How to *get over it*

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2013
How to *get over it*
9
Wed, 08-07-2013 - 10:49am

My story is a very long one.  Short version...been married 31 years, hubby had an affair 20 years ago, we worked through it and moved on.  In the past five years our marriage has not been great, we both ignored the signs and just played the part.  He moved a thousand miles away from our home with a job transfer, my youngest daughter and I stayed for 10 months in our home so she could finish the school year.  Found out he was meeting another woman for coffee, and discussions.  I decided my marriage was worth the risk and gave up everything I truly loved (family, job and friends) and made the move.  I found out within the past  since I moved that it was indeed more than what he has originally told me.  They had shared many intimate moments, although....never had actually intercourse (only because SHE stopped it, he would have followed through with it).  We are in counseling now, and after two sessions I am being told that I need to put it on a shelf and move on, or our marriage will never heal....and we will never be able to build the trust back.  I feel like I am being bombarded with being told to get over it, but not getting the tools I need to move past it.  The therapist advice was to find something to occupy my mind when I find myself *going there*.  Try to focus on positives and not dwell on the negatives.  Right now....I am totally not able to do that.  I am pissed off.  He lied over and over to me.  He even admitted that he had contacted the OW two days ago (after they had no contact for six weeks) to let her know we were in counseling and working on our marriage.  His need to still have contact with her hurt me deeply.  He was told by the therapist to END all contact with her, and if he didn't......it would not work. He did come clean and tell the therapsit that he had contacted her, but only after....I mentioned it to her.  He keeps telling me how he loves me and wants to work on things, but I just don't know what to do or where to turn.  How do I ....let it go???  I know right now, I do not trust him and I need time to figure out how to trust him again, or if I can trust him again.  We have almost ended this several times, but in the end.....decided to keep trying.  Thirty one years is a very long time to be together without giving it everything we have.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2010
Sun, 09-08-2013 - 2:58am
The counselor is an idiot. He's a serial cheater and that isn't likely going to change. How many times are you going to go through this with him? Yes, 31 years is a long time but that makes no difference. If you had a tumor for 31 years, you wouldn't say "Well, I've had this thing 31 years and it keeps getting worse, but I guess I'll just keep it." Same thing here. If he's still contacting her (and he is) he's not committed to your marriage, AGAIN. Honey, move on while you're young and cut the pain out of your life.
Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Fri, 08-09-2013 - 7:21pm

I don't see how you can move on if he has not truly severed contact with this OW.  I hate to be negative, but I think this will always be an underyling issue of your DH's.  Once 20 years ago, things not so good the last 5, another W when he moves.  I also question whether they may have been an EA in there somewhere along the way. 

I am not going to bash your DH.  There may be reasons for his behavior, but that is not an excuse.  It seems he is attempting to be honest with you, so I will throw him a bone for that. 

It is true that eventually you would have to learn not to use the A as a weapon against him if you two were to reconcile, but again, if he hasn't truly severed contact, I just don't see how you can move forward to reconciling.

At 31 years of marriage, I think you are probably at a turning point.  Sounds like even your youngest is a young adult now, so the rubber will really hit the road at this time in your lives.  Honestly, if you choose to move forward, I think you will have to accept the fact that you are married to a man who wanders.  It may truly be rare, but as long he doesn't think you will ever leave, chances are good that down the road, he will become interesting in OW again. 

I am not going to tell you to stay or to go.  I just think that it will take alot of work for your DH to truly change, or should I say for it to "click" in his own head why he does what he does.  All you can do is work on yourself, and look at your part in the dynamics of your R as a whole.  (Obviously, his A is not your fault, but a R takes two)

Take care, I know it is hard. 

