hurting
Not sure if this is the right place for this. 

I have posted many times on this forum. Often in pain, despair or in rage. This experience has a tendency to try to drown us in such feelings.

Lately, I have found myself coming here less. Sometimes, it’s hard to acknowledge this fact because I tentatively wonder whether my current reality will come crashing down again when another lie is uncovered. Suffering as a BS has made me realise how very fragile reality and trust are. How easy it is for someone to completely shatter it all. 

Yet... my WS and I have been rebuilding. Although I was sure I would never ever feel better again, somehow, I do. 

Its 2am. I got off work at midnight, having had nothing to eat or drink in the last 12 hours. I haven’t been able to go to the bathroom for over 12 hours. My WS knows this- it isn’t unusual. He used to be asleep in bed by the time I got home. There would be no food in the fridge, I would be alone. Hungry, grumpy, tired and generally pissed off because he honestly wouldn’t even think to care that I might be starving and had gone out to eat etc instead. 

It struck me tonight, how far we have come. Now, he waits up for me (though if I’m running late and stuck at work, I will tell him to sleep first). He tries to make sure there’s something hot for me to eat when I get back. He stays up even though he’s working in the morning, so he can say goodnight.... and he has done so for the last 2 years. Maybe it’s real. Maybe this really is the new reality. I am often scared to believe fully nowadays... but I really do see change. And I am thankful, and I tell him so. 

Know that although things may feel that they will never get better, it can. Change can happen. Things can get better. It is possible to rebuild...
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Reese
Thank you for sharing. I often wonder when the other shoe is going to drop but I do see real change and I think that's enough to keep me going. I'm only 8 months out from DD and 5 months into reconciliation so we have a long way to go but I so appreciate seeing these posts. They give me hope. I hope it keeps getting better for you. ❤
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ThrivenotSurvive
Thank you for sharing.  I agree, it can. It takes a lot of hard work from BOTH parties - but it can be done. 

I am currently sitting in a hotel in the city my husband was working in when he had his affair.  Pre-DD it was one of my favorite places to go.  Post-DD is was a cesspool of triggers.  But I didn't want to lose the city, or allow anything to be taken away from me because of someone else's actions.  So, when my husband was offered additional contracts here, I told him to take them.  And we both came (I can work remotely most of the time.) Slowly, but surely I have reclaimed the city, its amazing restaurants and music venues, festival and fun for my own.  We have been busy making good memories that have begun to crowd out the bad ones for both of us.  When we go to a place, I don't think "Did they come here?" - I think about the last time we were - and how much fun it was.  

Time does not, in itself, heal.  But combined with effort, intention and repeated action, it can work some serious magic.  Using all the newest information on rewiring your brain (the thoughts that fire together, wire together) and retraining/soothing the nervous system as part of that effort will make it quicker and more all-encompassing.  

So glad to hear of your (and his) progress!  
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
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Phoenix
hurting wrote:
Not sure if this is the right place for this. 

I have posted many times on this forum. Often in pain, despair or in rage. This experience has a tendency to try to drown us in such feelings.

Lately, I have found myself coming here less. Sometimes, it’s hard to acknowledge this fact because I tentatively wonder whether my current reality will come crashing down again when another lie is uncovered. Suffering as a BS has made me realise how very fragile reality and trust are. How easy it is for someone to completely shatter it all. 

Yet... my WS and I have been rebuilding. Although I was sure I would never ever feel better again, somehow, I do. 

Its 2am. I got off work at midnight, having had nothing to eat or drink in the last 12 hours. I haven’t been able to go to the bathroom for over 12 hours. My WS knows this- it isn’t unusual. He used to be asleep in bed by the time I got home. There would be no food in the fridge, I would be alone. Hungry, grumpy, tired and generally pissed off because he honestly wouldn’t even think to care that I might be starving and had gone out to eat etc instead. 

It struck me tonight, how far we have come. Now, he waits up for me (though if I’m running late and stuck at work, I will tell him to sleep first). He tries to make sure there’s something hot for me to eat when I get back. He stays up even though he’s working in the morning, so he can say goodnight.... and he has done so for the last 2 years. Maybe it’s real. Maybe this really is the new reality. I am often scared to believe fully nowadays... but I really do see change. And I am thankful, and I tell him so. 

Know that although things may feel that they will never get better, it can. Change can happen. Things can get better. It is possible to rebuild...

Thank you Hurting, As a WS this is very soothing. I never get any recognition for any changes that I have made and I have a lot of anxiety over it. I hope one day my BS can see all the effort that I am putting and that it somes directly from my heart. I wanted to make these changes for the whole family, for me and for him. 
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hurting
@ThrivenotSurvive , you are amazing. Certainly there are certain cities/places now that I avoid line the plague. My Ws knows I could not stand any mention of them at all, so is wary of how I might react when any of these places are mentioned in passing by others. As triggers go, these are among my strongest. 

I really admire that you and your husband are back there, at ‘ground zero’ winning it back. That is no small feat! I don’t know if I will ever feel the need to go back to those places that I know the affair happened (afterall, the AP lives there). I can see how far we have come. But that would be another level in itself for us. Perhaps one day we can achieve that. Right now, I would be happy to never set foot there again.!
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ThrivenotSurvive
@hurting 

Oh I get that.  BIG TIME.  And the first time we came back was HORRIBLE.  The second, at best, was a mixed bag.  Slowly though it started to improve.  But CAREFUL exposure therapy with my husband being GREAT, helped.

Luckily the AP in my case moved across the country within the first six months after the affair ended.  She realized he was serious about no contact outside of required phone/email contact for work and found it too difficult to work with him.  While he's a contractor, he's been their go-to guy for 7+ years while she had only been with the company for about a year when the affair started.  Apparently the city ALSO became a trigger for her since nothing turned out as hoped.  

