BeginAgain
Last night my husband confirmed a small detail about the day he had sex with that woman. I had suspected it all along and it really was such a small detail that I logically know makes no difference to the whole sorry mess, but my reaction surprised me. I completely lost it. Went from calm to losing my damn mind in seconds.

I nearly hit him. It took every ounce of my self control not to start punching him over and over. He saw it in my face, how close I came, and flinched away from me. Instead I screamed at the top of my lungs that I f***ing hate him and called him some really nasty names. I screamed at him to phone his wh*re and tell her that he was all hers and that they would be together from now on. He had already given her what was supposed to be special about us, so she might as well have everything.

I stormed out into the garden to get away from him and smoked a cigarette to calm down. When I went back into the house, I walked right past him to the bedroom and slammed the door behind me. He came in and tried to comfort me. I started sobbing and yelled at him that he just let that wh*re do to him whatever she wanted. He didn't think of me or our marriage, he just passively let her do whatever came next, no resistance, no thought of stopping her. I asked him what that said about us and him? He just gave her what she wanted. He never initiated contact, he never texted or phoned her first, he didn't orchestrate any meetings. It all came from her and he just went along with it. It f***ing kills me! My husband being strung along by another woman like a f***ing puppet. 

After my tirade I went and sat in the farthest corner of the garden for a while. The longer I sat there, the more convinced I became that he was going to harm himself, until the feeling grew to such a certainty that I rushed back into the house.

He was in the bathroom and instead of respecting his privacy like I usually would, I opened the door and rushed in. I found him sobbing on the floor and went down on my knees beside him, put my arms around him. He cried until my shirt was wet, telling me he was so so sorry for what he had done to me, while I stroked and kissed his face. We cried like that together for quite some time before we got up. Later I heard him quietly open and close the closet door.

Later in the evening I asked him to be honest with me and asked whether he had intended on harming himself. He confirmed that he did and started crying again. I asked whether he had taken anything into the bathroom with him, and he confirmed that he had taken his belt with him. That was what he put back into the closet when I heard him earlier. He told me that he sometimes thought it was a better solution for me after all the pain he caused me. I told him that there isn't any scenario where taking his own life is the better solution.

