Advice from those who have gotten though it?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-06-2006
Advice from those who have gotten though it?
12
Tue, 03-13-2012 - 9:02pm

The worst thing about this whole process is feeling like it will never end- the sadness, the roller coaster...I'm only 3 months from DDAY, after which there was the whole god awful trickle truth. I think I know everything I am going to know at this point.

I struggle with what to do. All I want is to feel better, for this insanity to diminsh. I know it takes time; I am working so hard to understand the why's & hows. And he's been there, trying to help me & as far as I can tell he's really trying. He went no contact even before I found out the whole truth; he did that because I left him because I was tired of being suspicious. So I only give him partial credit; he realized I was gone from his life because of his lies and he started the path to his own recovery, I guess my leaving was the catalyst. I was so optimistic after I left. I felt strong, I felt I deserved better than living in suspicion. I hate sometimes that I took him back, agreed to go to counseling, only to find out what REALLY happened.

Integrating the truth of what my life really was for 5 years into my beliefs about myself and my relationship has been so difficult. I feel like a fool. Our sex life was great, the best I'd ever had. He always said the same, and still says that...I know he was looking for attention & a thrill & ego boost, not better or more frequent sex...but tell that to my heart. I am glad he had no feelings for these women but in the end, it's all the same. All I can think is that my life was a lie. I was so stupid. Years of this going on! How can I come to terms with that??

I need help, I can't decide what to do. I know his A's were due to his own issues. I know it wasn't me, or even our relationship. It was the stupid hole in his soul that he was trying to fill. He's kind, he's thoughtful, he's affectionate, he helps around the house, he's loving and he's great in bed. If we could just make it through this I might have a great relationship on my hands. I feel like he's trying. But I feel like I can't... I feel like I can never wipe it out of my heart that he slept with someone else, that he lied for all those years.

Right now I want to walk away. But will the pain leave if I do? That's really all I want. For life to go back to normal.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-15-2008
Wed, 03-14-2012 - 12:49pm

(((hardtimes_ahead)))

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-21-2011

It does become normal again, but its a new normal. But it can be better if you choose to ake it that way. Since you didn;t mention them, I am guessing you don;t have kids? If that's the case, then walk away. He is not such a great man, he lied to yu for years he had made love to another woman, he took time that should have been with you and spent it with her. He shared parts of himself that were yours, as his wife, with another woman.

There are men and women out there that will cheat just for the thrill, and if they will do it once, they will do it again. There's some kind of switch in their head that allows tham to rationalize it as okay. But there are also men and women out there that will not cheat under any circumstances. You deserve one of those men.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2008

I've been with my DH for 42 years now and it has not been such a great marriage and included him having two EAs the last 16 years and I hope not more. To answer your question of will the pain leave, it can. It depends a great deal on what he does to repair the damage, if your wish is to stay together, with you working on YOU no matter what you wish the outcome to be. Once trust becomes a problem, it sticks. Some people eventually move past it all, although I'm always amazed at those who quickly grant forgiveness, I have to think they haven't worked it thru or were taught by the previous family generation that cheating is just "boys will be boys", which I learned thru the years is absolutely the point of view of my DH's family in the past. I think we eventually move on somehow, even if it takes years, because what else can we do? That's kinda where I am in my head, since I know myself and I'd be no happIER without my DH. He's done a real turnaround and tells me again and again I will never get cheated on again as long as I live, and I'm in a place where I'm starting to believe him and this turnaround. Those roots of anger are softening a bit, BUT.....this is true of you, as well, the reason I feel like I'm beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel is because HE has worked so hard to redeem himself in my eyes. Had he not, we wouldn't be together because I learned I AM strong enough to walk away if he turns back into a jerk, I have a plan B in my head and you need one, too. It will empower you simply to get that plan in place, knowing you will deal with what happens, and you WILL. Why? No choice, it's that simple. I think if the pain will go away if YOU go away, I think that depends on many things, but I'll leave that to those who have done that and lived not to regret doing it, since I'm still here finding my way. Our therapist has told me a number of times she has gotten to know me well now and she does NOT believe I would be any happier without my DH, plus since I'm pretty much a loner I would BE alone, and like everybody here, we all make our choices. If you're sitting on the fence, there's a reason for that. You said you understand him cheating was in no way about YOU, it's crucial to realize that, it truly IS about him and his own problems he had long before he ever met you. I will tell you I feel the same way about one thing - if I knew for a fact my DH had slept with somebody else, I seriously doubt I could stay with him - when they do that to me it's the ultimate betrayal in so many ways....but most of all because if they sleep with somebody else and then return to you and sleep with you, then they are exposing you to God knows what, and THAT to me is the ultimate betrayal. I'd not get beyond that if I knew if for a fact. I think you need some counseling since no one here is a therapist that I know of, we can offer our own feedback based on experience, but a professional hand here could work wonders.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
First off, you weren't stupid, just trusting. I think we all have in in our heads that since WE would never cheat they wouldn't either. But you are only 3 months out and this will take A LOT longer than that to even begin to feel some sense of normalcy or trust. And if it was more than one affair even longer. If it was then I agree with deedle. If you don't have kids then walk away now.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2012

As I read your story I was literally in tears. I felt like I was alone and now I know that I'm not. The similarities are scary. I have been wondering all the same things, mainly if I leave will I be happy again. And what if he really has changed, he is perfect in every other way, will I being throwing away what is now going to be an amazing marriage. I do have kids so that is a huge concern as well, a 16 year old, 10, and 7. How will they handle everything.

