Two steps forward, one step back

What’s that they say?  Two steps forward and one step back.  Well, right now is one of those step back times.  A big step back.  We went for our first session with new counselor.  We had tried one back last December, but she was awful and actually made things worse for us and I refused to go back.  It’s taken me all this time to be willing to try again.  My husband has not wanted to, either.  Our children begged him to try again.  And they convinced me, too.

So there we were in the counselor’s office.  He was telling the counselor about his affair.  He slipped up a couple of times and contradicted the final version of the story he told me several months ago.  They were not huge things, but they just showed me that he continues to lie and deceive me.  I felt the betrayal all over again.

So after those huge strides in dealing with flashbacks and feeling better within myself, I have fallen down again.  The new information didn’t produce a flashback, but I am depressed.  I just want to sit and stare into space.  No get up and go.  No nothing.  Just sit and contemplate on the life I lead today… I will live the rest of my life knowing that my husband fell in love with someone else and wanted to leave me.  He spent years planning it and longing for it.  If I had found out earlier, I believe he would not have chosen me.  And now we are trying to rebuild our life and see if we can be passionate about each other again.  I don’t know.  I don’t know if I can ever feel anything for him the way I did before.  I have pieced my heart back together and put it back in my chest, but it doesn’t seem to work like it used to.

The counselor asked me what price my husband has paid for his crime.  He said that in a court trial, a person is charged with a crime.  If found guilty, he is punished.  My husband has been found guilty – what price has he paid?  You know, he hasn’t really paid much of a price for anything.  I have kept it a secret from everyone.  Only our children and one other person knows.  So aside from watching me suffer and losing the respect of his children, he has not paid any price.  What price does he need to pay?  I have to think about that one.

What do I need to do to get up again?  I’m not sure.  I’m tired of getting up time and time again.  I think I’m going to lie here for a while.  I’ll get up soon.  Just not now.


11 thoughts on “Two steps forward, one step back

  1. Robin says:

    Actually, sometimes it is one step forward and three steps back, and sometimes two forward and one back. None of us seem to be making steady forward progress. I am at a loss, and for all of us, more than anything, I wish for peace of mind.

  2. Not Over It says:

    Hey Robin,

    Glad to hear from you. Yep, it seems we are all still struggling. I think it’s the norm for us betrayed spouses. There are those few who manage to put it all behind them in time. I’m glad for them. But for some of us, and that’s me right now, I get the feeling it may always be there. This is my new reality. Do I accept it or make a radical change in lifestyle? Can I live with it? My online therapist has asked me this several times. I cannot answer yet. Why? I think it’s fear. That’s a whole other post for another day.

    Checked your blog today for news about you. Hope you are well.


  3. tom says:

    I am sorry for sounding clueless here, but I have to throw up this comment in case it might let you see a different perspective.

    My wife, the love of my life, my everything, for about 25 years, had a long affair behind my back with a friend of mine, a friend of over 20 years that I would have died for.

    She has never told me why she developed this relationship. She has never spoken to me about it at all since she literally threw me out into the street after she decided on her own to just throw me away like a piece of garbage.

    I love her completely, always have, and always will. I love my friend, even though I realize that he does not think of me as a friend.

    My love will not even speak to me to this day in any way whatsoever. If she were to be willing to work on our marriage or to spend any time with me at all, or if she would even speak to me about anything, it would be the greatest thing that ever happened in my life, period.

    I say unto you, and I am nobody special in any way, but if your husband came back to you, and you love him, you should thank your stars that you were at least given that opportunity.

    Tom (the trash that never mattered to the only person that every mattered to me)

    • Not Over It says:

      I truly feel sorrow at hearing your story. I wish you the best in your future.

      But your story is not my story. If you have read my story, then you know that I have said a number of times that I know my situation is not the worst out there. Far from it. But that doesn’t mean I have to accept crap because it’s tastier crap than someone’s else’s crap. And the fact that my situation is tastier than yours does not make it easier that my husband fell in love with someone else and gave his heart and soul and body to her while I was standing right there as his faithful and devoted wife. I deserve someone who will treat me with respect and love me faithfully above all others. I will not accept less. I am willing to give my husband this second chance, but he has a long way to go to prove to me that he deserves this as a permanent arrangement, and if he screws up (or around) again, that will be the end of it.

      • tom says:

        I wasn’t trying to “rip” you or anything. I was just saying that I’d, and many others, would give anything to be in your shoes. I was not saying that you were in a “great” situation by any means.

        I was actually trying to be positive. If you love this man, you should be happy to have a chance to be with him. I would never say that you should “forgive” or “forget” completely. That would be as insane as it truly is impossible. (short of maybe a labotomy 🙂 )

        I truly wish you and him the best. However, you know that he is capable of such a thing, and trying to forget this capacity of his is futile. It is something that you will always be aware of. What he did, he did, it will never go away. This is not sounding the way that I want it to, but what you know of him and what he has done to you will never go away.

