I thought I was done with meltdowns

old letters

I thought I was done with letting big triggers send me into a tailspin. I was wrong.

I was cleaning out my bedroom closet. I have mentioned before that we moved just before my Discovery day and it took a few months before I even attempted to unpack everything. Daniel stacked a lot of boxes in corners and nooks and crannies and there are still some boxes hiding from me. Well, in cleaning our bedroom closet, I came across my memory box stashed in very back of one corner on his side of the closet. I had looked for it before and couldn’t find it. I opened it and, right on top, I found a small stack of letters he had written to me. Some were from the first time he went home for the summer, and the rest were from right after we married. He moved first back to his hometown and I joined him three months later. These letters have some history.

When we were packing everything up for me to move to the city where he now works – this was during his affair – we came across this same memory box together. He opened it and wanted to throw away those letters. I objected. He said that he didn’t want anyone else to ever read the things he had written there and he thought it best to get rid of them. I still objected and said they were precious to me. He told me he had already thrown away all the letters I had ever written to him. He had kept them until that point but said it would be embarrassing for anyone else to read them. He ordered me to throw the letters away. I refused. He called me names and said that this was a good example of why he couldn’t stand me anymore. This was typical of how he treated me during his affair. I thought it was clinical depression and that he needed medication and professional help. Anyway, I stood my ground and I put the box among the others that were ready for shipping.

Shortly after Dday I wanted to look at those letters. It was important to me to see that he had loved me at one time. I searched the house for that box. I couldn’t find it. Then I found some of my memory items in another box. Daniel told me that he had thrown away the letters and moved the rest of the stuff into other boxes. I was so hurt. I was hurt that he had thrown away the letters I had written to him – it had hurt before, but now it made sense. The letters were no longer precious to him because he was in love with someone else. He had said it,hadn’t he, that he couldn’t stand me anymore… I was also hurt that he threw away the letters he wrote to me. They were mine and I had expressly said I wanted to keep them. It was another jab that cut to the core. I never really got over that one, I guess.

On Sunday when I found the letters, I burst into tears. It was the one thing I had so needed to see two years ago. I was sobbing so hard I couldn’t talk. Daniel came into the room to see what was wrong. I showed him the letters. He was surprised. He said he honestly thought that he had thrown them away, but there they were. He went back to what he was doing – cleaning the pantry, and I sat to look at them. I picked up the first one to read it. It was full of young love and desire. In the last paragraph, he wrote, “In the name of God, I swear that you will always be my one and only love, and I will always be with you.” It was four months later that he cheated on me the first time.

Then I picked up a card that I had given him around that time. Inside I had written “I will love you forever.” He and I both remember the night I first said those words to him. We were sitting on the floor in his room, leaning on his bed, with book strewn all around us. We were “studying.” We actually did get some studying done, but in between that, I looked at him and knew it was time to say those words. He was overjoyed and we had a wonderful make-out session with both of us saying it over and over. Silly kids… it became our special phrase.

I’ve written about the stupid acronyms they used in their emails. The most common that they used daily was IWLYF… I will love you forever. It crushed me to see that he wrote these words to someone else.

So seeing that card with the first time I wrote those words to him, plus the letters, and him swearing in the name of God… it all sent me over the edge. I cried hard for a long time. In the middle of it, Daniel came in and I managed to get it out and tell him all these things. He was quiet for a while, then he lashed out at me, saying it like Day 1 all over again. (He has obviously blocked that out because Dday was nothing like that. On that day, I screamed and fumed and hit him several times. I was out of control and I pushed him so hard that he went flying about 10 feet, landing on our bed. I guess I had a little sense left. I didn’t try to push him out the window, which was closer. On this day, I was sobbing and quietly managed to get the words out.)

Daniel said he was not going to let me torment him like this, and I had to make a decision. Either I stay and shut the f*** up or I leave. And he walked out of the room. A couple minutes later he came back in and said that if I wanted him to leave, just say it and he’ll be gone. I cried a long, long time.

The next day we did not speak except for the necessities of getting the baby taken care of. Today I called him to tell him that there was still soup on the stove if he wanted to go home for lunch. I was not warm or loving, but I knew he didn’t take lunch today and it is my practice to be considerate, upset or not. He was quiet for a while, then he said he would bring me lunch. He went home and had the soup and brought me some after that. No mention of our fight.

With uncanny timing, our fellow blogger Aaron wrote a post yesterday about being sorry. He wonders if he should stay and wonders what is keeping him there. It is what I am thinking about now, too. His post is very well written, as is usual for Aaron. Here is the link:

http://aaronstruth.wordpress.com/2013/01/07/what-does-im-sorry-mean/

I made the decision to stay, but I feel like he is pushing me out the door. During his affair, he would threaten to leave anytime we had a fight. He doesn’t do that anymore but I don’t think it’s because he loves me so much. It’s because he promised to stay as long as I wanted him to stay. Now that he is trying out being a man of his word, he has changed his line. His new line is that he’ll leave if I want him to. All I have to say to that is DAMNED BASTARD. I guess I’m upset. I never swore at all until my discovery of his affair.

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66 thoughts on “I thought I was done with meltdowns

  1. I’m so sorry he treated you that way. How dare he!? That’s all I kept thinking over and over as I read this.

    • Not Over It says:

      Hi Beautiful! You’re absolutely right. How dare he? How could he? My coach says he is like an onion, so many layers to peel back, such a contrast of tender and tough.

      I know that anger is his typical response to fear. I know that he really wants to spend the rest of his life with me. I know that he bends over backwards to do wonderful acts of service for me. But can I live like this if nothing ever changes? With no help or understanding of my pain, which he caused? Is it enough to just blog out my pain? I wonder…

      I was glad to read on your blog that you had a good holiday season. Things are looking up for you!

