Keepabuzz

In the more than 4 years since my wife’s confession I have had some difficult times as I know most you understand well.  Everything I read said it takes 2-5 years to heal from your spouse’s affair, IF they are doing their part to help you heal. Some said that there are some people that can’t heal from this level of damage and stay together. I believe that to be true. I felt like I may be one of those that can’t heal and stay together. That remains to be seen. I did know without a doubt that if I could heal it would be on the longer end of the scale. It’s not that I’m not a forgiving person, it’s more that I’m a “if you screw me over, I will remove you from my life” type of person. I won’t hate you forever, but I won’t be around you. 

The first year was pure misery. The second was mostly deep depression and sadness. The third year was learning to accept my new reality. The forth year I feel most of my healing occurred. So here I am into the 5th year, and I’m not healed. I have come a very long way, but I'm not healed. My new marriage is as good as it can be with the history. We get along very well. My wife is very caring, loving, and happy.  I function well. I wouldn’t say I’m happy, but I’m not unhappy. My ability to experience happiness is very limited. My ability to feel anything is pretty limited. 


We rarely ever talk about her affair anymore. It certainly still bothers me. I still feel pain, sadness, and have bad times, and sometimes bad days. She is quick to pick up on it, and always checks on me.  I always say “I’m having a hard time”, or “its been one of those days”. She always asks “What can I do?”.  The answer is always “nothing.”

About a month ago the bad times stretched into bad days. I couldn’t sleep much, and the bad days stretched into some mostly bad weeks.  It was getting worse not better. I didn’t talk to my wife about it, although she knew I was “having a bad time”. I just didn’t see the point in talking to her about it. Say the same things I’ve said thousands of times and her saying the same things she said thousands of times. I mean what’s the point right? So I kept getting darker, and darker. My wife got me alone and instead of asking the normal “are you ok?” What can I do?” She said tell me what going through your head right now.  I said you don’t want to know. She said “I do, please tell me. You have this wall up that I can’t get through. I want to get through it, but I don’t know how.”  She is right I have this emotional wall up, that keeps me safe. But it also keeps me stuck, well I think it does.  So we had a very long and painful talk. Me letting out my pain, her taking it. There was no yelling, no raging, just letting out the pain in a calm voice through tears. She took it all, and apologized over and over through tears. It all sucked, it sucked for me because it makes me feel weak. It sucked for her because she got to see for the millionth time the damage she has caused me, and deal with all the shame that brings up.  Not a fun time. 


BUT, after it was all over, we went to bed and held each other. I slept well. The next morning I felt better. We both felt closer to each other. I thought for many days on how to describe what we did. What we needed to do. What we hadn’t done for too long. The best I could come up with was “Cleaning out the wound”. If you can imagine a very deep wound that has a bunch of missing tissue. Those wounds have to heal from the inside out. There are daily bandage changes, and “cleaning of the wound”. As time goes on, the bandage changes and cleaning of the wound gets less and less frequent. These wounds take a very, very long time to heal, and when they do, they leave one heII of a scar.  I think this analogy makes so much sense. What I had done was stopped changing my bandage. Stopped cleaning out my wound. It had began to get infected and hurting more and more. 


So, don’t wait too long to change YOUR bandages, and clean out YOUR wounds. If you do, it won’t heal. 

Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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hurting
This makes so much sense to me and I’m so glad you shared it. I hope you continue to heal and make it to that scar. 
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ThrivenotSurvive
Yes!! When I talk about getting the pus out that is exactly what I mean!! Perfectly described. 
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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Crushed
It is amazing and inspiring  how well you write.  How you seem to have it so together.  I hope one day to be able to give such great advise and write as well as you do about what has happened.
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surviving
Keepabuzz - you always use such great word pictures.  Thanks for making sense out of our messes!
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anthro
Thanks for posting this, Keep. A lot of it really hits the mark for me as well. I'm really conscious that I am not really letting stuff out lately. It's been a consequence of other stuff going on in our shared life. The fact is that I have had to de-prioritise my needs because I just can't mess up important challenges my wife has going on in her professional life. But the build-up is incredibly taxing.
Formerly known as Anthropoidape... male bs, long affair, d-day Feb 2017.
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Keepabuzz
Anthro, I feel like that wound that is covered gets to a point where it doesn’t hurt so much, but we know that if we peel that bandage off, it’s going to hurt more. At least in the short term. Scraping out all the dead tissue so that the new tissue has a place to grow is so painful, but if we don’t, then the wound festers. Infection sets in and only makes everything worse. It take conscience effort to peel that bandage off and scrape that wound, effort that I didn't do for quite a while, and I paid for it. I hope others learn from my mistakes. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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anthro
Keepabuzz wrote:
My wife got me alone and instead of asking the normal “are you ok?” What can I do?” She said tell me what going through your head right now.  I said you don’t want to know. She said “I do, please tell me. You have this wall up that I can’t get through. I want to get through it, but I don’t know how.”  


I think that takes some courage on her part. Most WSes seem to lack that courage.
Formerly known as Anthropoidape... male bs, long affair, d-day Feb 2017.
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Blessedby7
Oh, this is good, really good. You have such a great way of describing and painting a picture of what is going on. This is a pretty good description of what I feel like right now. He's doing just about everything right, but because we talk about nothing of value, only kids/weather/job/car/house, you get the idea, I feel like I'm just festering. I think in our situation, therapy is going to absolutely have to be done, or we won't make it. He takes everything I throw at him, but absolutely will not talk. 

I feel like I'm on the shorter end of the healing timeline, but this issue absolutely MUST be dealt with. Thank you for putting this into words Keep.
Female BS
Dday 10/12/2018, but major trigger dates are 10/5-10/7 (wedding anniversary) 
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Phoenix
Thank you Keep,

This help me recognize that I am doing something right in all of this. I notice that when my BS doesn't speak, rage, or let it out for a while he starts feeling a lot of aches and pains, can't sleep and starts getting very restless. I realized he was like a balloon ready to pop because of all the pressure being held in. I asked him if he wanted to talk that I noticed that every time he held his feelings in all his aches ailments got worse. He said no at first. When we went to bed I asked again and he started with there's no point in talking about it over and over but it he kept talking for about an hour. I listened for the most part and I started crying around the 45 min mark. It was so painful for me. He slept like a baby. I tell him that I am here to listen to all of his feelings. I do not want him to fester in the pus of my betrayal. 
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Misericordia
anthro wrote:


I think that takes some courage on her part. Most WSes seem to lack that courage.
Agree with anthro. It took courage, and I wish my WH had that kind of courage.
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TheFarmGirl
Phoenix wrote:
Thank you Keep,

This help me recognize that I am doing something right in all of this. I notice that when my BS doesn't speak, rage, or let it out for a while he starts feeling a lot of aches and pains, can't sleep and starts getting very restless. I realized he was like a balloon ready to pop because of all the pressure being held in. I asked him if he wanted to talk that I noticed that every time he held his feelings in all his aches ailments got worse. He said no at first. When we went to bed I asked again and he started with there's no point in talking about it over and over but it he kept talking for about an hour. I listened for the most part and I started crying around the 45 min mark. It was so painful for me. He slept like a baby. I tell him that I am here to listen to all of his feelings. I do not want him to fester in the pus of my betrayal. 


i wish my husband cared enough to do that. Just to listen, and not argue and justify his cheating. 
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Keepabuzz
TheFarmGirl wrote:


i wish my husband cared enough to do that. Just to listen, and not argue and justify his cheating. 


I would ask, why do you allow him to do that?
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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GuyInPain
Thanks, Keepabuzz, for sharing your experience.  I identify a lot with your experience: betrayal in the past, big confrontation about it several years ago, followed by lots of good and not-so-good conversations, but with a lot of healing, but still arising and afflicting me, then facing the question of whether and how to talk about it and let it out.  And, yes, the reservation about how we've already talked about it dozens of times, so what's the point?  I'm much better now about insisting on what I need, but your sensitively told account helps to clarify how the betrayed has the right to have it talked out when the need arises. 
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