How did you all process the affair?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-28-2007
How did you all process the affair?
11
Wed, 06-10-2009 - 7:29pm
I am curious as to how you all processed the affair? It has been since Sunday for me and I still cant wrap my mind around the fact that my wife had the affair and sent graphic photos of herself to the OM. I sat in church with this woman! The only emotion I feel is one of being 'numb'.
If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-24-2009
Wed, 06-10-2009 - 8:01pm

Hello bornagain,

I've been reading your posts today and I'm feeling your pain. First, be thankful for your faith. I can't imagine what this process would be like without it. My husband admitted his A to me 3 months ago today. It was not his first EA, but says it was the first PA(I'm not sure). We are still in the storm. He says he wants to save our M and move forward, but has not ended the A and is having a horrible internal struggle within himself.

That numbness you are feeling is going to stay with you a bit... I'm just barely starting to feel it fading into something else, anger? But we're all different, your process will be yours and you will feel as you go. I am a believer also and have looked to other believers for advice. It would be so great if there was a manual that gave us instructions on how to do this. I've spent so much time in the word and praying for answers and still am so unclear on where I should go from here. What I am learning is to be still and listen. I am realizing that this is going to be a very long process and I have no idea what the outcome will be. What I do know is that there is a plan for me and I will be okay, no matter how this turns out.

I have read two books that I would like to recommend to you. Both focus on this process through a believers perspective. The first is Hope for the Separated by Gary Chapman. I have read it over and over and still struggle with what to do, but it has given me peace at times when I desperately needed it. Also, I would watch the movie Fireproof. My H and I watched this, but not together. I think it has a very good message. I also purchased the Love Dare(you'll learn about this in the movie). I did it very faithfully, expecting huge results. Well, I didn't get the results I wanted from him but learned something amazing about myself in the process. These projects gave me something to do and focus on and just help pass the time.

Oh, and one more thing I've learned lately. Stay busy in the evenings and exhaust yourself. Others may not recommend this, but it's helping me sleep. I think this is the first week I can honestly say I'm sleeping better. I take a two mile walk every night and then try to swim for awhile. It helps relieve stress and take my mind off of everything.

It's true that you will have to work this out together to save your M, but it's really her that is going to have to work hard to figure out what she has done, why and how to resolve it. So, stay busy while she does this work... hopefully she will.

A lot of times I remind myself that "Nothing is going to be resolved right now, I can't fix this right this second - so calm down." And journaling really helps to. The Love Dare, I mentioned above, is a 40 day journal. I have now given it to my H to read if he so chooses. It sits in his night stand drawer collecting dust, but I have the hope that someday, he'll be ready to pick it up, start reading and begin this new chapter in our life together...

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2003
Wed, 06-10-2009 - 9:42pm
I found out about my H's affair about 6 weeks ago and am still trying to process it all.

Barbara - Mom to Veronica aka Roni- Large facial Hemangioma and PHACE


Just Remember that God does not give us more than we can handle,

Avatar for pater_familia
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008
Thu, 06-11-2009 - 2:32am

You are getting good advice.

Just so you know, I cried everyday for hours at a time for more weeks that I can remember. I lost some 30 lbs. I would burst into tears in front of customers. I blew off my two largest trade shows of the year. I walked into work after that asking if I still had a job. I slept like two hours a night for months and only recently found myself being able to get more than five. When I would sleep, I would wake up with this wash of relief that it was only a dream, only to realize that my worst nightmare was my real life.

I took one small step forward every second and did what I had to do. It really wasn't until I began eating and working out that I realized that I had any worth again. My poor kids just thought Dad was going to lose it.

You process this by doing the work. There are no short cuts this time. Take it head on, get some scholarly self help books. NO home grown religion books. I have them in my tradition also and they were mostly crap. Try, Getting Past the Affair, order it on amazon, pay the extra postage, get through it. Get a therapist. Talk to a pastor who is educated in such things. Mine is not and he is a disaster. Not that any of this was your fault. But own your part. I was watching too much TV, not doing the laundry, washing dishes, giving affirmation. She wasn't being a person I could love, but I could say, "I think you are a good mom." But in all this, be faithful to the 180 list. Fix things about yourself, but the rest really is up to her.

My biggest mistake was when she finally decided to move out. I panicked and begged her to stay, called her shrink, drug her over there. Bla bla bla. it was a huge mistake. I know now that it was a bluff. Meant to hurt me. Had I packed her bags for her, she would have apologized the next day and she would have been the one who panicked. And she needed that wake up call then and I didn't let her have it.

Thomas

5 kids ages 15-9, D Day: August 5, 2008

Status: Figuring it out. Together.

Thomas

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

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-04-2009
Thu, 06-11-2009 - 9:49am

I'm a student by nature, so in addition to taking care of myself I threw myself into studying everything I could find about A's.

"If something cannot go on forever, it will stop."  Herb Stein

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-28-2007
Thu, 06-11-2009 - 12:57pm

you know what. I did give this woman compliments, took her out and paid attention to her. It just wasnt enough. Nothing was enough for her, it was like she was a black hole that sucked the life out of me. She needed me to make her happy. That comes from within. There are people out there who just cheat. They can be in a great relationship but they are just sick and no amount of doting or caring or attention will stop them from cheating. I wont excuse any of her behavior. There is no excuse for

If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it!
Avatar for pater_familia
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008
Fri, 06-12-2009 - 12:30am

"I wont excuse any of her behavior."

You are right. There is no excuse for her behavior. People are in awful marriages and are faithful to each other. She will have to own her behavior at some point to you if she ever hopes to make this right.

"There is no excuse for cheating period."

No there is not. Zero.