      Love & prayers,
      DJ

      • Yes, they are. I’ll let you in on a little secret – I’ve found someone new who is wonderful. Spectacular even. He treats me so well that it makes my head spin. THIS is what a relationship can be like? Wow!

        Maybe my position now makes me far less tolerant of this type of behavior. But to yell at you and give you an ultimatum – shut the fuck up or leave?!?! Are you kidding me?! After all the grace and understanding you have given him by even offering him the opportunity to continue your marriage? It blows my mind. Really, truly. I don’t know what else to say.

      • Not Over It says:

        YAY!!! I’m happy for you, Beautiful! I hope and pray that you will find the best in life.

        As for my husband, well… even his mother talked of his bad temper. Not that it excuses it, but he is better than before, and I think I may have come to a breakthrough. I’ll post about it later.

        I’m smiling just to think of you with a smile on your face! Oh my, even the pain has gone away for a little bit here as I’m thinking of a sweetie like you dating someone wonderful… it’s so good to hear good news.

        Love & prayers,
        DJ

  2. So very heartbreaking DJ. I can’t even begin to understand that mindset.

    • Not Over It says:

      Hi Sam! He has not forgiven himself and he feels tremendous guilt, so he wants to bury it and not deal with it. That’s how he deals with all painful feelings, so it’s not unexpected. But now that I know it’s not clinical depression, I don’t accept it anymore. At this moment, he is trying to figure out what he can do for me to make up for his outburst. He is sorry. I don’t care about that right now. I’m still mad as hell.

      I still hurt. I think maybe the PTSD has sent me backwards into feeling the pain I had before. It’s hard to keep going sometimes.

      Love & prayers,
      DJ

  3. kayboo24 says:

    I totally understand how you feel. I too thought I was done with the worst days and then I had a major meltdown on Monday. I hate the way he treated you through that though, he should have been mre understanding. He seems to be like JR, the guilt makes them act in strange ways. I’m so tired of hearing things like…Do you want me to leave, You would be better off without me. I hate it. No, I want a man who is committed to my recovery, as well as his own, who is patient, kind, and loving. I do not want talk about leaving, etc. since we made this decision together to remain in the marriage and fix what was broken. Such frustrating cycles. Well today we are heading to HT…Lord give me strength ;). Hang in there the best way you can.

    • “No, I want a man who is committed to my recovery, as well as his own, who is patient, kind, and loving.” So, so true! It’s like they use those “I’ll leave” or “get better or get out” lines as a cop out. Sometimes I think they would rather us decide to kick them out – then they would be “off the hook” and could blame us for things not working out. At least that was the case in my marriage.

    • Not Over It says:

      Absolutely, Kayboo. Like Beautiful Mess here, I think our guys cop out on us too often. I’m trying a tactic that I learned from Teresa. I’ll let you know what happens in my next post. I don’t know why I didn’t push for this before…

      Praying that your trip is going well… you help me to hang on, Kayboo. It’s good to be understood.

      Love & prayers,
      DJ

      • Teresa says:

        Well. I really don’t know what to say DJ…I’ve always felt a bit of a connection with you because we both have had to deal with husbands who cheat, then do almost nothing to help us heal…then expect us to just get over it!
        Like you, I’m at 2yrs post Dday, and I’m finally seeing my husband come the realization that this isn’t going away until he does what I NEED! It’s only been a few weeks, but I hope it’s for real this time, since he’s promised me several times to do more! If he doesn’t stick with it this time, I’m going to have to consider other options : /
        In saying that, my husband has NEVER spoken to me in such a way, and I have to say, DJ, that if my husband had said that to me, in such a hateful way, he would have been gone, if not forever, then at least for a few days! That is emotional abuse, and its cruel and uncalled for, and he does not have the right to disrespect you like that!!
        I hope and pray that you will not allow this anymore, DJ….you are a beautiful person, so kind and loving and you deserve to have happiness.
        Daniel’s issues are HIS issues, and he needs to MAN UP and stop hiding behind his fear and guilt and get the help he needs!
        Like I said this is considered emotional abuse, as I told my husband a few weeks ago, and it needs to stop…NOW!!
        I hope you can get into counseling ASAP! Stand firm, friend, and get ‘er done!! 😀

      • Teresa says:

        Oh, and I’m curious what this tactic is, I’m trying to remember what I’ve done, lol…Hmmm…can’t wait to hear about it! 😀

      • Not Over It says:

        Hey Teresa – I feel the connection, too.

        My husband does not usually speak to me that way, and I have made it clear that it cannot happen again. He is sorry now and trying to make nice and act as though nothing happened. Yeah, right. I told him off today. I didn’t feel like a very beautiful person, but it needed to be said.

        Your tactic was getting your husband to read my blog. I got my husband to read it today. Great idea, Teresa! I’ll post about it as soon as I have some time.

        Love & prayers,
        DJ

  4. Liberty says:

    DJ…I am so sorry this happened. It hurts me to read it. When they lash out and say things like that it hurts so much.

    Take care my friend.

    Liberty xoxo

    • Not Over It says:

      Hey Liberty – yes, it does hurt. But I am ok today. Good news from three blogging friends already and I am smiling… Teresa, Beautiful, and you! It’s radiating right off the page.

      You take care, too.
      DJ

  5. junebug says:

    I’m sorry. It is so inadequate, but I am sorry for your pain.

    • Not Over It says:

      Oh Junebug – hardly inadequate. I needed my friends and here you are. I am so lucky. After two years, the pain is not like before, and I am soothed by the comforting words you have all shared here. Thank you.