Serenity CL making a second marriage work

Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Fri, 08-09-2013 - 10:59am

I read some of the replies, and "let go" seems to be the general theme.  And that is the best and only thing you can do if you want to stay married and stay sane.  Been there, done that.   But you say this started 20 years ago, and you've been trying for 20 years and it's not happening.  He's not helping either.  Thirty one years is definitely a long time.......and a VERY long time to be "giving it everything you have"!  You've done that, and it hasn't worked.  In ten years will you be writing that 41 years is a long time to keep trying?  I'm sorry, but after being married 11 years he cheated on you, and he developed a friendship when he moved, and even now he's not able to end his association with her.......don't you think that you can give it all you've got for the rest of your life.....but nothing will change because HE is the one who's NOT giving everything he's got?  How do you even know if this woman was the first since the original?  I was in your situation many years ago, and I DID let things go......over and over.  We had one or two confrontations, and he claimed that he loved ME, and these other women were nothing to him.  All I can say about that is it's a pretty piss poor way of showing love!  I had less patience than you, I gave up after 18.5 years and filed for divorce.  I told the lawyer to take his time, and lets see what he does when he realizes that I am done!  What did he do.........nothing but continue his womanizing lifestyle.  Until the day before we were due to go to court to make it final....and then he came to me crying and begging me not to go thru with it.  I stuck to my guns, and we were divorced the next day.  And he remarried a month later, even though it wasn't even legal yet.  So much for love!   He "punished" me by not giving me child support (stupid idiot couldn't see that he was punishing his sons, not me!)  I think it hurt his ego that we made it without him! 

While you're young enough to make a new life for yourself, you really ought to consider how many more years you want to live like this.  Is he worth it?  Being in control of your own life and having a good life free of gut wrenching thoughts and fears is a GOOD thing.  I don't like divorce, but for 21 years your life has been unhappy........is that what you want from life?  Just my opinion.  Some men screw up and forever try to make it up to their wives.  Other men screw up over and over and over......and will never change. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-16-2008
Fri, 08-09-2013 - 7:16am

get a different counselor this one will only make things worse - you have every right to choose the counselor you are comfortable with

get over it is a rude statement that is said by people who do not know what you are going through, seems to me the counselor is not suitable

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2008
Fri, 08-09-2013 - 3:15am

This therapist is expecting too much too soon, and your DH is likely to follow suit.  You're still bleeding from this and you need the time to "grieve" that need we women have to feel special to our DH.  They cheat and they steal that from you and from your relationship.  You don't forget this crap, if you are interested in staying in the marriage you allow yourself whatever you need to heal YOURSELF.  We hear all the time on these boards how as the injured spouse we still WANT to put the crap into the past and move on and hopefully have a decent relationship.  For me the hard part has been how to DO that.  As in tell us all the ABCs of moving on, don't just tell us "do it" - it's frustratingto try this and that and this and that some more but feel like there's much more that needs to happen.  Trust is HIS to work on, your job is to work on what makes you happy personally and letting him try to rebuild trust thru new behaviors and truly cutting off all contact with the OW permanently.  That's a toughie because it's so easy for them to do under the radar.  His story about why he went ahead and contacted her is pretty much saying "look what you made me do....", and it's stoopid.  You won't get anywhere if he has any more contact with her, he has no reason to do that, and he needs to provide you with all e-mail accounts and passwords for you to look at.  His story just doesn't hold water, it sounds like the others here where there is doubt in spades.  Mine cheated emotionally twice 12 years apart, and the second about brought me to my knees - I've kept Kleenex in business for several years now!  If he wants your marriage to succeed and improve, then he WILL break off contact honestly and leave it alone and then get help so you can start feeling more confident that maybe, just maybe he has changed his behavior and doesn't WANT to cheat again.  If your marriage had problems, then yes, you're correct in saying you both had a hand in THAT.  But the cheating?  That's all on him, it actually had nothing to do with you, which is hard for most of us to really grasp, it was something he chose to do, and so did she.  There is no magic bullet for any of this, and time doesn't heal a darned thing, either.  This is one day at a time and that's as it should be - you need day by day to decide how you feel that day and keep doing that "until", as Dr. Phil says.  Don't beat up on you, though, and ignore those who are pushing you to move on.  You will move on when the time is right and not before. 

 

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Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Fri, 08-09-2013 - 2:22am

  You let go by letting go.  While everybody is different it in part is our world view and beliefs that we growing up internalized.  Everyone reacts differently.  UNDERSTANDING YOUR SELF IS THE MOST HELP YOU CAN GIVE YOURSELF.  

dragowoman

Avatar for pater_familia
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008
Wed, 08-07-2013 - 5:01pm

Havenrose33,

"I am being told that I need to put it on a shelf and move on, or our marriage will never heal."

