How to cope - therapist update

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-11-2009
How to cope - therapist update
Fri, 08-21-2009 - 11:57am
Hi friends!
I wanted to say thank you for all of the kind, wise, thoughtful and insightful messages I received. Just a quick update: Yesterday I woke up to find a card on my nightstand. It was from my h. In it, he said that he was sorry, that he regrets hurting me and what he did, that he loves me and wants to do whatever he can to make it up to me. I read it and I didn't even cry (what I have been doing so much of). To me, they are just words. The card may have helped him more than me. I so want to believe what he wrote. But how do you believe anything after being lied to for so long?? I know he is trying to reach out but right now I still feel numb. I'm actually thankful for "numb". I had my first meeting with a therapist. I actually was afraid because I knew I had to face what I've been trying to avoid for the past 3 weeks. She was wonderful. I did most of the talking (through lots of tears). It almost seems worse saying it out loud. Thomas suggested writing things down before I went. I wrote her a brief history of me, my h, our family, relationship before and what had just taken place. I left it with her and I am glad because there was so much that we didn't get to or I am not sure I communicated clearly... rambling... I was actually looking forward to logging on today. Your posts have been helpful... knowing that I am not alone... that others know what I am going through... that there is hope! Today I woke up, got the kids off to school and went for a run. I still hate running but I am trying to make a big change and put "me" first (or at least 2nd to kids). It is a start! Thanks to you all who have helped me take those first steps. I know its going to be a marathon with lots of ups and downs but at least I am putting on my shoes! Love to you all!
Avatar for pater_familia
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008
Fri, 08-21-2009 - 1:14pm

Can I put two things out there?

When we fly in airplanes they talk about putting the oxygen mask on ourselves first, then our children. This isn't meant to be callous or selfish, it is something that is very carefully thought out. The fact is that you really can't help your kids in the long run unless you care for yourself first. By caring for you, you are in fact caring for them.

I would have given anything for a wandering spouse that would leave me a note. A spouse that leaves a note is much better than a spouse who turns inward and refuses to express herself at all. I know he can't do anything right at the moment. It's like when I finally saw a photo of one of the men on-line. He was not that attractive, I got upset at her and said that when she chose to cheat on me, it was with the first thing that just happened along. But it was sixes. If he was hansom, I would have been just as pissed--only that she found someone better looking than me. She can't win this on this issue.

It might be that with your husband's note, he can't win this one. You might consider taking a step back on that topic for a while. You might find notes from your spouse to be a god-send at some point. I would give anything for notes from my spouse. That would mean a lot to me right now.

Just a thought.

I also just went off in my first few therapy sessions. I'm sure that the shrink just wrote in his notes. "Just plain nuts!"

As you get it all out, I think you will find the therapy sessions to be a lot more calm in the future. I know that by writing down the events of the week. The shrink was able to help me better, and it was really nice getting some of that stuff off my chest to someone who could walk me through some of it.

Keep us posted.


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

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


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

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-11-2009
Fri, 08-21-2009 - 5:22pm
Thanks Thomas for the message. I know you're right about the kids. Its what I've told a friend a few years ago when she was going through a divorce. I appreciate your insight... it helps to hear it even though you think you already know some of it. I did take today off of work, worked out, met some friends for lunch and stopped in the gap and bought myself a new outfit. Not my regular practice... I woke up today and said to myself that I need to make time for me. Having a large family yourself, I know you know how hard that can be. Things have changed and so have I. I need to make sure that I don't take things for granted... enjoy the little things...
As for his card. I do appreciate that he wrote his feelings down. I think this weekend I will try to do the same. I want him to know. I'm not sure if he is ready to hear everything... if he knows how this has completely devastated me... I almost want to have him read these posts and other stories like mine. When you read them, you can hear their pain... how this has affected them so deeply. But on the other hand, I feel like being selfish and keeping you all to myself. My own support. I know I need to put all of my feelings down and let him read them. I have been avoiding "real" conversations about it because I really don't think I'm ready for them. That's my goal for this weekend... I'll keep you posted. Thanks again for your messages!
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-05-2006
Sat, 08-22-2009 - 6:59pm

"i hate running" - you may hate it but you need to continue to persevere. the mind chatter often times leaves us doing nothing but sitting in a big heap, full of questions, tears, feeling like a piece of crap, questioning if ANYTHING is worthwhile.

WELL YES IT IS LYNN. it is worthwhile, because you need to love you, heal you, take care of you.

i remember my h also left me a card in my sunroom. a bunch of muchy crap - a few weeks later i stopped into the liquor store for a lottery ticket and i'll be dam*** if what don't i see the very same card. oh, he really went out of his way for that one. as i sit here and am reminded of that fact i realize that he really was not willing to do any of the work it was going to take to help me heal. nope, it was i am sorry what more do you want? am i going to have to live with this the rest of my life? ah, that would be a yes!!!!! 25 years of cheating and he wanted a free get out of jail card. sorry i simply did not have it in me any longer.

no matter how consumed with this you get - and it is going to take time - a great deal more time than you realize - you must keep the chatter at bay. instead write it on your hand, LOVE YOU. and do whatever is good for you. in doing so you will then and only then be a good mom to your children and be able to be that beacon of what being a strong woman is all about. they look to us for strength - they look to us to show them how to live their lives.

you can do this - and we are here to help.

