“Didn’t You Even Think of Me?” by Rick Reynolds

Just yesterday, NMWF1 wrote that she wondered what her husband was thinking when he had his affair.  Was he not concerned about her?  Her comment is under my post on September 26, 2012.  Her comment is at the end of the comment section.  Here is the link if you’d like to see it:

https://notoverit.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/affair-recovery-forgiving-infidelity-the-high-price-of-forgiveness-affair-recovery/

And with God’s perfect coincidences, the same person who wrote the article that day, Rick Reynolds, has written another great piece today.  Today he tackles the question of whether the cheater considered the spouse when having an affair.

It would have hurt me greatly to read this early on in my journey, so if you are still fresh into this, maybe you should skip this one.  But at two years out I can handle it.  It hurts and it saddens me to read it, but after all this time, I find it accurate and believable.  There’s so much substance packed into one article, just like the last time.

My husband is not open to reading stuff like this, but I’m going to try to get the message across to him somehow.  I don’t think he understands himself some of the hows and whys of his affair.

http://affairrecovery.com/newsletter/founder/unfaithful-think-of-me

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41 thoughts on ““Didn’t You Even Think of Me?” by Rick Reynolds

  1. ChangedForever says:

    Very deep & emotional read…i, too, would lose the impact on my H if i forwarded this to him….what’s even harder for me to process is hearing how the H described within Rick’s blog was eventually ‘working on his issues,’ THAT my H has yet to do that i am aware of. That’s what hurts…that it seems to me ‘it’ COULD happen again as i still see my H as very vulnerable.
    Just today, i heard a talk show host on the radio speaking of evil in these terms:
    EVIL IS A VERY REAL THING
    EVIL CAN LOOK GOOD
    EVIL CAN SUCK YOU IN WITH A SMILE
    Of course, the subject matter leading to this discussion was NOT affair-related. But i saw it otherwise, because that’s how easily ‘it’ can happen (& did in my H’s case.) Affairs are evil (my opinion.)
    Al i ever wanted is my H to show me how he CAN have his guard up but that’s yet to happen so the probability of another ‘occurence?’ Very likely, my opinion.
    Thanks for sharing as always….

    • Not Over It says:

      Hi CF – I also see many discussions from the infidelity perspective even when it’s not directly addressed. And I can also see it in what you wrote about that radio show host… very clear train of thought to me also…

      Today your words are my thoughts. One of the big obstacles to my healing is the fact that my husband has not done much to learn anything or to “work on his issues.” That’s a big red flag for me to say that it could happen again. It has been a major worry for me for a long time.

      But regardless his issues, I am on a roll. I just had some tests done and I am in better health now than when I was 30. I am going to reward myself by going out and buying some new yoga pants. Lol.

      Hope all is well with you…

      Love & prayers,
      DJ

  2. hiddinsight says:

    Good article…very true!!

    • Not Over It says:

      I’m glad to hear your perspective on this, Hiddinsight. Thank you!

      Love & prayers,
      DJ

      • nmwf1 says:

        Hi Dj, and (all) I was surprised to see so many of us have the very same thoughts that i have about weather or not our spouses even thought of us at all. Thank you for opening a discussion of it for me because I struggle so much with this and other questions in my mind. Dj, I am not a weak minded person (normally), but infidelity ripped my rose colored glasses from my eyes, and slammed me into unfamiliar territory , as you know, since D-Day i have been very mixed up and confused and lost in my feelings about what my husband did to us. I read Rick Reynolds article that you posted, ( and well,) it took me an hour to compose myself, it simply dumped my emotions to the pit of despair. Sounds overly dramatic I know, but the truth. The article stabs my heart like a knife and I feel the strain of anxiety in my chest. Hind site is always 20/20, and it surprises me that although in the beginning, right after D-day, in my mind I kept telling myself, I never seen the signs, why did I not see any signs? Then as time wore on, I remember very clearly little things that seemed strange but I dismissed them without another thought, That said, I believe he was thinking of her at times, or maybe all the times that he was with me when his affair was going on, I still remember a time when we were at our RV on his work site, i had gone down to spend the weekend with him as I did often, one night after dinner, he was sitting on the couch and I was sitting on the floor in front of him, talking about nothing in particular, he was lounging back with his hands tucked behind his head looking at me as if his mind was a million miles away, still holding the conversation but somehow seemed distant. ( i see that now) but I really thought nothing of it at the time. And I have told you in other posts of the Monday mornings, when he would hug and kiss me goodbye as he was going to the job site and i would hang at the RV for another 30 minutes or so to drink my coffee and watch the news before i would head back to our home 5 hours away. Then to find out D-day that every one of those routine Monday mornings, his phone bill showed that he walked out that door and got in his truck and called her as he was driving away. But if what Rick has said is true that she was always on his mind, ( with me or without me,} and all I was: was a thought on the back burner, than, this is, an even greater set back for me, To think I meant nothing to him for months, it was all about her, I simply have a very hard time swallowing that one. The article makes the affair seem even (crueler} than before. Frankly the article makes me sick. And possible all true. Well its just another hurdle, and a thought to obsess over, I’m used to it. I blame myself for my weakness, I was always seemingly a strong person, But infidelity has stolen my rational self and replaced it with a lunatic. With every hurdle, I keep telling myself that, this to shall pass. I just wish it would pick up the pace!

        As always thx for being there, your pain is my pain and i know my pain is yours, hugs,hugs,hugs

      • Not Over It says:

        Hi NM – This was a difficult thing to read for me as well, but it is an explanation that I have been thinking about for some time now, based on everything I have gone through and everything I have learned. It is not something that is going to make any betrayed spouse feel better, but it does offer an explanation for that proverbial question – “how could you?”

