Letter to nmwf1

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:

Hi nmwf1,

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,
DJ

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32 thoughts on “Letter to nmwf1

  1. SHAPE says:

    The last two paragraphs you wrote are just so true. I am 16 months from D-Day and while I know most of the details of my H’s affair, I still have unanswered questions that pop into my head and times of distrust (although it has gotten better). Sometimes if he just acts too, too nice, I think he is trying to hide something.

    Since his year-long affair was with a women about half my age and of Asian heritage, I now have a very low tolerance for any woman of this same race. During the time they were emailing/calling each other, he also was trying to learn her language. We (my H and I) even both took a community college class together to learn this language as this married woman said she wanted to be my friend as well. BTW, they “met” via email, as my H is a radio personality and is required to answer emails to him. Of course, he went above and beyond his required duty as her emails became sweeter and sweeter and made him think he was so special.

    I met her when she brought over some Asian food to our house (her husband came, too), and left it for us to try. Foolishly, I thought she was no threat at the time – really not very attractive. However, now, she and her husband (who knows nothing about their affair) have moved to the east coast of US (we live in the west). I honestly do not believe they have been in contact.

    Like you say, I think my H would prefer to just think that everything is behind him/us because his guilt is so great that he could do something like this. I find it extremely difficult to get him to open up unless I bring up something, which usually then ends up with him getting angry that I can’t “get over it” and trust him (he is trying), and my crying because of the pain. It happens less often, but I still get triggered.

    • Not Over It says:

      Hi SHAPE,

      I am so sorry this happened to you, too. The way she weaseled herself into your husband’s life was sickening. And now he wants you to “get over it” and trust him. That’s so much like my husband was. Counseling and our children have helped him to see things better. Although he still would rather shove it all into a closet and never mention it again, he knows better and remembers how to handle it most of the time now. Last week, though, he rolled his eyes at me and walked away when I was triggered by his trip. We’re still a long ways from healed.

      Have you been to counseling or done any studying as a couple?

      Thank you for commenting. It’s good to share with others. Take care.

      DJ

      • nmwf1 says:

        hi Dj, Thanks for being there. you are a God send.

        You talk about affair fog of the spouse who had the affair. But what do you call the irrational behavior of the betrayed? I find myself in a place in my mind that is sheer lunacy. To go from a person who was so sure of herself and confident, a person who loves life and all it has to offer, a very rational person who could analyze everyone Else’s problems, and seemingly give advise that made since. . To this absolute obsessed, emotional, crazed lunatic that i don’t recognize at all. I go from basking in my misery and self pity, when no one is around, To putting up a front around family and friends , its exhausting and pathetic. (Funny I am one of those people who others seem to gravitate towards, to tell me there problems, I have always been a good listener and I usually can help solve there delimas, Relationship wise or what ever, and yet i can’t seem to give myself the simplest advice,

        I have had quite a few melt downs with my husband as I have told you, and I know my husband is tortured at the time, mainly because I usually go ballistic on him. He has broke down and cried, we have had long exhausting emotional talks, but I always have unanswered questions , that he often skates around for fear that i will swing into a rage which has happened quite a few times.I don’t know why i want to know something and then I go ballistic . what the hell is up with that. But the next day he always acts as if everything is fine, he acts happy, loving, nice. upbeat so as to avoid the subject at all cost, for days he will not ask me how I’m
        feeling because he is afraid it will stir the pot.
        i didn’t tell you, he is working out of town again on another project,
        but he comes home on Thursday nites and goes back on Sunday afternoons. but may 2 he will be there and I am here. I am very stressed and don’t know how to handle the situation because i am already leading myself into a mean frame of mind, even though i don’t want to, but i know to much about that day one year ago.And it is getting harder and harder to contain myself. worse yet, I get extremely angry at myself for not sensing anything. I
        always thought i would since if anything was going on. I thought
        I was so close to my husband and knew him so well and was so
        in tuned to him, that I would know in a heart beat. But i didn’t!

        The more I think of him having her on hold on the other line, all the while telling me how tired he is and that he was heading to bed cause he was falling asleep on the couch watching TV . and then get back on the other line with her and talk til 1 in the morning. The more i don’t know if I can even answer his calls that day, I will probley be chicken shit an text him some unsuspecting nasty gram that will most likely create a train wreck for me. making me feel like the Villon, I just don’t know…Where does a person go from here? When the one person you trust and love with all your heart is not at all who you thought they were, that they would let there self fall into the realm of deception and lies for there own self absorbed pleasure, knowing that if they are discovered,it would destroy the one they love. and yet they do it
        anyway. They risk it all. F That makes me want to throw up. It makes me want to let him have what he set out to get …someone else! You know I don’t mean that but I’m working myself into a frenzy!! . Honestly! I have so many mood swings since this happened that you would think that I’m bipolar . Is this really what i have become? Did i lose myself? Will I ever get me back? Is this really what my husband bargained for. Really? WHAT THE HELL!!!!!!!!!

        ( I need a shrink! I have issues! )
        Sorry ! That was supposed to be a joke! I’m trying to defuse my anger that’s mounting.

