He apologized. Today he sent me a picture tire via text of a muscular guy in the water and said isnít the water nice? Which I replied yeah, it is. I canít wait to go back to the Bahamas. To which he replied good job playing it off. To which I replied Iím not playing anything off. Thinking about other men makes me sick to my stomach. And he replied sure baby sure. I reply yeah well pain changes everything. I get a loud sigh and tell him Iím being 100% honest and Iím sorry if heís frustrated but Iím not going to hide how Iím feeling. No response. To which pisses me off becayse he could at least acknowledge it and when I called him out on it, he says what was I supposed to say ok? Then asks me whatís wrong and I told him and he was like I donít like being accused of things Iím not doing. Ok then... I go out to the pool w/ my girls and the conversation is taking place via text so we donít argue in front of them. Wtf is his problem??? Help!!!

gmc94 posted 7/11/2020 13:45 PM

Learn about the trauma that comes from being betrayed (aka relational betrayal trauma" ).

You can start with the Marnie Breecker 2-part interview on Duane Osterlind's "The Addicted Mind" podcast. Follow that up with the Breecker/Osterlind podcast called "Helping Couples Heal", esp the 3 part interview with Omar Minwalla.

You can also read "The Body Keeps the Score" by Bassen Van der Kolk to learn about trauma generally, history of PTSD diagnoses, etc. It's about trauma - not infidelity.

And maybe your WH needs to listen to those podcasts too.... sounds like he may be in need of some serious empathy training.

[This message edited by gmc94 at 1:45 PM, July 11th, 2020 (Saturday)]

AbandonedGuy posted 7/11/2020 13:53 PM

Sunlight sanitizes. I know not everyone is 100% open and genuine with people, but it can help tremendously during these events. If you let people in, you find out you're not alone. You get to hear their stories and compare them to yours. You learn healthy coping skills that worked for them. And yeah, sometimes you learn that maybe you're not making the right choices, but that's all part of learning and growing. In a vacuum, it's just you and your thoughts and your doubts and your insecurities. Bad things grow in darkness.

TheThunderRolls posted 7/11/2020 14:14 PM

GMC-

I get confused with WH because some days he acts like the above & others he does have empathy. He apologized again. WH wants to suppress his feelings of disgust instead of dealing with them & moving on. He still does this with his motherís death 24 years later. He still has FOO issues. He suppressed his anger of his youth & the depression of his motherís death and biological fatherís abandonment. He could really use IC but thinks he will be fine.

nekonamida posted 7/11/2020 14:42 PM

It sounds like he may be truly regretful but he has not yet found remorse. Has he gone to IC to work on his FOO issues and figure out the how and why of his cheating? Would he consider taking a polygraph test to prove he gave you a truthful timeline?

Wtf is his problem???

He's projecting his cheating on to you which means he's still not safe. He lured you into that argument and made you look bad to take the heat off of himself.

TheThunderRolls posted 7/11/2020 15:06 PM

Nekonamida- I canít figure out how to quote yet.

He has not gone to IC & neither have I. I havenít asked him to take a polygraph test. I already know he cheated & I could always call OBS to get more info but I havenít. I really think I ruined that chance of contacting OBS anyway. I was not nice on DD because of OBS was so furious & scaring my kids. I was more concerned about protecting them instead of actually listening to what he was saying. WH told me the contents of the emails, said he never planned on leaving (which I know all cheaters say that) he used the words ďlove youĒ and they confided in each other to help with their marriages when they were doing the complete opposite. Both had a KISA complex. Iíve seen our bank statements showing exact days they met up. My husband was brutally honest w/ my questions so Iím fairly confident I have almost everything.

We have been trying to deal with everything on our own. Except now itís not enough for me.

OwningItNow posted 7/11/2020 15:39 PM

I want to move on but my mind will not allow it.

Your self-protective instinct is trying to protect you against a known enemy--your WH. Until you feel safe in the R on a gut level (a level that cannot be willed. It must be felt) you will not be able to "move on." Your inner self knows you are not safe even though your conscious self wants to deny it.

