After 5 months I wonder if can keep fighting the reminders every day. I want to heal my marriage but I keep hitting bumps. My wife is trying as well but every time I bring it up we end up back at square one. OM is out of the picture by hundreds of miles. My wife keeps me informed of her whereabouts and gives me access to all here computer activity. (she knows I could get it if I wanted)
I have been trying to find forgiveness but it eludes me. We go to MC at least every other week and usually every week. She also does IC every week. I don't communicate well and this week my trying to ask my wife for some help turned into a perceived threat on my part. I heard myself say we are back where we started and I can't go there, I need you to get more involved or I have to leave. She heard she is not doing enough and I am leaving. I think the MC heard it her way so I did a poor job of communicating.
This almost ended it and that is not what I want. Yes she made a huge mistake but others have survived this mistake before and I feel she deserves another chance. I want to save the marriage as well. I cant imagine starting over.
I felt forgiveness was months away but after almost ending it I realize how much I want to save my marriage. I feel it is too soon to forget but I also feel I must give forgiveness now to get on with the healing. I need it for myself to let go and move on.
I don't feel the marriage is where it needs to be yet but can it continue to improve after forgiveness. I'm afraid if I give in things are as good as they will get. I need to hear from those that have saved their marriages if this will work.
I feel like some of the other posts that are afraid to step completely back into the marriage (Louise comes to mind), and I have fear as well. I only have the one d-day, I know some have more but she knows I will have no trouble ending it if it happens again. Part of me says I need to step back into the marriage now and that means forgiveness and commitment. I don't see how I can fix it from the outside.
I was told at the first marriage counselor meeting that decisions would be made later but I expected it to be much later and I thought I would know the answer when the time came. I can make important decisions 8 hours a day with no trouble but this one is killing me.
This message has been edited by caniforgiveher on Mar 27, 2009 4:40 PM
Speaking as someone who has been where you are and knows your pain, this can and does work. Please remember that you do not determine the time line, the time line determines itself. You heal when you heal, not any sooner and not any later. Trying to rush it wont make it happen. I know, I pressured myself to heal too quickly and it knocked me right on my arss.
I don't communicate well and this week my trying to ask my wife for some help turned into a perceived threat on my part. I heard myself say we are back where we started and I can't go there, I need you to get more involved or I have to leave. She heard she is not doing enough and I am leaving. I think the MC heard it her way so I did a poor job of communicating.
OK, I heard a person suffering greatly and needing the woman he loves to validate his pain and reassure him she is doing all that she can do and will continue to do so.
Bill you are only 5 months out. This is right about when the rage phase hit for me. I wasnt just a raving, mad woman. I had a tendency to throw and break things, not at any one, but the walls and floors of our house took a beating.
What does forgiveness mean to you? It means different things to different people, but one thing it is not is something that swoops in and magically alleviates the pain. Your pain is necessary, it is part of the process, your are grieving, you have good reason to hurt. I know men have difficulty with this, but allow yourself to cry in front of your wife and allow her to comfort you.
For me, Forgiveness came a little at a time over the years. The greater part of it happened between a year and a half and 3 years, but I still find that I occasionally forgive yet another part of the whole mess my husband created. Hand in hand with forgiveness was acceptance, I have found that, for me, they were inseperable.
I think I am already beyond the rage part. My feelings went from 2 months of I need to save my marriage to anger to feelings of wanting to get revenge. It is just recently I am starting to feel I am ready to step back into the marriage.
All along I a have protecting my heart. My wife is doing the right things but I was unwilling to commit myself to the relationship again. The MC said about three weeks ago I would need to address that but I didn't. I think my anger this week is forcing me to make a decision. IN or OUT I want in. My problem is I am the type that needs to have confidence my decision is right. I am having trouble accepting this type of decision. There are no guarantees or confidence. Maybe confidence is not a good choice of words because my wife seems remorseful and even depressed over what happened. I think I have confidence but am looking for a guarantee. I know I would have been vulnerable to an affair at the time as well because the marriage was ????. What is a good word for what a marriage becomes after 22 years and 4 children when you stop making time for each other and start looking for "ME" time.
If I had been the one to have the affair I would have been asking for a second chance so I feel it should be given here. How do I deal with with the reservation about giving a second chance. I don't think anyone who gave a second chance did it with complete confidence.
