Keepabuzz
I’m over 2.5 years past d-day. I have come a long way, but I still have a very long way to go.  

I seem normal to everyone, I am very good at wearing my mask most days. On the days that I can’t hide my pain, I just hide me. I have noticed that every time I have a bad day, my wife will get a migraine headache. Not immediately, but usually hours later.  She will have it for usually a few days. This is not some ploy she uses to escape from dealing with me. By dealing with me, I don’t mean conflict, anger, or rage. It’s always after a very calm conversation of me talking about my deep sadness, my pain, how part of me is dead, now I miss the old happy me, how destroyed I am. She never uses her headaches or anything else as an excuse not to deal with me. I don’t know if she has also noticed this corellation between my misery (when she sees it), and these headaches. She certainly hasn’t ever mentioned it to me.

She has told me on numerous occasions that she can tell that I’m getting better (maybe I’m just getting better at not showing it?), but that she is getting worse. That as time goes on, she is getting worse. The longer time goes on, the worse she feels. Could the headaches be from the pain of the shame she carries? 

I am torn about how/what to communicate to her.  If I’m open and honest (not completely, if that were the case, it’s all we would talk about), is this punishment? Am I punishing her?

On the other side of the coin, should I have to swallow all of this pain, and keep my mask on tight? How is that good for me?

I don’t have a desire to punish her, I don’t want to cause her pain. Half of me wants to never mention it again to her, so that she can stop hurting. The other half of me wants to make sure she never forgets what she did to me, and how it affects me every single day of my life. How she changed me as a human. How she destroyed my ability to trust, my capacity for happiness. 

Thoughts?
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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Laurajean83
What advice can you give anguish.  [frown]  But I can hear my husband's heart echoing in your words, it's heartbreaking. Thank you for your openness and transparency although I feel I can offer nothing in return. Your presence here is a blessing to others!  
WW, Dday 7 months ago

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.  Who can understand it.  Jer 17:9
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Sunflower_dj
Keepabuzz wrote:
I’m over 2.5 years past d-day. I have come a long way, but I still have a very long way to go.  

I seem normal to everyone, I am very good at wearing my mask most days. On the days that I can’t hide my pain, I just hide me. I have noticed that every time I have a bad day, my wife will get a migraine headache. Not immediately, but usually hours later.  She will have it for usually a few days. This is not some ploy she uses to escape from dealing with me. By dealing with me, I don’t mean conflict, anger, or rage. It’s always after a very calm conversation of me talking about my deep sadness, my pain, how part of me is dead, now I miss the old happy me, how destroyed I am. She never uses her headaches or anything else as an excuse not to deal with me. I don’t know if she has also noticed this corellation between my misery (when she sees it), and these headaches. She certainly hasn’t ever mentioned it to me.

She has told me on numerous occasions that she can tell that I’m getting better (maybe I’m just getting better at not showing it?), but that she is getting worse. That as time goes on, she is getting worse. The longer time goes on, the worse she feels. Could the headaches be from the pain of the shame she carries? 

I am torn about how/what to communicate to her.  If I’m open and honest (not completely, if that were the case, it’s all we would talk about), is this punishment? Am I punishing her?

On the other side of the coin, should I have to swallow all of this pain, and keep my mask on tight? How is that good for me?

I don’t have a desire to punish her, I don’t want to cause her pain. Half of me wants to never mention it again to her, so that she can stop hurting. The other half of me wants to make sure she never forgets what she did to me, and how it affects me every single day of my life. How she changed me as a human. How she destroyed my ability to trust, my capacity for happiness. 

Thoughts?


You sound like my BS. He has always had problems being transparent & living his emotions. Even before my affair. This is not healthy for you or your marriage. It’s a big reason my marriage was in so much trouble pre-affair. I knew when my husband was down but he would never open up about anything and I felt very little emotion from him. 

My opinion as a WS - be honest and open with your wife about how you’re feeling. Talk through the pain and also let her know you notice her migraines and the correlation between that and your episodes. It would likely mean a lot to her that you really are being this thoughtful about how she is doing. 