        ,Thx Dj, P.S. Fibromyalgia is hard to deal with I know, Like
        infidelity if you’ve never dealt with it, you can’t imagine what its like. ITS PAINFUL! EXTREMELY PAINFUL!!!!!
        I’m not trying to make lite of it.
        I really hate to hear you have it, i know first hand the struggle you face. But please ask you doctor about the medication i told you about, it really helps my symptoms. Except at night like right now, Stress makes it worse. I get very stiff and sore at nite.
        You know, its not fatal, its just uncomfortable. I know I’m not funny. But I can say it and get away with it cause I have it to. …bye for now..thanks a million,Just being able to vent makes me feel better. and knowing that someone is listening and truly
        understands exactly how i feel is priceless. thx

      • Not Over It says:

        Hi nmwf1,

        I’m glad you have found a place to vent here, and I find it comforting to know someone who understands the emotional and the physical pain I am dealing with. But I need to say, my friend, that I am concerned for you. I am not a doctor, but I think your mood swings might be more than a response to your husband’s affair. I think you might be suffering side effects of the Adderal.

        You have been through so much. I am not saying that you are wrong in your feelings about his affair – you and I have felt so many of the same things and we still do. But your mood swings may be a sign that the medication might not be good for you anymore. Please see your doctor and tell him/her what you have told me. It might be time to switch to something different.

        I am already finding relief from the Fibromyalgia through several things. I am taking Ultram for the pain when I cannot handle it – there are days when I cannot get out of bed right away when I wake up in the morning. But I am discovering ways of dealing with it. I will write a post about that soon. We can compare notes then.
        For now, I want you to be sure that you are getting the right medication for you. Again, I ask you to please share this with your doctor so that you can be sure.

        I speak of this with first hand experience of the side effects of Adderal because I am a teacher and I have had students who took it. It’s not an easy medication for the body to manage, and you have been taking it for a long time already. Please check and let me know what the doctor says.

        And continue to vent here anytime. It’s good for us to share and help one another. I’ll write again tomorrow about dealing with May 2. You will make it. You are a strong woman.

        More love & prayers to you,
        DJ

      • Not Over It says:

        Oh and by the way, another message to SHAPE:

        I am Asian. My name is DJ Hong. I know that your husband’s exOW used her culture as a means to create a common interest with your husband, so your feelings are understandable, but I would never do that to anyone, and yet I am Asian. Try to fixate that trigger on the woman who used a common interest to lure your husband in, not on all Asian women. 🙂

      • SHAPE says:

        Of course, DJ, you are absolutely correct about not making a blanket statement on all Asian women, and when my mind is working properly, I don’t do that. To clarify, it just seemed to be particularly bothersome that I knew from earlier (before the affair) statements that he found Asian women attractive – just the same as I might say that I find Italian men attractive – or any other nationality – whatever the case may be. It was just general conversation at that point. Now it seemed so specific.
        I was always so sure of his love and devotion to me that general statements like the above were not a threat.

        I appreciate so much your statement to “fixate my trigger on the woman who used a common interest to lure (my) husband in, not on all Asian women.” I purposely did not say which Asian culture, because I do not want to come across as prejudice towards anyone. I know you are absolutely right! And, it is especially meaningful to me for you to say this because you are Asian.

        Also, in an earlier post you asked if we had been to counseling. My husband had gone to a counselor about 3 times before D-Day at my urging because he seemed depressed. However, he was not truthful with her about what was REALLY going on until I found out when I saw an email. I had suspected for several months and there were many lies in answering my questions. Then we both went to the same counselor probably about 6 times. It was somewhat helpful, although he was very uncomfortable and felt it was just a way for me to say things in a “safe” environment. Finally, I was just the one to continue going. He went back another time or two alone, and those sessions seemed to help him more than when we went together. Right now this counselor is out of the country until the end of May. When she returns, I may go back, but I doubt that my H will.

        And to nmwf1 – I have mood swings, too, although I don’t think to the same degree. They have gotten better as time goes by. But there are still days that I can be okay in one hour and then a wreck the next hour due to a trigger. Since I am not on any medication, I attribute it to a normal reaction to this whole business. I was also very self-confident, traveled alone to foreign countries, had hobbies and interests. I am retired now and had plenty to fill my days – but now many times I am unable to do what I used to enjoy doing. I hope you will talk to your doctor as DJ suggests.

        There are so many similarities in our feelings – which is of comfort to me anyway. I then think my reactions are “normal.” Blessings to all who take the time to share!

      • Not Over It says:

        Hi SHAPE – I appreciate your comment and I understand completely. I hope we can continue to share with each other. We understand each other in ways others cannot. Hope all is well with you today.

        DJ

  2. nmwf1 says:

    HI DJ AND SHAPE my doctor gives me 3 hand written prescriptions at a time so that i don’t have to go in every month however he pre-dates them. I would totally agree with you but a few months back I miss placed them for 2 months. And because it is controlled, its an act of congress to have them write me another so I did without for 2 months, And Nope i still felt the same. I’m just heart broken that my husband did this to us. You girls are really sweet, Don’t argue about trivial stuff, we are all in this together.,….., cause no matter what nationality the OW is,. she is still the OW. and our husbands have no business getting involved with them. they have a faithful woman at home who loves them.
    HAVE A GREAT DAY GIRLS. !!!

    • Not Over It says:

      OK, just wanted to be sure. As you can see here, we are all going through similar reactions – you just seemed a bit extra frazzled right now. Maybe it’s because May 2 is coming around the corner.

      Don’t keep it locked up inside. Let’s think of some ways to plan for that day and live through it so that you come out feeling good about how you handled it. For myself, I would not want to spend that day with my husband, but I would also go crazy wondering if he was pining away for her. Any ideas anyone?

      I am having a good start to the day. Got out of bed without problem and it’s looking good. Hope your day is going well.