[This message edited by OwningItNow at 3:40 PM, July 11th (Saturday)]

TheThunderRolls posted 7/11/2020 16:04 PM

OwningitNow- I donít think heís cheating or seeing AP. I have all of the passwords, access to his phone at anytime with no hesitation on his part. Google maps installed on his phone & as of now heís working from home. In addition to that, OBS would have come over to my home again if he knew anything was up. He feels disgust for what he did & knows AP was an enemy to our marriage. I have felt deep down that after 2 years of trying to reconcile he will walk away or that I would be just so fed up with trying I would. I have talked about this multiple times with him to which he gives me all of the reasons why he would do everything in his power for me not to walk out and that he would never give up the best thing thatís happened to him & lists all the reasons why he wouldnít leave. To which I have replied well even if that happens I will be ok. Then heís like what do you mean even if? Are you thinking about divorcing me? Then tells me I need to stop being scared and to trust him.

whatisloveanyway posted 7/12/2020 09:33 AM

Hi, I read both your posts and could write a book. I don't know how to stop picking either. It is my nature. I have to know everything and understand everything. I found out what I do know either by accident or snooping and got mostly lies from my WH and his AP. Your discovery was much more traumatic than mine. I'm so sorry. I'm no guide through this maze, and am lost myself most days, but here's what I know today.

I am haunted by the emails I didn't get to read too, because I cracked an old phone with 3 years of proof, but didn't know about the full 8 years of their A I would eventually uncover. By the time I realized the affair was not a decade ago, but ongoing, I had already permanently deleted his personal fun email account and there is no getting those back from the more current years. I know they would likely give me a hundred new things to be hurt and angry and shocked about, and I suspect a host of other lies would be uncovered, and I wonder why my brain wants every gory detail, and why I'm not better at wanting to protect myself from any more facts that would only hurt.

I'm a little farther out than you maybe, my discoveries ran from late 2017 to late 2019, and we did 8 months of false reconciliation before I scared her off, and another year of slow revelations to finally grasp the extent of the A, to get to the state I am in now. Lots of puzzle pieces, some parts filled in, lots of gaping holes. My WH either doesn't remember or won't say the truth of his LTA, and I want a full novel, not an outline missing parts. We have had the worst fights of our marriage in 2020, whenever I push for more answers. We are both still a bit raw and learning how to communicate without so much emotion. He truly has no answers for me and I'm beginning to believe he has blocked most of it from memory or is too ashamed to admit, even to himself. At least your husband asks how you are and wants to apologize freely. Mine has said to me a dozen times, I made a mistake, I said I was sorry, if I could take it all back and make it go away I would. That's all he's got, and I know we can't time travel, but I want to grow and learn from this so I can feel safe again. He's sure I'm not healing because I can't let go of my unanswered questions, especially the WHY.

My therapist asked what difference any new information could make and I know the answer is not much, if any, other than uncovering more little lies around the big one. My therapist also said that based on my OCD and my inquisitive mind and the extent of the trickle truth and gaslighting that I was going to have a harder time with reconciliation, moving forward and letting go. He did not say I know treatments for betrayed spouses who think like you, and it was obvious to me that there is no fix for this thing that happened to me, not with my brain and my personality and my moral code. We mostly focused in IC on helping me identify a path forward that I could live with, not on healing me from the trauma. I know I need some followup work on that, but I'm too tired to tell this story to another person on the chance they have a solution for my brain.

If I were to pursue more professional help, I would focus on CBT or EMDR techniques to try to rewire my brain from obsessing on what I don't know. I'm trying to get myself to understand that no good can come of it, and honestly, I'm not sure any more looking backward will help me stay happy in this marriage. I remind myself that what I need now is to feel safe, respected and less vulnerable. Getting my hands on the details I crave would certainly undermine that, so I'm in a lot of negotiations with myself over letting it go.

I also remind myself that I need more time. I'm at the end of year 2, maybe? depending on how you count it, but 16 months from finding out the truth of the LTA and false reconciliation while he continued his A and lied about NC. So I'm close to your stage in the recovery confusion. It takes so much patience with ourselves and everyone to make the tiniest progress.

