How much should you know?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-27-2009
How much should you know?
Thu, 02-04-2010 - 6:45pm

Haven't been here for awhile,and this is going to be long so please bear with me, still riding the roller coaster but there seems to be more good days than bad. "Seems" is the operative word here. I've been doing the 180, but that is getting harder and harder to keep up. First - why, it he is the one who has done all the damage to this M am I the one to "pretend" that everything is ok. It is so hard to keep a "happy" face on. We are in month 4 of working on things, we both go to individual counseling, I had asked him at the end of November to start couples, he said ok he would make the the call. He did not. I asked him again in December about 2 1/2 weeks before Christmas, he said he didn't want to fight during the holidays. I asked him again a two weeks ago, yet another excuse, I am recovering from major surgery from an accident on Labor day weekend, so he now puts the blame on the mounting medical bills and that we would not be able to afford both of our seperate sessions as well as couples. I had to remind him that there didn't seem to any problems when he was spending our money to fly down to her, and pay for airfare, hotels and car rental. I asked him if he thought I wasn't worth the cost. So he goes to his sessions, and everything is fine as long as I don't bring up the A. As long as he doesn't see the hurt in my eyes, or the depression I feel all the time. He says he is trying, but that I don't give him enough credit, nothing he does is good enough. But the things he does don't seem to be enough, or in the right vein.

My problem is he does not speak to me with any sexual overtures as he did in the past, and as he did to her ( I overheard a conversation and saw test messages he sent) he has no answer. Two night ago I brought this up again He said I just told you the other day you looked cute when you came home from work. My reply, I looked cute, but you constantly told her how hot she was.
So we have the issue of moving past the hurt still.

My biggest things beyond all the flashbacks and triggers of thinking of them together (sex (though it has been few and far between) is very difficult to keep images out my mind) the biggest thing I am having difficulty with now is the unknown.
He gave her all information about me, she had access to all of our family photos from vacations, cruises, christmas, birthday etc. my fears, my health, my weaknesses He even told her what we where doing to work on our marriage - that was the last conversation he with her per him. I threw him out that day for still having contact.

But I know nothing about her other than what state she lives in and what she does for a living and that they were high school sweethearts - she dumped him when he went into the service.

Sometimes I am obsessed with wanting to know what she looks like, is she taller than me, heavier, thinner, what color is her hair. Is it long or short, does she look younger than I do.

Have any of you, or are any of you going through this. I am afraid if I get the answers then it will be even harder to keep the images at bay.

When my H and I are together things seem fine. But if he even leaves the room I start to think - is he texting her, does he still talk to her during the day while I'm at work. I can't check his cell or work phones (he works from home) because they are company lines and no bills or statements come to the house. I have only his word - and as I'm sure many of you feel, that means nothing to me right now. He lied so much and was so good at being devious to hide his A that I wonder if he has only gotten better. He says that he is keeping everything in the open. He has offered to switch cell phones with me so that I could check the bills when they come in.

When we are together I feel sure that I want to stay in the M, but in the dark of the night, while we are lying in bed and he is asleep and I am awake as I have been most nights since D-day, and then again when I am alone or at work or anywhere he is not. I think maybe I should leave. It doesn't feel the same, the connection between us no longer seems to be there.

He has not done anything to make me feel like he is still with her. He repeatly tells me that he is sorry and that it was a horrible horrible thing that he did. He wants our marriage and our family. But his actions seem different - there doesn't seem to be any passion or excitement.

Is this just a defense mechanism on my end to keep him at bay for fear of getting hurt again. Catching him twice in an 8 month time frame was enough, if it happens again there is no going back.

So my questions are, why am I doing the 180, shouldn't he be convincing me that I want to be here with him.

Should I ask to see pictures or know what she looks like and why would he choose her over me even if for only that short time.

Will it make things worse to know more or would it put some demons to rest?

I'm so confused sometimes I just want to go away were no one knows me and start a whole new life.