Unfortunately, there is no going back to the old marriage. Even if she stops her behavior and is faithful to you from now on. The cat is out of the bag that something wasn't going well in the marriage. And THAT takes two to tango. I'm not talking about affairs or causes for affairs. I'm talking about repairing yourself whether she stays or goes. In my case, I spent a too much time in front of the TV. I realized that I needed to correct this whether she stayed or left. I was letting myself go physically. I realized this wasn't appropriate whether she stayed or left. She was right, I rarely gave her compliments. I had to fix this for her or for someone else. Once I started taking care of me and becoming the husband I should have been all along. I was very lucky in that she realized that she wanted to be that way also. Trust me, it's not perfect. We have miles to go.

You may never fully know why she had the affair. The question is, do you or will you repair YOUR life while you wait and see what she is going to do? She might get inspired by what she sees and fix her life, just like the woman in the parable of the woman taken in adultery. Or she might walk. But if you are taking care of you, making yourself a better person. You will land on your feet here.

Thomas

5 kids ages 15-9, D Day: August 5, 2008

Thomas

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

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2009
Fri, 06-12-2009 - 8:03am

How did I process sit..Well, I processed it and her right out of my house. The final confrontation was really ugly. I was amazed and raging that she could lie right to my face. I finally dropped a used condom on the kitchen counter. I thought she was going to pass out.

She crumpled. I then helped her pack her bags. At first she told me that I WAS GOING TO LEAVE. Not happening. Then she threatened to call the cops on me but that didn't happen.

I packed her bags for her, escorted her out of the house. I put her bags in the car and told her to go see her BF.

Within 48 hours I junked our bedroom set and living room furniture.

I slept on an old couch in my office for a few weeks.

Its been almost 7 months since my first clue. You will get through this. Listen to the people here. Eat, workout and workout some more.

One of things I had to resist was REVENGE. I wanted to hurt the OM soooooooo bad it was not funny. I have friends that told me that they could make him disappear. But my girls needed and need a stable parent.

Keep posting. You are not in this by yourself. We have all supported each other.

Jack

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 06-12-2009 - 8:49am

You are right, there is absolutely no excuse for having an A. If a person wants to have an A, she will find or make a reason if there isn't already one conveniently available.

My DH claimed our house didn't feel like a home. Well, it did until he started his EA and then he made us all so miserable when he was there that it stopped being a comfortable and safe place to be and this gave him the excuse he needed to be absent as much as he needed to be in order to carry on his EA. It was a self-fulfilling prophesy. Truly, things didn't start falling apart until he chose to have an EA. Yes, there were problems, but none as bad as what we had faced before or since.

The thing about an A is that it adds a ton of issues on top of what is already there. Us BS are so devastated we don't know what to do. It is difficult to even think about those issues that were there before because your world has just been destroyed. The 180 helps by giving you very specific things to do until you get your head on straight and can figure out if the M is worth saving.

Your original question was how we all processed the A. Frankly, not very well at first. It took me a while to understand that this man was not the man I married and I could no longer trust his word. Our M had changed and it took me a while to learn the new rules he was playing by and to find healthy and effective strategies to deal with him. Once I did, I started calling the shots and he started dancing to my tune because he didn't want to loose me. I honestly don't think it ever occurred to him that I would be the one leaving.

At first most of us get stuck in that "I don't want a D, I don't want this to end" thing because the M was pretty good before and we believe it will be good again if we give it our all. We give away our power and we do all the work. Of course, we don't take into account that the person who is our partner is no longer the same person and isn't honoring the M nor is truly committed to the M.

It took me two Ddays a year apart to finally pack my bags and then another couple of months for him to really "get it". It was after he understood the devastation he caused me and accepted responsibility for it that our healing came full circle. Up to that point, he never let himself think too deeply about it. It took a little longer for me to be able to trust him as much as I ever will and I will never trust him like I did before the EA.

My advice is to be patient with yourself. Your emotions are going to be all over the place. I would also wait to act on a decision about divorce at least a month so you know you are making a wise decision not based solely on emotion. Take care of yourself and detach as much as you need to to protect yourself from further hurt. She doesn't sound at all remorseful, so you really have nothing to work with as far as reconciling. You know her better than anyone so you know whether it is worth waiting for her to come out of the fog.

WS often don't allow themselves to think too deeply about the devastation they have caused until the consequences slap them in the face. Your W may do a complete turn around once she realizes she is not in control of the situation. Be prepared for her begging you to let her come back. Know what you need from her if you are willing to even consider it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2003
Sat, 06-13-2009 - 12:00pm

I'm in the same position as you, BornAgain. I don't know how much more happier I could have ever made my husband. I moved over 4,000 miles to be with him; I clean his slobbish mess, put up with his laziness and drunkardness, and I compliment him, love him unconditionally. But still, it replays in my mind what more I could have done and what I did wrong. However, taking bits of your own advice, you're right, you can't make people happy if they themselves don't want to be happy. And if she doesn't see how grateful she should be, then it's best she just leaves.


I think everyone else here has provided you with adequate advice. For me, I haven't really eaten much for the past week I have found out. And I can't sleep either. I have had small bouts of good sleep, but that's because my body is so terribly tired from work and fighting these emotions that it's forcing me to sleep. AT work, I feel like a trainwreck. I'm unable to think properly and I'm moody and grumpy and stressed out.


The best advice I have gotten from a select few friends, back at home, was to keep yourself occupy. I've been trying to do that, the last two days.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-28-2007
Sat, 06-13-2009 - 2:06pm
Its crazy how we all are experiencing pretty much the same things..no sleep, no desire to eat..I am thankful for the great advice I have received here. Good luck with your situation.
If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it!
If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it!

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