      DJ

  3. DFB says:

    nmwf1 and DJ,
    I completely understand where you are coming from– it’s very “normal” in my opinion. I didn’t recognize myself either, when I first learned of my ex’s affair. I was a rational, confident and happy before the affair and crazed, unstable and insecure after. In my case, I had to do the healing on my own. My ex was not strong enough to face his demons and support me through the exhausting and debilitating triggers. I’m really feeling like myself again, but it’s partially because I’ve been able to compartmentalize my ex’s affair as something in the past. We’re no longer together and I treat him cordially as a co-parent (who I loathe as a person). Sure, it’s hard, but I cannot imagine the resolve it takes to work through this as a team. hugs.

    • Not Over It says:

      Hi DFB – thank you for commenting. I know from your blog that your ex could not be the man he should have been for you and your baby. Your strength and determination in dealing with this on your own are an inspiration.

      Hope all is well with you,
      DJ

      • DFB says:

        I hate to say it, but being on my own has allowed me to take ownership in the situation. While my ex could not be the man he needed to be, I think staying with him would have allowed me to place blame at his feet even when I needed to take some responsibility. I have been able to find peace through my therapist and my reading and through a lot of hard looks in the mirror…and now people laugh when they hear that my ex accused me of having an “anger problem.” Sure, he infuriated me– I would yell and say nasty things. But this process has taught me so much about how to disengage from the crazy making and accept what I cannot control. There is peace to be had. It gets better with hard work and lots of help.

  4. Not Over It says:

    That is wonderful insight, DFB. You inspire me to look inward to grow and heal, while also looking ahead to building the new life my husband and I have chosen for ourselves.

    I smile when I think of the new life you are building. Sounds like it’s coming together nicely.

    Sending love & prayers,
    DJ

  5. AngelWings says:

    Hello ladies! I too completely understand where you are coming from. I would also like to hear ideas on how to handle d-day since mine is about a month away and I’m already dreading it. DJ I like how you say it is the day your H came clean and turned away from sin. Good perspective. My H too came clean, he was the one who told me about his EA as I was beginning to get suspicious. Problem with my d-day is that it is the day after our anniversary!! and yes on our anniversary he was txting her while we were out at dinner!! Needless to say our 22nd yr married has not been the best one for me. I am trying to find a positive spin on my thinking so that I can somewhat look forward to this years anniversary but I just haven’t yet.
    nmwf1, I too went through some crazy mood swings at the beginning and then became depressed about 3-4 mths after d-day. I have been on anti-depressents for a few months already and they help me stay in control of my emotions. I think you are just experiencing some “normal” emotions for what you are going through. My husband too would like to just move on and forget about all this mess. I too would like to have one day where I don’t think about his EA or think about her. She has been in my head for almost a year now and I hate it, yet I can’t get her out of my head yet. I can say I don’t think of her as often throughout the day but she does cross my mind every now and then. So much still going on but with time it does get a bit easier. I pray for you all and that we all may find peace with all this. Take care.

    • Not Over It says:

      Oh, that would make my anniversary a huge trigger for me. I have written a post about this today, drawn from ideas in writing a response to you, Angelwings. Thank you!

      DJ

      • AngelWings says:

        Thank you DJ! Our anniversary is early June with of course d-day the day after. Last yr at this time (late March-early June) my H was deep into his EA. I can see all the signs now (too trusting then). Easter was a huge trigger day too as they texted all day Easter last year. Managed to get through that day so I know somehow I’ll make it through this next month. Hard to believe its been almost 11 mths of “mental torture” to put it mildly. Thanks for the post. I’ll come back and read what is suggested and keep you all updated. Glad I have this site to come and “talk” to someone who understands. Peace

  6. nmwf1 says:

    Dear Dj, I completely went on overload yesterday and had a HUGE MELTDOWN with my husband on the phone when he got off work.i didn’t want to but he could since in my voice that something was wrong for a few days so he broke down and asked me, which he was avoiding until then. I screamed and yelled at him. He got choked up and i asked him if he at any point thought he was falling in love with her, and he hesitated for a couple of seconds( I think it was because he was all choked up and couldn’t speak.) I took it as a yes and screamed telling him (your; hesitating what the hell does that mean.) and hung up on him. Then i wouldn’t answer the phone and he text me saying not to shut him out. I called him and didn’t give him a chance to speak and screamed and yelled at him telling him telling him if he wanted to talk to someone who gave a shit, call his C**t (nasty remark sorry) girlfriend that he has been pining for for the last 35 years, then I hung up again. he text me again and said: (you don’t mean what you are saying, you are just upset. Then i text him back and told him( and by the way you and her anniversary is next Thursday. F*****g live it up! I hurt him pretty band,But when i finally came to my sinces again. we were able to talk last night more rationally, i apologized and he keeps telling me how much he loves me and regrets hurting me. i wish I knew how to stop this obsessive behavior of mine. I know he regrets it and can’t be anymore remorseful than he is. In my heart I am still devastated at what happened. I still cant comprehend his actions. I really think i have post traumatic stress. I talked to him about may 2, he is going to come home on Wednesday to spend the rest of the week with me.He is really trying to make it up to me. I’m still trying to forgive him with all my heart but I don’t want to say it and then blow up again in the future. I’m really going to work on myself to forgive him. He is the love of my life and I know i am still the love of his, I think i will make it thru, May 2 because i know he will be there for me in every way. I really regret what I do to him mentally, Thank you I will write again to let you know how it turns out. have a great day. and thanks for listening, it helps……

    • Not Over It says:

      Hey Nmwf1 – I’m sorry to hear that it boiled over into such an awful lashing out. I’m glad you poured it out here. I watch for your comments and I pray for you.

      You don’t believe he is still with her, do you?