Its all about him.
Its all about him.


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-31-2009
Thu, 02-04-2010 - 9:34pm

i sat and read your post and was totally transfixed. why? because you have written MY words, detailed what is going on with me.

many of the concerns you have i have been struggling with for a very long time. the purpose in me answering your post is to hopefully allow you to look into my world - often times when seeing someone elses similar journey it can spur you into action - but the action you take must be your choice.

i discovered what was going on back in 05 - 06. my husband had inadvertently left his cell phone in my car. both cell phones are exactly alike so when i saw it lieing on the floor i picked it up. i saw missed message. the message was from a woman asking my husband if she was going to see him that evening. when i handed him his phone and asked about her he stated that it must have been the wrong number she phones. i, had written the womans down so i phoned her. no, it was not a wrong number, and she then began to give me all of the details of their several month liasons. he had told her he was a widower. she also told me he was trolling on the internet. when he realized he was caught he said he was sorry and expected me to simply move on. i could not. we have now been married almost 33 years, so it had been a long time even then. then one evening, i still can not explain it, i woke up with his password in my mind. i know sounds a little weird. i got out of bed at 2 in the morning and went down and logged onto yahoo with the password. bingo, there it was all of the sorrid details that outlined a 3 year affair with yet a different woman along with several other women he was talking to and seeing. when i say sorrid, i mean ugly details. detailed written pictures of what they had done together. i was sickened. he had shared unprotected sex with her the very first time he met her. they had engaged in an** sex the first time. his words to her that it was the greatest sex he had ever had. how wonderful she was. also many other conversations between the two of them about me. he shared what i feel and felt was personal about me with her, a total stranger.

---------so, if i had it to do all over i would NOT want to know all of the details. it only makes the pictures and mind chatter i experience so much worse. trust me YOU DO NOT REALLY WANT TO KNOW - what good would it do. none, none to you or for you.

regarding the 180. it is there to help YOU, it is not meant to be a chore. it is not meant to imply that you have done anything wrong or need to work on anything other than LOVING YOU. you must change your perspective of the 180. you need to refocus your life on you and not him and what they did. if you continue to allow all of that to clutter up your mind you are going to go friggin crazy. it will begin to consume you, define you. for all of these years yo have focused on him, the kids, the home and the responsibility of the marriage loosing all sight of you. you became invisible to even you. you no longer mattered to even you. it was about him and everything else. everything, everyone became the priority. do you remember the young woman you use to be? the one who smiled and laughed. the one who enjoyed life, looked forward to waking up each day. the pretty little thing that had dreams, real dreams? she is still in there and the 180 is meant to help you rediscover her. i will offer up another few tricks. green tea, lots of it - hot or cold but the real stuff, not the bottled, no sugar. at least 5 glasses or cups a day. it will help to flush out all of the guck. walking, either at the beach, in the park, in the mountains, in the desert, even around the block. but get out, smell the fresh air, breathe air, clean fresh air. look up at the clouds, look at the trees blowing in the wind, breathe. take your ipod and listen to some of your favorite music as you walk. there is a book that helps 'your best life now' by joel osteen - i have read it at least 10 times and begin each day by reading a few pages. very uplifting, very motivational. when was the last time you looked in a mirror and liked the woman staring back at you. when was the last time you told her that you loved her, that you would protect her. try it, but most of all mean it. how about your hair? when was the last time you tried a new hair style? bought yourself a new outfit or pair of shoes? went to the movies? went to lunch? it is imperative that force yourself to start loving you. not for him, not for your marriage, not even for the kids BUT FOR YOU. if your husband died today would you die also? NO you would not. you would mourn what you lost but you would rebuild. why, because that is what we humans do. yes, you have been hurt, but you can NOT allow this one point in time define your whole life.

if your husband is like mine you will never ever know the real truth. they just do not have it in them to put themselves in your place. they lack empathy. you can ask all of the questions you like, but that does not mean he will answer you honestly. you have come forward in an attempt to excavate the real problem, learn and grow from them. he is not on board, and wanting him to do it is one thing, him doing it is another.

are you in love with him or are you in love with the man you want him to be. think about it. you can not change him, only he can change him. and if he continues to think that what he has done is no big deal or that you should just move on well, then that says it all. you can lead a horse to water but you can not make it drink.

does any of this make any sense?

now, WHERE IS THAT MIRROR??????????????

