Help me understand

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-10-2009
Help me understand
8
Tue, 08-11-2009 - 9:06pm

My

T.J.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-05-2006
Tue, 08-11-2009 - 11:39pm

this may be long - as it conjours up a great deal of emotion.

i have been married to my h for 32 years now. my h was never romantic seemed to always take me for granted and seemed to love putting me down.

our marriage came to head so to speak back in 06, that is when i had to face the truth and deal with reality - my h was a lieing cheating scoundral who had been having affairs with women for the majority of those years - one of those liasons resulted in an illegitimate daughter that i did not know about until she was 17.

now, to the point.............

what your husband did was wrong, as wrong as wrong can be. noone, not me or anyone else can put ourselves in your shoes, our stories are as different as they are alike. all of our circumstances different.

in my case when i found out rather than throw himself at my feet and beg forgiveness his response was "i'm sorry, it will never happen again, forget about it, lets put it behind us - and oh, what is for dinner". i am serious as a heart attack.

i KNOW the pain you are in. NO, nothing can take away the fact that he did it and that he was wrong for doing so. BUT he does seem to get it. he DOES seem to be remorseful (but only you know if that is true).

in order for any woman to heal they need to know and believe that the man gets it. that the man, their husband, has empathy - he needs to be able to put himself in your shoes and truly understand the pain you feel. he shared with another woman something that you believed in your heart of hearts was 'yours (you and he) and yours alone'. whether the sex be ok, great, or wow - it was yours. you shared your body with the man you married and you felt even if nothing else the two of you had that. and then he and she come along and defile that 'how dare they, how dare he' I GET IT.

you will never be able to go back to where you were before all of this, BUT and only IF you are willing to forgive and grow - you notice i did not say forget - will you ever be happy with this man again.

the two of you need to build a new foundation, the old one is far to broken to build anything worthwhile on. you can NOT continue to go thru life looking in the rear view mirror - for if you do you will NEVER get anywhere, if will be like you are running in place - constantly surrounded by all of the yuk of what he did, what they did together.

he MUST get it - that this is not something you will EVER put up with again.

it is going to take time for the tapes in your mind to be eroded. you need to share with him, truly bare your soul. 'YOU KNOW WHEN WE MAKE LOVE AND I LOOK UP AT YOU AND SEE YOUR CLOSED EYES I WONDER IF IT IS ME YOU ARE HERE WITH, OR ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT HER. YOU KNOW WHEN YOU TOUCH ME LIKE THAT IT IS NOT SOMETHING YOU EVER USE TO DO WITH ME - I WORRY DID YOU DO THAT TO HER.' once again he needs to get it. he needs to take time go to a place in his mind where he is able to envision how he would have felt if he was faced with knowledge that YOU had shared your married body with another man. until and unless he is able to do this you will never move on. you need to know, down deep in your soul, that he does get it and that he does love you.

you know i believe in happily ever after, yes me - a woman who has been hurt beyond hurt. i do not believe in my happily ever after but i do believe if 2 people like you and your husband truly want it to work that they can.

you need to talk to him about triggers explain to him what they do to you. explain what is going on in your mind - tell him 'you need to know and understand what i am dealing with in order to understand me - the new me; the me that walked out of that tunnel after i found out what was going on. explain to him that the woman you were before is no more. he changed you.

you also need to begin to focus on you, the new you. the wiser somewhat harder you. you need to love you take care of you. do not put this on him, this is up to you. you are in control of you not him and that is the way it should be. look at yourself in the mirror - do you like that beautiful woman looking back at you? do you think she is beautiful? what about that do?, do you want to change it? when is the last time you focused on being healthy, getting a facial, a manicure a pedicure? betrayal takes alot of the luster away - it can make you feel like a worn out shoe. so it is up to you to FIND the strength, even when you do not feel like it in taking care of you.

drink lots of green tea, i don't mean the bottled stuff, but the real stuff. hot or cold it is wonderful for your insides and complexion. take walks, read, look inside. find yourself again. where is that beautiful young, spirited, girl? believe me she is still in there - it is just up to you to find her. drink lots of water.

how about the texture of your skin. i HIGHLY recommend strivectin, while it costs some money, you are worth it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

are you getting the picture?????? you forgot you, and now it is time to find you. love you.

listen to music, read, believe in you. dance while noone is looking.

you are not her NO YOU ARE A REAL WOMAN, A WOMAN OF VALUE. you must mean a great deal to him - afterall he ended it when faced with the reality of loosing you. but in reality this is not about him like i said this is only and totally about you.

