Some Good Advice To Console Your Heart -and- Remember

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2012
Some Good Advice To Console Your Heart -and- Remember
4
Fri, 10-19-2012 - 8:26am

1.  You may think you’re truly in love with your illicit partner, but if your affair should evolve into real relationship, you may experience the same relationship problems [that you have in your own marriage] all over again.  (That's what keeps me real, BTW.  My xAP is going through his own divorce, has 3 teenaged children, is in a complicated co-parenting arrangement [where the spouses swap out their shared apartment every other week] and lives 500 miles away - lots of fodder there to create unhappiness for me.)

2.  Confide in a trusted, non-judgemental friend. Talking to this person can be very healing, and offers an opportunity to reflect back the truth, particularly at a time when the headiness of your affair can cloud your ability to think clearly and honestly.  It’s simply a good way to obtain a second opinion on how to end an affair while providing the emotional support that you absolutely need at a time like this.

3.  Spending time with a qualified, experienced therapist is a wise step.  Not only can this person help save your marriage, they can help you work on areas of your *OWN* life that make you sad, and that possibly created the fertile ground for having your affair to begin with.  I began with a therapist who was not right for me, but I didn't give up.  I asked people I trust for recommendations, which led me to an outstanding professional who is helping my husband and I get back on track.

4.  Finally, and this is a personal decision, think twice about confessing your affair to your spouse.  I have chosen not to, since I know it would hurt him deeply, sour our mutual friendships, hurt my own family (who I have not told - but he might be tempeted) and quite likely lead to the end of my marriage.  It would also hurt me deeply, and likely throw me into a deep depression.

((HUGS))

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2012

Hi, Clarity.

Thanks. 

My H was not happy about going to therapy.  He resigned himself to go, and openly said "if we divorce, we divorce."

But once we got there, he realized that our therapist is on both our sides. He seems to like and trust her.

He seems to be glad we went and is already taking steps to be better!  So, we'll see.

We've been in our M for over 11 years now and I have some built-up resentment toward him that I have to deal with.

The therapist asked us to use a communication formula, "I feel X and would like Y" - it's a formula that removes the criticism but still gets at the heart of where we need to be.

My "formula" with him is, "I feel sad when you are angry and would like you to speak kindly toward me."  I was crying when I said it.  That's my biggest issue.

We'll see!

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2012

Hi, Ratherbeme,

Great points.  It is indeed possible to lose a friend due to ethical differences.  So, choosing the right person is critical.  As I said, it really needs to be someone you know you can trust and know will be non-judgemental.

Fortunately for me, the person I chose to confide in also knows my often angry, selfish and unkind husband very, very well.  She is appalled sometimes at what comes out of my H's mouth when we're together (this is why my H and I are in counseling).

She also had an A to escape from her mostly physically loveless marriage, though in her case, she was better able to keep her A purely physical without the emotional attachment, and still loves her husband (more as a friend and companion).  I have known her for years and we are closer than sisters.  She has never chastised me for my decision to enter into an A and has supported me from the beginning to the end.  I could not be luckier - she is very non-judgemental, trustworthy and supportive.

While my own A was still actively going on, I was trying very hard to draw from her example - her strength/ability to stay emotionally detached, but I found that it just was not something I (personally) could do very well.  Toward the end, I found myself falling for my xAP, in a totally impossible situation. 

I am mostly out of the A fog now after NC for over a month.  I still have sentimental regrets every now and then, and I miss the thrill of the A.  It made me feel beautiful, sexy and confident.  That's definitely gone now.  I have been drained and tired - and it showed.  But I know it's temporary - it's the long "dark hallway" that must be travelled to get to the other side.  Indeed, I want my life back.  Actually, a better life - again, the biggest reason for seeking counseling.

In the end, there were some benefits to this A.  It forced me to be brave, confront my H and insist on seeing a counselor.  I think if the A had not happened, I might still be settling for a mediocre-to-bad marriage with an angry, verbally-abusive husband.  I was ready to abandon and get ready for a second D.

But, so far anyway, it looks like there is hope.  It's still early days into therapy, but we're making progress.  I am now verbalizing what I want, versus playing the silent victim.  He's now taking steps to be better - has returned to Bikram Yoga and is taking some supplements to help him feel happier and less anxious.

Time will tell.

((HUGS))

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2005

Mornin' Pac

Sounds like your first therapy session together went well based upon your statement that she is helping you and your H get back on track.

1.  Couldn't be on the money.  How long would it have taken for us to find ourselves in either a new, or exact same, predicament...life and reality...settling in.  Then, we got two people with the exact same coping skills (unless therapeuterized...hey, new word?) and looking to escape in probaby the exact same unhealthy way.

2.  Whereas I am a fan of the less people who know the better, it IS good to have a trusted friend...and here's where I immediately contradict myself...the more the better..hah...to divy it all up.  I bored my friends (and myself) to death with my endless talk about JAM...lost a few along the way...lost a few potential new friends along the way...lost some poor strangers along the way...really, anyone who would listen.

3.  I was lucky enough to find a perfect therapist.  If it weren't for her, I'd still be the old me...going through life not know what motivated me...what made me tick...and tripping myself up all over the place.

4.  Use to be on the fence about this one...not so much anymore.  I would not tell, but only because I'd be doing everything in my power to better myself in order to ensure that I make better choices in the future.

How did you husband feel about the session?  Was he open while there?  Does he feel good, too, that you both are working together to get back on track?

((hugs))

Clarity


Avatar for ratherbeme
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2010

All good and positive things.

#2 is a tough one.  If you have been sharing your story it becomes risky that you may in fact lose that friend or burn them out with your side of the fantasy. 

Q.  Are you really ready to listen to advice or are you still in the A fog?

Q. Is it just as possible to lose a friend over the ethical differences?

I lost a close friend who knew what was happening in my life, even though I was trying to end it.  It happens.

Knowing now what I know, I didn't give enough thought to the possibility of others thinking it far worse than I did.  Talk about being naive. 

You are on the right path.  You are getting it. 

Good thoughts and thanks for sharing.

We only miss what could have been. I know I don't miss what it really was.