      Love & prayers,
      DJ

  6. hiddinsight says:

    I don’t understand his behavior, but it sounds like he’s super insecure. I can relate to what you wrote on many levels. My husband would stash my love notes to him (he rarely wrote me, if ever) in his desk for his mother to find and throw out, otherwise he would read them and throw them out himself. He never realized how crushed I would be when I found out. I had to protect my heart from him. So I would write a note and ask him to give it back to me so I could keep it. Sigh. I so know all about that. What I don’t understand is why he feels he has the right to be bitter and angry? This is not normal. I hope he is in therapy. You deserve more than having to beg for him to stay.

    • Not Over It says:

      Oh, Hiddin, that says a lot to me right there that you had to protect your heart from him. I’m always happy to read your blog these days and see the progress the two of you have made. It’s inspiring.

      My husband is angry and bitter because he really thinks that I should have healed after three months. He believes that I am purposely torturing him. He has said in recent arguments that he thinks I don’t really have any pain and I am just trying to get back at him for betraying me.

      Coach James thinks we need a counselor to mediate our discussions. He does not hear what I say. It is all cloaked in his guilt and remorse. Thankfully, he finally agreed last month to counseling. We are starting up soon, but we’ve had to make changes because he will be away on business for most of the first four months of this year. We’ll see how it goes. My determination is wavering.

      Hope you’re having a happy day – love to you,
      DJ

      • hiddinsight says:

        Oh DJ, how I wish things were easier.

        It’s easy to see now the sorts of things that my husband and I did way back when we were dating. I wish I had a coach back then who could help me understand that the rejection I felt was normal. If I had any self-esteem at all, I think I would have just dumped him then. But what would I have learned? Hmmm…

        I totally agree with the thought that you could use someone to mediate your discussions. Communication is tricky in the best of times, and even harder when he is triggering all the time.

        My husband travels for work too, and I totally sympathize with how difficult that makes life…I can’t imagine him being gone four months. That’s insane.

        I can’t leave on that note. I need to say something inspiring. Sheesh. Fumbling with words is hard. Maybe it’s like waiting for a piece of fruit to ripen. He expects to peel a green banana and find a tasty one. He just needs to let you process stuff. When you’re ready, you will peel. Ha.

        Big hug.

      • Not Over It says:

        You so funny, Hiddin, and I love it. I’m looking forward to peeling. LOL!

  7. Carol says:

    DJ, I’m sorry. Like others here, I also got very angry reading about his reactions to you. What he should have done is to pull you close and apologize for hurting you. Why can’t he see this??? As I’ve said to my H when he starts complaining about how hard things are for him, THIS IS NOT ABOUT the cheater or the cheater’s needs. What I need most from my H is the sure-fire knowledge that he can set aside his own preferences and problems and issues and attend to ME. Since the whole root cause of the affair was nothing but selfishness and a willingness to set me aside, he now needs to prove he can be unselfish and, when I’m hurting because of actions HE CHOSE to do or words HE CHOSE to speak, put me first. Forgive the bluntness, but if Daniel can’t manage to do that, he doesn’t deserve your love. I agree with hiddinsight: he does not have the right to be bitter and angry, and certainly not to tell you to shut the f*** up. Why would any H disrespect his wife in that way, much less an H who had an affair? What does James say? Is it time for an ultimatum? Is Daniel willing to change? How soon till that MC appointment? 🙂

    • Not Over It says:

      Hi Carol – You are absolutely right. James said it is a miracle that Daniel and I are still together, considering that we are both strong personalities. Right now, he thinks we need counseling as soon as possible. It’s going to be difficult with my husband’s business trips over the next few months, but I will make sure we get into counseling if I have to drag him there from the airport. Daniel is willing to go to counseling. As I told Hiddin, he feels that I am purposely torturing him to get even, and he feels he is holding his own against me. It disturbs me that he would even think I would do such a thing, but then again, he himself never thought he would have an affair. As much as I’ve lost trust in him and in my own instincts, so has he.

      I am not sure I will stay. There are a lot of issues at work here. We’ll see what happens.

      Hope things are going well for you, Carol. Thank you for taking the time to write. I appreciate it. – DJ

      • cathmae says:

        DJ, your comment about Daniel’s perception that you are purposely torturing him reminds me of something my husband said when we were in counseling: he described my desperate attempts to fight for our relationship as my having my foot on his throat. Yes. Quite the image, isn’t it?

  8. cathmae says:

    All we, as women, want from our men is for them to hold us when we’re in distress, and for them to say “Tell me. Tell me and I will listen.” Such a simple thing and yet it would be so healing.
    I hope your husband learns this and that the two of you get to a happy place.

    • Not Over It says:

      Cathmae, it brings tears to my eyes just to see it in writing here. That is exactly what I’ve told my husband over and over again. Sometimes he remembers and he does it. He does it well when he does it. But at other times his brain is clouded over with guilt and remorse and he can’t do it. Hopefully, a counselor will help him see that.

      Hope your day is going well today, my friend. -DJ

    • Not Over It says:

      It may be a while. We had another fight today. He thinks I just need to control my reaction to triggers and I would be fine. I want to smack him one. Pushing him and hitting him in the arm may not have been enough.

      • Teresa says:

        DJ, personally, I think YOU need to tell him to control HIS reaction to triggers! Because that’s what he’s doing, he’s triggering off of your sadness and anger!
        Tell him that when he figures out how to do it then maybe you’ll be able to figure it out also!

      • Not Over It says:

        Hey Teresa – it’s funny how often you and I have the same thoughts on things… that same thought came to me yesterday – that he is triggered by my sadness and anger, which brings on his guilt and remorse in full force. He knows no way of handling it than through anger. That’s not an excuse, however, and he needs to learn to handle it differently. He will.

