Suggestions after discovery.

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Registered: 09-12-2008
Suggestions after discovery.
11
Wed, 10-17-2012 - 8:37pm

Recently I’ve been thinking about those first few days and weeks after discovering my wife’s affair. It hasn’t been fun touching and testing these scars. I’m surprised at the hollow feelings it has brought back. Those days, weeks and months were the worst days of my life. I remember telling my spouse that it would be better to just tell me the truth. When she did, I remember saying “How could you” and finding my way to the front door.

The next week was awful. Friends would walk up and ask the normal question of “how you doing?” and when that happened, there was a reasonable chance I would involuntarily just start crying. The closer a friend, the more likely I was to break down. I was a 40 year old adult, father of five, and I was sobbing in public places. So a co-worker called an audible on my behalf and I took two weeks off from work at a very inconvenient time. I began getting worried notes from clients expressing concern and well wishes. I was trapped, alone, afraid, desperate, irrational, and really pissed.

I guess what I’m attempting to express is that though my experience may not have exactly been like yours, my experience might be something like yours.

May those of us who have been there offer a few suggestions? And please, I welcome other’s additions, examples and suggestions.

FOOD

Eat, even though you don’t want to. Avoid junk and fast foods. You are about to make really difficult decisions that will have long lasting impacts on your life and possibly the lives of those you care for most. Finding a way to supply your body with healthy nutrients will assist you in attempting to make good decisions in the days ahead. This is more important than you may understand right now. Go buy that bag of baby carrots, force one into your mouth and chew.

ALCOHOL

Do this sober. As the saying goes, “Feelings buried alive never die.” Some things just have to be done the hard way. We have a grieving process to go through, huge decisions to make, possibly children to stand up for. All this at a time when you are at your very worst. At this time, alcohol is not our friend, reject it, time to be our best selves and do this sober and with all our wits about us.

BODY

Exercise! We are under an enormous amount of stress. Exercise is an important key to dealing with that stress. At the very least, lie down on your bedroom floor and do leg lifts (front, side and back), stomach crunches, pushups, and planking. Start easy, stretch beforehand, but do it. Since the OM was in my head anyway, I use to picture me becoming a better person than him as I did my pushups and I would say his name in my head for those last few reps to use my hate to push myself a little farther that day.

After several weeks of this, I really began to feel the difference in the way I felt about my body, my mind and my self-esteem. I went from 10 pushups to leveling off at about 70. That worked wonders on my self-image.

SHRINK

The issues that got you and your spouse here are above your pay grade. You have a lot to learn, understand, and grapple with. You can’t do this on your own. You can’t. This is your rainy day; spend the money, even if you don’t have it.

READ

I picked the top ten books from Amazon on affairs and had them fedex-ed to me and I began reading. Six of them were crap. Three books became invaluable to me. In the end, I learned as much, if not more, from the books and from these boards as I did from the Shrink. Having said that, all three provided important puzzle pieces that assisted me in saving my marriage, and my sanity.

LEAGAL

I didn’t get a lawyer personally, and maybe that was a mistake. Getting the facts is important in both staying with or leaving a spouse.

POST

Venting to these boards was an important piece of my grieving after D-Day. I found that listening to people here and venting my experience allowed me to process important and nuanced issues. Thanks to everyone here, now and in the past. You saved my life.  

180

The
180 is list of does and don'ts to help you help your spouse find their way out of the fog. It is also provides a healthy way to prepare oneself for the transition that is about to come into your life. The farther away from D-day, the more I understand the wisdom of working the 180 with my spouse.
I now wished I had lived it far more than I did.

FAULT

My wife immediately began blaming me for her affair. Later, her father also blamed me for her affair. Let’s get one thing straight. This isn’t your fault, you didn’t cause this, and you didn’t make them do anything. There are good ways and bad ways to deal with dysfunctions in a marriage and an affair is the worst possible choice. In Al Anon they have the three c’s. You didn’t cause this, you can’t control this, and you can’t cure this. All we can really do is take care of ourselves and be an example of someone who is now attempting good things. If you chose this, maybe your spouse will follow, but that is on them, not you.

If you are doing the above things, you will put yourself on a positive life trajectory. As one who has been there, my heart goes out to you. Chin up, you can do this.

--Tom

 

Thomas

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

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Avatar for pater_familia
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Registered: 09-12-2008
Thu, 11-08-2012 - 7:47pm

Jane,

Talk about triggers, we share the same D-Day. Ugh!

I'm not sure what I would feel or say if I/we bumbped into the OM. There was a time I would have felt something like forgivness, but the guy turned out to be a really big jerk, even in my spouses eyes (who flip-flops on that). I find the need to resist the impulse to warn people about him. I wrote OM's most recent spouse a letter telling her, as gently as I could, what her new spouse had done to my family and others. Only a few weeks earlier OM had been dating/sleepoing with, my spouse's high school friend and broke up with her by text right about the time he got married. (No, my spouse's fried didn't know he was involved with someone else.) That was March of 2010. I found out that OM divorced this last Feb. I wonder if my letter played a role in that. My spouse approached me and said that she was a little freaked out knowing he was single again. She found a facebook photo of him on a date with one of her little sister's friends which triggered her finding out he was divorced again. My impulse is to track down that girl and send her a letter, but I know that It isn't my place anymore to warn people. I can't save the world from him.

That's why I came back to the boards. Just writing about it has been really usefull in processing all this.   

So, I get it.