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-02-2008
Fri, 02-05-2010 - 2:08am

Hi, wow, I could have written your exact words when I was just four months out from dday#2. What you are going through is normal but I do know how much you are hurting. I remember so many nights, just like you, when he was sleeping away and I am waking up at 3am in the pain of it all.

Have you and H been able to get out and have some fun? Maybe an overnighter even? There really is something to be said about date night. It helped me to be able to get out of the muck even if just for a short while.

Please know that this take lots and lots of time to even begin to heal from. Some of us (myself included) have asked the doc for anti-anxiety meds to help with the obsessive thoughts in the early stages.

Hang in there and make sure to treat yourself like the wonderful person you are.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-25-2009
Fri, 02-05-2010 - 6:58am

Been there, done that... PLEASE believe me that you can get too much information, you can learn too much about the other woman... and it doesn't change a thing.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-13-2008
Fri, 02-05-2010 - 10:09am
I am sorry ---you are in the bad spot now--take a deep breath-- make your life all about YOU. The hardest but best thing I did was to distance myself emotionally. It is hard but worth it. Do not worry about him or his reactions. He does not want to see the hurt in your eyes, does not want to see your tears or anything else that makes HIM feel bad. That is normal for these people. They want to have a bit of fun, feel good about themselves,but do not want to think about what their actions and words have done to their spouses. Until he can allow himself to empathize with you, he is not "getting" it. Continue to go to therapy, with or without him. It will help you cope and help you gain your self confidence back. And honey, there is nothing more alluring or sexy than a confidant woman. Work on YOU. Get back to what You like and YOU want. What do you want in this M.??? Tell him... actually write it down --What it would take on his part to make you feel loved, wanted, healthy again. What do YOU see for yourself in the future. Explore that now. Read, Walk, exercise and eat right. Take care of yourself. Put yourself first---he is a grown man(well, in yrs ) so he is capable of taking care of himself for a while. A little laundry, cooking etc will do him good--and leave and go to a girls weekend with friends and let him live your life for a while.... taking care of kids and or pets for a weekend. Anything that makes you feel like you again... the healthy you, not the crying, scared, hurt you. Whatever happens in the future, with or without him, you need to know that YOU can be YOU and YOU can love YOU. Keep posting it does help to let it out!!
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-28-2010
Sat, 02-06-2010 - 11:07pm

my counseler explained it had nothing to do with how hot this OW was, it is all about how she made him feel. It's the ego, he wants to be admired and feel good about himself.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2010
Sun, 02-07-2010 - 11:56am

Cut it off?! But it gives me so much pleasure now! O wait, you weren't talking about that...

Sorry, I couldn't resist that little bit of comic relief.

Yes, I agree that it is difficult to get past the fact that the A had little to do with the OW, and a lot to do with the WS's mindset at the time. What's important is finding what that mindset was, making sure that the WS appreciates the importance of COMMUNICATING WITH THE W what the problem is, accepts responsibility for any pre-existing issues that might have led to this point, and that both you and your DH truly want the "cure": a TRULY happy marriage that requires complete openness and oneness.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-27-2009
Sun, 02-07-2010 - 5:32pm

I think that we all have had thoughts of cutting it off!lol
Anyway, to try and answer everyone, yes, we are doing fun things
I do try and do things just for me it is hard though I work full time then go to physical therapy(still recovering from major injury) and trying to get time to hit the gym. Still have a ton of weight to lose (for me only)try to eat healthy all that stuff.

