Believe it or not I do know how you feel. For awhile I thought my WH was getting it and I do know of a few people who thought I should be happy about it...but yeah, of course I still had pain. Lots and lots of pain. Just because your WS is remorseful (or appears to be) that doesnt erase the pain. Some may say you're lucky, but its' not because you dont feel pain, its' because you have the choice to stay or go...some of us didnt get to make that choice. Some may feel you are lucky in that respect. But pain...oh gosh no one would ever say that, that you are not entitled to your pain...we all are! I am so sorry you are still hurting so badly. I have always said neither path is easy...nothing about indfidelity is.
As far as what to do with that pain, I dont know. I have been told I need to feel my pain and express it, not hide it. Some also suggest journaling....writing down your feelings. I have been told to feel it and express it is the only way to deal with it. If you supress it it will keep coming back to haunt you. And the truth is do we ever really get over what happened? I dont think so, but I do think we learn to deal with and accept it and heal in time. We may eventually forgive but we should never forget...if we do what lesson have we learned in all of this.
"You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection" ~ Buddha
OF COURSE YOU CAN FEEL PAIN. And I'll fly over and whup anyone who says you can't or shouldn't upside the head with my brass wand.
Cal pretty much said it all. Just because a WS gets it does NOT mean that your pain just evaporates overnight. NO, NO, and NO. How can it?
I spent quite a while feeling like I was walking around holding a huge bag of pain, resentment, and frustration and thinking something along the lines of "Well, just great for you, Buddy. You've seen the error of your ways and changed. You feel better about yourself. But what about me? I have this bag of excrement that isn't going away, that I never asked for or wanted but got because of YOU!!!"
It took a LONG time for that bag to empty out and be discarded. In the meantime, there were ample times that I told my H I wasn't sure I could stay with him because of what he had done. I felt I deserved much better than he gave me. He agreed, but pointed out that he couldn't change the past anymore than I could and that what was more important at that point was working on the present with an eye on the future.
I couldn't argue with his logic, but sometimes I didn't feel appreciative of his words (even though I saw the logic and agreed). It's been four years since DDay #2, and three since DDay #3 (when I found out the REST of the story--what he had been lying about for an entire year), and sometimes I still feel vestiges of anger and resentment, but for the most part, I am MUCH better and glad I stayed with him.
I will tell you that one HUGE change in me is that I don't have the patience or meekness that I once had in our relationship. If I feel he is being unfair to me in any way, I jump on his words immediately and in his face. I will no longer make excuses for his treating me unfairly. If I overreact, I apologize, but if not, I don't.
If anyone were to tell me that I am "lucky" and that I shouldn't have anger, I think I would dress that person down very soundly. Perhaps people are just not being careful in their word choice in saying lucky, but I'm not there with you, so I don't know. However, unless a person has dealt with an A, that person has NO idea of the process involved in healing.
Huge encouraging fairy hugs,
P.S. If you would like me to call you or vice-versa and talk, just let me know.
This message has been edited by fairyfriend on Nov 7, 2008 8:14 AM
I feel it is a choice to either turn towards or away from someone. You have good reason to turn away and shut down...he broke your heart and he broke the trust and he broke the marriage vows. And I will tell you what someone once told me and others here...even with a remorseful WS, it is not always possible to get over the A. For some BS's the A was a complete "deal breaker". We all have things we can and cannot live with...things we will tolerate, and things we cannot. How can we trust someone who did this to us ever again? It may not be possible. Some of us can and some of us cant (and alot depends on the WS's actions). We are all different.
I dont know if you remember Kara or not, but if you can go back and find some of her posts they may be of some help. I remember her saying some of the very same things as you have. That her WH was remorseful and doing everything right, she was trying, and they were seeing counselors, and yet now matter how hard they both tried she couldnt get over it. Not too long ago Kara wrote that they separted and are divorcing. She says her WH's current behavior comfirms her deep down suspictions that he never really truly did get it, even though he was playing the part at the time. I am not saying your WH is playing the part of remorseful spouse and isnt really remorseful...only you can really be the judge of that, but what I am saying is that it sounds like you possibly still have some doubts (so deep ypu may not even be aware of them). I guess you need to explore that and see what you come up with. Some times we have to challenge ourselves...why do we feel the way we do, and look deep within ourselves. It isnt always about what the other person is or is not doing.
