Suggestions after discovery.
Find a Conversation
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.