      Here are some thoughts for you, taken from my personal experience. I may be off the mark, but just think about it:

      He could have hesitated out of fear that you would lash out, right? I’m not trying to defend him. You would be totally justified in leaving him today. But if you want to save this marriage, you both need to show respect for one another.

      There were times during the first months that I lashed out at my husband, too. I understand how you feel and how hard it is to control your feelings about all of this. It tears your insides to shreds to think about those unanswered questions and to think about him desiring someone else that way. I know. I wish there were something I could say to make it all go away for you.

      But those tongue lashings cannot continue, my friend. It will work to tear down your relationship rather than build it up.

      I know I am not hearing the whole story here. You have said that he tries to be all light and happy and that he is doing his best to make it up to you. That is so familiar – just like my husband does these days. But does he refuse to listen to you? Will he not do what you need to heal?

      What would be something you could both do to move the relationship forward? Dealing with the PTSD? I think you need a counselor for that. My counselor and my coach have both helped me through that and I am now much better and very stable – no more flashbacks. Of course, I am much farther out than you, but a good counselor or coach would be your best bet. Just for you, for helping you with the PTSD and the Fibro and everything…

      I would have had difficulty dealing with this by myself. My coaching is not covered by insurance, but my counseling was. Have you looked into that?

      I suspect you are feeling a need for him to suffer consequences for his actions – I know I did. It’s a natural thing that anyone who has been betrayed feels. For me, it seemed so unfair that he was going on his merry way, living life as he always had, and I was the one paying for his crime with my pain and the destruction of my mind and of our marriage. If he really had been going on his merry way, I would probably have left. But I came to realize that he wasn’t. We are both tortured, as I wrote in a post a while back.

      LFBA used to tell me all the time that my husband chose me, not her. When it came down to the rest of his life, he chose me. It rang hollow for me at the time, as it probably does for you right now, but keep that in your mind. He chose you. One day something will happen to make it meaningful. For now, just remember it. He chose you.

      I have also gained tremendously from reading Emotional Affair Journey. I recently joined their Higher Healing Group and look forward to moving forward along with the hosts.

      May 2 is coming up and May 7 for me, too. So your husband will spend the day with you? Any ideas for the day?

      Love & prayers,
      DJ

      • nmwf1 says:

        Hi DJ, I know he has no contact at all with her now. I don’t worry about that. But you said something that made me think, you said does he really listen to me. Well today when he called me after work, I had a hard time talking to him because I am still in that want answers mode because of the big may 2 thing and i was being short with him. Of course he asked me what was wrong because of my outburst a few days ago. Then i told him I wanted to talk about some things that were bothering me .and he cut me off and said, I don’t want you to start getting all upset again, I love you with all my heart and I’m in love with you and i want to spend the rest of my life with you I can’t take back what I’ve done and I’m tortured by it. I hate that I hurt you so bad.I just want to think of me and you forever from now on,you are my whole world.
        I know that sounds great, and sincere and it was, however
        once again I screamed at him and told him I KNOW YOU LOVE ME
        AND I LOVE YOU BUT YOU WON’T LET ME TALK ABOUT HOW I
        FEEL ALL YOU DO IS CUT ME OFF. And of course from there it turned into a heart to heart talk with a few melt downs. But he is a very strong man and it tortures me to hear him cry which is what I reduce him to because of my emotional pain.
        DJ, I really think I am my own worst enemy, you know this has been going on for months and we have had many heart to heart talks where i know he has listened to me and validated my emotional pain, and from time to time i have said some things i regret out of mental anguish and as I sit here tonight thinking about all that we have been through one thing that you said rings
        true to me, that i subconsciously want him to suffer the
        consequences for his actions and yet the man has suffered
        dearly. I really don’t think he can suffer anymore than he already has.I know he is crushed that he hurt me so badly.
        I realize it isn’t him that isn’t giving one hundred percent its me.
        It is me that can’t let it go.I want to but i don’t know how. i am tortured by what he did. I love him so much and so deeply that my brain cannot process that he had another woman on his mind. It tortures me deep in my soul.
        Can a person forgive someone, but not let go of the pain. Cause I cant seem to do both. i feel he deserves forgiveness, it tears me apart to see his heart broken because he cant fix or take back what he has done. And yet I can’t let go of my pain. I just want to love him with all my heart and put it in the past, how do I do that?
        thx

        nm

      • SHAPE says:

        Hi all-
        A comment to nmwf1 about her recent conversations (and meltdowns) with her H. My experiences have been so similar. I have asked him to just sometimes ask me how I am doing – and only 1 time has he done that (after he knew I had been to a counseling session that day). All the other times I have had to practically beg him to answer questions or listen to how I feel about something. One thing I did learn is that when he answers/listens in a calm way, he has nothing to hide. If he gets somewhat angry over my questions/comments, he is usually hiding some detail he’d rather I not talk about. And then, I pressure him to tell me “ALL,” which usually ends up in my getting angry as well. When this happens, we do calm down – but it can take a while to do so – not days – more like a few hours, and then we can talk about it, and he can open up to what I have brought yp.

        One thing I have learned is that he (and I think most men) prefers NOT to be sitting side by side to talk (which, of course, is what I and most women prefer). So, I have tried to approach him when we take a walk, when we are riding in the car, or even if he is working on something in the family room.

        Also I have learned (sort of) to keep it short. Make my statement in a positive way and ask my questions without accusations. This is certainly NOT always easy and I don’t ALWAYS succeed by any means.