        The answer hurts, but everything about an affair hurts, so that doesn’t come as a surprise. There is no nice or gentle way of facing the truth. I won’t say all cheating spouses are selfish and immature throughout their lives, but at least at the time they debased themselves with an affair, they were.

        But there is a silver lining, in my opinion anyway, for our battered self esteem. I am still thinking through this idea, so if anyone would care to add something to this, please write a comment here. It’s the idea of the “distorted lens,” as Rick Reynolds calls it. A selfish, immature person (there are many reasons they could have had for descending into that state) sees the world through a distorted lens where they only see what they don’t have. As Reynolds says, “Misery is increased as we focus on what is lacking rather than the blessings we have. We move into self-deception, extolling our virtues, minimizing our faults and falsely believing we deserve better.”

        This is delusion. This is not real. But cheaters believe it. And they fall. It has little or nothing to do with us. It does not say that we were not good enough or smart enough or alluring enough or not enough of ANYTHING. We are not perfect, but we are plenty good enough to be a beloved spouse if we are seen through the eyes of love and affection. The cheaters once had those eyes for us. When they allowed that distorted lens to take its place, they lost their sight of the truth and replaced it with delusion or falsehoods.

        That distorted lens makes the grass look greener elsewhere. It also helps the cheater justify his or her actions. I could write a whole lot more just on this part right here, but suffice it to say the grass is not usually greener. Rarely, in fact. But that distorted lens creates a fantasy delusion that it is.

        Of course, this is all generalization and there are exceptions to every rule, but this is the general pattern that I am seeing on my journey. To me, it’s a little easier to know that it’s not the truth and that my husband has since taken off that distorted lens.

        So NM – even though your husband was not thinking of you back then, he had on a distorted lens, which he seems to have gotten rid of now. He now sees you for the wonderful woman you are, who is the best wife for him. How do we ensure he stays that way? Ah, now there’s where I struggle…

        I said at the beginning that the article was difficult for me to read. It feels to me like it’s making me face the reality of the kind of man my husband had become. I struggle with knowing that I am married to a man who could fall into thinking those delusions were real. My coach tells me that we are all deluded by something or other. Everyone sees the world through their own lenses. But my husband’s distorted lens was not something a spouse should ever have to live with. So what do I do with that prize now? I am also still struggling…

        Love & prayers,
        DJ

  3. This is a toughie but I can empathize with the article. Our husbands are not bad people ~ Yes sometimes we just hate what they did, and we curse at them when we are in pain, when we’re crying and just hurting by ourselves. But they are not psychopaths, or violent people, or serial liars and so on. However, they did do something very very bad especially towards the people they love most. I can certainly agree that in order for them to carry on with their disgusting affairs, and do things that they KNOW are wrong and shouldn’t have done, they must forget the people they are hurting the most in the pursuit of their selfish happiness. As you know, they create a false reality when with their AP. Having said that, it still hurts to the core when we think about it. For me, it kind of makes it a bit better that he didn’t think of me during the affair. I mean, wouldn’t it be worse if he did and STILL lying and betraying me at the same time?

    Hope you’re still having a good week my friend,
    Love and prayers to you always!

    • Not Over It says:

      Hey Fighter – I agree. It’s better to think that they had enough of a conscience to try to block us out of their minds while they betrayed us.

      It’s been a rather rough day contemplating all of this, but I am ok. I’ve gotten a lot of stuff done at work and I’m getting ready to go home to enjoy an evening with my husband. Grilled salmon with stir-fried vegies over hot rice, then slow-churned ice cream with fresh berries for dessert… we will both enjoy that.

      Hope you are well, too.

      Love & prayers,
      DJ

  4. DJ – After reading this very interesting article, but sad to us the betrayed, I forwarded it to my husband and he replied that he is working with his therapist exactly about this, ” the flight from reality, and the business of facing reality and in fact realizing that dealing with reality is more rewarding”! But of course! only once removed the distorted lenses of your very accurate analogy! This ‘patterns of self-deception and avoidance’ played a HUGE part while our husbands where deep into the deception towards us and themselves while in the ‘fog’ of the affair. Although it explains a lot, I still want to smack him in the head for being such a selfish b7&*&%rd, for even starting this process!
    Soon after his affair was exposed, my husband wanted to find excuses of why he did it, and started with petty accusations about me bickering about everything that he tried to do! I was (even more) hurt, because I was exhausted from taking some of his responsibilities, because I thought that he was under lots of stress! But, after lots of conversations, it became clear that this patterns started while he was deep into the affair and he was not much present physically and emotionally at home. So, he started to resent me asking for help with our family life! Things that where OK before, became a reason for condemning me, because my husband at that point became a man that resented the responsibilities of a family. His distorted lenses, stopped him noticing the people he once loved and caring for them. And, gave him an excuse to ‘deserve’ the affair, his scape.
    Now that he is back to being the wonderful father (and husband) that he was before, he finds hard to forgive himself for having resented that role, and that our girls noticed his bad moods then, and started to avoid contact with him. He is working very hard to show them his unconditional love.
    Something else DJ, we have talked about this subject before and “I” clarified to my husband that it was clear that he blocked me off his thoughts while with his AP, as his mobile would ALWAYS be off, or he would be unreachable, unavailable while with her,( especially by me). So, out of reach, out of his mind and life. BUT, she was always able to reach him, at home and anywhere, so she was given free access to his life, even if it meant, while he was with his family (that hurts and A LOT!). So yes, he thought of her while with me, but put me aside of his life while with her. And I hate this! But it is true. How else would they be able to enjoy their time, if we would be in their mind reminding them, that they should not be doing what they were doing? In our case, she also demanded him to never talk about his family, because she hated knowing about us! He says that she pretended that this side of his life did not exist. So, in my case it is a case of Two delusional beings feeding each other. How sad they were!
    There is no end to what we the betrayed part has to understand and work through in these situations. I am not surprised to hear how stronger we might have become after some healing, how not to?!
    Once again. Thanks DJ. Love and prayers to you.