I wish I had more answers and less "me too" sympathies to offer. I try to stop the spiral with anything that helps. Talking to him, or going for a walk, or cranking music and dancing or too much wine, or calling the friends that know to tough love me into a healthier mindset. I wear my BE HERE NOW bracelet everyday but usually feel like I have no clue where I am anymore. Pre A, I was dead certain who I was and where I was and I had accepted everything about myself and my marriage and was the happiest of idiots. Now, I'm baking from scratch without a recipe and missing key ingredients. Find your happy moments where you can. Do what you need to do, just be sure it's what you need and it will help, not hurt you. Ask yourself the hard questions my therapist asked me. Journal and talk and walk and cry your way through this, and be patient with yourself on your journey. Best of luck to you.

ps to use the quotes just highlight the text you want quoted and click the " " icon above the message box next to Bold and Italic. :) also edited for typos.

[This message edited by whatisloveanyway at 9:38 AM, July 12th, 2020 (Sunday)]

nekonamida posted 7/12/2020 10:05 AM

Then heís like what do you mean even if? Are you thinking about divorcing me? Then tells me I need to stop being scared and to trust him.

Trusting him sailed 2 years ago and he has not done enough to earn back that privilege.

So then why isn't he doing everything to keep you? Why isn't he in IC? Why isn't he the one Googling and posting on a forum like SI looking for answers on how to keep his marriage? Why is he waiting until you are done with him to pull out all the stops? That's pretty crappy of him to be waiting instead of doing, isn't it?

If you really think it's you who's struggling and that it's not a reaction to the lack of honesty you feel like you're getting and the lack of work he is putting into R, maybe you should get an IC. It's okay if this is a dealbreaker for you. You don't owe your WH R just because he appears remorseful. The only thing that you owe is living authentically to yourself and to be the best version you can be to your kids. You can't do that if you're struggling to R when you would rather D.

OwningItNow posted 7/12/2020 10:39 AM

This ^^^^^. What Nekonamida said. Exactly.


WH wants to suppress his feelings of disgust instead of dealing with them & moving on. He still does this with his motherís death 24 years later. He still has FOO issues. He suppressed his anger of his youth & the depression of his motherís death and biological fatherís abandonment. He could really use IC but thinks he will be fine.

This is why you don't feel safe. We don't just fear more cheating, we also fear the person who could do that to us--their coldness, their lack of caring for us, their lying without reservation, the lack of empathy. We think, "Who are you? Are you a monster? Do you have a heart?"

Unless you see work, effort, change, and a turning over of every dark place, you know he's still the same cold-hearted, selfish ass that did not care about you or emotionally protect you. How could your gut ever feel safe being vulnerable again?

HardKnocks posted 7/12/2020 12:43 PM

He's not safe until he's in IC.

You're probably not safe from "the spiral" until you're in IC.

Consider teletherapy. This pandemic ain't going anywhere anytime soon.

Wishing you all the best.

gmc94 posted 7/12/2020 12:52 PM

why he would do everything in his power for me not to walk out
except he is NOT - by a long shot - doing "everything in his power" to R. To heal. To fix his shit.

He is not safe. Your lizard brain (for lack of a better term) knows that.

He can start by IC.
He can read how to help your spouse heal - and actually FOLLOW the guidelines (including NEVER saying some of the stuff he's said).

humantrampoline posted 7/12/2020 14:04 PM

Someone here who is wise, maybe ChamomileTea, wrote something I wish I could recall and quote from memory. The basic thought was that healing for a BS is understanding and accepting what has happened, making a decision about what to do with that and your marriage, and being comfortable about your decision.

The early picking of the wound is about trying to understand your reality after shattering your mental picture of your marriage and partner. There's the basic facts of what happened, and there's your spouses' mental idea of your marriage versus your mental picture of your marriage. It took me a long time to sort those out. After 4 years, I'm not sure I have entirely.

It was also important to me that my WH was capable of stating the truth and his reality. He hid that for a long time.