        One other thing I noticed is that he is more receptive to talk if I first give him a “positive.” This just happened this morning. He had actually emailed me last week to ask if I minded if he posted on his company’s FB page about an event our former Asian language teacher was hosting. Because there were some similarities (although no affair) between his interactions with her and his previous AP, I have triggers where she is concerned. I asked him some questions and put in some boundaries (i.e., I did not want him emailing her saying he was going to post anything). In the end, he did not post it – I think he knew it had sent some triggers. But I did tell him that I REALLY appreciated that he asked me first.

        Like your H, mine has told me many times he is so sorry and regrets so much the pain he has caused me and wishes he could clear my brain of all triggers. But, slowly, I think he is also getting more sensitive to what triggers me. And that’s progress. We are 16 months out from D-Day.

        Hope some of this helps. I know it is so helpful for me to read that others feel like I feel – makes me think I am not crazy. I am reading a book right now called “Not Just Friends” by Shirley Glass. So far I think it is a really good and helpful book.

      • Not Over It says:

        Good tips from SHAPE. NM – Someone said that healing is like a spiral – you keep going around and around, going back to old pains and triggers, but less so as time goes on. The spiral gets smaller and smaller as the pain and triggers lose their stronghold over you. They slowly hurt less and less. I find this to be very true for me. Since I’m 18 months out, I have been around the spiral a few times already. Sometimes I am strong and triggers don’t hurt so much, and at other times I feel like I’ve gone backwards again. But when I do go backwards, it’s not as painful as the last time. And each time it gets a little bit easier. The hurt is just too great to get over in a single act of forgiveness. We walk a long journey in healing.

        Forgiveness is a process inside of that journey. Sometimes I feel like I’ve forgiven him already and sometimes I feel like I couldn’t possibly ever really forgive him. Then I have to think it through all over again. He really doesn’t deserve forgiveness. No cheating spouse does. But for those of us who decide to give it, we are extending grace – like how God extends His grace to us. We don’t deserve it, either. But He gives it. And so should we. But it takes a lot of daily reminders and thinking it through over and over again for me. I am still not there, either. I wish there were something I could say that would magically make it all better for us both. But there isn’t and we both struggle with the same things. I feel your struggle, too. I cried when I read your note the other night.

        One of the things about forgiveness is that you need to feel that he has paid enough, suffered enough, for his crime. That’s why I asked you about consequences. There is so little that we can actually deal out, short of leaving him. What should his consequences be? Has it been enough at this point? The other night, you thought that it had been enough. But in my experience, that feeling changes sometimes during the journey. It depends on how much your spouse does to help you through it. There are some really good articles on the subject at Emotional Affair Journey. I also read a good one today on Infidelity Articles by Katie Lersh. Both sites are on my blog roll. I’ll post some links later today.

        You will make it, NM. You struggle because you are sensitive and caring, and have such a loving, open heart. You were shattered by his unfaithfulness. But you will make it. With him or without him – that’s up to you. But you will make it.

        DJ

  7. nmwf1 says:

    Thanks Dj, I will push forward in my journey because I love this man with all my heart and I know he loves me the same. I cannot imagine my life without him, I have invested to many years to turn back now and I know he does not want to lose me either, I know it would devastate him if i left him because of what he did. No i wouldn’t leave him but getting back the trust and comfort zone that I had will continue to be a long painful journey, Like you I’m not one to give up without a fight. I just know that infidelity is torturous, its life changing,extremely painful and it changes how you feel about the world around you. You no longer recognize the person you are married to and you don’t recognize yourself. Its just so hard to comprehend that one single moment of suspicion that I never before felt, turned into the biggest challenging night mare of my life. I have asked him if he had ever intended to come clean or would he have kept it a secret from me forever, He tells me that he was already feeling guilty and wanted to cut it off with her.. I don’t know if he is just telling me something he thinks i want to hear. But he didn’t quite answer the question. i still want to know if he would have told me instead of me discovering it by mistake. I intend to get it out of him. Not that it really matters. But this whole ordeal has left me mixed up, its turned my world up side down.
    i don’t know how much heartache a person can endure. You look at the person you are married to, you adored them, you loved them with every ounce of your being, you built your life around them, you gave of yourself in every way to make there life happy and secure, And then one day BAM!!!! it wasn’t enough for them, REALLY! and it leaves you with this ache that somehow you suddenly weren’t good enough. That someone else was more exciting, that they must have had more to offer than you and it brings down you self esteem . And it leaves you reeling for answers. And fighting for your sanity. I just want relief from the way I feel. IS THAT TO MUCH TO ASK? How do I find myself among the rubble. …….I am lost…. lost lost lost……

    • Not Over It says:

      Hi NM – I said almost exactly the same thing to my coach yesterday. I am going through a rough time right now with my husband away on a business trip to a place where he previously had a rendezvous with her. I fell off the path and felt like I was going insane. My coach knows me well and knew what to say to get me to think straight again. I’m still sad and worried, but I’m not as much of a wreck as I was for the past couple of days. I felt lost, but now I see the path again. I just don’t want to get back on it right now. I want to lie down next to it and sleep it all away.

      We will make it through. Your husband is coming home soon. Remember control – make it a day to feel the love you have for each other.

      If it were me, I would tell him quietly that the day is an awful reminder of him going to someone else, BUT that you are still there because you know that you share a great love for each other. And then I would ask him to make the day a reminder to you of how much he really loves you. With my husband, I would ask him to make me breakfast, give me a massage and help me with some gardening. My husband loves to show his love by action and he would feel good about doing these things with me. And I would feel special and loved. Then I would ask him to speak my love language and tell me something that he loves about me. And onward like that…

      This is actually exactly what I am planning for the anniversary of the day my husband started his affair. I have found that I need to prep for these days. I cannot just let them happen. My emotions are too unstable on these days for that.