        I have already. The letters were a surprise attack which brought back the PTSD symptoms, but I am ok now. It took this whole week to get back to my current normal, but I am there again. I am pretty good at dodging the effects of triggers these days – I am mostly so busy that I don’t have time to think about them!

        Daniel is leaving for a business trip on Monday. Difficult… big trigger that I can’t dodge…

  9. So painful. I’m so sorry you’re having to shoulder most of this w/o his support.

    • Not Over It says:

      I am a strong person, but I have so many unmet needs right now because I do shoulder so much of it alone. Funny thing is he feels he is doing his best. He just doesn’t see that what he is doing is not effective. Buying me gifts and doing the dishes and cleaning out the pantry are wonderful, but not what I need most to help me heal.

      It’s good to have support here. I feel it and I am grateful for it.

      Love & prayers to you – DJ

      • Yes, isn’t it funny how often emotional needs are what need to be addressed and acknowledged first, and yet they often seem to be the last thing on the list, or the last option…for whatever reason. Well, I’m glad you’re finding some support here. Hugs.

  10. Wow!
    They really can Monster. Some things should be more obvious as triggers than others—like love letters they told you to discard when they were affairing. There is often a memory block of things done during that period. The emotional highs of in-fatuation and emotional trauma of the marital stress—often caused by the affair and any internal chaos…well those can create memory problems and time distortions and so I guess he really may not recall pieces of arguments from during the affair and then the trigger may not be so obvious. But come on! Once you explain it, then it should be obvious and though I hate to say it, I would expect some empathy and compassion even though that would be an expectation. But at some point I guess we need to return to having some expectations—and you are certainly at that point.
    So why his cruel reaction? You already know that it is about guilt and fear. I’m so sorry.
    As a Stander I was and remain committed to my marriage—before, during and after infidelity. But I still used the LEAVE NOW during arguments after he was home for good. Funny, I don’t recall using it during other times he moved home—unless it was because I discovered he was still affariing and I meant it. Those later LEAVE NOW screams were just me being angry, hurt and emotional and they often accompanied me screaming that he had f#$ked a wh@re to explain why I had the right to scream and be mad. But once Sweetheart was home for good, he responded to those with reassurance to me rather than anger back at me. Finally, after 3.5 years of back-and-forths with infidelity, he became consistent about being with me and that he would not leave.
    I don’t have an answer—I wish I did. So just a perhaps obvious question, what needs to be done/happen to help him through his guilt and anger at himself so that he can be fully engaged in your rebuilding and help you empathetically when you are triggered?

    HUGS,
    RCR

    • Not Over It says:

      Hey RCR – few people can understand this the way you do. I am hoping that something will happen to help my husband to see that I mostly just need reassurance these days. That’s all I ask. I don’t need diamonds. I don’t need a model home. I need his love and his reassurance. He thinks he is doing all he can and that I am ungrateful for it. He really doesn’t see it.

      I think it will have to be a third party – a counselor – who will be able to make him listen and see what needs to be done. I’m getting to work on that now.

      Thank you for your reassurances and your understanding. You make a lot of sense, RCR, and I needed that.

      Love & prayers,
      DJ

  11. DJ – Daniel needs someone to knock some sense into his head! You staying means that you know that you have to control your feelings in front of Daniel (for ever?). Does it make you feel emotionally lonely again? Does it bring back the feelings you had when you were by yourself, while he was distant in the affair fog? Does he know that you would like and need him to hold you when you despair and cry (calmly!), even if his fear and shame leaves him without words of self defense. Have you told him, that you have a life ahead that you want to share with someone that will exactly share any burden, this burden he placed on your shoulder, but also share all the happiness, or any happiness that you may learn to build together? Have you told him, that it takes a HUGE amount of courage for you to stay, to still love him, to work (alone) in your recovery? Have you told him that he needs to give a little more, to enjoy your great love that keeps giving and giving, and that all you ask him is to hold you, an make you feel save again? I am sure you did! You have given soooo much. Demand that he goes for counseling and sort himself out! You need someone equal to you, to the love that you give and radiates to all of us! No one is perfect, but it makes a bloody huge difference when you know that someones is at least trying to atone their selfish, destroying actions. He is a very lucky man to have you and he knows that! What happen to you, would have the same effect on most of us here! You are just someone like us, that needs to be comforted and helped in your recovery! You deserve it DJ. You really do.

    • Not Over It says:

      Oh my, yes, TTW – I feel emotionally lonely and distant from him. I want nothing more than to be in his arms while he reassures me.

      You have sparked a fire in me, TTW! Thank you! I am going to get him into counseling ASAP!

      I sure am just like you – a betrayed spouse trying to maintain my sanity and find my place in the world again. I felt like Iost myself in the aftermath of my husband’s affair. You and all my blogging friends have been instrumental in helping me find my sense of self again, and in working through my issues in this whole mess. I am a lucky person to have met all of you.

      Love & prayers,
      DJ

  12. DJ, I’m so sorry for the pain you are feeling and the reaction your husband had. It’s to bad most men are missing that sensitivity chip. (I think Jen Anistion said that when Brad Pitt paraded himself around with Angelina shortly after they split) My husband is reading a book called “Beyond Anger: A guide for men: How to free yourself from the grip of anger and get more out of life. http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Anger-Guide-Free-Yourself/dp/1569246211 It’s helped him tremendously. Last night I had a major trigger, we had an exchange that normally would have ended in a fight, although he was upset he was able to keep cool. He told me a few times about the things he’s read in the book, like how shame turns to anger in men. Last night he started the chapter on anger and mens relationships with women. Maybe your husband could give it a read. I hope your day gets better. I know it’s hard when all you want is a hug. Early on in our affair recovery I’d gotten out every card my husband had ever gotten me and dumped them in his lap, he in turn went and got every card I’d given him to read. We ended up going through them all together. It was a nice reminder to both of us of how much we loved one another. Perhaps eventually your husband will come to cherish those letters he gave you. {{{Hugs}}}