When you talked about the "god awful trickle truth" I can fully sympathzie with that. Over several months my H was slowly giving me more and more information. By the time it was done the shock, confusion, and just feeling so broken was so strong it was impossible for me to leave.

I am still trying to figure out what to do as well, so I can't offer any advise there. I did however want you to know that I understand, really understand. I posted some of my story on here a couple of weeks ago. So while I can't give you the answers you are looking for, if you need someone to vent to, talk to, or anything I am here. Maybe we can both figure out what we need to do from here!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-21-2011

I have been in the same place as both of you ladies. After my ex's first affair, we tried to work it out. We went to counseling tried to make changes so that we spent more time together as a couple and as a family. I beleive that if BOTH parties want it, you can recover the marriage after an affair. I would recomend counseling as a couple and as individuals though.

The problem we had was that nothing really changed and he cheated again. And eventually I left him. He refused individual counseling even when the marriage counselor recommended it for him.

One big difference I see between your situations and mine is a big one. After the first affair, I was no longer in love with my ex, would have been very happy to divorce him at that point, but we stayed together for the kids. And I would not have described him as a good man, decent father, etc.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-06-2006
Hi Still, I took a break from the boards because I find sometimes that reading others stories sometimes does me harm. I feel like I empathize to the point of taking on other peoples pain. god knows we have enough of our own, right? Sigh. So how are you? I will go back and read your story. How is your H responded to all of this? My guy says he never loved them. He hasn't talked to either girl since I found out- actually since before I had actual proof. That helps for sure. I'm 3 months out now and find that life is divided into three categories: good days, bad days, and days I'd call "numb" days. I feel like the bad days at least are lessening. But when it's bad, it's bad. Pure grief plain & simple. Today is ok with only one minor setback. I don't have kids. I'm sorry you are having to hold it together with children to worry about, too. It's funny because I've heard people say if they didn't have kids, they'd leave for sure. But. It's not any easier to decide to leave when there are none. If what you say is that your H is otherwise a great partner (are people rolling their eyes at the "otherwise" part-ug) then we do have that in common. At times I find myself wishing that he were a total jerk, still talking to them, on a dating site, ANYTHING to make my decision easier. How does anyone get past this??? I don't know how any BS can. I'm afraid I never will, and I'll be wasting my life in this semi-hell that he has created for us. Going to look for your story now. Hope you are having an ok day today, maybe finding a moment of peace.
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-06-2006
I just found your story, Still. my heart is just breaking for you. I feel my h was on the same path as yours. I think though that what you have been asked to stomach is so much more than what most of us BS could ever imagine. I want you to know I admire your strength because I know what it must have taken you to get this far, and I'm not surprised that it's been two years and you're Still Angry. My H has also started IC but they have stopped short of diagnosing him as an addict. He would go on a "binge" with these girls and then not talk to them for a month or so. But then he'd be at it again. It was like that for years. My only joy in this is that I got to tell them both "you're not the only girl he was cheating on me with." I think the one AP was pretty upset about that, & that makes me smile to this day.. I think if my h had more women in his stable, they would have used the term addict. But he seemed to be bothered by his own behavior, too, and was trying to stop it, even before I found out. I can understand that, since your H came clean to you, that would make it more confusing. It's hard when someone you love has hurt you, but they need and want your help. My H says "I need you to believe in me. I do not want to go down that road again, and I won't". When you love someone, you want to help them to be a better person. My hope is that if I stay, I will somehow become a better person, too. But I can't lie, I wish I could choose to walk away and not look back. At this moment I can't.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2012
Wed, 04-04-2012 - 11:33am
Hardtimes, I am good today! Hope you are too!! I havent been on here in a while so sorry for the long delay in the response!

My husband also tells me that he never loved them, although that is not what he told at least one of them. The most difficult thing that I am currently stuggling with is that when you marry, you have a piece of this amazing person that no one else can have. Then they cheat.....so what is left for us?? He has taken that sacred piece that was supposed to be for just me and just gave it away. So I struggle with these what I can small details because I know the big ones. When he calls me "babe, or baby" I wonder who else he has said that to. When he comes up behind me and kisses me on the neck, and tells me that he loves me....I should feel special, but all I do is wonder who else did he do this to. He tells me that I am the only woman that he has ever loved and that is more special than any of these other actions. What I interpret is that he has done all of these things to, with, or for other women, and that is all that is left for me is "love". Boy he sure has a funny way of showing his love!! Its a constant struggle of thoughts and doubts. And I have the exact three categories for my day as well...good, bad, and numb! I take that back I have a 4th its angry, mad, or sometimes furious!!

How to get past this.....I have no idea! If you hear of anything let me know because I feel like I have tried EVERYTHING!!!!! And yes the dreaded statement that always makes eyes roll!!! Otherwise....he honestly is an amazing husband. He calls me throughout the day from work, always has. He gets me sweet little gifts, helps around the house, cooks dinner, helps me study for school, treats me like a queen (when I'm with him)! It would be SO MUCH easier if they were jerks to our face!! *sigh*
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-12-2012
Thu, 04-12-2012 - 12:31pm

I am 7 month's past DDay and 5 months since the last day he has had any contact with her.

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