About being attarcted to others, perhaps that's because you have been hurt by your WH and feel there is not much hope. I know that it wasnt until after d-day 2 that I even had the slightest attraction to another man. For me, it was a sign that I knew deep down inside that my WH was never going to get it...he had just hurt me too much...so I allowed myself to be attracted to other men, but never acted on it or wanted to act on it. I had never felt that way before. So perhaps it is the pain, or the hurt that lets us go there...hoping that maybe there is someone else out there who will love us and protect us, and treat us the way we deserve to be treated. At least that is how I felt.
"You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection" ~ Buddha
This message has been edited by SoCalGal on Nov 9, 2008 11:30 PM
I understand because I started looking at men when in the past I barely noticed them.
First off, is your H doing EVERYTHING he needs to do to understand why he did what he did (I needed my H to do that to help me feel safe to recommit to the marriage), to heal (because if he doesn't heal, he may not work to heal the marriage), to help me heal (because he is the one who broke our spirit and he needs to help us fix it). If he isn't, it is your responsibility to tell him exactly what you need him to do.
If he isn't doing what he needs to do, tell him what you need him to do and what the consequences of his failure to do so. Share with him your fears and feelings. He can't do anything if he doesn't know there is a problem.
I understand because I sometimes looked at my H and felt there was no way I could stay with him after what he did, regardless of what he did to help healing. I hated the fact that I would spend the rest of my life knowing that my H hadn't shared the same commitment to our marriage that I had, that he could risk losing me for sex with another woman, that he could be so friggin' selfish and uncaring.
But the more I heard him taking responsibility, the more I stood up to him (when I hadn't in the past), the more he really listened to me and thought about what I was saying, the more he showed concern for my feelings, the more I was able to relax and open up to the possibility of staying with my H.
I love my H, but I HATE with a burning ferocity what he did. I will ALWAYS hate what he did. But I know HE hates what he did, too, and NEVER wants to repeat his odious behavior.
When you get to the point of accepting the whole truth of what your H did and of understanding that it really had NOTHING to do with you (again, showing the immaturity and selfishness of our H's actions), you will find it easier to let go and take his actions less personally. I know that seems very challenging, but when we accept that we are autonomous beings and that our H did love us but had HUGE problems that they hid from us (and likely from themselves, too), the easier it becomes to feel sympathy for the pain they were in when they gave themselves permission to cheat.
How ill must one be in order to be so completely self-delusional?
I think the dent in my butt from all the months I sat on the fence between going and staying is finally starting to smooth out. Much of that time, my H had no clue how close I was to leaving him.
Time, my dear Hope, time. I told my H that I wouldn't leave before the two-year mark. And, obviously, I didn't.
Next year we celebrate our 25th anniversary. I hope we have 25 more after that.
The relationship I now see is just not meeting my needs - I have changed, particularly as a result of A fall-out and recovery - I have moved on. My wife seems stuck and unable to do and be the person I need now. I can't change her and I cannot go back now.
The only solution I can see is for me to dedicate my future to trying to help wife - a bit like I would work with a patient as a doctor - But, the patient in this case does not see the disease and will not allow medical treatment - And so, now I feel it may do her more good if I turn away from her - from this she may reach a break-through. What else can I do.
Hope, I was told by an expert therapist that I needed to look at how to feel good about myself (you may know about the language used ie something like "self-resourcing"). I did not really get it but tried to do the things suggested like begin to appreciate the things that made me feel good and notice when this happened like a beautiful fragrance of a flower, listening to music and, for me, most important, the support of someone who was prepared to listen and accept ME for what I was. Gradually I have begun to appreciate the bit about me accepting me, indeed me beginning to like.. and then even begin to love me a bit.
Shortly after the A came out my daughter said something to me that someone had said to her after a breakup with a boyfriend ie it was that "you have you" and, also at the time, I did not appreciate this but have come to later down the line. I still struggle to allow myself to accept and begin to recognise that I need to be happy in me and there is no-one who is going to do this for me - Oh sure there are others who we can work with and our loved ones who can make this all so much easier but, in the end, there are times and realities that return us to being on our own and knowing we have to be happy in ourselves, whatever goes on around us - we have us, I have me (whatever that is (Joke!))
I am feeling for you here - nothing much I can do from outside and via the electronic message but be here for you - May be that is a start - Just know that there are others with wounded hearts who are on the same path - Know that you have helped so many others, you are wonderful, really.