Be just as transparent with her as you are here. I know if my husband could open up more and own his emotions we would be much further ahead than we are now. When he becomes reclusive it makes me feel anxious and causes me to lose faith in our marriage....especially when he won’t tell me what’s on his mind. 
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Keepabuzz
Sunflower_dj wrote:


You sound like my BS. He has always had problems being transparent & living his emotions. Even before my affair. This is not healthy for you or your marriage. It’s a big reason my marriage was in so much trouble pre-affair. I knew when my husband was down but he would never open up about anything and I felt very little emotion from him. 

My opinion as a WS - be honest and open with your wife about how you’re feeling. Talk through the pain and also let her know you notice her migraines and the correlation between that and your episodes. It would likely mean a lot to her that you really are being this thoughtful about how she is doing. 

Be just as transparent with her as you are here. I know if my husband could open up more and own his emotions we would be much further ahead than we are now. When he becomes reclusive it makes me feel anxious and causes me to lose faith in our marriage....especially when he won’t tell me what’s on his mind. 



She has told me that she worries all the time that I one day I will leave for a business trip, get in that dark place, decide it’s not worth it, and just end it. I have assured her that I could never do that to my kids. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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Jennifer
Keepabuzz,

I will always lean toward the side of honesty and transparency. It is not healthy for you or the relationship to wear a mask and just pretend. I think it can be helpful to be reflective about what you are sharing and what is bothering you in any given moment. Are there themes and patterns that come up for you? Are you triggered around certain times of things that can be avoided? Focusing the conversations on not just the details of the affair or even the fact the affair happened but on what you are both learning and how you are applying this in the future of your marriage can sometimes change the tone and direction of the conversations. Being that it has been 2.5 years since D-day, are the conversations future focused or more going over old information? Is there a desire and intention on both sides to move past the pain of the affair and take the lessons learned and grow from it?

You can be certain that just because every conversation is not about the affair does not mean that your wife will ever forget. Short of brain injury she cannot forget what she has done anymore than you can. She knows the pain she has caused you. The migraines could be from the shame, sadness, and fear of what you may decide you can or cannot put up with. There is a mind body connection that is true in all of us. There is a great book called, "The Body Keeps the Score" that talks about how trauma affects the body. It gets a bit technical at times but there is a lot of good information in there about this. 

I know you are doing the work and continue to do so every day. Keep at it and I hope that you find one day that you no longer have to wear a mask and can say that you have healed.
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Keepabuzz
These conversations don’t happen often, probably once a month or so.  I go up and down, like everyone else traveling this path.  So when I’m really down we have these conversations. We don’t talk about the details of her affair anymore, or really of her affair at all.  I know more than I ever want to know about that. We talk more of the continuing effects on me of her actions that I still deal with today. I have asked all the questions, and received all the answers in regards to her affair. Although I will never understand how she could do that to me.  

I try to avoid triggers, but pretty much the entire holiday season is one big fat trigger for me. I’m SO glad it’s over. Then I also think about how much I used to enjoy the holidays, and how much it sucks that I know dread them. All I wanted to do for Christmas was be alone.  My wife is still a trigger for me at times. If I’m in bad place, I don’t even want to look at her. 

I think a big piece of it is internal conflict. Half of me (my pride) thinks I should have left her immediately, and I’m a jacka** for staying. That I deserve SO much better (because I do). The other half (my brain) knows that my decision to stay was by leaps and bounds the best decision for my kids. Honestly my marriage, other than all the damage from her affair is really good. My wife has changed so much for the better. She is the wife that I thought I married so many years ago. BUT, I also know she the wife that betrayed me, and I will never fully trust again.  

I worry of people finding out. Ironically, I have never in my life cared what “other people” thought of me before this.  Social views are different for men that stay with a woman who has betrayed them than they are for women that stay with men who have betrayed them, IMO. Like all things, there are exceptions, obviously. Many times women that stay are seen as strong and forgiving, and thier betraying husbands as weak immature children that thier wives have to whip into shape. Whereas the men that stay are viewed as weak, how could he let her do that and he not throw her out? Etc.

I need to find a way to reconcile the reconcilable to find peace. I have no idea how to do that. It certainly is a lack of trying. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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Laurajean83
Keepabuzz wrote:

I think a big piece of it is internal conflict. Half of me (my pride) thinks I should have left her immediately, and I’m a jacka** for staying. That I deserve SO much better (because I do). The other half (my brain) knows that my decision to stay was by leaps and bounds the best decision for my kids. Honestly my marriage, other than all the damage from her affair is really good. My wife has changed so much for the better. She is the wife that I thought I married so many years ago. BUT, I also know she the wife that betrayed me, and I will never fully trust again.  

