I hope you are all well, despite the apocalyptic atmosphere of our lives against the backdrop of our equally chaotic world.

Almost 1 year post DDay 1 and 6 months post DDay 2 here and I’m feeling the following statement to be true:

The brokenness resulting from an affair turns “forever” into “for now”.
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15 months out of DDay 1 and 12 months out of DDay 2 and the brokenness of us after his affair is still causing both of us so much pain. How can two people who love each other as much as we do end up like this? I’m out of answers and at rock bottom. Hopefully ‘for now’.

I hope you’ve managed to find some peace together. We still seem to be on the rollercoaster and trust issues are at the heart of it. I always feel like it’s my fault when things go bad between us now, because I struggle to believe what he says, and whilst I’m not perfect, I wasn’t the one who had the affair but I’m always the one ruining things. I wish I knew why, when he loves me as much as he does, when he’s totally devastated by what he did, after a 35 year relationship (31 married this year) which was mostly really, really good, with two great kids, he ever could do what he did with a woman nearly 20 years his junior for 14 months and betray us all.  I have no idea what I did that was so bad I deserved that. Our brokenness goes deep. I’ve never known pain like it despite losing both my dear parents and my beloved brother. My life as I knew it turned upside down. At a loss to understand any of it. Someone please tell me that this gets better and how to approach it. I’ve tried for over a year to move on, it’s all he wants, he just wants me and his life back and so do I, but the hurt is still so raw. He won’t go to counselling. Nobody except my best friend knows about it. Having decided to stay I didn’t tell our children or our wider families to spare them and him the hurt. It’s hard to carry pretty much alone though, pretending to everyone I’m fine. Some days I am, but it’s exhausting and I’m struggling now. Sorry for the essay but tonight is a bad night. Apologies all, just needed to vent. 

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Hello Jacinta,

it can get better. I know it’s hard to believe... I remember feeling as though it couldn’t ever possibly get better. But it can. 

However, an improvement in the marriage is in no way shape or form achieved by ‘getting over it’. That is an unrealistic and unfair expectation. IMHO it is something that can only be achieved by change. There is no going back to the life before. There is no going back to who we used to be. The cheater saw to that. They effectively destroyed all of that by cheating and lying. Therefore I would say that you should in no way be feeling guilty for being unable to get past it if no significant change has happened. Otherwise that would be like waiting for it to all happen again... he needs to know why he did what he did, and explain that to you. He owes you this. If he cannot, then he needs help to look deep and figure it out. 

I do not know the intricacies of your story, but I will say that this applies to all of us who are here. 

I will also say that although 1 year feels like an eternity post d-day, it was only the start of healing for me.  It is a long and painful road, that is too often one step forward, two steps back.

Please know though, that no matter what, it was not your fault that he chose to have an affair. It was nothing that you did or did not do. That responsibility of that choice lies solely with your WS. You did NOTHING to deserve this. 
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Hi Jacinta,
Please don't feel that you're the one always ruining things.  The truth is, he ruined things by his selfish affair.  The betrayer is always the one who wants to "get over" it before us, the betrayed.  Therefore, he wants to move on, but we still have triggers, hurts, intrusive thoughts to deal with. He caused it, he needs to be the one to help change the marriage, to introduce new practices into the marriage to make it up to you and give you a fresh start. It's call repair work.
I am 4 years from d-day, and I have to say that just since the "quarantine" I have had a pretty good improvement in my healing process.  I am doing individual therapy from home.  My trust in my husband has increased, as has my ability to let things go and not re-live the affair in my mind. I had to do therapy to help me regain my self esteem and realize I am lovable.  Also, I have to remember that my life is MY life, and it doesn't depend upon him. He made bad and selfish choices, ; that doesn't make me a bad or unlovable. He can share my life if he proves that he is trustworthy and respectful. Never again will I be the worshipful little wife I was before the affair.  But that's good... I know what I want now, and if he can participate in that , then we will have a decent marriage.  Plus, of course, I am learning to love him again. (I'm not quite as selfish as I sound here 🙂 . But the key for me was regaining my self esteem.  I am still working on that, and in my therapy I learned that some of my childhood experiences contributed to lack of self esteem. Those things were buried under the surface, but the damage of the affair brought them to the surface. Keep taking it a day at a time.  I still have triggers and can get pulled back down the rabbit hole, but I'm definitely getting more control over these times and can manage them easier. 
I would also say, he had to go to counseling. Non-negotiable. It was only in counseling (in our first year after d day) that he realized the depth of his selfishness and what it did to me... and that it was going to take a while for me to heal, and that he had to participate it that!
Good luck, hang in there... we've been there
D day June, 2016
ws affair: 18 months sexual affair plus 2 years emotional affair after. Ow 20 yrs old; WS 60
live in Texas
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