I'm trying to get to a place where the smaller details don't matter that much. If it doesn't put a different spin on things, perhaps it's better not to obsessively focus on it or allow it to completely overwhelm me like it did yesterday. If it is not of any benefit to healing for either of us, perhaps it's best to just let it go. My husband has been trying really hard to make amends. He takes whatever I throw at him as his just desserts, no defensiveness, no retaliation. Perhaps it's time to start acknowledging that he really is so humbled by the destruction he has caused, there has been no sign of the arrogant a-hole I've lived with for the past five years. He is entirely focused and seeing me heal from this pain and rebuilding our marriage into something new and beautiful. He treats me as if I'm precious to him, a far cry from how dismissively he treated me before. Perhaps it's time to acknowledge that he also has wounds that need to heal.
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Skelling
Oh BeginAgain I feel you so well. My husband is very similar to your. The affair itself only lasting for about a month and her initiating the sex, the pictures and phone calls and he played along, gave her what she wanted just like you said a puppet no own will, no integrety, no morals nothing. It really, really hurts that they were not stronger. I know just like for you, even if the smallest detail would change, I would loose it. My husband shakes his head at how he was and how he could become that person and do that to me and the kids but he did and so did yours and they are now faced with the consequences of THEIR choices and its not pretty. We are now out 8 Month from Dday and it is slowly painfully slowly getting better. Last night, as with you there was a small detail that nagged on me and we talked about it and I could feel all the anger, hurt, disappointment and frustration boil up and it took everything in me not to explode. This is very new to me because, if you scroll down a bit only a couple of weeks ago, I posted and asked advice for anger and rage issues. For me it really helped, that my husband stays calm and doesn't get defensive anymore and validates whatever I am feeling in this moment. Yesterday little by little, he was able to calm me down saying things like. "I can only imagine, how disgusted you must feel", "I can see that you are really angry, is there anything I can do to help". "Do you want me to hold you or give you space." All that helps me, because it tells me that he sees my pain, without me lashing out and raging. I wish he had never touched this woman. I wish he had been stronger and rejected her, when she came on to him. And I wish I could just tell her to her face how desperate and misserable she must be, if she is ok with having to CONVINCE a guy to have sex with her. How sad is that and how low must you sink to do that?! Don't beat yourself up for loosing it over the details. It is hard and painful and every new little thing is like another stab wound. It takes time and I think you are doing great, seeing that your husband is hurting too, being able to show him empathy and compassion despite your pain. This will give him the strength and hope to see you guys through this and to keep on fighting. You are doing great acknowledging your anger and rage and as the lovely people here said in different posts, it has to come out but know it will get better and become less intense with time. 
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BeginAgain
You're so right about how much it hurts that they weren't stronger. It's what I struggle with most. I don't know whether it assuaged his guilt that she was the one who pursued him throughout, but he still just submitted to whatever she wanted. She wanted to go somewhere and make out, so that's what they did. She wanted to have sex, so he just let her take the lead. The images in my mind of him passively sitting back and letting her do that will break my heart a million times over before I will ever be able to make peace with it. 
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Greyes128
Oh I feel for you! My husband was also extremely weak and his AP initiated everything. Lucky for him there was no sex. It would have happened though if my car battery hadn’t died when I was leaving for a business trip. My husband also wanted to take his life after seeing me breakdown, he said he couldn’t believe he broke me and us from sheer stupidity. I told him that was weak of him and that we were stronger than, so much more stronger than suicide. We cried and talked for hours. I realized then he was hurting and devastated too from his actions. I knew then I needed to give him credit for how much better he became as my husband and start to focus on that. I won’t say things were great after that but things got better each day with setbacks here and there. But my anger was really bad and turned me into someone I didn’t recognize.  My husband would say I was so mean and that he couldn’t believe he created that. After our worst fight I realized I had to learn to like my new husband, he made it easy for me becoming the husband I had longed for. But I also had to make changes in myself and it was hard but I’m so glad I did. I think you are doing amazing in your recovery and acknowledging your feelings. 
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BorealJ
BeginAgain wrote:
Perhaps it's time to acknowledge that he also has wounds that need to heal.
  Absolutely.  It's very difficult when we are dealing with our own trauma to acknowledge this or even consider allowing the space for it.  When our emotions are that high and we're in a state of our own crisis because of someone else's actions, it's difficult to reconcile feelings of despising those parts of the other person while trying to have compassion for them and want better for them. 
My wife's wounds ran much deeper than I realized.  She had struggled with a low sense of self worth her entire life, but that is not something I ever really knew or understood fully.  Post d-day emotions compounded her shame and it was a bad spot.  In those moments, I wanted her to come outside of herself and I didn't much care for her trauma.  But in retrospect, I'm really thankful that she had counseling to help her in that time.  I'm not sure I will ever know how close to losing her we were.  I suspect closer than I really want to think about.  She is healing some of her wounds now and though she can't always overcome her lifelong emotional patterns, she is able to at least recognize them now.  She is healthier now than she was.  And that's a lot better outcome than the alternative. 
I don't suspect you want the outcome for your husband he was planning for himself that day.  You want better for him.  But also acknowledge the limits of what you can be for him right now.  Your own trauma is hard to overcome.  So many times I went into conversations prepared to be calm throughout it.  But I wasn't okay enough to control the trauma responses.  That didn't help me or her.
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BeginAgain
My husband and I have had an extremely busy couple of days with very little sleep. We've spent a lot of time working side by side and during that time we've had a couple of long, heartfelt conversations about the lead up to the affair and what his state of mind was during that time. I suppose sheer exhaustion broke down his emotional barriers and for the first time I got some answers that weren't 'I don't know'.

In answer to my question about the justifications he used to enable the affair, he admitted that he had told himself that I didn't love him anymore. This answer floored me, because there was never a moment where I didn't feel love for him. It was his behaviour towards me when I showed any vulnerability towards him over the past few years, that made me withdraw from him and rather safeguard my heart. We spoke about this at length, because I feel it is more likely he projected his own lack of affection onto me to justify his behaviour. I told him that maybe it was more a case of him not loving me enough not to be vulnerable to an affair.

Throughout the night and into early yesterday morning we discussed the responses I got to this thread. I told him about the four women that had reached out to me with similar stories, and how my heart breaks for them because I now know their pain so intimately. And I told him how I mourn for us all, that our husbands didn't cherish us enough when it really mattered to do right by us.

It was in the early morning hours yesterday that the dam finally broke. I had asked him about his state of mind during the affair, how he perceived our relationship. He started crying and told me how disconnected he had felt from me. He never considered that perhaps the power to repair that distance was in his hands, because he had been so self absorbed the past few years. He never considered that his behaviour was pushing me away; instead he blamed me for withdrawing from him without recognising the cause. He mentioned specific instances where he had been unbearably cruel towards me. In that moment he didn't recognise his behaviour, but thinking back on it, he now realises how badly he wounded me and he is deeply ashamed.

He told me, if I will have him, he will spend the rest of his life trying to make up for everything he has done to me. He will do whatever it takes to win back my trust and love. To earn my forgiveness. He will be the husband I deserve and he will treat me the way I deserve - as the most precious commodity in his life. He will do the necessary work to ensure that our marriage is a safe refuge for me; for both of us.

Both of us cried a lot and we held each other so close. It was a defining moment in this journey for me. Today the affair hasn't played on my mind so much. I'm more focused on him and me; on us and the promise the future holds. For now having him beside me brings me hope and peace. For now that is enough.
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Dirazz
Thats amazing!  Beauty From Ashes! Yeah Love❤️! 
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ThrivenotSurvive
I am so happy for you both!
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
I too, am really glad to hear that you two have managed to turn so much pain and ugliness into this!! Well done!
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BeginAgain
Thank you so much! I don't know what tomorrow will bring, but for now the affair is something seperate from us, not something between us that is constantly prodded and examined. For the first time I feel that there will come a time where it will indeed be behind us.
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Experiencethedevine29
Bravo BeginAgain!