      Good luck to you, my friend. I will be praying for you.

      DJ

      • Not Over It says:

        Oh, and if it seems that I’m doing all the work here – well, I am doing much of it. My husband is not good at communicating feelings and knowing what to do to help me, but these days he wants to. So I take the lead and start the ideas. He will usually come up with a few of his own to make it a nice mix.

  8. nmwf1 says:

    Hi DJ, Those are good ideas and positive. You and I sound just alike. You know. I can see that your husband being out of town bothers you and the place he is at makes you feel uneasy. I know where you are coming from, its not a matter of trust because I don’t believe you think he will do anything,( like meet up with her,) but its knowing that there is memories there for him, that makes it uncomfortable, I really don’t see that your husband or my husband would take any sort of risk at this stage of the game,(Not that they haven’t taken huge risks before I realize) But I don’t know if trust itself pinpoints the real issue. I really don’t know what its about to tell you the truth. its that heavy weight on the shoulder that keeps these feelings surfacing every time our thoughts run away with us. You said that you are sad and worried but I think its just about fear itself, I don’t see your husband taking any risk at this point, That would be RUTHLESS, CLASSLESS, and BOLD, and I just don’t see that happening. He wouldn’t be putting out the effort to recover your relationship and trust and then stab you in the heart again like you were nothing. Know I think you don’t have anything to fear at this point but fear itself.(unless he gives you something to worry about then I guess you just have to take him for face value as hard as that is,)(I keep telling myself that, even though I am at war with my thoughts.) We both are trying desperately to regain that comfort zone. But it sounds like your husband will still have to go on many business trips out of town as my husband works out of town all week as well, and will be for a while . It puts us both in a very precarious predicament because unlike others who have faced infidelity we still deal with an obstacle, we have to learn to keep the faith when they work out of town, even though it was swept out from under us. We don’t just face a slippery slope, No ours is more like a Mount Everest with an avalanche. We have to suck it up when they go out of town and try and detour our thoughts so that we don’t lose control and accuse and fall backwards. Hence and avalanche. Know i don’t think it would matter if they were here or out of town, If they wanted to have contact with the OW they would find a way. No I think its more about the fact that,
    (Its there) not matter what we do (its there) we can’t get away from it we can’t put it out of our lives,(its there) and we can’t do anything about it. .We were dealt a harsh blow to our heart and souls and we just can’t get back that feeling of being whole again. That trust, that love that was only ours, That feeling that we had someones heart devoted only to us, and they held ours just as dear.
    That feeling that was absolute. When will it come back, I don’t know, for me its a long ways off. I fear its a ways off for you as well, because I see you falling backward at times. Today I was trying to put tomorrow
    out of my head.I thought it was Thursday but its tomorrow but tonight i am having a tough time. The cell phone bill is like a book, it tells the event as it unfolds. and i basically keep playing it over and over in my head like a broken record, trying to figure out what I was doing on that day. And I also keep wondering what was going through his head after he had that first conversation with her. Did he feel guilty? Did he think of me? Did he just think to himself (who gives a sh** she will never find out) How did he face me. Did he not think it would destroy me if I found out. Or did he just not care at all. (That’s just not his character ) Why the hell didn’t I feel anything was going on. Was I just so rapped up in everyday things that I failed to see. Hes my husband for G’s sake why the hell was I so blind..I am a faithful wife. How could he do this behind my back.It make me cringe with mental anguish . I hope I don’t explode on him tomorrow . i am going to try to take your advice. i hope my mind stays positive. I am a little mixed up right now. the anniversary of there affair is very very painful for me…… as you know. hang in there I think of you often. and shape too. I will let you know how I fare… this is a tough one…….I am going to hang on to my sanity for all its worth……

    • SHAPE says:

      The comments by both DJ and NMWF1 are so in alignment with how I deal with each day. I have good days, but it seems there is always at least some portion of a day when I have uncomfortable thoughts that he is contacting her with a secret email or using his work phone, any way that I would not know about. My H does not travel for his job, but he gets many emails and phone calls at work that he is required to answer (to connect with his radio listeners), and this is how she contacted him before. It heated up when I was out of town and again when I had to be with my disabled son when he was having surgery and I was not at home.

      Now when I leave to visit my daughter and grandson for 2 weeks, I am fearful he will use this time to contact her. And, like you said, NMWF1, I think it is much more about the fear than it is the trust. I do fall back, and I don’t feel like I can get him to talk with me about my pain – it usually ends badly because he would just like to “move on,” and tells me repeatedly that he will never do something like this again. I was so absolutely trusting, and now I always have a nagging doubt. I also find it hard to believe him, because he was so good at lying to me before. So I think it is the fear along with the lies, perhaps especially the lies, that really bother me, especially if there are lies of omission. I always thought he was so honest; he projected that image to everyone. Like both of you, I go up and down – it seems the “ups” may be more frequent now, and I can get over the “downs” faster, but I do think about what may happen when I am gone. The “downs” come when I think of them together, making phone calls to each other, and sending emails.

      I am trying to believe that he would not want to go through this again – he got shingles from the stress of 2 months after D-Day. I had gotten the shot for it so fortunately I did not get them!

      It is comforting to know others go through much the same cycles day in and day out. I know I am better now than a few months ago, but I long for the day when I no longer think about it and don’t have triggers.