        Being with him, and knowing what you know, is the additional cost that you will always have to pay to be with him. If that cost is too much for you to bear, then you may need to reevaluate whether you really want to be with him or if you are trying to “erase” the unerasable.

        It is not fair, I can see what you are saying. Feeling like he “got away with it cheap”. Well, he did, as you apparently still want him. (As I would my love if I was permitted the opportunity.) But that is the cost of love. If you really love him you will pay it, if you don’t want to pay it, you might not really love him the way that you think that you do.

        There are many reasons other than love why someone “takes back” a cheater. As I am sure that you can imagine. There can be “security”, “wanting your life back”, wanting to get rid of peripheral negative consequences of the breaking up, avoiding stigma, getting back self-worth, etc. If the reason for “staying together” is not based on love, but something else, the “cost” that he pays for his crimes will never be enough. It would be a mistake to be together just to make sure that he “pays” for his crimes. He will never be able to suffer like you suffered. And even if he did, there would be no way for you to know for sure, as only he lives in his own mind and you in yours.

        Again, I am just offering my thoughts, nothing more. I am not saying anything that you feel is wrong, only you can feel what you do. I truly wish you the best, love between two people is a beautiful and sacred thing in my mind.

        I wish you nothing but happiness.


      • Not Over It says:

        Hi Tom,

        I’m sorry for sounding upset. Your comment came on a day when I am wondering if it’s possible for me to live with it and I am feeling resentful of the whole mess and everyone in it.

        You are absolutely right. I am on this journey to figure out if I can live with it and if it is possible for me to move beyond it to a new relationship built on a new foundation of commitment and changed beliefs. And yes, I am happy to have the chance to try. It seems you were never given a chance. I’m so sorry – it seems so unjust, although you seem to have kept yourself together very well.

        I especially like your comment about the cost of love. Is it a price I am willing to pay? I am still undecided. I am so torn – I love him but he ripped me to shreds.

        Your comments have given me much to think about. And that’s what we are here for – to share ideas, to support others and to receive support.

        Thank you.


      • tom says:

        Hey DJ,

        You sound a little better. That is good. As we victims of this type of betrayal all know, there are too many injuries from such an experience to even begin to itemize or quantify in a meaningful and clear way to others.

        I, as well as every other victim, struggle and suffer every second with the many negative implications of what has been done to me. In my experience, most of these, not all by any means, but most are associated with underlying feelings of a new “identity” foisted upon us by the one that we love. Feelings of inadequacy, shame, fear (of what is wrong with us that caused this), insecurity, and such. I know for myself, these are all new “beliefs” about my being that I never really experienced like this before. I think that much of the suffering that we experience is due to these new “traits” about us that we did not develop on our own, but rather were thrust upon us unexpectedly. We are literally living in a new “identity” that we are unfamiliar with.

        I believe it is from this, for lack of a better grouping, new loss (or at least loss of stability and certainty) of self-knowledge, self-respect, and self-worth that all of the other negative aspects of our suffering emerge. I believe this new internal questioning of our own self-worth leads to the disabling and destructive feelings of “betrayal”, “anger”,

        I am no doctor, I am not even in your situation, but looking from the outside and imagining what it would be to be in your place, one thing stands above all others in my mind. That is I would have to make it my focus to never lose sight that he decided, for whatever reason, to be with me.

        Whenever the anger, the hurt, the self-questioning, and doubt emerge, and they might always emerge from now on, it has to be realized that this person wants to be with you. Otherwise, you wouldn’t even have the opportunity to “forgive”, they would simply be gone.

        It is normal to always question, what made the person that he was with “better” than me, what was “wrong” with me that drove him to do this? But these questions, at least you asking yourself, will only drive you crazy and never allow you to simply enjoy the FACT that he is choosing to be with you NOW and not this other person.

        Know that regardless of those feelings of hurt, anger, insecurity, etc, that he chose to come back to YOU. So answer those nagging dark questions with the answer that you are better, more worthy, and more attractive, or whatever the dark corners of the mind ask you. If this were NOT true, he would have never come back at all.

        You then will see that you are who you always have been, he has been the only one that has changed. From this vantage point, where you know that nothing is “wrong” with you, you can decide if HE is worth it to you or if he is worthy of your love. Does his crime against you, and his own character, make you unable to love him? It is a place of empowerment, enlightenment, and the starting point of you feeling happiness again.