A wall down indeed.

There is a critical moment in this journey nobody wants to be on, that determines which path we take, and it’s as individual as we are. I’m optimistic that your turning point has brought down a wall my lovely, now go and knock the whole bloody house down! 👍


ETD🌻
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Skelling
Well done you. My husband and I had a similar talk and I think he realized that he was projecting and exaggerating quite a bit. I don't know if he felt ashamed or sorry for it but it did change his attitute and view of things. I know its super exciting and it sounds like you are going in the right direction. Just don't beat yourself or doubt your progress, when there comes another bump in the road. I am afraid there will be a few and I don't mean to put you down or anything like that, I just want you to remember the feeling that you have right now and hold tight to it, when that bump shows up, so you will have it easier stepping over it, as I stumbled and probably still will a few times. Best of luck to you and keep on knocking down those walls. x
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BeginAgain
Thank you Skelling. I don't know that 'super exciting' is a phrase I would use to describe my feelings over the past few days. It's more that I've gained some valuable insight into my husband's thought processes prior to, during and after the affair. I know that this right now is not how it's going to be from now on. There will always be the reality of the choices he made that led him to doing the things he did. Although I can see a scab forming over the wound, there is still a great deal of healing to be done.

By the way, I would highly recommend sheer exhaustion as a weapon in the arsenal of getting some answers. All jokes aside, running on less than two hours of sleep for every 12 hour cycle over the past four days, have done wonders to get my husband to open up. Yesterday we had another unexpected crisis that had us spending a lot of time on the road. While driving we unpacked everything about our relationship that had made it vulnerable to an affair. We discussed both our patterns of behaviour and what we can do in the future to recognise and alter those patterns. We discussed topics brought up on this forum and how it relates to our own experiences. We also talked about our perceptions of one another over the course of our marriage, and how that influenced how we related to one another, how we treated one another and how that led to the breakdown in communication that created the disconnection between us.

Though our conversations are extremely emotional from both sides, I love how rationally and candidly we have been able to discuss even the intimate details of the affair. Though I did have a flash of anger this morning with regards to the repeated choices he made to get us into this mess, I have been able to stay calm and collected and approach our discussions with genuine curiosity. I want to understand how he felt and what his thought processes were at any given moment.

I've been trying not to ask any questions in a leading or provocative manner. I want him to tell me, in his own words, what he though and felt at any given moment, even if he doesn't always know how to articulate it. I have been asking unambiguous questions and have found that resisting the urge to answer on his behalf or put my own interpretation on how I think he thought or felt, has done wonders to get him to really delve deep and consider how things played out for him.

He identifies with the idea of being addicted to the feelings an affair can create, that stroking of the ego that comes with someone telling you what you want to hear. I now know that he felt in over his head during the course of the affair. After a certain amount of time, he didn't know how to extract himself from the situation he had created for himself in much the same way that he has always acquiesced to whatever people asked of him in a bid to gain their approval and/or not to disappoint them. This has been an ongoing issue throughout the course of our marriage. He can't say no. Which I suppose also ties in with struggling to put appropriate boundaries in place. 

I have discovered over the past few days that my interpretation of his thoughts and feelings after he had sex with her was all wrong. I know he felt revolted by her immediately after. I now know that the disgust he felt and his immediate withdrawal from her, was because he felt as if he had been sexually assaulted. He felt violated and dirty. In much the same way that date rape sometimes occurs and a woman feels pressured into submitting to sex, he felt pressured into submitting to her. Instead of being a thrilling conclusion to the affair, he experienced it as a traumatic event. Her continued harassment after he ended it, made him relive that trauma again and again. Now I know how many people are shaking their heads, thinking that I'm being duped. He made all the choices that put him in that position in the car with her, after all. But I saw him cover his face in shame and I saw the sobs wracking his body when he told me how he felt.

I now know that he sometimes experiences triggers when we're intimate. I now know that it takes him back to the trauma. He describes it as being overwhelmed with sadness. We have agreed on a safe phrase that he can say to me so that we can stop and allow him the space to regroup and come down from reliving the trauma. I also know now that the car is as big a trigger for him as it is for me.
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Dirazz
I don’t think your being duped at all. Pretty much sounds exactly like my H short affair. I thought he was lying about her pursuing him non stop. Not that he’s a womanizer he’s not. Put the OW told me it was all her fault( which it wasn’t) but she said she wouldn’t leave him alone. She also stated how sorry she was. She could see my H trying to get away from her, but she was trying to hang on. Has soon as DD came it was finally crystal clear to her. He dropped her like a bad habit. 
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