Shellv80
Hi, my first time posting but this site has been such a place of strength and help to me that I feel I have to.
1 year ago my world was broken when my husband came clean of his year long affair with an ex co worker. My husband in that year had come and gone due to depression and not knowing what he wanted in life, I did not suspect an affair and wanted to just be there for him. I stood by him even though the way he spoke and treated me and the children hurt, because I could see he was hurting and first and foremost I wanted him to be ok for our young children and in a lot of ways I had to put my hurt of hearing he didnt ' love me the same way' aside. In the year he was gone he would visit weekly to see the children and would often proclaim his love for me and explain how he missed me to be followed up a few days later with 'I've just changed, I don't feel in love with you anymore' ; for me it was emotional whiplash but in hindsight was his confusion, fog, inner turmoil and yes depression over the choices he was making. So he came and went I took him back each time and tried to 'love him better' because I truly believe loving someone is when they are at there most unloveable. At the core of it all, I wanted HIM to be ok. If I had known of his affair and the OW I don't think I would have been so available to him and kept taking him back but I was in the dark so to speak and so I can only speculate, we don't know what we will do until this happens to us ey? Sometimes we suprise ourselves. My husband told me about the affair, once it was over and he was trying to reconnect with his family, he says he didn't plan on ever telling me as he was too ashamed but it became evident that if we were to stand a chance that I deserved to know the truth and make a decision based on the facts; he said he didn't want to be on his death bed in years to come holding a big black secret inside; life would have been a lie. So he told me, I cried, the guttural never in my life have I cried like that 'cry' and his emotions came flooding back the more he told me, the more he explained the more clarity he gained, in his mind he went from 'I loved the OW I wouldn't have done this otherwise' to 'I never loved her, that's what I told myself to justify what I was doing'. I agreed to allow him to stay until I knew what I wanted to do, I attended counselling with him where we gained an understanding of his feeling like a failure was a root cause and a younger woman's attention stroked the ego' etc. I can look at myself in our marriage at the time of the affair and how I was neglectful of him, by no way does that justify his affair or anything but I feel it's imprtant to know and accept I was not and am not perfect but I did deserve better. But I accept that maybe he did too and I hold my hands up to my actions. A year on I still cry on occasion and I can get myself in situations where I feel like I'm never going to get through and stop crying or feeling sorry for myself. I was until recently feeling so much anger that I thought I would explode. My husband has been patient although at times when I'm upset finds it hard to comfort me as the realisation of me being in so much pain is because of his actions so he can shut down but we now both recognise this and accept its not from a place of uncaring but from a place of shame for him. He is a good man, father and husband despite the affair and for the first time in a year I can say with hand on heart that I have real hope for us and realise 'we' have come far. I can only stress what has made me reach this point and it is linked to forgiveness and my mindset on that changing. I was worried that forgiving would mean everything was ok and that the act was acceptable to me and lesson the destruction of the affair and that felt like a lie as it has been utterly life changing. I can't tell you when my opinion on forgiveness changed only that somehow gradually I have changed my mindset. Now I believe that it is forgiveness that sets us free from the pain; we forgive for 'us' not 'them' so that we can have peace as individuals and with that peace and forgiveness the anger has subsided. "Love is not how you forget but how you forgive. Not how you listen but how you understand. Not what you see but what you feel and not how you let go but how you hold on".
Wishing you all peace on your roads to true recovery, be you, be true and be honest. Strive everyday to be 'better' not 'bitter'.
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hmichelle
Thank you for your post...I find it so hopeful that you have made it to the other side of this, so to speak.  Can I ask, what did you do to help alleviate the anger you felt?  I struggle a lot with anger and recently severe sadness.  It seems everyday I discover a new trigger.  Recently it was how angry I felt when he judged someone else for something he did (he believed his AP when she told him she could not get pregnant and then yesterday he mentioned how stupid a woman was for believing a man she was dating was sterile and ending up pregnant).  The thought that he risked my life and had unprotected sex because of her word is devastating but to see that he judged another for the same situation means he still is not getting the full picture in my opinion.  I don't know, I feel like for every good day I have, two bad days follow. 
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Shellv80
Hi, I'm sorry you're in the boat too, not fun [frown]
With regards to your question to alleviate the anger I find countering it helps. Let yourself 'feel' the anger, the sadness, the upset and then say to yourself 'ok, I've felt you, I get it but that's enough for today' look yourself in the mirror if needbe and say a firm 'no' and take control. Then force yourself if needbe to do something , something that brings you calm, a bubble bath, drink with a friend, play with your kids, I do anything that reminds me of what being a good decent person is, it keeps the bitterness at bay for me and puts things in perspective for me, that may work for me because I'm a people pleaser and talking to a friend on the phone about their problens/issues and helping keeps ME on being the best version of me that I can be. Try not to let this crappy thing that's happened to you DEFINE you, your husband or your marriage, let the way you overcome the shi**y things life throws at you define you. You can do this, you can overcome this with determination and being true and decent and honest. Be proud of who you are and how you behave and draw strength from that. Good luck to you x
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hmichelle
Thank you for your insight.  I am going to work on incorporating more positive things into my life as you suggest.  The conference Tim held this weekend also gave me new thoughts about control.  The past week I feel I was coming around to the thought that no matter how hyper-vigilant I am he will do whatever he is going to do, control is an illusion that is drowning me.  I can't control him and if I persist with the thought that I can, I will be pushing us apart.  We are working to repair the damage and I don't want to add to the problem, I want to help us through it.  I have been working on "thought stopping" as you mentioned above but this new thought about control is also giving me a new sense of freedom.  I don't have to be responsible for him, I can help him but he is ultimately the one who makes the choices.  Thank you so much for sharing your experience!