This fence sitting on making decisions is teaching me about myself. Since most of us are in the same boat let me explain. About 6 weeks ago after almost 4 months of trying to decide if I should stay I came to the conclusion the decision was all ready made and I just had to admit it to myself. By still being here at 4 months I was staying. Who was I kidding except myself. I have always tried to think positively and look for info that helps justify what I want to do. I think if I wanted to go the other way I could have found info to justify that too. The decision to commit myself to the relationship happened the same way. Over the last couple of weeks one car failed and the furnace needs repair again. I found myself buying a nearly new car with 4 year financing and committing to a new furnace to replace the 20 year old one. Why would I commit to long term stuff if I won't be here? I think we know what are decisions will be but are afraid to make them.
So now how do I make the offer of forgiveness and start improving from what we had. We never get alone time but I think we have to go for dinner away from the kids for a while.
I think Ami offered you some good insight. Take some time to dig into that.
>I don't communicate well and this week my trying to ask my wife for some help turned into a perceived threat on my part. I heard myself say we are back where we started and I can't go there, I need you to get more involved or I have to leave. She heard she is not doing enough and I am leaving. I think the MC heard it her way so I did a poor job of communicating.
This bothers me, not because of what you did, but because of how your wife seems to have reacted to it, and how the counselor seemed to side with her. Communication is a two way street. Maybe you were more clear than you've been told. Maybe you were less clear than you thought. It doesn't matter. An important part of communication is that it is a partnership, requiring not only a speaker, but a listner. If the listner thinks you said something alarming and doesn't wait to confirm it before reacting to it, then the listener isn't doing a very good job either.
Put it like this... a young child is not usually a good communicator, but good parents work to understand what the child saying before they react to it. They do this out of love for the child and understanding that they have not yet mastered the finer arts of communication. Similarly, in a marriage, on partner tends to be more eloquent than the other. Part of maturity, love, compasion, and partnership means that they be patient in their listening. While you might have said something provocative, your wife should have repeated back to you what she thought you said. Only after confirming it should she have allowed herself to react. That's love, that's communication.
Yes we are all in the same boat, deciding to stay is no easy task, even when we do decide to work towards that end, it is a long time before we feel we made the right decision. Right now you have to make a decision to stay with someone that has proven to be untrustworthy, this is a huge risk. There are no quarantees as much as we may want one, going forward means accepting that.
Love what Tom Wrote. Couldn't agree more.
I could be wrong, but in all of your posts I get the idea that you think it is possible to heal quickly, and that if you don't the pain is your own fault and you are only making things difficult unneccessarily for yourself and your W. Healing takes on the average about 2.5 years, some, very few may possibly heal a tad bit quicker, and many others take longer. But given the 2.5 year time line, then that means you are not even 1/5 of the way there, but lets give the 1/5 anyway. Now a broken bone for a young adult takes about 6 weeks to heal give or take. Would you take a cast of at 8 days and expect the bone to support your weight and go running around the block? I think not. I think you would give it the 6 weeks and then even after the cast was off you would be careful for awhile. Give your broken heart the same respect.
Decide to stay for now, which seems that you feel you have done allready. But allow yourself the right to leave if after you do all the things necessary to heal you find you really don't want to stay. I gave myself a 5 year time line. I wanted to be sure and I wanted to not feel guilty about my doubt. Doubt is only naturally after your spouse has cheated on you.
Oh and rage is a funny thing with all of this. You think your past it, but it has other ideas. This is no set process, we find ourselves going back and forth between all the trauma emotions with no set pattern, often coming back to certain ones again and again. For me rage was a particularly difficult emotion to keep settled for others it may be a different emotion. Time, little baby steps at a time.
I know it feels like making the decision is the answer and it will resolve all problems. I struggled with that alot. I would set times. I just about died when I found this and saw all the posts that said 2 years, 3 years to recover. I originally told my H after Dday that if I felt the way I did after dday in 3 months it would be over. I didn't think I could live through 2 years of hell and survive. Then I would just set time frames to get through it. I would get so crazed and then I would say "ok, well I can still make that decision in another month after we visit his dad who was diagnosed with cancer. Ok, now I need to wait until my job is over, now I need to wait until I get my finances straight, now I need to wait until I get a new job, and so on.
Then I would just realize how my emotions rode all these highs and lows. So I'd use that window to hold off on the decision and the wave would roll into feeling hope again. I don't know when is the right time to make the decisions. In the end, I think I stayed because I just wanted to see how it all turned out if I stayed. It's been two years...almost. I'm really glad that I stayed even though I would have been absolutely justified by pretty much the entire universe including God himself if I left. But, I just wanted to know if it could all work out and it seems like it did.