I worry of people finding out. Ironically, I have never in my life cared what “other people” thought of me before this.  Social views are different for men that stay with a woman who has betrayed them than they are for women that stay with men who have betrayed them, IMO. Like all things, there are exceptions, obviously. Many times women that stay are seen as strong and forgiving, and thier betraying husbands as weak immature children that thier wives have to whip into shape. Whereas the men that stay are viewed as weak, how could he let her do that and he not throw her out? Etc.


I don't think men that stay are weak!  Culturally I don't think it is as much of a thing either.  Maybe a bit,  but not really, before all this I would have never thought that.  Sure the manly punch back when punched is glamourized...  But the bigger man who can walk away from the fight and do what's right is always seen as stronger.  I understand where that feeling comes from though.  

I know on this side of the experience my husband staying was the strongest thing he has ever done!  Never ever do I see it as weakness!  He is upholding what he promised to me, even though I hurt him worse than anyone ever could have, and he has a legitimate way out.  That is massive strength...  when he struggles and is sad or depressed, I know he feels weak...  But it looks like strength to me, cuz it is.  
WW, Dday 7 months ago

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.  Who can understand it.  Jer 17:9
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Keepabuzz
Laurajean83 wrote:

I know on this side of the experience my husband staying was the strongest thing he has ever done!  Never ever do I see it as weakness!  He is upholding what he promised to me, even though I hurt him worse than anyone ever could have, and he has a legitimate way out.  That is massive strength...  when he struggles and is sad or depressed, I know he feels weak...  But it looks like strength to me, cuz it is.  


I appreciate your feedback. My wife has said this to me, almost word for word. It hard to believe though. I mean what else is she going to say? Right?  Is she really going to say “yeah if the roles were reversed, I would have dropped you like a bad habit.”?  

She has actually told me if I were to have an affair, that it will hurt, but she wouldn’t leave me.  So free pass right?  No thanks. It shows me that it just would hurt her as much as it has me. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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Laurajean83
Keepabuzz wrote:


She has actually told me if I were to have an affair, that it will hurt, but she wouldn’t leave me.  So free pass right?  No thanks. It shows me that it just would hurt her as much as it has me. 



As the WS the concept of "how would it feel if I did it to you?"  seems completely impossible to process.  I know for me i give answers that reflect what I know should be true but my brain is completely broken to the concept of it.  

I had justified so much of how I could have an affair and still be a loving wife that the thought of role reversal puts my mind into a bit of a sympathetic state towards the WS.  I know that is super messed up thinking but I can't help it.  Logical side says I know I would be devastated but now corrupt brain says 'but you know he would still love you and had his reasons'.   

Anyways mostly I am saying that for me that question is impossible to wrap my head around.  

The fact does still remain that you are strong for staying, and trying and fighting.  Very strong, admirably strong, like the be proud of yourself for who you are proving yourself to be strong!   (All things I wish my H knew, but I say them and they usually just bounce off) 
WW, Dday 7 months ago

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.  Who can understand it.  Jer 17:9
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tryingtomoveforward
Laurajean, just wanted to let you know I think the verse you posted at the end of your signature is profoundly true. If only more people would grasp this on the front end of things, perhaps there wouldn't be as many affairs out there today. [frown]
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Laurajean83
tryingtomoveforward wrote:
Laurajean, just wanted to let you know I think the verse you posted at the end of your signature is profoundly true. If only more people would grasp this on the front end of things, perhaps there wouldn't be as many affairs out there today. [frown]


For years I taught kids to memorize this verse in kids Bible clubs.  Back then I thought it was a stupid verse for them to learn.  Society teaches you to follow your heart, aka your feelings. That what I told myself I was doing during the affair.  Valuable lesson...  the bible was right...  the heart is deceitful.   
WW, Dday 7 months ago

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.  Who can understand it.  Jer 17:9
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Trinity
Keepabuzz wrote:
 husbands as weak immature children that thier wives have to whip into shape. Whereas the men that stay are viewed as weak, how could he let her do that and he not throw her out? Etc.
I need to find a way to reconcile the reconcilable to find peace. I have no idea how to do that. It certainly is a lack of trying. 