Thomas

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

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Registered: 10-31-2012
Wed, 10-31-2012 - 3:57am

Thank you for the post Tom.   I haven't had triggers for the longest time (d-day Aug 06, 2008), and then suddenly last week we bumped into OW, and now I feel like crap and all angry and upset again! 

Gotta work thru my feelings and thoughts again.  Take care u' all :)

D-day : Aug 06, 2008.
Rebuilt. 
Got pregnant, have a babygirl 3.5 years after d-day.  So now we are a family of 4 :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2012
Sun, 10-21-2012 - 10:26pm

One suggestion I have, is do your best to keep busy and stay positive, but if you feel ike you need to cry, by all means DO IT!

Even if it means locking yourself away from your kids for a few minutes. I was surprised that, although I thought I would cry forever if I started, I really only cried for a few minutes before I got tired. Then I was able to get up, brush myself off, and go a few more rounds with life.

Good luck to anyone new to the aftermath, or revisting it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2012
Sun, 10-21-2012 - 10:22pm

Hey Tom,

Me too! I am in a dark sad place rigth now. This time last year my H A was in full swing and unfortunately I have a GREAT memory for dates and events, so I remember what was happening this time last year and when i would cal him and get no awser for hours, only to have him claim he "had his ringer off', or he was "deep in thought" and just wanted to finish up what he was doing, or sometimes no excuse at all. I had a bad trigger about two weeks ago, and it seems like after a big one, they just keep coming. I am back to bad dreams, and having a hard time looking at him.

The one thing I can say that is different about this time is that, I do not feel a downward spiral coming on. I hope that is the case for you as well. I feel like this time stinks, but I just need to hang in there and it will pass. You are one of the people on here who inspire me to keep going and I want to thank you. 

Thinking and praying for you

Bettie

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2008
Sun, 10-21-2012 - 5:34pm
Ah, yes, - triggers. Those spells where you don't think about it all seem to pass by without even NOTICING. And then....you do. So the triggers really do a number on us. It's hard not to google sometimes, I'm guilty of it, too, but like you, it's just torturing myself. We will learn to stop it in time, I'm positive. My goal in life is: peace. I'd love that.

 

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Registered: 09-12-2008
Sun, 10-21-2012 - 9:36am
Thanks Myra, I appreciate you sharing your story and insights. People can really be thoughtless. and thanks for your concern. I'm doing lots better. I had a big trigger that brought me back to the boards. In the aftermath I Googled the OM and got information on his recent divorce. I should have left it alone because I have to drive past his work on my commute and I'm back to thinking (and hurting) about him when I do. I mean, I probably went a year with maybe a handful of thoughts about him during my commute. Errg! Things at home are reasonably good now. Kids are beginning to leave the house and go off to college. With few exceptions, they are all sorting out their lives. Struggle isn't always a bad thing and we are blessed more than we deserve. Myra, I hope you you can find peace.

Thomas

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

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Registered: 09-09-2008
Fri, 10-19-2012 - 3:38pm

Tom, I'd add one thing I almost forgot about.  If you go to counseling, I found it CRUCIAL to ask up front, prior to setting up appointment #1, the thoughts of the prospective therapists about affairs.  I found our current therapist and even though she does not accept our insurance, I stuck with her because it just felt right.  Up front I made sure she and I are on the same page about affairs, and we are - no affair is justified.  A different therapist I had to see a few times to gain access to the practice's psychopharmacologist to discuss meds told me flat out that "affairs happen because something is missing inside the marriage", then she just dismissed MY thoughts about it as though her view was the ONLY view.  When I told her all the crappy things he'd been DOING for many years and about the 2 EAs he'd had, all she said "but he isn't DOING any of those things anymore".  I felt dismissed, period.  I never saw her again, needless to say.  My therapist was stunned that any counselor would make such stupid statements as though they were "law".  This is part of why I think it's true:  see a therapist three times before you even decide yes or no on them. 

You sound sad right now, Thomas. 

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2008
Fri, 10-19-2012 - 2:54pm
Hey, Tom. All well put and I think all of us know exactly all you've gone thru and keep going thru, we've all been there and it really is he!!. For me the "reminders" keep setting me back. In the middle of counseling and jusssst when I was almost feeling a bit of trust again, I learned my DH had lied dozens of times that entire time, during counseling, about an issue so big I nearly had to leave. Those reminders "start the clock all over again" for me, as my therapist puts it. I often wish my memory was as bad as my DH's, I'd love to simply be able to forget a lot of it. I related to those books - I had the very same experience with books. Just recently I got out the huge pile of them I bought years ago, thinking one of them would fix it all for me. Well, like you a few actually helped spell things out, and those I will keep. But I JUST put the rest of the pile of them in a grocery bag and they're heading for the area library. I do not even want to open the covers on them! Feels like a small victory somehow. About "fault", ditto, every word.

 

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Registered: 02-11-2000
Thu, 10-18-2012 - 12:53pm
Great post!!
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Registered: 07-12-2010
Wed, 10-17-2012 - 9:28pm
Great post! The only thing I would like to add is to make sure that YOU make the decision that you want to stay with your WS and not stay with him/her for fear of being alone. Weigh their good points and bad and determine if rebuilding is worth it and know why. Also, I suggest stop beating your head against the wall trying to figure out why they cheated? I truly believe that some ppl will cheat no matter what or who they are with. A bad M is never a reason to cheat. If you decide to rebuild let your spouse know that their bad behavior will never be tolerated again or they will be shown the door faster than lightening. Don't trust verify.

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