Rebuilding 1+ year

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-21-2005
Rebuilding 1+ year
14
Wed, 02-01-2006 - 10:03pm

It's been awhile since I've posted on this board, but it gave me great comfort around my D-day to hear similiar experiences, advice, and support from others. Before I post random rebuilding thoughts, here's a recap: we've been married 4+ years and my H had an A that lasted nearly a year and half. I deeply struggled with the decision to stay or go...I decided to give the relationship a chance because my H is truly remorseful and has really tried so hard to earn his way back into our M.

-The emotional ride was very tough last year. The one year D-day anniversary was around the holidays, and I had difficulty resisting my insecurities, and started stupid fights with my H. The fights made me sick to my stomach because they brought all the vivid memories back, just when I felt like I was starting to get over it. I decided I had enough suffering...after a certain point, your suffering is really optional. I no longer want to give the power of my emotions over to an A I had no control over, especially since it has ended over a year ago.

-I did something really catharatic after New Year's. I gathered all the documentation I had on the A (phone records, notes I took when I grilled my H, a letter the OW wrote me, went outside one night alone and burned them. I decided no more suffering over the past--I know I won't forget what happened, but one thing I know for sure: I will forgive my H, myself for all the names I have screamed at him, and will attain peace of mind. If I had knew it would have felt so good, I would have done it sooner!!! Every since then, I have felt I've taken a really big step towards burying the past. I have a sense of calmness now inside my heart.

-I'm a 33 yr old grad student and have a hard time on campus at times b/c the OW was a young girl (about 20 yrs old). I'm starting to walk on campus with more confidence, not feeling so insecure when I see other young girls, remembering when I was that naive once, like the OW. The bottom line is if my H really wanted to be with her, he would be. I really made him earn his way back in and if he wasn't really committed and loved me, I'm convinced he would have left by now.

-I sincerely believe that good people can step on a landmine in life--and it is OKAY to forgive them. I am looking forward to loving my H again with all my heart. It is a bit scary and I'm apprehensive at times, but I feel we can be happy. While what happened has changed our relationship, I do not believe it has to be a burden to us forever; I am very hopeful that we can take our relationship to new heights. When I think of growing old with someone, I think of my H.

So thanks to all those who have posted their inspirational rebuilding stories, and have advised me. When it happens to you, you yearn for some assurance or advice, because it feels like your world is crashing around you. I now can wake up in the mornings feeling optimistic. Everyday I go out to the backyard to check on the tulip and daffodil bulbs I planted this fall. They are starting to really sprout, getting ready to bloom for the spring.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-15-2005
In reply to: owm55
Thu, 02-02-2006 - 9:27am

Congrats to you and your H.

I'm glad you were able to stick it out and find your way back.

Burning the "evidence" is a catharic experience...we did the same thing and it did do wonders. No more sitting around in the doom and gloom, obsessing over it, poring over the cell phone records etc.

Anyway, it was good hearing from you and stay in touch!

VLB

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-13-2005
In reply to: owm55
Thu, 02-02-2006 - 11:42am

Thank you so much for posting your story, owm. It is really nice to hear that somebody in these circumstances is doing well. Two things that really stood out to me in your post is "suffering is optional," and "don't give power of my emotions over to an A I didn't have control of." This was truly inspiring to me and when I feel like I'm giving in to the depression/anger/sadness, I will remember your words.

Best wishes to you. Thanks for taking the time to help us out!

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-19-2005
In reply to: owm55
Fri, 02-03-2006 - 1:24am

Great post. I love the realization that your H WANTS to be with you. He had an opportunity to leave and he stuck it out. I'm so happy you've found calmness inside your heart. Do you really think it came from burning the old things from the A? I ask bc I hold onto my notes from my H's A and I'm not ready to destroy them. I don't look at them as often as I used to, but they're there in case I need them. Not sure though what I need proof for anymore.

hannah

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-21-2005
In reply to: owm55
Fri, 02-03-2006 - 8:31pm

I kept the notes about the A for about a year b/c I did not know what would happen with the M. I figure if I did file for divorce, then it would pay to keep the details just in case it turned ugly. But part of the reason of hanging on to them was to make sense of what happened. At some point, after your emotions keep being battered in a never ending cycle, you really do have to let go.

I had been telling myself up to the burning that I sooooo wanted to move on. At that point, I wasn't 100% sure I was ready to get rid of the notes, but I was about 90% sure. What precipitated it was an argument with my H--not a bad one, mind you, but enough to make you feel bad about the past. I finally said to myself-NO MORE FEELING SORRY FOR MYSELF ABOUT THE PAST--HE IS NOT HURTING YOU ANYMORE!!! And let me tell you, it felt so good afterwards! I felt like I was regaining some sembalance of control over my life and emotions--and even though I know I can't control my H, I could control how I responded to him.

After I burned them, I told my H that I was sorry for throwing the past in his face so much, and really, really wanted to stop doing it. That I was still scared, but I knew I still loved him and really wanted us to have a good M. Needless to say, he responded very positively. So my advice is when you think you may be ready, give it a try.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-06-2006
In reply to: owm55
Mon, 02-06-2006 - 7:45pm

I agree with owm55 and I am in the same boat. Me and my husband are married 15 years with one child. I wake up everyday with this horrible memory of my husband cheating on me just to fit in with the guy friends he was hanging with at the time.