that is what is so great about this site - no matter what day, no matter what time, no matter what the feeling WE ALL KNOW, --------- WE ARE ALL YOU, JUST A LITTLE FURTHER ALONG IN THE JOURNEY.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-11-2009
Mon, 08-24-2009 - 12:21pm
Thanks for the message. I look forward now to logging on to talk with people like you. I do appreciate all of the advise. It helps to hear from people who know what I am going through. I am going to ask my h to go out tonight so we can talk. We have only had 2 or 3 5 minute conversations since d day (a month ago). I need to get more answers... I don't think I can "hide" from it any longer. We have been going along for the kids like life is great. The only difference is that we no longer kiss in front of our kids. At night, I no longer hold his hand until he falls asleep. We are like roommates now. I need to talk to him but I keep putting it off. The "make believe" is so much easier! I'll let you know how it goes. Hopefully I won't chicken out... I need to do this. Thanks again for all of your messages. They mean a great deal!
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-01-2008
Mon, 08-24-2009 - 1:26pm

You have taken some pretty huge steps already and have gotten some wonderful advice. Just try and stay focused on your healing. You have every right to feel any emotion you feel with out guilt, none of this was your fault. Your H card was a step in the right direction for him, however we all know that after this type of betrayal actions speak much louder then words. So let him prove to you that those words in that card were more then just empty promises. Hang in there and know you are not alone. We are here for you anytime you need us.

Hugs Gal

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-05-2006
Mon, 08-24-2009 - 3:25pm

2 things jumped out at me as i read your post:

we don't smile in front of the kids
we have been going along for the kids like life is great

i am a mom, i have raised 10 kids, mine, his, ours, 2 nephews, 2 foster sons. i am 'seasoned' enough to be able to look back and realize that many of the choices i made in life were based on what i thought i should do for their sake.

but i was wrong. we can not live for our children. now there is no mother on earth that loves her children or grandchildren more than i - however at the age of almost 60 i am filled with so much more wisdom than i had at your age. remember when i spoke of living for others, trying to meet others expectations, always doing for others, waking up one day and finding/realizing that kathy did not exist any longer. well that is the feeling i am getting when i read those 2 statements of yours.

you are right in wanting to really discuss the issues at hand. not for your childrens sakes, not for your husband sake, BUT FOR YOUR SAKE. the reality is he did what he did and while you can not go back and change it you can begin, the 2 of you, in building that foundation i spoke of where something like this will never happen again.

you won't hold his hand because he is a stranger to you. the man you thought he was - well he died the very minute you found out. so,,,,,,,,, you are going to have to decide if you want to take a chance at falling in love with him all over again - but this time based on some new revelations for the 2 of you. no longer are you going to take a back seat to ANYTHING in life. no longer are you going to put everyone and every thing in front of you. no instead you now realize that in order to be happy YOU have to be happy by taking care of you. the truth of the matter is he, for whatever reason left his sense of integrity and morality in the bathroom one day and set out to make it all about him - what he wanted, needed, or desired at the time. now wouldn't that be nice if we could all do that - no not really - what kind of a world would that be?

if you love him, and if you want your marriage to work FOR YOUR SAKE, then you and he can make it happen. it is going to take time, there will be bends in the road, possibly even some road blocks but i am a true romantic even now - i still believe in happily ever after.

now tell me is there anything greater than being a part of one of those special moments in your lives (you and he alone) where you look at him and you feel warm all over. where just the sight of him makes you smile - where for a nanosecond you think 'now this is what it is all about?'. those are the minutes worth living for!!!!!!!!

a word of insight - don't let ALL of those special times that you carve out be all about 'what he did'. make room for time in your lives to be happy with each other. i know it may be hard, but think about it life is like an empty tanker. what you fill it up with is what will come out - am i right?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-18-1998
Mon, 08-24-2009 - 8:03pm

I am glad you are running. Physical movement is the quickest way to burn off the excess stressors in your system at the moment. I remember just walking the dog or around the mall was helpful. I felt like an emotional zombie. I missed several weeks of work. I just couldn't function. Slowly but surely began to heal. A day at a time.

Don't try to make any decisions about what you are going to do. Give yourself 6 months to a year to make a decision. In the mean time-let your husband do what he needs to do to support your healing. Mine became a master at cooking dinner and doing laundry. He still is the one who does those tasks. I think two years later he is so grateful I was able to move forward and forgive him that he will do it for the rest of his life. =) It took me two years to get to a really good place. I didn't think about it daily-I wasn't blind sided by triggers that reminded me of the event.

We went to a marriage counselor that was incredibly helpful. Two books that also saved me were the Shirley Glass book and After the Affair. My husband read them, too. Required reading!!

I think I was moved by your letter as it appears we are at a similar place in our marriage/life. 20 years married, my oldest is leaving for college in a few weeks. I was determined that this event did not effect my children. And after 2.5 years of hard, hard work I can honestly say my marriage is stronger than it has ever been.

I discovered the A as a recipient of the "Your husband has been calling my wife" phone call. I was soon humbled as I found my near perfect life (one that stereotypically was not what I believed would be the type that was touched by an affair-both professionals-educated-active in our community) turned upside down. Within days of the discovery I found myself in front of a judge getting a restraining order against my husband's girlfriends husband. What a nightmare! It was surreal.

But while I never imagined that I would stay in a marriage that was affected by an affair-I am still here. Happily married. It didn't happen over night, but it happened. I (and everyone here) are here to support you in whatever path this event leads you down. We are here for you.


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-10-2009
Mon, 08-24-2009 - 8:48pm

Hi Lynn,

I agree with you, going to counseling and hearing things out loud is so hard to deal with.

When we went to our first appointment and the counselor asked who would go first, I pointed at my husband and he blurted out that he had an affair.