I feel for you .. Have you ever been separated from your WH since D-day ? During the last 2 years my WH has been for the most part, unremorseful, about his behavior... that being said, I also feel like I have lost my attraction and respect for my WH, and that I am shut down also.. I don't feel much desire to want to stay with him in our marriage at this point, regardless of him someday showing some insight, or remorse for what he did. I am beginning to realize that this kind of behavior may be a deal breaker for me too.. Due to financial problems, and my H finding health reasons not to work, he keeps refusing and putting off leaving the house. I find myself in the in the same boat as H, although I work, and make a steady income, I can't figure out a way to afford leaving the house at this time ( even tho I would love to find, and live in a place of my own)... I feel like a physical separation will give me the space that helps me to figure out what I need and want in relationships, to move on with my life, and to figure out whether this marriage needs to end...
This message has been edited by stuckinonespot on Nov 11, 2008 11:18 AM
I dont think it was a You Just Know experience. It was more a gradual, a very gradual, not feeling the desire to bolt quite so much. I know I have said this before, but it really helped me for a very long time, it is the Get Out of The Marriage Free Card, concept. I gave myself 5 years. During that time I centered on trying to want to stay in the marriage, only because he was remorseful and I felt I deserved the chance to save my marriage. This is not to say that everyone doesnt deserve the chance to save their marriage, only that I was extremely lucky to be in the position to have a remorseful spouse.
Now having that remorseful spouse is not all it is cracked up to be, but it is a critical ingredient in reconciliation. Having a remorseful spouse puts you in the position quicker in many cases to center on yourself. When you have a spouse who doesnt get it, you expend an awful lot of energy in trying to get them to see. This allows you to take some of the attention off of yourself. Again this is not to say that a person without a remorseful spouse doesnt do this, they have to, only that while they are centered on the unremorseful spouse they really are not doing it all the way. Every one has to get to this point, no matter what. As Jerry quoted his daughters friend so eloquently, You have You, eventually every BS comes face to face with the YOU of everything.
Back to your problem Hope. Set yourself a goal. If at this point the desire to bolt is still strong enough to be considered seriously, allow yourself the right to leave at that time with the infidelity as the reason. This doesnt mean that you wont have guilt, you will, only that an affair is a logical, and justified reason to end a marriage. And just because you tried to work on it, with or without a remorseful spouse doesnt mean it cant still be the cause of the ending of the marriage. As I said I gave myself 5 years from my D-day, but remember I only had one. Deciding on the time allowed is personal to the person setting the time allowance, just make sure it is sufficiently long enough. I received some backlash about my 5 year limit as being too long here at one time. I however made it this length because I wanted to be sure, I didnt want to have to deal with too much doubt anymore. I can tell you that at about 4 years I knew for sure I would stay, but it was still nice to have a whole year left before it was certain.
For you Hope, you might want to start your countdown from the date of your last D-day. I think that is perfectly reasonable if you wish to use this concept of mine.
And Hope, I felt everything you are feeling now at one time, and I too despaired that I would ever stop feeling like I shouldnt stay with a man capable of such a horrendous behavior and selfishness. I will be honest with you, that feeling never completely goes away I think that is a byproduct of the PTSD and a need to always remember the pain as a way of being vigilant, much like the Holocaust victims do. I do however have peace, and am grateful to have my husband still in my life.
I think Ami has suggested some very wise suggestions Hope. I know, none of this is easy and you always wonder if you're making the right decisions. Unfortunately life is a learning experience and there is not always a wrong or a right. I am sorry you are going through all of this ((((((((((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))))))))
"You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection" ~ Buddha
How, Ami? (and everyone). Do I stay? The holocaust surv. and PTSD is a good analogy..
so does a holocaust surv. stay connected with their tormentors because they are remorseful???????
how does one i know, i know not get over this, but past it??? and are we stupid or selfless (because of the kids) for doing so????? I have health problems...directly conected to his A........ do I stay and get sicker and sicker........because I love him still and he is doing everything right??
is this healthy??????????? Mentally/ emotionally translating physcially???? I know I cant spell at the mo.
A question.. health problems.. I had my gallblatter removed because of the stress due to what I didn't know before the A. started.. he was having ONS's.. knowing suspecting.. but having no proof..then the long term A started.. I had reoccurance of the gallblatter issues.. was in the emergency room traveling back from SC.. because I was in so much pain.. this was about 2 weeks after his long term A started..
I would say that many of us have health problems related to the A depression, anxiety attacks.. .. my question to you is..
If you left would the health problems improve?
I think that when you answer that question .. that is the key..
