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

Pages

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2007
Wed, 04-29-2009 - 10:15am

Dear MLB,

Thank you for your support and your advice. I will admit, I am somewhat afraid of reading the books, because I feel like I'd be walking through the fire all over again.

I also don't think that the affair was dealt with properly at the time. We did go to counseling afterwards, and I also tried an IC but stopped after two sessions - she seemed more interested in telling me the terrific things she learned in counselor school than finding anything out about me. I live in a rural area, and it's difficult for me to find a counselor and arrange for childcare to get there.

At the time, I thought the MC was all right. I was completely blindsided and in emotional shock because of the affair. When I look back at myself then, it seems like any answer could have been a help. But a good half-year after the last session, I started to feel better inside myself about who I am and what I want for my life, and some of the things that happened in counseling didn't seem so helpful anymore. Like the MC saying that she didn't put much emphasis on the affair. While I understand what she meant, I think it's a pretty crummy thing to say to a human being whose insides have been ransacked by someone else's utter thoughtlessness. In retrospect, it seemed like the point of the sessions was to acquit H on some level and help me move on.

So, my experiences with counseling have not been too great, and as such, I am not terribly motivated to go out questing for more. Though I do think I would benefit from *good* counseling... but where to get it? And what to do with the kids?

As for my H, his contribution to marriage rebuilding consists of watching the children and doing household chores. He's the emotional equivalent to the threatened ostrich, the way he buries himself in those two things. He did not address the things inside him that made it OK for him to do that. I think that he needs to find out what is wrong with him, that, on some level, he thinks that my pain at this mess of marriage is OK. But will he do it? I seriously doubt it. Because he's doing CHORES, and isn't that enough? I say over and over that chores are not going to fix my heart, and he does... EVEN MORE CHORES! I digress; this is probably a whole new discussion.

I will definitely check out your recommended websites. Thank you again,

Mara

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-12-2007
Wed, 04-29-2009 - 11:58am

I don't think anyone ever said marriage would be easy. Yet, it will be what you make it. If you are still in Germany I think you should go to the MWR office for recreations and find out about the trips that you guys can take. Sometimes is it about trying to reconnect on a friend level, and then remember why you fell in love with that person at all. If you keep the memories of her in your back pocket then you will never be free of her.


We are in our 8th month on rebuilding. At first I was really upset,depressed,sad,mad, and then one day I started focusing on what I wanted for myself and my children. We got past it, I still have some days when I want to know things about that night. But they are fewer than say 5 months ago. You have to focus on the now , now , now . You can't think back to then. You can't change what happened. Now if you want that lving relationship then go get it. Do things with YOUR husband that will start create new memories. Time spent together will help to build a new foundation.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2006
Wed, 04-29-2009 - 5:31pm

Dear Mara,


<>


Maybe I am confused, but isn’t that what is currently happening to you now. Certainly not like when the A was first exposed, I am still not sure myself how I survived those first three months, but you obviously are still hurting from what you expressed in your posts. I am not trying to be harsh, but in a way, by offering a list of excuses on why you can’t deal with the current issues that are occurring because they were not dealt with previously, you are avoiding as much as your H is. The difference for you, is that you are hurting more from the avoidance. All I am trying to do is point you to good information, that your counselors, and I use that word loosely based on what you wrote, should have been doing in the first place. Like it or not, you will need to address this eventually or there is a high probability that will be forced to address this after a DDay #2... isn’t that what you want to avoid?


<>


WHAT?!?!? Are you kidding me. While there may have been other issues in the M that needed to be addressed, dealing directly with the A is the most pertinent problem after an A is discovered. Otherwise as you said, acquittal is the word you used, it offers tacit acceptance of an A as appropriate behavior, and does not do anything to “fix” the issues that allowed your H to justify his poor choices. That is cruel to the BS because the “expert” is letting the WS get away with the behavior without consequences and even somewhat condoning it. It totally ignores the needs of the BS and leaves the BS vulnerable and unsupported. In my mind the BS cannot even begin to heal, knowing there is a high risk of this behavior happening again. That C was probably not very knowledgeable in dealing with the aftermath of an A and unfortunately, you should have run quickly away from her at that moment. Bad C often does more harm than good, because she actually reinforced your H’s belief that you are the problem. Totally wrong!


Our first C was not helping us, and we both realized it, so we sought a better one. Our current C has been a Godsend to us. We all muddle through this process, and are lucky to stumble on the right information once in awhile, that is why it is necessary to work hard to find the right information and discard what is not helpful or worse yet, destructive.