  5. Not Over It says:

    Oh, it’s wonderful to see validation in that your husband is actually working on these very things in therapy… thank you so much for sharing that.

    The way your husband did things during his affair sounds so much like mine. I guess it’s all part of the affair fog that is created by those distorted lenses. I remember a particular day when my family was all home for Christmas and we were getting ready to go shopping. We had all come down into the living room when my husband got a phone call. He got flustered and went into another room to talk. The kids looked at me – it was a holiday so why would Dad be talking business? If it weren’t business, why was he walking away for privacy? We ended up sitting down to wait for him for quite some time.

    I remembered the date because it was Christmas Eve 2005. Among the emails I found on Dday was one dated December 24, 2005. She apologized for calling when she knew his children were all there but she said she really needed to hear his voice. She said she knew he loved her because he always made the time for her, no matter what he was doing or who he was with.

    That pretty much sums it up, huh? She was always on his mind and always available to her, but with us, he became unreachable. It became a pet peeve in our family that no one could ever seem to get in touch with Dad. My children put the pieces together themselves after Dday, and felt just about as betrayed as I did.

    Yep, I’d say I could conquer just about anything after this… all of us can.

    Thank you, TTW. It’s so good to be able to share with you and everyone here.

    Sending love & prayers to you also,
    DJ

    • nmwf1 says:

      Hi Dj, Some betrayed have a (bigger fish to fry) than I do, however an affair no matter how far it went, or how long it lasted, or to what degree they took it, is unbelievably painful. I have an issue that also is beyond the scope of what the betrayed can endure in there mind and nobody brings it up to much, I think because of the torture in their minds. But it is the issue of sex. Picturing it in your mind, what they did, what they didn’t do with each other, As you know i believed my husband when he said that they never met up physically, in person, because she resides in another state……..Well because i can’t stop investigating to this day. I found out that she had come here to our state during the time that his EA was going on , he still denies ever meeting up with her. The problem is, is that, the night she text my husband was July 3rd, that was the night i first got suspicious of something not right. He left the next morning to go back to his job site, so that he could be rested for the following day July 5th, I found out by investigating further that she was in our state to visit her family that weekend.(4th of July) I raged on my husband once again,(recently) but he denies ever meeting up with her. But we all know you could be anywhere on a cell phone, I don’t believe him and even if he didn’t meet up with her , its hard for me to believe him given the circumstances. So my mind is in such turmoil about the images i am fighting in my head, Real or not, I am tortured. They had phone sex many time, and he has admitted it, and that in itself has almost clinched a divorce for me. But I want to know if they had sex for real or not. Once again I found another lie, he said she never came here, he lied, he had to have known she was here, I don’t believe they didn’t plan to meet up, they both knew each other would be within 20 miles of each other. You tell me? So I want to know the truth. What would i do with the information you ask? Go crazy I’m sure. But I want to know the truth because i am obsessing over it anyway, and yet, if he confesses at some point, I’m afraid how i will react. The thought of him touching her physically and holding each other and having sex. takes me over the edge. i know it has to be torture for those of you who know the truth. Maybe he is telling me the truth, maybe not. So who the hell can fix that one in any ones mind set. How does anyone get over that one. It is sickening to say the least. What the hell does Dr Rick say about that . Do I need psychiatric help? Is this normal? I am once again on that spiral pole you have talked about. This is a huge hurtle for me. Cause you can’t be farther away from your husbands mind than when he is F****** another woman. Vulgar again, I know, but I want to know everyone’s opinion on this cause nobody seems to want to talk about that aspect of an affair…… we talk about the emotional part of it, which is NUMBER ONE IN THE PAIN DEPARTMENT, but emotional affair along with the physical sex is (overwhelming) It overloads the brain. And Dj.. My Dear Dj,. 6 years? 6 yyyyyyeeeeaaaaarrrrrrsssssssss??????????? I want to rip Danials head off…. I am mad as hell……..I AM MAD AS HELLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!! Now what? please set me strait, I need your help, I am dying inside!
      Now what??

  6. Not Over It says:

    HI NM – I am at work and will have to get into the details with you later on today, but I wanted you to know that I have read your note and I understand. I have been exactly where you are. My number one outlet was exercise. I went at it with a fury I never had before. I also punched out my pillows regularly for a long time. Letting it out physically was necessary for me. I also journaled and blogged and wrote to my coach. I sang sad songs and cried my heart along with them. Do you have an outlet?

    Those are just outlets, not cures… but they do help.

    I will write more as soon as I get the chance…

    Love you,
    DJ

  7. Ouch…but a question I have asked and I guess now I know why it was never one he would answer.

    • Not Over It says:

      I know, right? But at least we can think of it as delusion and distorted lenses – that means that they can come out of it and see reality again. That helps me in some ways. In others… well, I’m still struggling…

      Hope you are finding grace and peace. I see that your blog is new. How are you doing?

      Love & prayers,
      DJ

      • I bookmarked it so I re-read when I start to stumble. He has tried to explain the “escape” part and I haven’t been able to understand it.