But I am obsessed with what I don't know, he could be parading her in front of me right now and I wouldn't know it. I went on line and did a reverse look up of her phone number - funny when I called it the one time to verify that he was still in contact it was her, said her name. But the report came back with a different first name. I don't know her last name. I was going to look her up on FB, I know she has that and myspace they went there often.

I mentioned this need to know to my counselor she just asked if I really thought that it would help.

Today is the 4 month mark of D-day - I won't say anniversary becuase that should be a happy thing.

In the beginning I thought the love I felt for him was enough to conquer all, but now I'm not even sure that I love him. There is so much that is different, the feelings just don't seem to be there. I feel empty. I have even thought of having my own A. But when I look at other men, there is still nothing there. No one interests me.

I know that you all are going to say I'm still depressed and yes I am, I move in and out the all the feelings but at less frantic pace than before. I against all that I believe in am going to start on some meds for a short time to see if they help.
To do this makes me resent him for putting me in a situation that I feel the need to do what I am deeply against.

Does any of the fear, confusion and hurt ever go away. Can you really find love again with the person who betrayed you horribly? Can you find love again at all? Can you ever trust a person with your heart again?

Most days I just want to run far far away.

Its all about him.
Its all about him.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-28-2010
Mon, 02-08-2010 - 10:48am

A month ago, I felt like I had no point of living, I wanted to just crawl in a hole and never come out. It is so hard, I know.... I found out 2 months ago about an affair over a year ago with his ex... We split, got back together and really wanted to be with me. He had addictions all his like, and this really knocked him down. He hit bottom.... and the only way to go was up...

We actually took dancing lessons. Started off with group lessons, he danced with old ladies and I thought it was so cute. He couldn't dance at all, we tried the salsa. It was really fun, granted I didn't know about the affair, I just knew he talked to his ex and bought her 4 in steve madden shoes... but duh, he bought me shoes and lingerie when we first dated so I was just gullible. I had pain from out past, dancing lessons were fun. I still wonder if his therapist suggested it, because it was totally something he hated, dancing.... he is terrible!

We also went ice skating, which was fun. I know you are recovering from sugery, but dancing might be something you can try, if he wants to. we found a dance social club, you dance with someone for 2 minutes, and switch, when your man comes back and dances with you, it's like you missed him for a while. ANyway, I fell in love with him, since I found out, 2 months ago, I told him we need to do things like that again because that helped. He said ok, he agreed to go see a musical, LOL.

ANyway, fun things where you can not think about it for 2 minutes, then two minutes become 5, ten, I don't think I've gotten to the 15 minute mark, but I have hope.

Sometimes I wonder if I love him too, it is hard sometimes. I know though if he weren't in my life, I would be very very sad. And I don't want that....

My therapist had this analogy....

Your house burns down. It is destroyed. The woman wants to know why, what happened, was it a candle, the electrical outlet, lightning? The man says it burnt down, lets fix it. The woman wants to know why, how, when, the man just sees how to fix the situation.

He said stop trying to figure out how, it doesn't change the fact that your house burnt down. You can't change what happened, it is gone. The only thing you can do is rebuild the house or go and get a new house.

I chose to rebuild. It helps me to just think, move on? NEVER see him again, or rebuild.

It brings me back to the decision I made to try and let it go. Letting it go is a decision, you either let it go and move forward, or dwell on the past and feel sorry for yourself. I told him I felt sorry for myself, he said why you didn't do anything wrong that he failed.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2010
Mon, 02-08-2010 - 2:06pm


He said stop trying to figure out how, it doesn't change the fact that your house burnt down. You can't change what happened, it is gone. The only thing you can do is rebuild the house or go and get a new house.>>

OMG! What a great analogy! Thank you for posting this. I need to make this my mantra: my house burnt down, and my new one is bigger and better!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-28-2010
Mon, 02-08-2010 - 5:09pm
Yes, there you go!!!! I use this to visualize my relationship being rebuilt, better, I can start over and do it right.... :)