A friend commented yesterday about the pain she is in after her husband’s affair. My response grew to be so lengthy that I decided to turn it into a post. Here it is:
Vent here anytime. My heart aches for you. Our stories are so much alike. I know that the pain is so unbearable at times that you don’t know how to survive the day. Yes, I understand that pain. Nothing in life can prepare you for it. Others who have not gone through it do not understand. I myself used to say that if my husband cheated on me, I would throw him out and that would be that. I would automatically hate him forever and wipe him out of my life. I never knew this much pain was possible.
And yet somehow the day moves on and although it seems like a million years sometimes, you are still alive at the end of it. It will get better, my friend. It will.
May 2 is the day your husband started it all last year – that’s right around the corner. I can imagine how the triggers of that event would tear you up inside. Your feelings and your pain need to be validated by your husband. I have tried pretending that life is back to normal again. It just adds insult to injury.
In my post about being 18 months out, I talked about how I felt about D-day itself – the day my husband came clean and turned away from his sin. I am doing pretty well with it. But other significant days of his affair – the day it started, the day he first went to meet her, the day he first told her he regretted marrying me – those days are not easy for me yet, either. I doubt that they ever will be completely forgotten. But the pain has diminished somewhat and I’m sure will continue to diminish more as time goes on.
I handle them by doing things that require physical work and mental focus – for me that’s rigorous hiking, Tai Chi, Zumba, and swimming. It clears my mind and sends positive energy to my entire being. It doesn’t take away all the pain, but it helps. Now that I have Fibromyalgia, it will be more of a challenge, but I’ll figure something out.
I don’t think I would be as far along on the road to healing if my husband had completely refused to participate in the process. At the first anniversary of our D-day, I was still in a lot of pain a lot of the time. Our son forced my husband to agree to counseling. He told my husband that if he continued to refuse to work at healing, he would no longer have a father. Counseling did not bring the major breakthroughs that I wanted, but it did open my husband’s eyes to my pain and he is slowly getting better about helping me through this.
Just burying it and pretending it never happened does not work. It must be worked through and dealt with, or your pain will rot your spirit away. His guilt will do the same to him if not dealt with.
Like you, I am also still working through it. My husband also tries at every turn to pretend it didn’t happen. He is loving and helpful and thoughtful about our daily lives. He tries to get that to be enough. I go along with it most of the time now, but I am going to request more marriage counseling when he gets home. We are not done. There are still things to open up and discuss, and we generally need a mediator who will keep us on track.
This is just my opinion, but do not deny your pain, my friend. It is not easy and your husband will probably fight you on it because he will not want to open himself up to the guilt and shame. He probably thinks that he is doing his best by being happy and loving and that you should be over it because of his new attitude, but you’re NOT OVER IT! It takes both of you working through it, or you will likely hurt for a long, long time. He caused this. Now he needs to help you with your healing. And our community is here to listen and to share. You will make it.
Sending love & prayers to you,