        I started a new blog after D-day – taken me awhile to write again. Hoping it helps in healing.

      • Not Over It says:

        Blogging has been one the best things I have done since Dday. The writing itself is therapeutic, and then there’s the blogging community that becomes a support network for the tough times and friends to laugh with when it’s better. I’m looking forward to reading your blog when you get it going.

        Wishing you love and peace –
        DJ

  8. nmwf1 says:

    Hi Dj, sorry since i am venting I really wanted to get something else out that also bothers me, In all of the discussions we have and all of the subjects we all try to analyze, it bothers me that we always seem to have this illusion that the betrayer is somehow on another plane of his mind than the rest of us, that somehow rationalizes or justifies why they do what they do, or why they did what they did, especially when a councilor or psychologist is involved. They try to analyze how unfulfilled they were or something inside of them is harboring problems they cant deal with, so they act out with affairs, In reality why don’t we just look at it in laymonds terms? The conversation is usually in hind site, about what plane the cheaters mind was on while involved with the AP. but lets face it, they should have never gone there in the first place, they should have turned away. Some cheaters looked for an affair, some claim they just fell into it,( my husband) (which i call BS because he called and old flame of 30 something years ago,)( it appears to me he was curious what he missed all of theoe years) He didn’t just fall into it, he had no business contacting her in the first place. The whole damn world knows that male female friendships outside of the marriage have a potential to turn into something else. Especially old flames, and the betrayer is not naive, (THEY ARE NOT NAIVE) YOU KNOW IT AND I KNOW IT . they didn’t just fall into it, you cant tell me that the cheater didn’t know what was happening, that feeling is there, OF: Oh shit what am i getting myself into? What the hell am I doing? Anyone who is already in a marriage or serious relationship knows when they are stepping over that line. In their mind they know exactly where it could;, or probably lead lead and they do it anyway, They also know that it will reek havoc on their marriage, if caught. They know the risks and they take it. They just don’t give a damn about the consequences at the time because they are flattered by attention by someone new, other than the same old relationship they are in. They want to know what they are missing and think: I just want to see what this person is like that is flirting with me,, my wife wont find out, just once and then i will forget it ever happened. The fog isn’t there yet, they know what they are doing, it is curiosity that feeds it and you would think that their stomach would start to be TIED IN KNOTS because they know they are ABOUT TO MAKE THE BIGGEST MISTAKE OF THEIR LIVES, But they don’t turn away. (THEY KNOW IT IS WRONG) They make a conscious decision that they know will hurt the one that loves them if they get caught , they know it will destroy the one that is faithful to them, but they dismiss the thought and go for it anyway. Then; they get in over there head and think: What the hell this feels good, my wife hasn’t found out yet, AND SHE WON’T EVER because I’m not that dumb. They do all of this in a process before the fog ever kicks in, A process that they know is wrong, is betrayal. Then they continue because they figure ( I’ve gone this far,) I already did it, so now i might as well do what i want, its to late now I already did it. Then they allow the relationship to get deeper and deeper . Then they start the justification process, poor me, I’m not fulfilled at home, I just want to escape for now . Its harmless and I enjoy it, Its just for a while, then I will stop it. until one day, they blow it, and their little Ass’s get caught, AND THEY PEDDLE BACKWARDS ,because they realize what they did just destroyed there marriage or least left it in shambles and they realize that the one person that really meant the most to them in the world is shattered and broken and bewildered and lost, and in extreme pain and torture. And they realize they just forever changed the relationship they didn’t want to give up in the first place, for that so called innocent friendship that they just can’t explain how it happened, it just wasn’t them, it just happened I didn’t want it to, it just did ( YAH THEY DID) they did want it to happen and they know exactly how it happened ., They thought they could get away with having there cake and eat it to. What we didn’t know wouldn’t hurt us. Yah!!! So they thought………….They are just making excuses. Betrayal is all it is….

  9. nmwf1 – I would like to say that I completely agree with you. I don’t debate against my husband’s explanation, about his counseling, because I want to keep communication between us open, and because I am grateful that he is trying really hard to put right his wrong (although I believe it impossible, quite a lot of the time!). But my response to his debate on “flight of reality” as article explains and he is working with his counselor, was something that I have though of until my brain hurt, and I understood it as it is.
    I knew that when he was with with her, I was completely out of his mind, nonexistent, but she was always present in his life, whenever she wanted, because I had all the proofs to know that. Because he has also argued that when with her he did not think of me, when with me, he did not think of her, that he compartmentalized us both! I have always disagreed! I told him that his was a ‘Calculated living, calculated behaved and planned situation’ Hand in hand. That I don’t buy this, ‘living an unreal life losing the sense to reality’, specially with him, for the nature of his job and personality. I believe only in a choice to ignore the reality to gain. He did not digress, he only accepted my point of view, because he is still in turmoil and suffering with my suffering and the loss of our relationship, that was pretty good!
    Explanations like the one in the article are here only to give guidance to someone who can not understand themselves, their actions that destroyed so much (for themselves too!). In my opinion (and he knows it), my husband knew exactly what he was doing and well! (I hate this!). He did not want to refuse a no strings attached sex offer from his AP, because it represented a conquest, a midlife crises sick conquest (although now it is clear, to be the opposite, as he loathes himself for having giving in to the low form of life, AP!), and he did it, because he thought that he would never be found out! So he could have his cake and eat it! Once enjoyed, come home, live a quiet life and all would be fine! But she had other ideas! She started to blackmail him from the beginning (he deserved to know the strength of the snake he f’7&*%ed!)
    The situation lived by my husband’s it is not like an e-mail you write and hit send and that is it. He found dates in his diaries, my diary, he physically took himself to places to be with her, he came home and open a door and crossed into a house that used to be happy, and brought in with him, her, all over his body! And I still hate him for that! And nothing will change the fact, that he was intimately connected to another women, and it makes me sick to the core! And I can not change that!
    My husband’s affair was purely sexual, He swears that he never talked to her about love, although she did to him. And I never found anything like that in their written communication. I hate the feelings and insecurities it created on me, between us. We had a very healthy sex life, and all this brought in a sadness between us, that is thick and touchable sometimes. He maintain that the only thing she had was novelty and she was insistent, the only thing that made it exciting for him, to be chased! And there was never the intimacy we have! Yes, he was throwing US away for this!