        Wishing You Happiness and Love,


      • Not Over It says:

        Hi Tom,

        I wish there were something I could say to take away your pain. Although our situations are different, I know what it is to be completely devastated. I would not wish it on my enemies. I save the word “worst” for his OW, and I WOULD wish it upon her. Ha!

        Yes, my husband chose to stay with me. It’s the reason he stayed that I cannot accept. Dr. Huizenga says that spouses often have a nagging feeling in their gut when their spouse is pining away for someone else. And I have had that feeling since D-day. He got a look on his face for just a split second when her name came up… a look of longing and despair. And when he said he loved me, it felt resolute and determined, like he was trying to convince himself that he loved me. And we have gone back and forth with anger and rages and denial and justifying. He is not able to be romantic with me. He cannot say he will love me forever. He refuses to be transparent and he tries to hide his laptop. He has done little to show me that he really wants me. Why is he here? I would guess for security, family, and his status in the community. I am just part of the package.

        I have believed that he loves me. He loves me as the caretaker of his household and the mother of his children. He loves me as a friend. I haven’t felt that he feels any more than that.

        But just recently, in the last few days in fact, I have not felt that nagging feeling that he wants to be somewhere else. He seems geniunely happy to be here. I don’t know if he is coming out of “the fog” or learning to live with the life he was stuck with… I don’t know what it is, but I don’t feel that undercurrent of unhappiness that I felt before. I will post about it soon.

        Thank you for sharing with me. I have gained new insights and I appreciate that.


  4. tom says:


    “It seems you were never given a chance. I’m so sorry – it seems so unjust, although you seem to have kept yourself together very well…”

    I am the biggest mess that ever existed Sister. 😀 I have been crying myself to sleep for about two years now. I have nothing to wake up for, and nothing to go to sleep for. For all intents and purposes, I am quite literally dead in every sense of the word, except that I hear my wife’s laughter, my best friend’s laughter, and feel them stomping my twitching, mangled soul every second. 😀


  5. tom says:

    Okay DJ,

    I will be the bad guy here. Something that you said struck me like lightning. It made everything else you said seem moot in my mind.

    “He cannot say he will love me forever.”

    Literally? He said something like he is not sure that he loves you? Now I may be hearing something that you did not actually mean to convey, or I may be interpreting something literally that was said out of context, however, the statement above is monumental.

    Love is love. (at least in my interpretation of the word) Love, real love, is eternal, is infinite, is unconditional. No one can really be “unsure” or “uncertain” of their “love”. You cannot “stop” loving someone. You either love someone or you do not.

    Think of anyone that you have truly loved in your life. Could you ever, for any reason, under any circumstance, truly “stop” loving them? These people might make you unhappy, hurt you, or drive you crazy, BUT you will always love them no matter what. You have children, right? Is there any way that you can imagine not loving them? I do not care what they do, literally anything at all, and you will love them until you die. That is love.

    If you, or anyone, is “unsure” of their “love”, they are not in love. They may “like” them, they may “enjoy” their presence, or whatever, but anyone who has ever loved anyone knows that love is love. It is pure, certain, and eternal.

    I said I was going to be the bad guy here. Sorry. If what you said was literal, I would say that you need to get crystal clear on the real answer here. I would ask him point blank, dead serious, “do you love me?”. With the understanding that you are using the word love with its literal meaning and not like “loving” chocolate ice cream.

    Again, anyone who has ever really loved anyone knows that you will never be “unsure” about your love for another. You either do or you do not. “Wanting” to “love” someone, “liking” someone very deeply, whatever, “caring” for someone, is not love.

    I say all of this, because if he is not “certain”, “sure”, willing to say that his “love” for you is unconditional and eternal, he does not love you. (And actually never has truly loved you, because if he did before, he still would now.) And if he does not really love you now, he never did before, and you will be in this same situation again in the future. (Unless you are able to make him fall in love with you for the first time now.)

    Sorry. I hope that he does love you and that you two can have the happiest future possible. Just point-blank ask him in all frankness, “Do you love me completely and eternally.” Just…like…that. You will see in his eyes, clearly, whether he is sure and sincere. And if he is telling the truth, he will not hesitate for even the slightest moment in time. Remember, and think about those that you know that you truly love in this world, how would you answer such a question? You would answer enthusiastically, immediately, and certainly in the affirmative to such a question posed to you by anyone that you love in this world. And your answer would be the same today as it would a million years from now.


    • Not Over It says:

      Hey Tom,

      What I meant was that it seems he cannot bring himself to say the words, “I will love you forever.” He says he loves me every day. Period. No more, no less. I will do as you suggest and ask him. Again.

      So if love never dies, and she was his first love, and he told her during their affair that he had always loved her, he regretted marrying me, and told her daily that he would love her forever, then it really is a lost cause.

      Is that the truth of it? Maybe so.


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