I did get caught in PTSD and trauma at one point, which had me searching for answers in ways that were unhealthy.

In terms of deciding what to do with my marriage, it became clear to me that I could no longer be in my old marriage. It had to change. My WH had to change. I don't think your WH has accepted that. He is telling you he thinks your marriage should and will eventually go back to the way it was, and that you will eventually go back to the way you were.

I don't know about you, but I knew at some point that would just not happen. If my WH couldn't accept my thoughts and how things would change, our marriage just wouldn't work for me or him. I won't ever totally trust. There might always be a part of me that is guarded. Your WH doesn't seem to accept that you and your marriage might permanently be different.

You wrote this below. I think it's an important healthy part of your healing.

To which I have replied well even if that happens I will be ok.

You will be ok no matter what happens. Realizing that is an essential part of healing.

TheThunderRolls posted 7/13/2020 08:48 AM

I have downloaded & read How to help your spouse heal from the affair. After I was finished I was furious at him & unleashed my anger. It did give me a better understanding of how the hell this happened. He was so angry after I read the book because of how I unleashed the anger & kept picking the wound. I also told him about this site when I first found out. I found this site 1 day after DD and lurked. I was so ashamed and scared to post. He started reading the post & did not like what was being said about cheaters. Go figure. He said he already knew he was a selfish piece of shit, with low self esteem why did he need to keep reading about it. He knows I visit this site and how it affects my attitude after reading it. I have explained how even though I didnít post out story at the time that this site & the knowledgeable posters helped me feel sane and not crazy. I took the advice given repeatedly to JFO members. No contact, I made a contract agreement with him with a list he had to agree to in order for me to even try to reconcile. He knows this is his last chance & that heís lucky that I even considered it. I have told him about the 50/50 marriage issues but he was 100% responsible for his affair to which he agreed. Most days I want to stay married and other days when we argue Im like fuck this shit. He realizes this too because heís quick to apologize. I do feel like this is a deal breaker but I need to try to know that if we D that I gave it my all. Your responses have also made it clear that heís not doing enough. So thank you to everyone that has responded. I listened to those podcast and it shook me to my core.

sisoon posted 7/13/2020 10:58 AM

First, I strongly recommend not using text messages for anything that's remotely emotional, and I strongly recommend not using text messages for arguing.

Second, if you've diagnosed your H close to correctly, I suggest making IC a requirement for R.

IMO, your healing requires processing the grief, anger, fear, shame, etc. that comes with being betrayed (and betrayed again and again by TT and gaslighting) out of your body.

Your H has to surface and process his feelings, too. Otherwise, he's too likely to white-knuckle R, which probably isn't a very successful strategy. From what you write, he'll need a lot of help with getting to his feelings. To succeed in R, he'll need to change from betrayer to good partner, and he'll need help with that, too - hence my suggestion to make IC a requirement for R.

Third, it's normal to be in pain when you're 14 months out - for most of us, that's just not enough time to process all the pain that comes with being betrayed even with a WS who doesn't blameshift, rug-sweep, TT, and who embraces the work of healing themselves and the M.

Oh, yeah - I strongly recommend not using text messages for anything that's remotely emotional, and I strongly recommend not using text messages for arguing.

TheThunderRolls posted 7/14/2020 08:00 AM

Whatisloveanyway- your situation describes mine. I over analyze everything. Everything even with family & friends. I have asked myself the questions your counselor has asked. Idk if it would make a difference. I guess it depended on the info I found out & if it was dealbreaker & if it showed he was lying after 14 months of trying to reconcile. I do think I have some unhealthy habits & ways of dealing with this crap.

Sisoon- I respond to text because it gives me time to respond. Sometimes the things WH says catch me off guard so at least w/ text, Iím like wait a minute, this doesnít make sense.

sisoon posted 7/14/2020 10:22 AM

If you don'trespond, or if you respond with something like, 'I have to think about that,' you'll give yourself even more time to decide what to say.

Text messages don't convey emotion. They can be read in many ways, most of which aren't the way the sender intended the message to be read. Really, if you're dealing with something emotional, stay away from texting.

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