    In the beginning, I question and questioned him about it! He never gave me any more details than necessary, which now I am grateful for. The images in my head are quite bad as it is, but I am better now. I am over two years post DDay, and the control of emotions I have learned through this process, if I let my guards down, when we have sex, to enjoy the moment with my heart, I crumble. So although I am not completely OK yet, I have learned a lot through the pain, and the intimacy we have is good! But I don’t make love to him, I have sex, and he makes love to me! He does not like and I say that, but accepts!
    I can see that you are in turmoil! IMHO ask as many questions and whenever it comes up. Don’t keep in, as it will fester! Ask and ask because he might give in, “remember” and you will know the truth, which however painful it is better than sweet lies. This process is long and painful, but in one way or the other, you will survive and it seems that your husband is there to help you. Good luck!

  10. Not Over It says:

    NM and TTW – I also agree and empathize with both of you. My coach and I are discussing these very things this week. I will go into more detail when I have time. I would like to add here that what you are saying does not necessarily conflict with what Rick Reynolds is saying. Of course they knew what they were doing. It’s not like they were under some magical spell and unable to think for themselves. But what Rick is saying is that before they ever started thinking about an affair or contacting the old girlfriend or taking that first step towards betrayal, they allowed themselves to become self-absorbed. They focused on the wrong things. They minimized their own failings and magnified ours. That made them think they needed more fulfillment from somewhere else. That was delusion. It’s just like half full or half empty. They chose to look at us as half empty. That was the distorted lens – Rick Reynolds calls it under invested in the relationship. That hurts a lot. I am stuck on that part. My husband was under invested in our relationship? In his mind, I had become less important than his desires and unable to meet his desires, no matter whether I would actually have been able to or not. Delusion. Not magical spell. Just stupid thinking.

    My coach disagrees with generalizing this way. He always says that you cannot generalize everyone. With me, he is sure that my husband just plain took me for granted. Like you have both said, he just wanted to have his cake and eat it, too, and he knew how much I trusted him and he took advantage of that. He never thought I’d find out.

    Which one of these explanations makes me feel better? Makes me feel worse? I don’t know. Neither one makes the cheater look better than the other. There is no way to sugar coat it. They did us wrong in the most devastating way possible.

    My coach is also surprised that someone with my personality didn’t just kick him out. Why didn’t I? Oh, many reasons…

    I’ll get to the sex part in my next note, NM. I am swamped at the moment and need to get to that later. That is another huge topic…

    Love you both. Hope all is well, or as well as can be expected…
    DJ

  11. liberty830 says:

    Hi DJ. Ive been following your blog for a few weeks. Ive learned a lot from everyone here. I’m almost 5 months out now and the subject of didn’t you ever think of me is one of the hardest for me. That is always in my mind. I hope I will learn to stop thinking and stop asking that question.

    • Not Over It says:

      Hi Liberty – Thank you for making time in your days to visit here. I wish it were under better circumstances, but I welcome you to share here with us. You can share, vent, ask, and even tell your story if you’d like.

      5 months out – you are still in the hardest part of it. Most betrayed spouses feel that this is the worst pain they have ever felt in their lives. It definitely has been for me. Remember to take care of yourself.

      Yes, that “how could you” question is most difficult, and the answer is never easy to hear, if an answer ever comes.

      Hope to hear from you again soon. Sending love & prayers,
      DJ

  12. nmwf1 says:

    Hi All. I would give anything if I could just get past the thoughts i have. I don’t understand how I still feel the sharp pain of betrayal today, just as if it had happened yesterday, Time has not lessened pain or resentment, But I find myself in a cycle that happens over and over again, My thoughts run in waves, although they are with me everyday, i sometimes find myself bottling those thoughts up till I explode on my husband. The trouble is, is that he always breaks down because of shame and I always apologize over and over for hurting him over the same old thing, he cannot change. But my feelings are very strong and mixed up and I hate myself, because he is good to me, and he is a good man, I just don’t know how to separate the man he is now from the man he was then, He is so loving and wonderful to me, and yet i can’t stop my mind from thinking about how he threw me aside for someone else. Ya the fog lifted, he is remorseful, he is sorry, he hates what he did. But it does not change the fact that until he was caught, none of this was a factor, I simply meant nothing to him, except a person he was obligated to check in with. Ya he hid it well, He acted normal for the most part when i was with him, But how damn decent of him, all the while he was thinking of someone else. If the tables were turned and I betrayed him the way he betrayed me, and he discovered all of the things that I have discovered about him. Would he feel the same passion of resentment as I do now, or would he just let it go. Frankly I would like to think that he would feel just as strong about it as i do. My question is: Can you forgive someone, but still harbor resentment. Cause I love him so. I want him in my life forever, I forgive this loving, caring, wonderful man he is now, but I have a hard time forgiving the man I didn’t know back then, if that makes any since. Its like they are two different people. And i am still extremely angry with the man he was then, When things bottle up inside, I start to loose my senses and I reach a breaking point, that is when I must say something to him, I always start out with good intentions of just talking about what is bothering me, but i always loose control and it escalates into a full blown rage and melt down with him. One sided I might add, because he just lets me rage and try’s to comfort me and tell me he is sorry for hurting me and how much he loves me. But my selfish pride will not accept it for face value, I don’t understand that part of me. , but I really hate that he will not give me answers, he just answers with, it wasn’t me, I don’t know what happened. I just got caught up, . And he always feels bad and I always feel bad, and it exhausts both of us. My Dr, recommended a councilor that I am going to see this Thursday. He actually specializes in PTSD. My Dr. believes that I am a classic case, because I snap into thoughts of the affair with the slighted hint. And I take it to extreme. I want to feel normal, I want to be whole again, for myself , for the man I love, and for the sake of happiness. I really want help, this is madness.