You need to talk to your councilor and call Bull Sh!t. As the old saying goes, “feelings buried alive never die.” The councilor should be assisting you in facing the hurt, allowing you to mourn the hurt, which means feeling the hurt. Allowing yourself to feel the hurt, allowing it to wash over you, accepting it as reality, is the hardest part of healing. It is also the fastest road to healing and an important step before moving on and letting it go. I do not mean to say that letting it go is not an important goal. It is! But it is not the first step in the healing process. It is one of the last.

A shrink should know this.

Since you are working with a therapist, maybe consider writing her a letter detailing what is going on in your head, what exactly it is that is hurting you, what your spouse is doing well and poorly. What you are learning on these boards, what you are reading in the self-help books.

I found that this helped my sessions and kept us on track instead of wandering off on tangents.

The problem with healing from an affair is that there is so many “things.” The laundry list of betrayals, the conflicting feelings of love and hate, issues of no contact and so forth. My instincts were to follow my spouse around the house; to pull her closer, to keep tabs on her whereabouts, but what I needed to do was pull away. Every time I chased my spouse, she ran from me. Every time I pulled away, she pursued me. Everytime!

You need to work your 180 list. Talk to your shrink about that. Maybe you two are getting your wires crossed.

You said: "
I will admit I treated him poorly, but never one time did I feel the need to turn to another man." 

This is right, we all have dysfunctions in our marraige and an affair is the worst possible way to respond. He could have read a book, he could have visited a shrink, he could have written you a letter, he could have divorced you rather than cheat on you. I struggled whether or not I would have prefered is she had died rather than have sex with another man. This is hard stuff. Again, I'm so sorry.

Tom  

Thomas

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

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2013
Wed, 08-07-2013 - 12:59pm
I do feel like I am being pressured into moving on..before I have reached a point of acceptance. He came home from work and told me he had texted the OW from work. He was very upset and teary eyed and told me that he was curious as to how she was, but the main reason he contacted her after six weeks was because he had snooped on my laptop the week before and saw that I had researched how to get deleted texts off cell phones and it made him angry. So..he decided to *test* me by texting her, because he knew if I snooped on his phone....I would call him on his contact with her. He said if we are really going to start fresh...he had to be *honest* and tell me about the text messages they exchanged. I am having a hard time swallowing this excuse for why he contacted her. He said their conversation consisted of him telling her we were working on our marriage, and talked about her working her marriage. She did tell him that I had emailed her when I first arrived in town. Which I did, she did NOT respond. I asked her for the truth. I did ask him why if he was going to come clean about the texts...he did not show them to me, and instead chose to delete them. He swears to me that he ready to move on, and was not in love with her, although he did care about her. I am not sure what to believe. He has been VERY emotional, and seems sincere, but I am having such a difficult time letting my resentments toward him go. We do know we had horrible communication skills that led to our issues. When he left for his new job...I was NOT happy. At times...I will admit I treated him poorly, but never one time did I feel the need to turn to another man. I don't deny the part I played in the breakdown of our marriage.n
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 08-07-2013 - 11:09am

I don't know if I agree w/ this therapist's advice--I think it's too soon for you to "get over it."  First of all, you can't really get over it until you are sure that your DH is over her--he didn't even follow the T's advice not to contact her.  Right now how can you be sure that he isn't going to contact her again?  I think that you would need a sufficient period of time where you know that he's not in contact with her and not going to be again or with any other woman before you can start to heal.  I also think the first step is to figure out why he contacted another woman--he can say that he was lonely since you were apart, but did you go around contacting other men?  Plus you also have to work on the other problems that made  your marriage "not great" for 5 yrs--if you both realized it was not that great, why didn't either of you address that or work on the marriage while you were together?  You have to think about whether you want to stay together and if you do, why--it just can't be that you've been married a long time.  You have to want to be together because you love each other & want to be married, not just cause it's a habit.