  13. Paula says:

    DJ, I have been thinking about this all day at work, and haven’t come up with anything. I just agree that counselling seems the best course of action, as he seems one of those who “just doesn’t get it” – and I mean that in the sense that it seems to still be all about HIM, and the way HE feels, and he can control things. The biggest part of any couple recovering from infidelity, IMHO, is when the cheater realises, and ACTS on the realisation, that in order for there to be any healing, it HAS to be all about the betrayed spouse’s feelings. He has to understand this, and start to realise that whilst we ALL appreciate gifts, and acts of service, that ain’t gonna cut the mustard anymore, he needs to do WHAT YOU WANT AND NEED, not what he thinks you need, and what should placate you. My partner took a little while to get this idea, but he has it very firmly now! He kind of “gave over control” I guess of the process to me, it is all about what I need, he has surprisingly happily surrendered some control of his own desires, to my control, he has volunteered that he no longer wants to have the close relationships with females he always had before (I didn’t need that, I was comfortable with the status quo, but I appreciate the offer) he always has his phone in public view, he texts/phones if late, or waylaid (weird, I’ve never had that before, he’s a farmer, and does not keep regular hours, very common for him to not to be home before 9 or 10pm at certain times of the year.) Counselling at least will give you guys a third party, or a referee! That is what we found, sometimes you are just too darn close to the thing, and those patterns of behaviour that you have (especially for him) are not going to change themselves. My partner took around two years to “relinquish control” – he also probably thought I should “be over it” by then, was never nasty about it, but it took counselling, and a kind of awakening to his “issues” – which I might add neither of us was completely awake to before this, I knew he was dogged and determined (stubborn?!!) but just worked around it, that stubbornness has forged a fairly nice life for us, in the financial sense – for him to change, and he did it himself, I didn’t ask it really, he just had that lightbulb moment whereby he worked it out. We don’t know if we’ll stay together, but he is not letting go, and he is steadfast in that now, he never uses, “leave/kick me out if it’s too hard,” anymore (although he has made it clear that the choice is all mine, he’s NOT going anywhere, unless I ask him to.) The Brene Brown work on vulnerability is HUGE for men/cheaters, I believe, it’s good for those who have been betrayed, also, it is SO hard to let yourself be vulnerable when you’ve been so deeply wounded, and so hard to be vulnerable when you’ve always been in control. Google her, DJ, if you haven’t before, I found the videos are quite inspiring, once I got my head around the fact that I was watching a “psycho-babble” vid, lol – can you tell I thought it was all so wishy-washy before?

    All that, and a good bash on that head, to knock sense in, as TTW suggests, lol!

    Love to you DJ, who knew it would be THIS hard when we started down this path, huh?

    • Not Over It says:

      Truly – I may have given up a long time ago had I known. Good information, Paula, and thank you for thinking of me! No wonder I’ve been feeling so well supported. You are such a godsend. Love & prayers – DJ

  14. Susie says:

    Hi DJ,
    My husband also travels for a living. He has gone to Vegas this week for the CES convention. Sometime I feel this time away is a godsend and sometimes it gives me too much time to think.
    Words Hurt!! Communication takes courage. It requires a reaching beyond the trivial for the deeper truth of who we are and what we really feel. Some people (cheaters) do not have the willingness to take that risk of revealing who they are. Very sad. Without listening, talking can only be one sided, leaving the communication incomplete. Your not alone here. It is easy for them to just bail. Then it becomes our fault for not being able to forgive.
    I hope this counseling can help transform your marriage, I truly do.
    Best of luck to you in this new year.

    • Not Over It says:

      Hey Susie – I have told him many times that you can’t take back words once you say them, so be careful. He still loses it sometimes.

      That’s so true! My husband tries to turn it around these days and say that I am the problem because I won’t forgive him. Of all the nerve.

      Best of luck to you, too, Suzie. Love & prayers,DJ

  15. GoddessWife says:

    He didn’t have to be such a jerk about it. I can imagine how you felt reading those letters. I came across some cards my husband gave me while we were dating and I can’t bring myself to read them. he also will tell me that we should divorce anytime we have/had an argument. I’ve come to believe it’s what he really wants, he just doesn’t want to be the one to make the first move.

    They just don’t get it. If we had cheated on them they would be gone so fast. men can’t handle the thought of their wife being with another man. Sorry you have to go through this.

    • Not Over It says:

      Hi Goddess – my husband has admitted that he could never handle it if I had an affair. No surprise, huh…

      Gosh, and your husband also does that whole bit about leaving whenever an argument happens. Goodness, and they all think that they are their affairs are so special and unique. Barf…

      Love & prayers,
      DJ

  16. exercisegrace says:

    I really believe much of this is fear and insecurity. And a need for more counseling. My husband “gets it” the majority of the time. Then a trigger will come along, or I will have an exceptionally bad/emotional day and we get into it. Then he is triggered, I believe, by the guilt of what he has done. Men tend to be “fixers” and really this is something that is never going to “fixed”. That makes him frustrated and react in anger. It can be a vicious cycle and one we are trying to work on. As a woman, I can tell you exactly how he should have reacted in that situation. Unfortunately, when they have created a mess they tend to want to back away from it, instead of stepping right up to it and dealing with it. We all can see that he should have stayed with you. Re-read the letters together, reaffirmed the feelings he expressed in those letters. Made them real and alive again for you. He could have pointed out things in them that were more true than anything he said to his affair partner. Instead he ran off and hid.
    Big, big hugs. I wish I knew something helpful to say.