    • Not Over It says:

      Hi NM – remember you are a whole year behind me. When I was at your stage, I was still having flashbacks and suffering from PTSD symptoms. I’m glad you’re seeing a counselor who specializes in PTSD. That is exactly what you need. PTSD symptoms are not quite the same as grief and recovery, and you need professional, guided help. You’re not crazy. You just have responses to triggers that are out of your control right now. The counselor can help you with exercises that will help you get back your control. You will get past this. When you reach two years, you will see the difference if you work at it and don’t give up. Just hang in there.

      I think that perhaps your husband doesn’t know what to do with you. He’s trying so very hard to help you, but since your reaction to any talk about the affair is to lose control, he is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. If he talks about it, you will lose control. If he clams up, you will lose control. I think that would make him feel like he doesn’t know how to help you. Perhaps the counselor can help with that, too, so that you can learn how to talk about it and how to have your husband help you. Tell the counselor that.

      Oh and by the way, I am better but I still have PTSD flashbacks once in a while. I had one this morning. It took the wind out of my sails for most of the day. I’m better now after a walk and prayer.

      Love & prayers to you, my dear friend,
      DJ

  13. liberty830 says:

    I just don’t know how to cope with this. I know from reading on here that it will get better. But until then I’m trying my best to get by. I tell myself every day that today I will be better. That I will find some peace. That I will exercise. That I will call a friend. That I will stop asking questions about H’s EA. But I don’t do anything but go to work and home and wallow in self pity! I feel like I know the whole story and hes being so good but its not good enough for me. Thanks for listening and the advice.

    • Not Over It says:

      Hi Liberty – I think we all muddle through it and make many mistakes along the way. Don’t worry. Just by being here with me, you are showing that you are not turning away from life. You are reaching out and that means you will find your way to cope.

      The way is different for each of us, and the way changes as we move in and through the stages of recovery. I know that you feel like it will be forever. The last two years have been the longest, slowest, most painful of my life. But it is better and I know it will keep on getting better. I will not settle for less.

      There have been so many days when I intended to exercise and didn’t… so many days when I wanted to talk to someone and couldn’t make myself take that step… so many times when I thought I was done asking questions and then thought of something else… You have lots of company here, Liberty. The things I write in my posts are generally about things I know that work, but I was not consistent in doing them from the beginning. The depression and the pain were insurmountable at times. My coach taught me to face the pain and acknowledge it, and then get back up again. New habits take a while to form.

      As a matter of fact, I didn’t do my morning exercise this morning. My husband is away on another business trip and I was majorly triggered because of the hotel he is staying at and several other things. I suffered a flashback on Sunday. It takes me a few days to get back into the swing of things after that, and I am feeling blah. Too blah to be hyped up about exercising by myself. But my evening class is a group class and I’m the one who has the keys and sets everything up. I volunteered because it pushes me to get there and do it. That helps a lot.

      At 5 months, I still asked questions. Not many, but I still did. One day you will realize that you don’t need to ask anymore. I kid you not. One day you will know.

      What things have you done to work through this so far? Books? Programs? Counseling? Blogging?

      Grace and peace to you,
      DJ

  14. liberty830 says:

    Hi. I just read Not just friends. I really liked it. It is hard for me to read anything but I am trying. I am just trying to sleep at night and make some sense out of this. I do know it will get easier. I’m just not there yet. We saw a counselor 3 times and he told me “I should get over it already “. My H did and is doing everything he can do except make me feel better. He has not done anything without me since I found out. But that is not helping. Sorry you had such a rough day. Take care.

    • Not Over It says:

      OMG, Liberty. You should get over it already??? Smack him one! It’s amazing how many bad counselors there are out there.

      My coach asked me this when I told him my husband was not helping me: what do you need from your husband? It’s not an easy question to answer. Think about it for a while. What do you need right now?

      At five months out I needed validation. I needed my husband to acknowledge that he had been wrong, that the affair was a mistake. I needed to know that he understood my pain and accepted it. I needed for him to soothe me and comfort me when I was triggered, even though he was the one who had hurt me. I needed more than just togetherness. I needed him to romance me and win me back. I still need that.

      We tried two different counselors within the first three months and both were pretty big disasters. My first one said, “So he had an affair – so what? He’s here now.” OMG.

      So I looked online and found the Marriage Sherpa coaching program. Coach James let me vent and be sad when I needed to be sad. He “listened” and stayed with me and commiserated with me in my pain. He always knew when to push me forward and when to let me wallow. I still use the program and he helps me think things through.

