Confused and Angry

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-05-2006
Confused and Angry
8
Wed, 06-01-2011 - 1:31pm

I have been married for 16 years, my husband has recently turned 40 and is probably going through a mid-life crisis. This weekend he was upset as he is every year at this time (he is a vet and still has night terrors and does not function well during certain times of the year). I spoke to one of his friends a fellow vet and asked him if he would please call him to help him work through what he is going through. One of his friends words of advice was to be honest. Well he was and brutally so.

A couple nights before this my husband mentioned, as we were cuddling & watching the news, that if it "wasn't for me there would be something between him and this woman he works with. He has known her for 9 years, gone to school with her & worked with her. He recently got a new job and shortly thereafter she started working at the new place as well. They commute together and have one other person that commutes with them. When he said this I was shocked and didn't know what to say but once I had thought it through I was very hurt. I'm not one that wears my emotions on my sleeve they get buried deep and build until I explode.

Saturday night after he spoke with his friend, he tells me that he's been thinking about cheating and was feeling guilty about it and felt he needed to be honest about it. Wow I'm really glad he's eased his mind of the guilt he felt about thinking about cheating & all the rumors going around that they "just needed to sleep together & get it over with already" at work. And that he loved me but isn't sure he's in love with me.

I have always been secure in my marriage and never felt threatened by this woman because I was secure in the fact that he loved me and I had nothing to worry about.

Now that trust is gone, completely wiped away. He didn't cheat but I feel like he did and he sees this woman on a daily basis drives an hour both ways with her. He got a text at 445 this morning and I could hear him laugh about it. I don't know that it was from her but it made me want to check his phone.

I have never been a self confident person and I feel like this has shattered me. I'm working on building myself back up and I have resolved not to cater to him anymore. A good family friend tells me I should leave him and my mother says I should stay, that she went through this with my dad. In my heart I believe I should stay and not throw away 16 years and give him another chance.

He of course is perfectly relieved of guilt and wants to pretend that nothing is wrong that everything is back to the way it used to be. I'm feeling lost, confused & extremely angry.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-29-2002
Wed, 06-01-2011 - 1:59pm
I will agree that it is important to be open and honest. But he should have sought out a therapist that has experience with vets and ptsd. Unloading on you as he did, while I'm sure was therapeutic to him,in turn left you with his burden.

The VA has a multitude of programs that are specifically designed to help those like your Dh.

Bei.g the wife of a vet myself, I would encourage you to direct him towards the VA for further treatment. And also look into family wellness programs through the VA as well. Militaryonesource is also a great place to start.

Another good option to consider are life coaches and mentors. My Dh used both while in grad school and really benefitted from both.

I can totally understand what you are feeling right now. It is important to know that what your Dh needs is someone to help him relearn to cope and understand his emotions. And unfortunately that is easier said than done.
Photobucket
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-05-2006
Wed, 06-01-2011 - 2:31pm

Thank you. I have tried & tried to get him more involved with the VA but even after almost 20 years of being out he still won't speak to anyone at the VA. It brings up too many bad memories. Believe me I have tried and tried to get him to go to the VA but he is so mistrustful that he won't even try any more.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-29-2002
Wed, 06-01-2011 - 4:29pm
Look into militaryonesource. They should provide a list of civlian providers.

It is important that you sit down with him and explain to him how you feel in regards to his confession. And that it is important he seek out a course of treatment that helps him process through the ptsd and he can become emotionally healthy again.

There is an unhealthy pattern developing right now, and it needs to be nipped in the bud before it gets worse.

Over the last decade the military has gone to extreme measures to rebuild their mental health initiatives. And they have also branched out to civilian praticioners to also insure there is treatments available. I know if it weren't for some of the classes I took while my husband was deployed, we would have had a lot more to deal with than we actually did. The classes I took explained the phases of deployment, symptoms to be aware of and so on.

Please do not harbor what he unloaded on you. Sit him down and explain to him the feelings you currently have. Granted, not in an accusatory manner. But in a neutral resolution manner. Using statements such as,"I am happy you are comfortable sharing your feelings with me. However, I am finding myself struggling to be ok with them. I would like to look into our options inregards to moving forward and rebuilding what we use to have."

Photobucket
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-05-2006
Wed, 06-01-2011 - 7:52pm
Thank you, I will look into those.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Thu, 06-02-2011 - 12:32am

Would you have preferred that he DIDN'T tell you about it, and had just gone ahead and had the affair?

Avatar for khatru1
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2004
Thu, 06-02-2011 - 11:47am

His statement about loving you but not being in love with you, seems very relevant here. That is not something that is specific to there being any other woman in the picture, but a general statement of feeling about your marriage. If he really feels this way then this is something you two need to address and work through to whatever conclusion it comes to. That sort of honesty is good in a relationship.

There are certainly times when one could overshare about the opposite sex, like if a man told his wife about everytime he fantasized about another woman, etc. In this case he told you about a specific woman that he is good friends with and spends time with. People can develop feelings for others when they are married. He told you about it rather then just go ahead and do something about it. So that's good. The part about if you were not in the picture, well that applies to everyone in a relationship on this planet. Of course if you and your husband never met , he would likely be with someone else.

I do wonder though if him and his friend have become too close. Texting at 4 in the morning to a married man is starting to cross into questionable behaviors. Its ok for married people of the opposite sex to be friends but there has to be some boundries.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-05-2006
Thu, 06-02-2011 - 12:52pm
I agree, that's why I never had a problem with it until he started saying he had feelings for her (what feelings he never disclosed). I think he was just trying to figure out if I still cared or not.

We had dinner alone without kids last night and talked. We are going to stick things out to see if we can make it work.

Right now it feels like we are strangers to each other. Strangers who know a lot about each other but there is definitely a distance that wasn't there before. I know that will take time and we both have issues to work on.

Thanks for the advice everyone & giving me more to think about.
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-15-2008
Thu, 06-02-2011 - 1:04pm

Hi mi mi,