    • Not Over It says:

      You *have* been helpful, EG. I can relate very well to your situation. My husband can be the sweetest and most affectionate and loving husband anyone could ever hope for. And then there is this side of him that is vicious and cruel. Yep, it’s fear and insecurity alright.

      I am blessed to know you, EG. Thank you. -DJ

  17. kali4ever says:

    DJ, I’m so sorry this happened. You have just come off a happy period with your children visiting, your dance practice and performance, etc. Why do these good times always have to be followed by a period of sadness?

    I notice I feel good when I am in an expansive, breathing out, giving, loving others mode. That is not sustainable, though, the expansive period is always followed by a more introspective period, and this is when I am vulnerable to triggers.

    One theory I have is that I am not comfortable with being TOO happy for too long. I am not aware of it at the time, but a part of me is distrustful of the happiness and afraid I will be blindsided again.

    For the last several months I would lose it every 2 weeks or so, almost like clockwork. Why? Could getting triggered sometimes be a way to attempt to control things? When I get triggered I am not waiting to be blindsided by new betrayal – instead, I am inviting the pain in, perhaps as an insurance policy to keep the even scarier uncertainty away? I don’t know – just a thought.

    My husband did not deal well with these regular meltdowns. I don’t have them very often anymore for some reason – something has shifted in me. My husband said recently that he was glad, because he didn’t know if he would have been able to handle it if the regular meltdowns had continued much longer. This pissed me off big time since his poor choices were the f***ing reason I was having such a hard time. First I thought he must not really be sorry, but now I think it is not that, but rather that he is not that emotionally strong and truly does not know how to deal with the guilt and discomfort my feelings evoke in him.

    One thing my coach said sticks in my mind – that it is my husband’s job to make me feel safe again, and only when he shows me that he has truly learned from his mistake and moved on, and that I would have nothing to worry about if the OW suddenly reappeared in his life, would I be able to relax enough for the periodic meltdowns to stop. So am I not having as many meltdowns because he is doing a better job helping me feel safe? Or am I just tired and not hanging on as tightly? Probably a bit of both…

    I hope Daniel can figure out how to help you feel safe and loved so that these triggers can lose their power over you, DJ! The tough guy routine is definitely not the answer!!

    • Not Over It says:

      Hi Kali – I haven’t had a meltdown in several months. I thought I was past all that. My reaction to that memory box was totally unexpected. My husband thinks I just refuse to show any restraint.

      My coach says the same thing as yours, that it is Daniel’s job to make me feel safe again so that I can heal. I do not feel safe at all right now.

      Mr. Tough Guy will be leaving on Monday for a two-week business trip. I had reached the point where his trips did not cause quite so much fear and insecurity in me, but now I am all upset over it again. I will probably be online a lot next week.

      Thank you, Kali – Love, DJ

  18. nmwf1 says:

    Hi Dj, First of all your subject timing is impeccable, Because I had a major meltdown this week also, Something similar happened in my case, about harsh words. But first I want to ask can the pain get any worse? Your simple gesture of reaching out to Danial about the love you both felt in those letters, All you really needed and wanted, was for him to acknowledge them and validate that he still means every single word of those letters. I don’t understand why he could not see that. You know its ironic that he tells you that he is not going to let you torment him anymore and if you want him to stay than you need to just shut the F up, but really he is the one tormenting you, Really Danial needs to be the one doing things and telling you things to help you , if he wants YOU TO STAY.. What the hell makes him think it is you trying to keep him there, talk about arrogance for a man in his situation, i think it is the other way around, Danial should be asking himself what he should be doing to keep YOU. .he wanted to throw those letters out that meant so much to you, to avoid embarrassment if someone should get a hold of them and read them, I would show him embarrassment alright, i would make a copy of every single one of them and send them to her. Why the hell should he feel embarrassed about the expression of love he felt for you, you are the woman he married and has made a life with, (What the hell!), he should be more embarrassed that he all but destroyed the beautiful person who was the other half of what made him write those words in the first place. He doesn’t get it.

    About my meltdown, Monday morning my husband called me as he always does before work at 5:30 in the morning, Because as you know he still works out of town mon thru thurs. I was really tired that morning and when he called, I was kind of out of it and kept dozing off and he told me he wanted me to get some more rest and said our goodbyes and hung up the phone. I fell fast sleep and about 30 minutes later I was startled by a dream that I was talking to him and he had her on the other line waiting for him. In my dream he thought i hung up and he called me by her name, I was shaken when I popped awake and I couldn’t remember if he had talked to me that morning or not , so I grabbed my phone off the nite stand and looked to see if he had called. And of course he had already talked to me but I just couldn’t remember from being half asleep. It was a huge trigger for me, because I couldn’t quit thinking about as time went on in his Affair he stopped calling me in the mornings so that he could talk to her all the way to work, when I asked him back then why he didn’t call and wake me up on his way to work ,he would tell me he didn’t want to wake me, he wanted me to get my rest. I feel sick about that now,. Anyway as the day wore on the trigger festered until i was depressed .When he called me after work I told him that I was down because that morning I didn’t remember talking to him, he said don’t worry I knew you were tired, its ok. we talked for a bit about other stuff, then after we hung up I text him and told him I was sorry for being moody but that I was having a hard time coping. He apologized, told me how much he loves me and is here for me and all the rest. But I couldn’t help bringing up the morning thing. To make a long story shorter, as the conversation went on by text messages, I started pushing the subject and it started getting out of hand because he always tries to defuse me instead of addressing anything i say, one thing lead to another , my anger kept getting stronger, than it turned to anger and jealousy of the other woman and suddenly I was in a war of words frenzy, I was out of control completely I said a lot of vulgar, nasty things about him and her, along with why wasn’t I enough and other pity party remarks. After apologizing over and over trying to defuse the situation (he finally had his fill) he said; That is it cut your shit, and calm the F**k down, He said i won’t F ing text you back anymore. Calm your ass down I am sick of it, you are out of control. Calm the F down . then when your ready call me, I’m done texting. I stopped texting him but didn’t call him because I was crying uncontrollably, 20 minutes later he called me. Then the crying, screaming meltdown went on, on the phone. really I don’t know what got into me, the more I cried and screamed the more out of control I got, til i felt like I was having a nervous breakdown, He talked to me over and over about how much he will be here for me as long as it takes and apologized right and left, But I get in these out of control jealous fit of rage, And I don’t know how to gain control. The more I say the worse it gets. Anyway he talked me down to a calm state of mind. That was my rage and meltdown via text and phone call. I really hate what I have become, This kind of behavior never existed in our relationship prior to his infidelity, I feel like a complete lunatic now. But I push him until he gets pissed off. One point in all of this, is that I think they get pissed off because they can’t take back any of it, and they created a life for themselves that they didn’t bargain for. They can’t fix it, they can’t change any of it an they don’t know where to turn. My husband told me during this meltdown that he doesn’t know how to help me. That was what helped me to calm down. I just don’t know! Sorry this is so long. Triggers is a subject that I am all to Familiar with as I battle them constantly.