      Not Just Friends is my favorite of all the books on infidelity. I also enjoyed The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, His Needs Her Needs by Willard Harley, and Unfaithful by Gary and Mona Shriver, and My Husband’s Affair Became the Best Thing that Ever Happened to Me by Anne Bercht. I don’t think I’ll ever say that, but she offers a good perspective on infidelity.

      I know it’s difficult to focus well enough to be able to read. I used to read aloud with my husband. It was slow going, but good for both of us. Before Dday, I was a voracious reader. Now I’m slow and can’t stay with it for long periods, but I read as much as I can.

      My favorite websites are Marriage Sherpa, Emotional Affair Journey, and Affair Recovery. Each offers a slightly different style of helping and sharing with couples on both sides of infidelity.

      If you are sleeping at night, you are way ahead of where I was at five months out. Neither my husband nor I slept well for a long, long time. We still don’t sleep as well as before, and since I have now developed fibromyalgia, it’s often hard to get a good night’s sleep. I think my husband may have developed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Such a pair we are…

      Hope you are doing well…

      Love & prayers,
      DJ

    • Foolish Woman says:

      Just want to add my tuppence worth regarding that counsellor. I’m appalled. He obviously doesn’t know the first thing about infidelity within a marriage or he wouldn’t have said such a stupid thing.
      The man is deluded and just plain WRONG – and shouldn’t be counselling betrayed wives.
      End of Rant :blush:

      • Not Over It says:

        Absolutely. The trauma of infidelity is unique unto its own and requires a special kind of counselor. I used to say that it had to be a counselor who specialized in infidelity, but I no longer say that because there is a counselor here online – Paula is her name and she is on my blogroll as “A Therapist’s Thoughts” – and she does not specialize in infidelity but she has some profound things to say on her blog and on mine. Bless her.

        Thank you, FW – hope all is well with you –

        Love & prayers,
        DJ

  15. liberty830 says:

    Hi DJ. I did read the 5 love languages a few months ago. We did the questions and my H and I are just alike. Our answers were the same. Here’s the thing…I asked him the 8 questions in Not just friends and it says just friends. My H says from day 1 till today that they were just friends. No talk of anything about their marriages, no flirting, nothing but casual conversation. However I didn’t know and he fully admits that it was wrong to not tell me and to do it in the first place. So…..I don’t know if I believe him? I feel like hes being honest but I don’t know. He is trying to make it right but I’m not ready. We have one child left at home who is 14. So I pretend a lot that I’m okay. I like EAJ. In fact I’m doing some calls with Linda. Hoping it will help. Thanks for the advice. It really does help. Hope your having a good day.

    • Not Over It says:

      Wow, that is unusual for a couple to have the same love language, but what a wonderful thing! You both already know how to express and receive love from one another. Gosh, what luck… that is one of the most difficult things for my husband to understand.

      Linda is an excellent person to talk to. I would caution, though, that people who get caught are usually in full-on cover up mode. Be careful. If your gut says it was an EA, it probably was.

      There are many things my husband has never admitted to, even to this day. He is no longer trying to cover his tracks, but I do believe he is trying to spare me the hurt and spare himself further guilt. If only he would understand that I’d rather hear the truth from his mouth and deal with it directly than this cat-and-mouse game we still play sometimes.

      My situation seems quite different from yours. I’m glad for that. Just be careful.

      I am better today – getting ready to go trick-or-treating with my grandbaby. Hope you are well, too.

      Love & prayers,
      DJ

      • liberty830 says:

        Hi DJ, Hope you had a nice time trick or treating with your grandbaby. I took my 18 month old twin grandbabies and it was so much fun!

        I think the love language thing is interesting. I wonder if because my H and I are so much alike, is why I am having a hard time with this? I don’t know…

        We were discussing my “gut feelings” last night and he says he doesnt know what to do for me. He can’t give me “proof” of what he is saying is true so….I just don’t think I can get over this, I am just so down in the dumps and I just can’t accept what he is telling me, so how do you get over something if you are unsure. Maybe time? It’s only been 5 months, but a damn long 5 months. I just want to feel the same way about my H as I did before but will I? Like you, I was an avid reader and I loved being outside hiking, working out, spending time with my friends and family, and now I just don’t want to do anything. If I could not work I would, but I do love my job so that helps.

        I am sleeping but only because I drink wine at night. LOL. Its the only way I can fall asleep. Although last night was a bad night, awake most of it and H was good and helped me thru.

        All I know for sure, is like everyone else on here this is the hardest thing I have ever gone thru and some days I just want to give up!

        Hope you have a nice day. Thanks again for the advice and wisdom!

      • Not Over It says:

        Hi Liberty – oh, you have twin grandbabies? My sister has twin grandbabies. They’re so fun! I’m glad you got to enjoy Halloween with them. I enjoyed trick-or-treating with my grandbaby. She was Dora the Explorer. So cute…

        At five months out, you are indeed still at the beginning stages. It’s still very raw for you. Time does heal, but only if you work it out in your mind. At five months, I had not worked out very much at all.

        I have a friend who is an LMFT – licensed marriage and family therapist. I don’t go to her for counseling because we are friends and it would be awkward for her with my husband. But we do talk every so often about it. She tells me that at two years, it is still pretty new and that I shouldn’t expect to be all healed at this point, especially because discovery came in phases and my husband has had great difficulty in helping me due to his own guilt and pain. So don’t worry, Liberty. It will all work out if you keep at it.

        Ah… wine. I have tried that a few times, but if I drink enough to help me sleep, then I can’t get up in the mornings. I do have a drink if I don’t need to wake up early, which is not often due to work and weekend fitness classes.