A H doing chores is great (many women dream of this, LOL) and it takes some of the burden off of you, but it is mindless and requires none of the real work that is necessary to fix the M. One of the unhealthy patterns I noticed with us, prior to the A, is that I was drowning under the weight of dealing with difficult circumstances and problems in our family, while my H avoided this by his work-a-haulic tendencies with his job and helping/working around the house. I made all the tough day to day decisions. I primarily dealt with the kids. This left my H devoid of any real responsibilities and with less real investment in the M and with the family, and that possibly made it easier for him to stray. Previous Community Leader Solazzo put it very well in an old blog, so I will quote her, “Seriously though, I realized I was very accommodating in figuring things out on my own, as opposed to dealing with an impasse. I just took care of things that he wouldn’t, or didn’t think he could. That’s what a partner does right? WRONG! Who knew that my helpfulness with everyday things, would be morphed into control freak when he felt no ownership or sense of accomplishment??!! Not me, not then. I was just trying to be a good supportive wife.” Is this a pattern with you also? It is one of the things that I insisted be addressed during rebuilding.


As I mentioned before, we had a good M, BUT once the A was brought into the light of day, it prompted me to observe the R with a microscope. On our first visit with our current C, he asked us what we ultimately wanted out of this M. He gave that to us as our homework for the next appointment. This was part of my response, “I said I want a better than ever marriage and you want me to explain that

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-16-2006
Thu, 04-30-2009 - 10:48am

I don't mean to hijack a thread, but MLB when you say this:


"And, we are still dealing with a huge issue, my H’s defensiveness and combativeness when I trigger and his lack of empathy at those moments. When I have bad days, I am mostly able to deal with them on my own, but he is so in tune with me now, they bother him even when I don’t mention anything. Then, when a trigger arises, like him taking an extra hour to get home one Friday night and blaming detours, accidents, and traffic, even when I approach it in a calm, non blaming, non accusing way, he gets angry and defensive. "


it really hits home.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2006
Thu, 04-30-2009 - 5:37pm

Dear Living,


We all, including my H, realize that it is something he needs to work on. We do not see the C very often now due to conflicting schedules, and I think that is a problem.


This has been an issue all along. My H has almost NEVER been able to handle my triggers or down periods. Our C has told him numerous times that even though his instinct is to get defensive and angry, that what I need is for him to just hold me, be reassuring and help me through it. There was a short, and I mean very short, period of time, at about 7 or 9 months, when we were seeing the C very regularly, that with his support, my H could do that. Our counseling has been inconsistent and sporadic due to job loss and insurance issues. That has hurt us I know. Once we were not seeing the C 3x a week (1 individual for me, 1 individual for my H and 1 session together, and yes, I said weekly), things deteriorated. There was also more than a year where we had no counseling at all. It has set us back.


Now my H works 2nd shift and our C got a full time job with the Coast Guard. He sees clients at night only. We are not going very often now, due to that, and we go individually only. It is easier for me, I go 2x a month. For my H it is difficult. My H only goes about 1x per month. On a week he has C, my H goes into work Mon thru Thurs an hour early and then goes to work Friday after his appt. My H gets home after midnight, yet often still gets up for the boys before 6 am now. We were having an issue that I was a single mom 5 days a week and our youngest S literally only saw my H to say goodbye in the morning before school. Today, my H was up this morning before 6 am, dropped our youngest S off at school with me, and then we went together to both grocery stores. We got home, put groceries away, had lunch and then my H only got a 1/2 hour catnap before he had to leave for work. He would have normally gotten a better nap, but he is due to see the C tomorrow, so he had to go early. It is grueling for my H to do this, and it costs us in differential pay too, but we both realize it is necessary. I told my H not to go to Sam’s Club with me this morning and sleep, but he insisted he wanted to help. I like his company, but I am concerned about his health.


The A really changed the way I view my H and my M. Same for my H. We have literally reversed roles. Now, he thinks I am wonderful, and “all that”, and I often question the R. I am very intolerant of his flaws now, very intolerant. Before the A, he was projecting his personal unhappiness with a difficult work situation and failing health issues into the M and, in his mind, blaming me for his unhappiness. He finally understands all of this, but I had to fight him every step of the way to his clarity. It was funny, we would fight all night over a point I was making about his behavior, and then go to the C that morning for an appointment. When we explained the situation, without me prompting or offering my point of view, the C would often say the exact same thing I had been saying. Then and only then would my H really listen. That is why I am so adamant about good C, it makes a world of difference.


My H has anger issues that need to be addressed. He has truly worked to change in every way, but that is ingrained and is difficult for him to control. Our youngest S is a carbon copy of my H. Our youngest has ADHD and he started having temper tantrums at 6 mos. old. That is not a learned behavior, it is in his personality, so similar to my H. Anyway, after 28 years together, I have lost my patience.

Pages