    • Not Over It says:

      You always say it straight out like it is, NM! And I totally agree.

      I’m sorry you are still having meltdowns like that. My meltdowns are all turned inward. I just cry and get depressed. I only lashed out at my husband for a few months after discovery. He’s the one who lashes out at me. I love it that your husband does his best to reassure you. Maybe you can try focusing on his voice and his words. Just a thought… something to try…

      Take care, my dear NM – Love, DJ

  19. Doug says:

    Hey DJ. I guess this was the episode that you mentioned when we talked the other day.

    I know I’m late to the party here so I hope I’m not repeating anything that someone else has already said.

    It sounds to me as though he’s gaslighting or stonewalling you. He’s deflecting the situation by becoming angry so that he doesn’t have to deal with it – or you. It’s uncomfortable for him and it probably causes him shame and guilt.

    In my opinion, you basically need to tell him you’re not going to put up with this crap anymore. He’s being manipulative and you won’t stand for it.

    We did a couple of posts on gaslighting and stonewalling a while back that may shed some light (no pun intended): http://www.emotionalaffair.org/what-is-gaslighting-how-to-know-if-you-are-being-gaslighted/
    http://www.emotionalaffair.org/the-emotionally-abusive-relationship/

    Take care and I hope things go well with your counseling session.

    Doug

    • Not Over It says:

      Doug! It was good to talk with you the other day. You are very good at what you do as a mentor and writer. I look forward to your new book!

      I remember those articles. As you know, I am a huge fan of your site. For readers who don’t know, Doug and his wife Linda host a wonderful site called Emotional Affair Journey. Excellent posts! I think I commented on the one on gaslighting. I was amazed at how much my husband matched the descriptions in that article. Daniel is a controller and when he feels he has lost control he often reacts with emotionally abusive behavior. He doesn’t see it at all but that’s what he does when he feels cornered. As Teresa said above, he also has triggers and it seems he is triggered by my tears and anger. Bad night for both of us… not making excuses for him, but when I am not falling into a PTSD episode I fight back pretty hard. Hopefully the new counseling will draw this stuff all out. He has confirmed that he will go as long as I take care of scheduling it around his trips.

      Thank you again, Doug – my best to you and Linda – DJ

  20. DJ sooooo sorry for what you have been going through. It’s weird in my situation I want to be the one to move on but he’s stuck. Having a counselor for both of us has been so good. When Lee would try to “get me in trouble” Dr D set him straight immediately. But in all fairness he doesnt hesitate to set me straight too. He has been so supportive and encouraging and even believing in us and our healing. He reminds me that Lee is different when I bring up the past but at the same time he reminds Lee that I’m traumatized even though I have not hurt him or constantly thrown things at him and have been moving forward. Even if it has to be sporadic Counseling is so worth it!!!! It’s not a he said she said situation. I sent Lee by himself last week and the counselor wouldn’t let him talk about me without me being there. So he made him focus on himself. I thought that was completely AWESOME!!!! Praying for you guys. Blessings!

    • Not Over It says:

      Sounds like an awesome counselor, which is hard to find. I am going to try my daughter’s marriage counselor. The things my daughter says about her sound wonderful, too. Hopefully it’ll be a match this time – the others were both duds. Asking for blessings upon you and yours, too!

      • Teresa says:

        DJ, how is your daughter and her H doing? Been meaning to ask….

      • Not Over It says:

        Still struggling. I wish I could spare my granddaughter from it all, but there’s only so much Gramma can do. I would love to just adopt her and raise her – I have more energy and stamina than her parents – but that is highly unlikely.

        Thank you for asking, Teresa. It’s heartbreaking to watch my daughter go through this. It’s very emotional for both my husband and me. We just had a fight about it yesterday… we are both torn between wanting their family to be together and seeing that he is completely unremorseful and arrogant about everything.

        May God help us all… Love, DJ

  21. Teresa says:

    So IS your SIL having an affair? Does your daughter know for sure? I wonder if Daniel feels guilt about that also…it’s not like he can go to his SIL and grab him around the neck and give him a little man to man talk….since he’s guilty of the same thing! How sad for your daughter and grand baby….they don’t deserve this! Heck, NONE of us do!!

    • exercisegrace says:

      Personally, I think he should do exactly that! Man to man, father to son, very open discussion about the repercussions of affairs. I would imagine Daniel (if he could dig deep into his experience) could tell him a lot about the end result, and how it is not worth it.