      BTW, the initials I chose here (SHAPE) was what I came up with after I had lost about 20 lbs: Spouse Has Affair Physical Emotional. I suppose I am in better physical shape – getting exercise every day is pretty much a must for me now, and my appetite still can be diminished, but I really do try to eat healthy foods now – to help my overall well being.

      • Not Over It says:

        Haha – that’s cool – Spouse Has Affair Physical Emotional. I lost weight, too, after D-day, and so did my husband. Neither of us has slept through the night since then, either. I used to say that we had both lost the love of our lives on D-day… he lost his mistress and I lost him. Now I’m not so sure.

        It’s wonderful to have friends who understand. I’m glad we all connected here.

        DJ

  9. Not Over It says:

    That’s it exactly, NM. Thank you. You’re in my thoughts and prayers, especially on this day.

    DJ

    • nmwf1 says:

      hi i read about may 7th for you. hope you are doing well want to comment but will later. I got through my may 2nd obstacle with a few things to say but will later. I have a few obstacles coming up want to tell you about. Hope you have a great day today. talk to you soon!

  10. nmwf1 says:

    Dear DJ, I seem to make a few positive steps forward only to fall flat on my face again. last weekend my husband and I spent a great weekend together because I took your advice and made every effort to be as positive as I could, and he was very sweet and wonderful to me. I only mentioned a few things to him that was bothering me about the anniversary of his EA with the OW. He quickly kind of defused the situation by telling me he would be here for me, no matter what and that he loves me with all his heart etc.Our weekend turned out great and then he had to go back out of town for the week. But then came this weekend and mothers day. Well i was happy waiting for him to get home Thursday nite, I was ready to spend another great weekend with him, but because i am constantly wandering about things i could not help but wonder about last mothers day, because he was working out of town then to . So stupid me, i could not help myself I had to look at the phone bill on line again. ( i know your going to say I shouldn’t keep looking at the phone bill, cause I’m not letting myself heal but I get obsessed and can’t help myself.) And sure enough, he called her first. he called her at 7a.m.last mothers day and talked to her for 47 min. then he called his mom and talked to her for 15 min and then he called me last and talked to me for 8 min. But that’s not all, I added up all the calls that him and her made to each other that day and it added up to 3 hours and 37 minutes. he talked to me on that day ( me calling him every time) all together about 28 minutes. well I’m sure you know it threw me into a jealous and angry frame of mind. So by the time he got here Thursday nite around 9pm; He already knew by the tone in my voice on the phone before he got here, that something was wrong. When he got here I calmly sat down with him and told him I wanted to talk, he looked at me and said O k . then I asked him just how much I meant to him last mothers day when he was just getting heavy into his little affair. of Course he said i always meant a lot to him. And of course i said oh really? he started trying to defuse me because I was aiming daggers at him and he knew it. ( mind you i was in a very blinding frame of mind.) He started getting upset and telling me how much he loves me and that I always meant everything to him and that he don’t know what he was thinking back then, that it just got out of hand and that he doesn’t know what he was thinking, and i kept getting angrier and angrier and( you guessed it) i flew into an uncontrollable rage (once again) i didn’t want to but I couldn’t help myself. i was so distraught and I screamed and told him about him calling her first last mothers day and not the mother of his own children, and how long he talked to her and then his mother and then me, I absoluly couldn’t stop screaming and crying at him. I could not control my emotions at all. (Then I did something I’m ashamed of,) He was so upset that he sat back in the chair and acted as if he were hyperventilating and I screamed at him an said, ( If you have a F***ing heart attack because of me, i swear i will punch you in the GD face. ( What the hell was i thinking, i guess it could have given him one really. ) But I was a complete lunatic . I was so angry that I said some extremely vulgar things to him about the OW and I said things that cut him to the core. I don’t know what got into me. i almost had a heart attack myself. When I started to calm down he came to me and held me and consoled me and said, we will get though this together and that he will not give up on me and that i am the love of his life. I told him that I am going to seek counseling this week. He said he would go to, but I told him that Its not him anymore its me who cant cope with what happened. He is doing everything to help me through, I told him that I love him with all my heart and that I can’t bear to loose him, I told him that I simply have to much pain in my heart that has a hold on me, and that I don’t want to keep doing this to him or to us anymore, I told him I don’t know how to get over my insecurities, and jealousy and anger over his affair, He said if he has to go to any of the sessions he will go. he said he loves me to much and that he knows how much he has hurt me. Dj is this a normal thing that injured spouse’s do. i mean really I love this man so much , and i just can’t cope with what happened. My mind simply goes on overload with the jealousy and anger and craziness. He is a good man that I know regrets what he has done. and he simply cannot take it back, ( I know that,) I just don’t know how to let it go. Its like a part of him was taken from me by this OW that I can’t get back. And i resent it so much that it makes me crazy at times. (not dangerous….. just crazed mentally. ) I want back my happy life,and my happy home, and i want to know that he is happy with me. I don’t know how to achieve that. My happy home was ripped from me and i want to know how to get it back.,…. We did go on to have somewhat of a good weekend, very loving and caring and emotional , but he had to leave out of town at noon today, My daughter and son-in-law and my new baby granddaughter took me out to dinner for mothers day, and my son is out of town but sent me flowers, that was nice. And my husband has called me 10 times since he left to see how I am, and to tell me he loves me. Am I normal? Is my reaction normal? Or am i simply a candidate for counseling? By the way I hope you had a great mothers day…

    • SHAPE says:

