so scared, so sad

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2007
so scared, so sad
15
Thu, 04-23-2009 - 2:24pm

I have been "rebuilding" for nearly two years now, but I don't feel that much progress has been made. I think about leaving very frequently.

I am still angry (or possibly angry again) at the circumstances surrounding the affair. It began when I was in the States and my husband returned to Germany in advance of my two young sons and me. He started an affair with the secretary at his company. (How original!!!) He continued after I got back home two weeks later. That period was one of the most miserable of my life, even before I found out what he was doing, because I was devastatingly homesick and was questioning being in Germany at all, even before I discovered his not-so-well-kept secret.

It's nearly two years, and I am still angry that he could callously ignore what I was experiencing and even injure me further during that period. I can't get past the thought that if this person really loved me, they would not have been able to go through with the affair.

Last week, a couple very close to me visited. I was happy to see how much they love each other, but also sad because I don't think my husband ever loved me that way. They've been together for YEARS, but were still joking and flirting together. I love these people and I am happy for what they have. At the same time, I caught myself thinking, I haven't met a guy that good. Maybe not ever.

I am afraid that if I leave, and I would take my sons, that I would hurt them emotionally and intellectually, by taking them from their father and taking them to a place where it would be much more difficult for us to make it - I have been mainly staying at home with my sons for five years. But at the same time, I don't know whether there is anything salvageable in this matrimonial mess. I don't know what's more damaging.

At the time I found out, I said, I will not let this little slutcretary destroy my family. That, and I thought, you don't just throw people away in a family. But that isn't what I did; it's what he did, and I am tired of paying for it with my heart in this cold, cold place.

Thank you for reading my thoughts. I don't have too many people I can talk to so thanks for letting me share with you.

Mara

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2006
Thu, 04-23-2009 - 3:38pm

Dear Mara,


I am sorry for what you are experiencing. What has your H done to work to repair the M? Have you had any counseling? Is he totally open and transparent with you? Has he shown true remorse and is he working hard to show you empathy and discover why he thought an A was necessary in his life? What was he searching for, at the time, that was missing within him? Have you had any counseling to help repair the damage done to you?


Many times when a BS is stuck and unhappy, it is the WS who is doing too little to fix what was broken within themselves, and to fix what they broke in the R. When the WS does not do the hard work, the BS can’t regain any sense of security in the M. In fact, it is hard to recover even when the WS IS doing the right things.


I just want to give you a passing thought about the couple you mentioned.


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There might, previously or in the future, be infidelity in their R too. My H and I were that couple. Started dating in 1980, married in 1985, and still crazy about each other. Yet in April 2006, my H began a short term A that lasted about 2 1/2 months. Would have never expected it, and yet it happened. Totally derailed us and we are still struggling to get back on track. We are very open about it. Many couples are not. So before you idolize this couple and diminish your R based on watching them, remember that there may be more to their story than you know.


A close friend of mine expressed that she was wistful about her M when she saw my H and myself together. Her H had an EA years prior. A couple of years later after my DDay, she was one of the first people I called for support.


Infidelity happens even in the best marriages.


MLB

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2009
Thu, 04-23-2009 - 4:03pm
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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-10-2009
Thu, 04-23-2009 - 4:48pm

MLB,
I love what you said about even in good marriages there is infidelity. That is so true for us. My H's affair was not about us, it was about the pain in his childhood that he refused to address. He is working hard in therapy so I'm more hopeful now after he had a relapse affair before he was totally committed to therapy.

Also that is interesting what you say about being stuck. I felt a little stuck and it pushed my H to talk more when I pointed out how sad I was in the past week. I think they sometimes need to be reminded to remain open and approachable, even though it is painful for them to think about the torture we're going thru.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-10-2009
Thu, 04-23-2009 - 4:51pm
You really need to share these thoughts w/your H. Is he being supportive and transparent? He should be making the rebuilding as easy as possible for you. You should both go for counseling- individual and together. This will help you communicate w/each other what you need from each other to keep rebuilding. Sometimes couples do get stuck. I like what MLB says.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2007
Sat, 04-25-2009 - 3:34pm

Dear MLB,

Thanks for your words, and your advice about that couple. Probably all of us were that couple at some point; it's good to try and keep that in mind.