I DO NOT think you are weak at all, in fact, I believe you are incredible strong. This is probably the biggest test of strength you have ever endured.  WEAK ????   NO, NO and NO !!!!  

I, as well, wonder at times how my WS views my misery, pain and sadness.  He and I do not go into conversations about it much at all because I am not at the point where I trust him 100%. I feel that he will just tell me what it is I want to hear to avoid conflict or a conversation where he has to relive the cheating.  I don't want to relive it either.

I do agree that you need to keep your communication going.  It is NOT hurtful or punishment by any stretch.  I always hug my husband after we have a particular hard conversation.  I want him to know I appreciate his efforts and that our conversations about "IT" do not have to be negative.  

"T"
BS - DDay July 2017

O GOD, take me, break me, make me. 
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anthropoidape
I am going to have to go with Keepabuzz here. I get that people on this forum see that staying is strong, thanks to direct experience. But the world at large judges men who stay quite differently.

I have read a lot of stuff about how women who cheat are seen as "homewreckers" while men who cheat are seen as just men. There is something to that. But there is the opposite problem for men who stay with someone who cheated. They are called "cuckolds". "Cuck" has become a go-to insult for a lot of people lately, which is not great to deal with - you are a wimp if you get cheated on at all. And you are weak if you "let" your wife cheat on you or get away with cheating. Most people say: end the marriage, anything else is chickensh1t. It's that simple.
Maybe it is okay, maybe it will be okay.

BS, d-day Feb 2017, 16 mth affair.
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Trinity
anthropoidape wrote:
I am going to have to go with Keepabuzz here. I get that people on this forum see that staying is strong, thanks to direct experience. But the world at large judges men who stay quite differently.


YES, Men are certainly judged differently...... Question.....   when it comes down to judgement ... what is the most important ?/ The judgement of your spouse/loved one.... or the REST of society.

In my healing, I really do not care what my family and friends can offer... this is on US ( My husband and I)this is our journey.  

Titles of "homewrecker" and the like for the man is insignificant.  BETRAYAL is it for me.  Plain and simple and it is that betrayal that will be addressed and dealt with. 

"T"
BS - DDay July 2017

O GOD, take me, break me, make me. 
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Keepabuzz
Trinity wrote:


YES, Men are certainly judged differently...... Question.....   when it comes down to judgement ... what is the most important ?/ The judgement of your spouse/loved one.... or the REST of society.

In my healing, I really do not care what my family and friends can offer... this is on US ( My husband and I)this is our journey.  

Titles of "homewrecker" and the like for the man is insignificant.  BETRAYAL is it for me.  Plain and simple and it is that betrayal that will be addressed and dealt with. 

"T"


The answer to your question is myself. Not my spouse, not my family, not my friends. My opinion is paramount.

That wasn’t my point. My point was that we male BS’s are labeled as a “cuckold” as Anthro stated. A badge of shame that we are branded with, completely without us doing a single thing wrong. That is a label that I am forced to wear as long as I’m with her. 

It is viewed as we let them get away with it, and there is some truth to that really. What punishment have I handed down to my wife?  Nothing. I’m sure me making her quit her job and end friendships from there that she had for the length of her 6 month affair could maybe be seen that way. It wasn’t, it was the only way I was willing to even consider trying to not divorce her. She had a choice. I have not done one thing to punish her. The worst possible thing she could do to me short of killing one my kids, and I did nothing in punishment or retaliation. Not to her, not to her AP. I have beaten the teeth out of guys in my life for far, far less than this. The ultimate disrespect, and I did nothing. Which fits right into the narrative of being a weak “cuck”. 

Think of the conversation if/when someone finds out. 

She cheated on you and you stayed!?!?

You didn’t do anything!?!??

You didn’t go beat that guy to a pulp?!?!!

You just took it and stayed because she promised not to do again and told you how sorry she was?!?!?  

WTF is wrong with you?  You deserve so much better than her. 

This is the conversation that will come one day. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but it will come. I have been robbed of my self confidence, my dignity, my self respect, and I did nothing wrong. I have done this all for my kids. That may sound valiant, strong, whatever. It sure doesn’t make it any easier.

Full disclosure, I do love my wife. I’m not here solely for the kids, now. But if not for them I would have been gone in a hot second, wrote her off, and found someone else by now, and likely be pretty damn happy. It’s just reality. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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