However, she frequently visits the city so it is always possible we will cross paths, but that used to bother me a lot more than it does now.  I realized during this trip that I am not sure I'd even recognize her.  She wasn't unattractive, but she also was fairly non-descript.  Nothing about her was particularly memorable - medium height, medium weight, dishwater blonde hair, etc.  So I think there is a good chance I could be standing next to her and think "Hmmmmm, maybe that's X?" but probably not.  I think she or my husband would have to act weird for me to notice.  And he has been quite content to forget she exists since it  reminds him of the only part of his life he's ashamed of... so I am not sure he would recognize her right away, especially after almost 4 years.  Isn't that bizarre?  

I wouldn't bother dealing with triggers you don't need to.  But if it is going to steal YOUR joy then work on it like you are getting over a fear of heights.  This city was important to me and I knew it would feel like a loss if I couldn't ever enjoy it again.  So I decided to be like a dog.  I know it sounds silly, but bear with me.  When a dog feels another dog is trying to "take" its territory, it pees on everything to mark its property.  No, I didn't pee in every restaurant/music venue (lol) but I did return to every single one and did so with FLAIR.  I looked good, I took pictures, I made sure I had a great time.  And slowly but surely eradicated any memories of her from them for me or my husband.  I have made this city my b**ch - and in doing so reclaimed MY memories.  

It made sense to me 🙂
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
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hurting
@ThrivenotSurvive , that analogy makes perfect sense to me and made me laugh! 

Good on you for taking it all back!!

Although I did enjoy the place pre-affair, it is where she comes from and for me, was merely a holiday destination. This one I think I may be content to just leave alone and wipe off my map as though it did not exist. There are places in MY city that she dared to trespass upon those. Those kinds of places I may need to work at, though I am for now, happy enough to not go there or have to deal with the thoughts of ‘is that the house/place she stayed at and where they had sex?’ Etc. For now, they are best left as places that I don’t care to visit.

I think my WS would like to forget she ever existed too. Having never met her, I too don’t know that I would recognise her in person as I only ever saw a few photos and god knows people don’t always look the way they do in some carefully chosen social media profile picture! IMO the AP was also fairly nondescript. She wasn’t hideous, but there was nothing particularly stunning about her either. The photos I saw looked like any other made up girl of her age and ethnicity. Nothing special.

I have always entertained the scenario where my WS and the AP might see each other again. I do not think my husband would seek her out as she reminds him of his shame. I don’t know about her though. Over these last two years, I have handed my husband many dirty tissues filled with tears/snot after a breakdown and told him ‘here, your AP has come to find you. What are you going to say to her?’ So he has had to rehearse such a meeting to snot many times over! Then throw them into the bin!
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GuyInPain
@hurting – I'm so glad for you.  I agree with you: Healing is possible.  We need to let wholeness emerge from brokenness.  It sounds like your husband is truly
turning around, for the changes in behavior you highlight are striking.

@ThrivenotSurvive – Your resolve in reclaiming a city & its places after the betrayal is helpful.  I'm about to go on a work gig where I'll be staying in the house, our former home, where my wife & her AP had sex.  That's been feeling like a tall order, but I'm determined to stare it down & reclaim that place & the community around it for myself.  Fortunately the house has been extensively remodeled since we lived there.  Because of the community aspect my wife is also thinking about coming, which will also be a tall order.  So this week we're going to our counselor to discuss it & see what the best way forward might be.  I'm definitely going, for it's a gig that I've committed to; the only question is whether my wife will come too.

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hurting
@GuyInPain, that sounds challenging, though the remodelling will help. Good on you for talking it through with your MC and your wife. I do feel that if it is necessary for you to face such a trigger, that having your WS there would be ‘good’ as they will hopefully be able to support you through the whole thing. 

Good luck!
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anthro
GuyInPain wrote:
I'm about to go on a work gig where I'll be staying in the house, our former home, where my wife & her AP had sex.


That was one of the more difficult ones for me. We sold that house and I am glad we did, although it is obviously a pretty drastic step to take.
Formerly known as Anthropoidape... male bs, long affair, d-day Feb 2017.
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ThrivenotSurvive
@GuyInPain  - It will unleash some new stuff (or waves of old stuff) in the beginning.  But I did find that as I talked (and cried) through it with my husband it subsided. 

And not only did many of the specific triggers begin to fall away/lose their potency - but as they did the WHOLE experience did as well.  Mind you this was during year two and three - so we had already experienced a LOT of healing.  But this city (I am still here right now) held a LOT of the most difficult ones.  The ones that had the strength to bring me to my knees  Working through them (together) at a time when I was more healed was like removing a TON of scar tissue from an old wound.  It hurt at first - but then as I healed over again, there was more flexibility, more movement, less rough spots.  Less of a scar from the original trauma. 

Just breath through it and know that it is part of the process when the waves of emotion come - because at some point they will.  Usually when you least expect it.  But there is something VERY worthwhile on the other side, so allow yourself to feel it, your wife to see it and help carry the burden and together you can put all of this even farther in your past.  
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
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BlindCheetah

In November we are going on a trip that will likely be full of triggers. It will be about 13 months after DD and about 2 weeks shy of 1 year of the last visit to AP. We’ll spend at least 1 night in the town they where in for that visit. It’s going to be hard and I’m going to do my best to avoid the area until November while working on getting her out of my head before we go. 

I’m very thankful the house was never contaminated. 

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surviving
BlindCheetah - I wish our house wasn't contaminated.  But, to do the best we can because we couldn't afford to move, we gave our couches away and sold the car they rode in.  I couldn't even sit on or in either one.  It was such a load off my mind when they left the house.  

I hope your trip is amazing!  Make new memories!  Enjoy!
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