I think of myself as a forgiving person. Well this was the true test and I did it. I can do it and I did do it. And, even if he should stray again it doesn't make me less of a forgiving person. I will still have attained forgiveness. I expect that I will leave him if he does it again, just out of principle. Hopefully, we won't have to travel that path.
At 5 months, I got the cell phone bills and it was like Dday 2. It was dday 2. I found out that he was with a 2nd OW and that he'd called, texted, and e-mailed another 50. While it was horrible it also revealed to me what I needed to know most. He didn't fall in love with anyone. May you be further along at your 5 months than I was.
Your right. I am trying to force an early end to this. I am hoping if I say the magic words "I forgive you" it will be over and we can move on. I still have issues that need to be resolved. We are not making progress right now but the recovery seems to be a roller coaster as well. As long as we start again lulls can be acceptable.
What I can do for now is step back into the marriage. I have been protecting my heart from further risk these 5 months. Our MC said three weeks ago I need to get back in as part of the recovery process. Even if I don't offer forgiveness yet I need to step back in. I know this puts my heart at risk but this is where I am going anyway. One feeling that seems to be less after deciding to stay is the feeling of wanting a revenge affair is much less. It still crops up but doesn't last long.
I do still have confusion/anger times. They are less often and less intense. I haven't stormed out in a few months. The answers I am looking for are at home. Thats where I'm going to find them. The feelings of hope always return after the confusion/anger. I always feel better after releasing anger. I think it is necessary but WS certainly doesn't appreciate it.
One thing I have to be careful of is my stubbornness. I can use it to not give up but I have to be careful not to let it force me to accept less than I need/deserve to avoid feelings of losing.
All your feelings are normal. Wanting a revenge affair is also normal. I have considered a revenge affair myself. I don't think so much for the "revenge" part of it, but more for the fairness part of it. My fantasy thinking was "You did it, now I did it. Now we're even. Let's start over". That has not happened and I know that it's not the way to make things better or go away. It can only add more fuel to the fire making R more difficult. Don't know if that makes sense or if it even helped.
At 5 months you're probably still digesting. I wouldn't make decisions now.
In our case we had the moments of "I don't think we're going to make it."
Those words were spoken in upset moments and were actually spoken a couple weeks ago (at nearly 14 mo.). But we've been riding this roller coaster long enough that they have lost their potency. A slowly, painfully built trust is creeping in in terms of recognizing the upsetness and separating it from the commitment.
In retrospect, I wish we had set up rules. I wish we had not said things like that. Someone who has been devastated by their S's A is still rebuilding their psyche. It takes a LONG TIME. Try not to underestimate that.
Just this a.m. I printed out something Daisy posted (thank you!) for the WS to read. It's very potent. It's in the open board under one of my two personal topics. Forget which one.
Anyway, the point is, I brought it to H this morning and he obediently got set to read it even tho' getting ready for work. I said "you don't have to read it now." The urgency that I've felt throught-out this feels gone. That is literally within the last few days. That urgency was horrible. But it was somehow necessary for me. I guess.
There will be a time when you feel you can forgive. However, NEVER forget.I don't mean to dis you or your spouse but there was infidelity and all that goes with it. Lie after lie after lie. Your spouse is no longer the person you married. That person is dead. Killed by infidelity. Your marriage to the "new" person hopefully will be great. Just remember there was a time this person ripped your heart out. Don't distrust but be vigilant.
It is rainy out and dark and I feel dark inside.
I think the "timeline" thing is so helpful to hear. When I first read 2 years my H said something like "Let's just move on... etc...I'm not condemning myself to their idea of how long something takes"
Easy for him to say. Now at...14 1/2 mo. from d-day I think I expected to feel...much better? I'm still avoiding the world, have trouble concentrating, feel ambivilance at times, feel saaaaad. I want this to go away. Deb
When H and I were in an endless cycle and all conversations ended in a predictable cycle
we started taking affair recover books and reading them together - but separately. We'd each highlight passages that were meaningful, but in two different colors - then later, at a scheduled time we'd tald about the colored passages.
What it did was take us out of the rut conversations and put it into a third party context where we'd talk about the issue and not about the act or the facts. The WS CANNOT pretent to forget the issues - direct questions can be met with 'I don't knows' and 'I don't remember" until you go mad - but issues from the book are harder to dodge.
It REALLY helped our conversations and it took us out of the ruts.
We really liked "The Monogamy Myth" by Peggy Vaughn "After the Affair" by Dr. Abhrams and the now out of print "I Will Never Leave You" by Hugh and Gail Prather
It's been a rough 15 months but all of you on this path already know that. I am still home trying. As I said in my posts before my answers are at home. That is why I stopped posting. As much as I appreciate the help I received at this site I eventually have to communicate with my wife. I know I said in August I was leaving but it didn't happen. I haven't even stormed out in over six months. I haven't found peace and happiness at home but lately there has been some progress.