      • Teresa says:

        You know EG, I agree with you! Good idea! Would Daniel do it, DJ?

      • Not Over It says:

        Thank you, Ladies, for this idea, but we have tried it already. SIL is completely closed from listening anyone – ANYONE. His family is very dysfunctional and he has no support there, and he will not talk to Daniel about it. They can talk news and sports and home improvement projects, but about anything personal, the guy says he doesn’t want to talk about it and he leaves. Just like that. He’s the same way with the marriage counselor, too. She told my daughter that she had to decide if she could live with things the way they are because she did not see any way that he would change. My daughter is mulling it over.

        As for an affair, he apparently stopped whatever it was that he was doing, but he will not admit to anything. My daughter says she could care less. I don’t believe that, but that’s what she is saying right now. She’s a young woman who should be enjoying her life but she talks like an old woman. It breaks my heart.

        I feel like an old woman right now, worn down by all the struggle.

        Thanks again. I am lucky to know you both.

        Love & prayers,
        DJ

  22. Teresa's hub says:

    Sorry to hear how your husband talked to you like that. As I have learned I need to be loving my wife more and more everyday. Is everyday easy for us….no way. but we keep going on for tomorrow is not promised to us and I thank God for her everyday that she allows me to be in the same house with her.

  23. Leise-Falyon says:

    I understand! I understand! I understand!

    I was soooo angry for soooo long. I never intended to stay with my husband. My only goal was to get him out of Flagstaff so that my ex-best-friend couldn’t finish steeling him away from me. I didn’t want to keep him, but there was NO way I was letting her have him. No way! My plan was to move us to Hawaii, make sure he was set up and stable and then dump him and move to Oahu. I spent 2 years hating his guts and being vile toward him. Hatred oozed out of my pores. I hated her and I hated him.

    Two things happened that changed me forever:
    1) I was sitting in a therapy session with my husband and he had this vivid dream of his 12 year old brother stalking and molesting him when he was 4 years old. I turned and looked at him and all I saw was that 4 year old scared little boy. My husband had always been a player, always fooled around on all the girls he dated. I believed him when he told me that he had been waiting to find me, the only woman he ever wanted to marry. I really thought he would be faithful to me. I believed him when he said he would. But then starring at that 4 year old little boy everything just came together. Every women who he had ever been with in his entire past had chased him and I mean chased him. My god my ex-best friend had been in love with him and flirting with him for 4 years. When I met him he had 3 stalkers. I had never heard of such a thing. After I spent 2 years throwing up all my anger, my husband spent the next 2 years healing that little boy and taking back the power in his life. He stood by me while I vented anger for 2 years and then I stood by him for 2 years while he cried. The only reason we are together today is because my husband insisted that we do therapy.

    2) The second thing that changed me forever… while my husband was coming to the realization of his childhood, I was seeing what I had been creating over the last 2 years of spewing anger. I had always been the luckiest person in the world. Everything I touched turned to gold, I was always soooo successful. But, I had also always been VERY positive and loving toward everyone around me. All of a sudden ‘everything’ around me started crashing to the ground. Investments, businesses, savings, everything was disappearing to dust. I was in shock, but I had been so filled with hate and that hate was coming back to me in full force. I had always believed that what goes around comes around, I knew the ‘laws of attraction’ were real (what you put out to the universe comes back to you 10 times over), I just didn’t want to let go of my hatred. Well lets just say, that with facing complete financial destruction, I changed on a dime. I spent the next 10 weeks purging all the hatred out of me body, mind and soul. I did emotional exercise, after exercise, after exercise until I felt amazing and free of the bondage I had been under. I created emotional exercises, mental exercises, physical exercises. I did it all and it worked!

    I promise you, you can be free of the pain and anger,
    Leise

    • Not Over It says:

      Hi Leise – how nice to see you here! I always enjoy reading your blog and looking at your pictures of the Big Island of Hawaii. To me, it is one of the most beautiful places on earth.

      Thank you for sharing some of your experience here. It was the perfect reminder to me of why I am still here and why I chose to stick it out with my husband. Sometimes that can get lost in the pain of the moment. With this particular moment, the sting of his words poured venom all over my heart and I couldn’t see straight for a little while there. I am better now, and then came your words at the perfect time.

      I’ll share it in my next post. For now, I just want to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to write. I needed your words today and you were a godsend to me.

      Love & prayers,
      DJ

  24. nmwf1 says:

    Hi Dj, (this post is referring to your post about Danial.) Really, I think we all say things about our spouses, usually negative because we are in a lot of pain at the time or simply pissed off, You don’t really have to defend yourself about Danial, A spouse who has cheated does a lot of stupid things, but so do all of us. In our moments, we all paint a pretty bleak picture of the ones that we are angry at, nobody is judging you for that, and Danial has a lot of good qualities or you would have quit a long time ago.. Hell my husband can go along doing all the right things and it is me who is the raving lunatic, i will admit it, I’m sure a lot of times I look like a real jerk to everyone, because it is me who wont give an inch with my husband no matter how good he is being to me, . I think you are feeling guilty because you think you made Danial out to be a tyrant honestly. It seems you are forgetting we are all here for the same reason. So to pass judgement on Danial as a person because his behavior is a little asinine would be the pot calling the kettle black. Everyone makes comments because we are concerned about how you are feeling or handling things, in your moment of anguish. Good or bad, thick or thin, we are all in this together. Hang in there,

    hugs.\!

  25. DFB says:

    Oh the questions. So many questions…so many answers you do/don’t want to hear. So many triggers waiting everywhere.

    My question is: what if Daniel wasn’t there? If he wasn’t there to question, to hate, to comfort or to love? Would you feel any differently?

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