        Keep at it, Liberty. It sounds like you’re doing well at your stage. I started the week thinking I was having a bad day, but it’s turning into a bad week. Hence my post for today. Lol. I will be fine once I make the time to go for a hike or for a long swim.

        Love & prayers,
        DJ

  16. liberty830 says:

    Hi DJ, I hope your week-end is going better than your week! Mine kind of went to hell….

    After much thought, I think I am giving up, I just don’t think I can go thru with trying to work it out. It is to hard. I know from reading here that it might get better, but I just don’t have the strength to do it. I am so tired of crying and being sad. I told my H this morning that we need to seperate. He does not want to but on the other hand he is not being forthcoming with the info I need to move forward. He insists they were just friends. He is being amazing now, but I guess I am to angry and hurt to put it behind me. I do have a call with Linda scheduled for Monday. I will keep it, maybe something she says will help me.

    Last night my son was in his first high school play and I was so excited for him, and it should have been the only thing on my mind but my H and I had words before and I could not enjoy it like I was supposed to. Thats what I am so tired of.

    Take care. Thanks for listening.

    • Not Over It says:

      Liberty! Oh, my dear friend – how I wish I could reach out and hug you and hold your hand. It is awful when you are at that point when you feel you can’t go on. I think we all go through it at least once. I’ve been there a few times.

      It’s terrible that your son’s big night was tainted for you by the weight of your pain. For me, I was still in the worst of the pain when my precious granddaughter was born. I know others here whose children were born shortly after their Dday. Such an awful place to be in life… These are times that should be our happiest and most fulfilling, but that cloud of pain envelops it all.

      I don’t know enough about your situation to say one way or the other, but most experts say you should wait at least a year before making any life-changing decisions. Right now, you are still reeling from shock and trauma. Please do talk to Linda before deciding.

      Sometimes a trial separation is the thing to do. You will both have the opportunity to think clearly without the triggers of being together. But it needs to be done with the understanding that you are going to work on your issues, in my opinion.

      Completely giving up because you are in pain is not an answer. There is pain in staying, but there is pain in leaving, too. You will not be leaving your pain behind by leaving. In some ways it will be easier because you won’t have to face the triggers of seeing him and interacting with him daily. On the other hand, it will be harder because you will have to adjust to life without him and to a new life when you are still traumatized. There is no easy answer and no way to win.

      It is not fair that we were thrown into this situation without our consent. We didn’t do the deed but we are paying the price. But here we are. Affairs are no-win situations.

      Please talk to Linda and think it through, read some more, and then make your decision.

      I am praying for you.

      Love & prayers,
      DJ

      • Not Over It says:

        I posted this on your brand new blog, but want to say here also that I will support whatever decision you make. And no matter what you decide, you will always be welcome here. You will need a place to vent and share, and I look forward to hearing from you.

        Love & prayers again and always,
        DJ

  17. Liberty says:

    Hi! I sent you a reply in “my brand new blog”….LOL but I have not figured out what I am doing there yet! I need a few hours to play around and see how it works. I really needed your reply last night. Thanks for the voice of reason. I decided you are right and I should not walk away just yet. Although it’s been a week-end from hell, I am going to keep trying.

    Let me ask all of you here, how do you manage to keep it together? I am feeling like I am worse now than I was 21 weeks ago. I thought I would be feeling better not worse! Am I doing something wrong? I need some advice on how to stop thinking the worst all the time! I don’t even like myself right now, so how can i expect my H to?

    I love everything you post DJ. I am grateful I found your blog.

    Liberty xoxo

    • Kathy L says:

      I would love to hear some answers to your question, Liberty, on how do others keep it together? I found out about my husbands affair in February, after which I asked him to leave our home. After some time apart, I decided I really wanted to work on our marriage, that I knew I had added much fuel to the fire in our marriage as I had much bitterness towards him because of a prior affair, which I had never processed. However, while telling me he wanted to work on the marriage, he continued to have a relationship with the other woman, sending me into a tailspin over and over again. But all along, my desire has been to stay in the relationship and work through the bad times, which can only make us stronger. I want to be a testimony to others that it’s worth it to stick it out, to work on it together no matter what. However, I have to say, I am almost 9 months after finding out and I’m more depressed than ever. I keep thinking it will get easier, but it seems to get worse! I’m tired of my life, my moods, being consumed with this. Some days I feel like I’m just losing it mentally – today I put my hand on a hot burner, even tho as I got close to it I knew it was hot! WTH? All the lies, deception, manipulation, selfishness . . . how long does it take till you trust again? So stinkin sad all the time – I don’t enjoy anything that used to bring me pleasure. How can I expect my husband to want to be with me when I can’t stand being with myself? Ugh.

      • Not Over It says:

        Hey Kathy – I’m so sorry that you are also going through the horror of infidelity. I truly believe that it is nothing short of torture.

        I put Liberty’s comment into my most recent post, and there are a bunch of comments on it already. Take a look – there are some very good remarks there.

        Please let me know how you’re doing.

        Love & prayers,
        DJ

  18. liberty830 says:

    Kathy L, Hi. I’m 5 months out and I don’t feel any better either. That’s why it is so helpful to be here on this blog. To know others have been where we have and have good advice for us.

    I can honestly say at this moment that I don’t know if I will every trust my husband again. And not that he is doing anything wrong since I found out, but because I can’t move on yet.

    I was going to leave on Sunday but after reading DJ’s message I decided to stay. Now, Im not sure it’s going to work but I can going to try a little longer. We all know how this torture just consumes you and even the good things in life are not so good because we can’t enjoy it.

    I am glad I am here today on this blog because it has helped me to deal with today!

    Liberty

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