TAKE CARE OF AND LOVE YOU

Avatar for pater_familia
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008
Wed, 08-12-2009 - 2:01am

Thank you for that post, it was very thoughtful and something you must have been thinking about for some time. I can feel many of these emotions myself.

" I WORRY DID YOU DO THAT TO HER."

My spouse and I will often make love now with our eyes locked on each other. I think she's struggling to make sure she's staying with me and I'm struggling to make sure she's with me and to keep from thinking about what they did. When I close my eyes she will comment that she's lost me and I have to snap out of it. Ugh! Yeah, you stated something I've said to myself dozens of times. Thanks for helping me not feel so alone in this.

Thomas

===

Dear whatnow2009

We have a lot of tools on this message-board that can help you. The problem is that If what we have to offer represents something that looks like a yardstick, from my experience, you will only be able to digest a very small inch or two at a time. This is going to take you a while to process what we have to offer. So please stick with us and keep posting. As an example, I would ask my spouse about her affair and she would give me all this information. But I could only cope with a small segment of what she said. Soon, I would ask her the same question and she would tell me the same thing. Yet, I was only able to hear another small segment of what she said. After a while she got angry and said that we had been over all this before, but the fact is that I could only handle segments of what she said at a time. It was tricky to help her understand this when I was struggling to figuring this all out myself.

Would you kindly trust me and begin with a few suggestions. Then, let us know how it is going from time to time. OK?

First, what worked for me when I was in your shoes:
Find a way to eat. And eat good food, no junk food. I wasn't hungry for months. I had to shove a carrot stick or an apple wedge in my mouth and just chew and swallow. In just a few months, I lost almost 30 lbs. One young man that I recently spoke with lost some 70 lbs after his wife's affair. Eating right will give you the energy to deal with the problems that are in front of you. This is really important.

Second, Find a constructive way to burn off the stress. Every day since that first week, I have done stomach crunches, leg lifts, pushups (often to the mans name repeated in my head) and stretches. This simple 20 min. exercising has helped on a lot of levels including my wrecked self esteem. (And my self esteem was completely shredded!)

And find a way to sleep. This was very hard for me to do. Still is.

Get a therapist now! You can't figure this stuff out on your own. I sell books for a living and have to work with university professors all the time, I play competitive chess, I'm good at figuring things out, I'm a smart guy. Nope, looking back at this past year, I can say with authority that I didn't have a clue or the tools to cope with my wife's affairs by myself. It's important to educate yourself on what just happened to you. I read some ten books on this subject. May I suggest "Getting Past the Affair." I ordered it from amazon and had it sent next-day-air and read it several times. IT WAS WORTH EVERY DIME! It's time to invest in yourself. Everything you do now will pay off big later. Don't scrimp.

Consider getting a lawyer! You don't have to use him/her. But it's important to know your rights.

I'm sorry that you have to deal with the most important issue of your life at a time when you are probably at your all-time lowest. We can all empathize.

Please know, this is not your fault. He had a lot of choices to chose from that would help him deal with his stuff. He chose the worst way to self medicate. Trust me, he wasn't thinking of you one bit. His affair had nothing to do with you. It had to do with him. In time, you I hope you will be able to grasp that. And maybe, one day, forgive him.

But first things first. Please let us know how things are going.

Thomas

5 kids ages 16-10, D Day: August, 2008

What's I'm doing to rebuild: Therapy, Books, Exercise, Forgiveness.




Edited 8/12/2009 2:09 am ET by pater_familia

Thomas

We have five kids. Our D-Day was in August, 2008.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-02-2008
Wed, 08-12-2009 - 2:32am

Planintolive said it all so very well.