As for rebuilding, as far as my H is concerned, it is a closed chapter. He will not talk about it. Unfortunately, I am not able to "just move on" so quickly. We did go to counseling after the fact, but I don't really think it was all that good. And here's something that just kills me: I was pushed to go to individual counseling, but did he go? He most certainly did not. I was not sick, just badly injured. I don't understand why I was treated as the deeply ailing one.

It is very hard for me to talk about any of my emotions with my H, because he only negates them. For example, I recently had a disasterous evening at the night school where I teach. As I was getting ready to turn out the light, I said "What a crummy night." as in, thank goodness it's over. He didn't acknowledge that the night might have been any kind of bad but just said "Well, but watching TV was fun." as we had watched a half-hour show just before. I know that sounds kind of lame but it is one example of many. I don't know what I can do with someone so utterly unwilling to admit to, let alone discuss, emotions.

Thanks for your reply. It is good to know I am not alone (although for all the good people on here, I sort of wish I were).

Mara

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2007
Sat, 04-25-2009 - 3:40pm
:) I like your attitude. I'll check out that movie. Thanks for the boost.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2009
Sat, 04-25-2009 - 11:55pm
Sweetie.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2008
Sun, 04-26-2009 - 1:43am

I'm sure there are instances where staying for the kids' sake is best, but there are plenty where it's definitely not in their best interest, too.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-05-2008
Sun, 04-26-2009 - 4:30pm

livinbyheart - very sorry to hear its been hard for you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2006
Mon, 04-27-2009 - 4:48pm

Dear Mara,


It sounds to me as if the A was never properly dealt with when it should have been, and that your H is currently not meeting your needs very well. You will probably remain stuck if you continue to allow this. C is not always about you being the “ailing one” but sometimes about you discovering your own needs, and how to express them, and further, deciding what you want to if things continue with no improvement. Getting the RIGHT C is key, however. If the MC or IC is not helping you, then look until you find someone who does help. Getting educated by reading GOOD books on this subject is also important. “Not Just Friends” by Shirley Glass and “After the Affair” by Janis Springs are must reads, in my mind. There is also good advice on line. Look for Anne Bercht’s Beyond Affairs Network and Willard Harley’s Marriage Builders. Two great places to start and they don’t cost you a dime.


That is why I asked you all those questions in the first paragraph of my response. What has HE done to grow up and understand what was missing within himself, at the time, so that he thought an A was necessary and appropriate behavior to deal with what ailed him? I will state this again, when the WS does not do the hard work, the BS can’t regain any sense of security in the M. Until he does this, you will continue in a state of “stuck” indefinitely IMHO.


Hindsight is 20-20. You probably should have sought better MC long ago, and your H probably needed more intense IC than you did (as you mentioned). You probably should have insisted on that long ago, as a criteria for you to continue in the M. Now, you are unhappy and backed into a corner, because your H feels this is too far in the past to need to address. Many times when the BS first learns of the A, they are so hell bent on maintaining the R, that they give in on issues that should be non negotiable. It is understandable, most of us do it to a degree, but you see now the “catch 22” it creates. I would suggest that you start C for yourself again, to decide what you need now and then get your H involved whether he likes it or not.


Let me recommend a book to you too. Willard Harley’s “His Needs, Her Needs”. It may help you to understand why you are still unhappy in your M. This book is about the 5 basic core needs of a man in a M and a woman in a M. Trying to help us understand how the other partner's needs are different from our own, so we don't miss the mark by trying to fulfill, for our spouse, what we actually want for ourselves. It also can clue you in to what you feel is missing, yet you can’t quite figure it out for yourself. If your H is open to improvement, it might be helpful for him to read it so that he can improve the R by better fulfilling your needs.


Good luck.
MLB



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