Hope the fear of another A can drive us crazy.. but as my IC said .. I have lived thru this once and in the past and did well.. I will be OK.. if H had another A.. because I would be gone or H would be gone and I would survive and be OK.. the reality of my life..
I live one day at a time.. only way my stomach deals with all the issues.. if my H left or I left I would still have the issues dealing with my stomach..
"Time is precious, but truth is more precious than time."
Nobody is saying that you won't suffer pain through either road. But when you are suffering and the torture of what if's and where is he now and what will tonight be like when I get home....becomes so great to bare that it is untolerable, when you know in your gut that you have both tried everything and nothing has worked, or that you have tried everything and he nothing, then you may know it is over.
I don't believe there is any OMG moment where you wake up and say today is the day I have to leave. I think it gets to a point where you know you are losing self respect of yourself for staying and you know in your heart of hearts that he is putting no effort in the healing process.
I would almost feel as if my ex was mocking me when we talked about the affair. He saw it as something remotely funny apparently. When I found out that he was still talking to her I felt like a knife stabbed me in the back. I was so angry that I kicked him out. THAT was not the moment I decided enough was enough, that was pure rage.
I think in my heart, when I decided enough was enough was the morning of dday when after walking in on them he had to leave with her to make sure "she was okay" as my heart was being ripped to pieces and all I could do was lay beside the toilet and puke. Another nail was added when we started counselling and he did 2 sessions and stopped. Another when the counsellor told me he was checked out of the marriage. Another when he wouldn't discuss the affair, apologize or believe that she could have given him herpes which he gave to me. The final straw was his continued involvement with her after lying over and over and telling me it was over.
So you see, no one thing for me made the decision. I knew I lost my self respect and I didn't want to live anymore. That to me indicated that something needed to change. That something wasn't him, it was me! I needed to stand my ground and demand what I needed in order for him to stay. He couldn't give it. The marriage died.
To be quite frank and honest, IF I had a remorseful spouse I wouldn't have divorced. I think just realizing the results of his actions and making every effort to change his actions, be remorseful and to really change himself speaks volumes. You have no idea how many times I dreamed of that happening.......and yes I do view you as lucky. I know that may sting, but it is true. I guess the grass is really never greener isn't it.
Keep in mind that seperating brings with it a whole new set of challenges. For instance, a second marriage has a much higher change of failing than a first. Infidelity rates are around 30% and divorce rates 50%. Working through this with the present Mr. seems almost a better bet than going with the devil you don't really know.
Yes recovery is hard, but there are several recoveries going on and it sounds to me like you struggle more with the recovery of "you". That won't go away if the marriage does, it will always be there until you deal with it. As unfair as it is sometimes, in the process of recovery we sometimes have to modify our behaviours and our thinking. All parties have growing to do and it sucks but we all have to do the work to recover.
I would say do some long hard thinking (which you seem to be doing) before making a decision of this magnitude.
Recovering from infidelity is probably for many people the most difficult act they will ever do in their lives. Just as our WS chose to have an A, we choose to work on the marriage. Just because we choose to work on healing does not mean that the pain dissolves. It doesn't. It fades, it lessens, it loses its sting, but we still live with the knowledge that our spouse chose to cheat.
On one level, it is easy to get caught up in the idea that our WS did certain activities with another person, used certain words, etc., but ultimately what hurts the most is knowing that our WS chose to take what was supposed to have been ours, their love (or at least their attention), their time, their attention, and give it to another all the while often being abusive to us.
I won't lie and tell you that I never feel pain from my H's A. I do, but I also know that having OCD affected and continues to affect my healing. What keeps me sane is knowing that my H hates what he did even more than I do, but he can't change the past either. All he can do is learn from it and try to become a better, healthier person, which he has done and continues to strive to do. He is the best version of himself that he has ever been.
No matter what changes our WS make, they can never undo the past. No matter how much both they and we might wish, they simply can not change the past. What we must consider is if we are willing and able to live with our WS despite the past.
To do that we must consider the present. Have the WS truly seen the damage done by their choices? Have the WS changed for the better--and changed because they can not bear to continue in their same ugly behaviors? True change comes from within, and a truly repentant WS wants to change for themselves not only for the BS.
Would you be happier with your H in your life or out of your life? Only you know the answer. Please don't rush to decide. Give yourself and your H, if he is truly remorseful and working on himself, time for the changes to become permanent, time for the pain to fade. You can decide NOT to decide to leave or stay, for that matter, just yet.