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TimT
Shellv80 wrote:
I can't tell you when my opinion on forgiveness changed only that somehow gradually I have changed my mindset. Now I believe that it is forgiveness that sets us free from the pain; we forgive for 'us' not 'them' so that we can have peace as individuals and with that peace and forgiveness the anger has subsided. "Love is not how you forget but how you forgive. Not how you listen but how you understand. Not what you see but what you feel and not how you let go but how you hold on". Wishing you all peace on your roads to true recovery, be you, be true and be honest. Strive everyday to be 'better' not 'bitter'.

Thank you for sharing your story with us!
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LadyFinn
Shellv80..Thank you for your post. You have learned a lot in what was no doubt the most excruciating year of your life. I love to read about progress or seeing hope for recovery. I have been attempting reconciliation for a period of 2 years and still have days of deep struggle . For myself, I know my acceptance and hopefull forgiveness is linked to compassion.When I feel surges of compassion for him, I am deeply moved towards him... not away.  I have struggled with the most extreme anger  I have ever experienced and it often was present like a "flash" of triggered uncontrollable deadly rage . I cannot begin to describe the pain attached to the rage of betrayal that I experienced. I have PTSD and struggle to deal with many symptoms, triggers, flashbacks, pictures of them.. etc etc.  "she" was known to me and continued to "chat" and talk with myself and my daughters .. so, it is staggering to imagine that my spouse of 31 years could ever allow this damage to our family. I believe finding compassion, removing victim mentality, letting time pass, really looking enternally to what issues of your own have escalated... doing you own search to who you are now. Very difficult work , but I had no identity outside of him and my marriage. I practise extreme self care now, I walk slow and long and I let myself feel whatever emotion my soul needs to process. I am now participating in EMDR therapy as I still wrestle with extreme reactivity to triggers , etc. My husband has been able to stand with me .. and not run. He has withstood a brutal poopkickin. I feel calmer , more accepting that I have no control over the choices and reactions of other people, that I am "enough" ( almost) and I am exploring a new sense of femininity  and esteem.  I continue to move forward.. and learning to stop looking back .


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MrsJMW
I have been wanting to post for so long and havent but this hits home for me. Our one year since I learned of my husbands affair was March. This past year we have healed in so many ways but the kicker is that in January my husband had a stroke. I still had so much healing to do but now I cant. His stroke caused severe damage to his right brain and now he is paralyzed on the left side. When that 1 year came along and all of the triggers it was awful. Now I am his caregiver loving him through this. I had to quit my job of 14 years to care for him the only other option was to put him in a nursing home. Our lives and the dynamics of our marriage are changed forever. I want to be by his side but sometomes it is so hard.He lived with AP during the month of March. So many things you said hit home. He was feeling neglected and like you I accepted my actions but still believe aftee 19 years of marriage it should have been handled differently. He truly felt like I was not in love with him anymore even convinced himself that I was having an affair now I believe he did that to help justify what he was doing. It took him awhile to really see that I have always been faithful and he had much remorse when it was all said and done. Sometimes I am so angry about the stroke. It just seems so unfair that I was not given more time to heal. I know that sounds awful because he is suffering emmensly from what has happened. Not what I ever wanted for him. Anyway its a difficult path for all of us. Love him so much just hate what he did.
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Shellv80
Mrs JMW I think you are being amazing and are displaying an example of what real love is. Your husband has hurt you in the worst way possible and yet despite that you are dealing with the stroke and choosing to give him the best quality of life because you love him. There is no shame in feeling angry at the hand you have been dealt, I would be suprised if you were not still hurting or angry so don't beat yourself up. I think your husband is extremely lucky to have you. You are right to hate the situation but not him, it's important, I think, for anyone's healing to be able to seperate the two. Please make sure you have support in place for you so that you can put yourself first too, look after yourself, you need to for your husband, your recovery and yourself. Wishing you all the best.
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LadyFinn
MrsJMW. I am sorry to read your story . I also had to become a very angry caregiver . My husband was out of the house for nearly 4 months . When I discovered his affair ( I had a dream ) I confronted him . Within 1 week of knowing he was on his knees in the parking lot at my job begging for foregiveness . He was hospitalized as it appeared he was having a heartattack. It was anxiety. He never had any further contact with his McFling OW. He was sick off and on for months and finally diagnosed with kidney cancer 3 months into reconciliation. So, it all changed again.. as you know it has to. Very very difficult. He has had 3 surgeries including removal of left kidney and he is recouperating. His cancer became the focus and his affair secondary... not an easy task. But I did care for him and internally raged at times . It was the most difficult time of my life .. but onward we must go!
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