      I ached for you this morning when I read your post, NM. I have had such similar reactions – ranting when I don’t want to. Usually they have occurred when I have found out something that he “forgot” to tell me about, i.e, a secret email account she opened up when they were in the thick of their affair. He swears he has never used it to contact her or her to contact him since our D-Day. I discovered it when he referenced it in an email to another overseas (her previous country) radio station where they could contact him if there were any job openings. I read it on his work email (which he has given me the password to access) and asked him about it. He really wasn’t quite truthful with me about it at the time – and later I had to press him hard about it, as I found out there was more than I was told about its origin. I know he has cancelled the email now, as I try it every now and again, and it always comes back as undeliverable. But still, this dishonesty (one more of omission than anything) was 7-8 mos. after D-Day when he supposedly had “told me everything.” He can get really angry and almost hyperventilate when I press him for details. And since he has had heart surgery 10 years ago, and he does have somewhat high blood pressure, I sometimes wonder if I will put him over the edge. Really I am trying not to react this way anymore and to ask him calmly when I suspect anything. But it is more and more just triggers that bother me. I often cry in private when I am driving the car. I know I am better at home when he is there. It is hard for me to tell him about my triggers – because of the impact it has on both of us. But I KNOW they must be addressed at sometime.
      Mother’s Day is a huge trigger day for me, as two years ago she invited us to her house for lunch that day. Her husband was out of town looking at a possible job transfer; they (she and her H) had become friends with my H, and her H had even asked if my H would mow their lawn while her H was gone. That turned into my H going into her house to fix a few things, etc., etc. My H swore to me he had never been in her house, but I KNEW when we went there for Mother’s Day lunch that he had been. I just had very STRONG vibes that he sort of knew the layout of the house. Believe me, it was a horrible day for me – and has affected my Mother’s Days since. I don’t even remember what we did last year, and this year I am here at my daughter’s on the other side of the U.S. Of course, he called me, and believe me I had to stifle a HUGE urge to say anything about Mother’s Day two years ago. I finally decided if he wasn’t thinking about it and about her, I didn’t want to bring up the subject and put the thoughts in his mind. If he was thinking about it, there was nothing I could do about it anyway.

      I do feel as though there is a part of him I will never get back. Even though he declares his love for me – he made her No. 1 in his life for awhile, and while I do think he loved me at the same time as he was professing his love for her to her, I was cheated out of his passion for me. There really wasn’t enough to go around so to speak, and she got it (even though he has said, and I do believe this, that they did not go further than kissing/hugging in very intimate ways). When I told what happened to my sister – who is very supportive of our staying together – she likened it to Adam and Eve when they ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.. They had now crossed the line and tasted of the forbidden fruit and were forever changed. I think that has happend to my H. He crossed the line and tasted of the forbidden fruit, and it has changed him. I don’t think we will ever be the same as we were. Not saying we can’t make it together, but that sense of trust on my part has been so damaged, and his sense of shame and guilt overwhelms him and robs him, I think, of the passion and spontaneity we once had. Sometimes it surfaces, so perhaps there is hope – but it is a ways off yet, I think. I do love him dearly and want it to work, but sometimes I just feel I am not able to really talk to him about my sadness and loss.

      This is probably no help, but just know that your reactions are normal – and so are his, I think. They seem so similar to my situation. I don’t know how far you are out from D-day, and like Notoverit says – things do get better with time – but its kind of slow in doing so.

      • nmwf1 says:

        hi shape, I know Dj is in a bit of turmoil right now and i feel for her. i wish i could help with words of wisdom but i can’t seem to get a grip lately. she has been very helpful and so have you. D-day for me is this July 3rd. i found out by sheer chance, and a little intuition. One slip up the two idiots made and that was all she wrote. There little secret was out. I say idiots cause I’ve been in a little bit of a angry mode lately. i know that things (are) supposed to get better with time, I hear it all the time but i don’t know how much time we are talking about here. I don’t seem to feel any better than I did when I first found out. My husband is very good to me and loving and seems to be saying and doing all the right things to help me, and yet months later here I am still stuck in an emotional roller coaster. When I look at him I love him with all my heart, and when he looks at me I see it in his eyes that he loves me just as deep. And when he makes love to me, I feel the passion and desire that you know is real. ( Frankly it sounds perfect,) If it didn’t come with a hefty price. Selfish sounding YES. But if your heart is not ready to let go of the pain than there is nothing you can do. You don’t take hold of your emotions they take hold of you. I wish it were as simple as: (he’s great to you now and he loves you with all his heart and he is sorry, Forgive and move on you will be happier!) sounds rational but…My heart and my mind simply cannot accept that he had another woman on his mind, someone from his past, someone he sent thousands of text messages to and thousands of calls and hours of conversation behind my back, Someone that he slept with before we were married and someone he talked intimate with and had phone sex with during his little affair, and might have slept with again if i didn’t catch them before she came to visit her family on the holidays, (she lives in another state) Then, just when i think I am getting a handle on myself, and our relationship seems to be healing and progressing , the all to familiar (TRIGGERS) Snap my mind into another place and time and that pit in my stomach starts to grow, and then the pain, jealousy, anger, resentment and rage kick in and walla! That beautiful loving Man, who I love with all my heart and soul, becomes my ENEMY! AND I WANT TO RIP HIS HEAD OFF!,
        God Help Me i am emotionally Lost!
        TAKE CARE! Thanks for saying that its normal, cause I feel like a lunatic at times. I don’t recall raising my voice in anger in 20 years, but since D-Day, I have dished out enough to last a life time, My husband had never seen this side of me before, and he probably wishes he hadn’t unleashed it……. i wish he didn’t either. Its exhausting!

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