I was very friendly with one of the wives and now I can't talk to her because I know what her husband did and I just can't tell her. Why should she be in my boat too!!! She seems happy and I think deep down inside she knows anyway.

Well, first, I agree with owm55 and back her 100% for what she is doing. I am doing the same thing. I love my husband and have been with him for over 20 years. We dated for a while then decided to get married. I am very friendly with his family and the same he is with mine. We have all the same friends. We are the same age and went to school with the same people. I was just blown away when this happened to our marriage. I got the "phone call" from the other woman and I just kept denying the whole thing as she was telling me on the phone. I guess I just didn't want to hear it. Me and my husband had our home up for sale already and I guess it worked out to just sell and move on with our lives. I just then hated him emensely!! We sold our house and then parted. I had my child with me and my husband went on his own. He kept bothering me to go back but I just needed some time. We spent about 3 months apart. I then seeked counseling and he also had some sessions. I still believe I need counseling.

Anyway, I know this has changed our lives around and I have to admit I feel different. I love him but not like I use to. I do though feel stronger about myself. I am very independent and work but now we bought a house and it is a big expense and sometimes I feel like trying to do it on my own but I do love him and my child loves him very much and likes him around 24/7 so I just am accepting it. I enjoy his company but in the back of my mind I do not want to get burned again, I just can't go through it again. So, if anyone out there relates to me I would love to hear from you. Thanks.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-19-2005
In reply to: owm55
Mon, 02-06-2006 - 9:32pm

"I know this has changed our lives around and I have to admit I feel different. I love him but not like I use to. I do though feel stronger about myself."

Yup, I feel the exact same way. I love him, I'm planning my life with him, but its not as strong a love as it was before. My loyalty is less than its ever been. I'm more loyal to myself now. I make sure that I take good care of myself, emotionally and physically. If down the road we don't make it for whatever reason, then I'm okay bc now I have my reality glasses firmly placed on my head.

Do you talk about this with your H? I do and it saddens him. He says that going through something like this and surviving proves to him that we have something very special. He tells me I have an emptiness in me now that wasn't there before. I think the emptiness he senses is me feeling the specialness of the M is gone.

hannah

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-20-2006
In reply to: owm55
Mon, 02-06-2006 - 9:57pm

Hannah,

Everything you said was like it was ripped straight out of my mouth. I wasn't able to verbalize how I felt properly, but you did it. I feel the exact same way, I still love him but differently. I am cautious about saying 'I love you' and other things because I am scared about getting hurt again and there won't be much left of me or my heart if that happens. It was great to see you write in a coherent manner what I have been feeling. Thanks for the uplift.

Caitlin

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-30-2005
In reply to: owm55
Tue, 02-07-2006 - 8:28am
Thank you so much for posting your story. It is inspiring to hear stories like your where you are able to get past this horrible experience. I am just 3 weeks past my D-Day and am having a horrible time. I love my H, but can't imagine that I'll ever feel the same about him. Anyway, thank you for giving me hope.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-13-2005
In reply to: owm55
Tue, 02-07-2006 - 9:28am

I understand what you're saying, hannah. I feel like my H & I have reconnected since the A, but I still look at him differently. I'm 4 1/2 months Dday, and I don't really see how I'll ever have total respect for him again. Before his A, we had kind of drifted apart in certain ways. The M was still good, we were just blind to a few problems. I've come to realize how much I love my H, but the hurt in my heart over his decision to have an A is something that is really difficult to overcome right now. Sometimes it feels like everything is just great on the surface, but it's the deep down feeings of hurt that I have, the ones my H can't relate to, are what I struggle with right now.

I'm just now getting to the point of really looking for ways to take care of myself. My counselor suggested that exercise would be beneficial to me, and that I need to do what's best for me, emotionally and physically. I'm starting to feel stronger emotionally and I know I have to be just in case my M doesn't work out. Things look good for us now, but like you, I have my "reality glasses" on so that I don't get blindsided again.

I can relate to that feeling of emptiness too. It's just one of those things that you feel so deeply, and it's really difficult for people who haven't been through this ordeal to understand. Please know that you're not alone. We're all here for each other.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-19-2006
In reply to: owm55
Tue, 02-21-2006 - 7:12pm
Could it be that these reality glasses we speak of... and the different way of feeling about our mates... are really just us with holding in an effort to not be so naieve again? I mean to say- is it really true that we don't love them the same? Or are we just disappointed in them? And does that necessarilly mean that we cant EVER love them the same. I think maybe if we want to- if we allow our selves to, we can. I only mean to pose the q of the 'possibility' and to speak from my own perspective. I have felt the same as some of you. I did not want to let it go 100% because I had been wronged and it wasn't fair to let him off so easy and I was still angry by the hurt he caused me. Ofcourse you can not love someone quite the same as you did before if you are secretly seething at them and maybe in our own way this is how we 'punish' them? By with holding that extra bit of love? Maybe that's when true forgiveness comes... when we get that true deep love feeling back, and maybe that's only when we have found a way to deal with the anger? I too had a huge moment when I decided it wasn't going to control me and if I have forgiven him why do I keep the evidence? It felt so empowering to say 'im done with this- I don't need it.' I've lost a bit of respect for him (as did he)and I look forward to him proving himself to be as respectable as he was in my eyes before, only now I know he is human after all and like everyone else I know- imperfect...at the same time my heart is full of the same love I always had. Everyones circumstances are different of course.

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