Newest Member: Jesse123

Grieving

Husband had six month affair with co-worker. Found out 7/2020. Married 20 years at that point; two teenaged kids. Reconciling.

Question for moderators about the “I Can Relate” forum

I went to the I can relate forum just now with the thought of starting a thread, and I realized that I’m not able to do so. Are only moderators allowed to start threads in that forum?

The thread I was thinking of starting is one for people whose spouses/partners continue working with their APs. After reading a thread in reconciliation that tangentially deals with this issue, I realized I’m not alone in this situation. It presents some real challenges to navigate after DDay and into reconciliation, if applicable, and it might be nice to have an I Can Relate thread for people in similar circumstances.

15 comments posted: Saturday, July 1st, 2023

“I Can Relate” thread for those whose partners work with AP?

In a thread in this forum yesterday, I asked moderators about starting a thread in the I Can Relate forum for people who are navigating a situation where their partner works with their AP. They recommended that I start a thread here to gauge interest.

If you would be interested in such a thread, do you mind to indicate that in a list below (even if you already said it on the previous thread)? Thank you!

0 comment posted: Saturday, July 1st, 2023

Do relationships actually get better after infidelity?

I was reading a boilerplate article just now about why people cheat even when they’re in a loving relationship, and after going through the laundry list of possible reasons, it said "Many couples find that their relationship ends up better than it was before the cheating was discovered."

I’ve seen this is other places too, most notably in Not Just Friends, which helped my husband and I a lot.

So, if you’re a few years out from Dday and are on the reconciliation path, is your relationship better than before? If so, in what ways? And how did it get better?

I find myself struggling with this idea, because it’s hard to believe that will ever be the case for me, even though I wish it was. I’ve definitely seen personal growth in the process of recovery from husband’s infidelity. I’m stronger and have a better sense of myself and a more deep-seated belief in my own resilience.

But I don’t feel like my marriage is better. We’ve done a lot of healing and recovering and reconciling, and we still love each other deeply and have a strong partnership. And we’ve plumbed some depths together that we hadn’t prior to his affair. But there’s still a flatness in me—a darkness where there used to be a spark.

What about you all?

79 comments posted: Thursday, June 15th, 2023

Anniversary

It’s been almost three years since i discovered my husband’s affair. Reconciliation is good overall, but I still struggle with that flat feeling of being mostly back to normal, but without the same spark I felt toward him before, and with an undercurrent of sadness that I feel now and then.

I don’t get many triggers any more, but I’m struggling with one right now.

Tomorrow is our 23rd anniversary. I wish the day were just over or non-existent.

On our 20th anniversary he was deep in his affair. On the actual day he was in another state, caring for his dying sister. I was holding down the kids and home fort. It was the height of the early pandemic lockdown. We couldn’t celebrate together, but in the days prior, I went through 20 years of photos, culled the best ones of us together, wrote a heartfelt long email, and timed it to send at midnight. I also made a really emotional and celebratory social media post, which is somewhat unlike me (I’m relatively private). We were texting each other leading up to midnight, and I called him right on the dot of 12. We talked for a while, professed our love, reminisced, etc. He also did a social media post (also unusual for him).

One of the first things I noticed as things came to light over soft DDay 1 a month later, and nuclear DDay2 a month after that, was the phone records of that night. He was texting her in between texting me, and he called her as soon as he hung up with me. I cannot tell you how seeing those phone numbers and time stamps destroyed me. It obliterated every vulnerable thing in my heart. I knew right then that even if we fully reconciled, our anniversary was done forever.

It gets worse. After DDay2 in July of 2020, there has been almost no trickle truth.

Except for one significant instance. Late last summer he wrote me an email to tell me there was something he hadn’t told me that he wanted to get off his chest.

So, in May 2020, while he was at his sisters on our twentieth anniversary, I planned a picnic and hike for us to a place we had never been so that we would have some kind of 20th anniversary celebration when he returned. Everything was shut down—there were virtually no other date options available. Even most parks and nature trails were shut down, so it took some real effort to figure out.

The trickle truth? He turned around the next week and took his AP to the same place. A place he would never have known about if I hadn’t planned our anniversary outing there. And she blew him in his truck. The vintage 80s jeep Comanche pioneer truck that I helped track down and do the logistics to buy a month before that because he needed a truck and I wanted him to have something cool because he was working so hard and going through such a time with his sister.

Folks, that was a rough piece of trickle truth. I was stunned and just tried to absorb it, but with our anniversary staring me in the face tomorrow it’s come up like a bitch. I feel sick. How does anyone ever wrap their head around shit like this and fully move on? I mean, I’m ok. But sometimes I wonder if being ok just means I’ve just adjusted to carrying around a lot of pain and sadness as I live my ordinary life.

Why do we, the betrayed, feel this so hard? And why don’t they? I feel pretty sure nothing would make my husband happier than going out on a nice romantic date tomorrow, celebrating, and having great sex. That would not be hard for him to do at all. And I love him, and I wish that were the case for me. But here I sit, wishing the day didn’t exist.

16 comments posted: Tuesday, May 9th, 2023

Hard Candy Christmas

I was thinking about how many people on here are experiencing a painful holiday season due to reminders it brings of their partner’s affair or just because betrayal takes such a terrible toll on the psyche.

I’m fortunate that my husband’s affair didn’t take place over the holidays, but the first couple of holiday seasons after it were very hard.

I know Dolly isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but Hard Candy Christmas has been a favorite of mine the last few holiday seasons. Here’s hoping it’s helpful to someone else.

If anyone has any other songs, thoughts, strategies, etc. that have helped you get through difficult holiday season, I’d love to hear them.

4 comments posted: Saturday, December 3rd, 2022

How am I still this fragile/emotional?

It's been just over two years since I found out about my husband's affair. Reconciliation has been bumpy, but we're progressing.

Marital relationship aside, I've been working on myself. I deliberately turn my thoughts away from painful circling and self-pity and negative self-talk. I dwell on things that I'm grateful for. I lean into my values and priorities. I invest in the relationships and activities that feel meaningful to me. I deliberately pursue things that make me happy: gardening, creative outlets, paddle boarding, reading. I feel stronger.

One of the things I've prioritized is exercise, and part of that is doing some running. I'm 45 and not very fast, but I try to do some 5ks now and then to keep me motivated. I'm a teacher, and even though I'm a little overwhelmed with the start of the school year I've still been running a couple times a week on the treadmill. I signed up for a small 5k in a tiny town nearby and got up early to go run it this morning. I was running it in very good time for me and feeling really proud of myself. But the course wasn't well marked, and I made a wrong turn and disqualified myself. Not a big deal. The organizers were kind, my $25 entry fee went to a great cause, and I got some good exercise on a beautiful morning.

Pre-affair me would have shrugged this off as a minor disappointment. Instead, this morning, I limped back to my car and fell apart. I was absolutely flooded with sadness and disappointment and feelings of worthlessness. On the drive home I was weeping to the point that I had to pull over to compose myself.

How am I still this much of an emotional basket case? So many of the stories on this site are so much objectively worse than mine; what is wrong with me that my husband's garden variety midlife crisis affair altered me so much? I feel like all the healing is a facade; that all I've done is construct a thin shell over a deep reservoir of pain that I can still fall into at any moment. How does one get past this?

14 comments posted: Sunday, August 28th, 2022

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