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-11-2009
Wed, 08-12-2009 - 7:37am
Hi whatnow, sounds familiar! I just found out my husband of over 20 years had a 4+ year affair with a close friend. My life has been smashed into a million pieces... I don't know how we go on and try to put things together again. I just logged on last night for the first time because I am hoping that someone who has already gone down this road can help. I am here if you need someone to talk with. I don't have any answers but I do know the hurt, shame, anger, disgust, pain... My kids do not know so I am trying to keep it together for them. If you hear some good advice, can you send it my way. Thanks and good luck. This sucks but someone we have to keep pushing forward.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-28-2007
Wed, 08-12-2009 - 2:37pm
This post was on point. The person who had the affair has to 'get it.' They have to truly understand the hellish journey they have put the offended party on in order to I believe, never cheat again. You hit on so many issues I have with my wife who had an affair on me. To the OP, my prayers go out to you, take it one day at a time and find a good therapist.
If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it!
If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it!
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-10-2009
Thu, 08-13-2009 - 6:13pm

WOW! Great words!

T.J.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-10-2009
Thu, 08-13-2009 - 6:59pm

My heart is broken just like yours and I want to thank you with all my wounded heart for your kind words.

T.J.
Avatar for pater_familia
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008
Mon, 08-17-2009 - 4:08pm

"I went a little crazy and bodily attacked my husband. I wanted him to be in pain with me. He stood there and took it, I didn't however feel any better. "

I'm glad he just took it. My spouse physically attacked me at least twice. (I'm the betrayed spouse.) Once was a day or so after she became aware that I told her last AP about the other men. Another time was while we were in the shower together and I would not let some subject go. I think that when we lose the ability to express our feelings we find ourselves acting out physically. I lose my temper, she uses her fists.

And the fact is that an affair brings out feelings that are unfamiliar and often defy description. The fact that he just took it. Signals to me that, once again, the affair wasn't about you. He might accuse you, and blame you just like MY spouse did. But just like the 180 states. Don't believe most of what you hear. If both of you keep going to the shrink, my guess is that he will in time begin talking different. I know that at a year out, my spouse is speaking a totally different language regarding the affair. I suspect that by next summer, I'll not recognize where she is now either. This is a long process. Don't take any shortcuts. Especially regarding the forgiveness issue. I told my spouse the first week that I forgave her but didn't act like it at all. Now, a year out, I'm really walking the forgiveness paths. But, I'm afraid to say it as I occasionally forget to act like I've forgiven her or the other men.

I've worked very hard to forgive one of the men. But just this week I just went off to my spouse about what a coward he is. One of the books I read described what I need to do here as “holding onto forgiveness.” I slipped this week and have to remember all the work I did. And remember the situation he was in at the time of the affair and how he lives currently. I need to remember that my spouse broke his heart also, and he doesn’t get to work through his hurt with her like I get to. He didn’t get to stand in front of her and tell her how much she hurt him. He didn’t get put his head in her lap and have her stoke his hair and tell him how sorry she is, and how she sees things differently now. Nope, He is just sitting in his apartment after losing his spouse AND his childhood love, his self respect, his self esteem, his home and his cushy job. All in one calendar year. He told me he was sorry, that he made a mistake. He kept his word and stayed away. I’m the one who kept bringing him back into the conversation.

He might not have done one of the things that I asked him to do. But I’m wondering if he deserves a break. Maybe, maybe not. I’m sorting this through.

As for my spouse. She’s up and down. But it has an overall upward track. We had a hard conversation over the weekend. She handled it better than the last time. Instead of asking me to have the answer to a hard question right at the top of my head. She asked the question and said that she wanted us both to take a few moments to honestly think about what the answer was. The fact is that her answer was in fact better than mine. It sort of stopped my in my tracks. About six hours later I woke up very angry with the OM. I said somthing angry about him. As she awoke, she said “I’m feeling attacked.” That gave me a moment of pause and said that this has little to do with you but that I just needed to vent. She took that better and just grabbed me and held me. Yeah, that went way better than our encounters in the past!!!!

Sorry, I’m just sort of going off!

I guess what I’m saying is that it’s going to be hard and it takes both of you giving 100% to make this work. But things can be better than before. It has to be or it’s not worth rebuilding.

Thomas

5 kids ages 16-10, D Day: August, 2008

What's I'm doing to rebuild: Therapy, Books, Exercise, Forgiveness.

Thomas

We have five kids. Our D-Day was in August, 2008.