I know one of the reasons I was leaving was because of the counselor. I told my wife several times since summer he wasn't working for me and we had to change. If you remember she said she couldn't start over with a new counselor again. In October I began IC. In December I had enough of weekly Bill bashing while my wife sat quietly and watched the counselor tell me why her emotional needs weren't being met. I don't blame her for not wanting to change because of course this was good for her. I said I had enough and would not be returning to that counselor. I realized that since she couldn't start over this meant it was time to call the lawyers. Lo and behold she said she was now willing to try a new counselor. Part of me wanted me to make my wife show initiative and get a counselor but I had a recommendation from my IC I wanted to try. It wouldn't be fair to make her pick and then tell her who to pick. We have been to 4 sessions and every time she has pointed out something I should have said better. I ALSO GET TOLD OF THINGS I DO RIGHT. The counselor is bringing my wife into the discussion also. I had lost my hope that we could do this and the new counselor has given me hope again. It is still going to be difficult. After two sessions with the new counselor I wondered why we weren't making huge progress. I wondered if I did the right thing by getting a new counselor. Time will tell, but since I asked for this and got it I feel obliged to stay for awhile and try it.
On the subject of not posting. I think there are two reasons I stopped posting. As my IC said it is kind of like picking at a wound. I need to let it heal. The other reason is I found myself relying on you people as a shoulder to cry on. My wife does not want to deal with problems so I turned here. Even though I was still at home with my wife I felt totally alone. I started fantasizing about finding happiness with someone or anyone. Even people from this site without ever meeting or knowing them. That is not where I need to go. I need to deal with reality and fix this mess. As much as I appreciate all the words of wisdom I have gotten here I need a real future with a real woman and not a fantasy with a web site. I have always considered myself a fixer but this is all new to me. I am learning a lot about myself and my wife as we go down this road. I find myself acquiring emotional tools I never had before. I will be a better person because I stayed and learned from it. I believe in myself and my ability to heal. I was never the type to believe in counseling. I considered it a weakness. Now I go regularly. I will get the help I need and fix things. I also realize I can only fix me. My wife has admitted with the new MC her family always buries problems and she appears to be trying that now. I have gotten us to a MC that is helping, but will my wife let her. After 24 years I have to try.
I know I have discussed punishment here in the past. I have decided there is no punishment. I went to a lawyer in September and found out her punishment will be she gets half our stuff, and a monthly check. The ones who get punished here are the kids. They have done no wrong and would get their lives torn up. They would probably have to move out of the family home. A big thing to me would be the younger two would lose a chance at college. I don't think the money would be there if we had to run two households. They are both honor role students and show a lot of potential. Not that the older two are bad kids, they are great kids. It's just that my older son does not like book work and my older daughter is learning disabled. I don't know how she would handle divorce. I do know a mom through special Olympics who hasn't told her son they are divorced because he wouldn't understand. I don't think that option would work for my daughter. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.
I have read a lot of posts where the WS does not want to deal with the mess they have created. They just want to pretend it didn't happen and "just move on". This seems to be where we are stuck as well. If the WS can't/won't deal with it who do we turn to when the pain gets bad. I can see the new MC starting to build communications skills. I think this is a good start. I have told the MC it seems difficult but it is better than the uneasy tension we had. She reminds us of the difference between talking and communicating. I do notice the MC doesn't put blame on either of us for the communication problem. It takes both of us to communicate or both of us not to. Even communicating that doesn't flow well is a step in the right direction. We have to start somewhere and build upon it. It seems like we are just starting anew with the new MC. To me the year with MC #1 was wasted. Let's see if my wife will be able to open up to her. I need her to open up to me eventually. If she doesn't I will eventually go find that shoulder to cry on. I have promised her I will not look behind her back but I have to realize the time may come to move on.
I deserve my happiness and am determined to find it. If I can't make happiness out of my present situation I will change it and try a different situation. I don't have a time line anymore. Like so many have said here in the past I will know when to give up, but I am not ready to do that yet.
Susan Hopefully we will get to the stage where my wife will read about healing. She still copes by hoping. Hoping I won't bring it up this week or at least for today. I don't think she has read a single thing about affair recovery during this. I have checked the computer history several times and she never goes near the subject. It makes me realize how far we have to go and sometimes it makes me wonder if I can heal with her. For now I will keep trying until I can't try anymore.