I've been through a roller coaster of emotion since this all came to light. I've felt hurt, sad, depression, confusion, and many others. Most of these emotions I understand where they are coming from and why. Some of these I've needed to seek help to understand. Some I still don't have the answers or the explanations I need/ want. At 41 I've dealt with many of the emotions that I've been through with this affair, just not too this depth or degree. One of the toughest things has been "why" and I think that will remain the hardest.

I know as a man in in the minority in this situation and I've found there are little to no resources out there for men in my situation, so I've had to literally pick apart books and subject matter to find the stuff I'm looking for.

A couple of things I've found almost nothing on is jealously, revenge, and what to tell my wife. I've had a hard time getting my wife to open up to me and talk about things. She really just flat out refuses unless I bring it up and ask question after question, almost like if she doesn't talk about it then it will just all go away.

I have so many things pop up in my mind that bother me and hurt and confuse me. I've mentioned some of these things to my wife either at that time or later to explain a situation or an action. Sometimes she's pretty receptive and other times I get an "eye roll" type of reaction. However she will not continue the conversation unless I push for it. I suspect that this has a lot to do with denial on her part. But since I get very little back from her I have a very hard time knowing what to tell her or when. Do I tell her when images pop up in my mind? If yes do I tell her what that image is? Do I tell her when I think about a situation? If yes do I tell her what situation is our what it entails? I'm not sure what is helpful and what is harmful. I read one part of a book that said she should try to recognize when these things are happening and ask me what is happening or what am I thinking about. She's done this a couple times but she usually says "is something wrong? Is something going on?" At that moment I might not want to talk about it and those open ended questions give me an out, and I take it.

Jealous and revenge... The last few days I've been so jealous of her. She got to have all that excitement and fun. All the while I was either at work or home with our daughter. I want that excitement too! I want to go have fun, I want to feel the thrills. And why wouldn't I? " It's not fair" keeps popping up in my thoughts. Along with that I want revenge, I want her to feel what I'm feeling and hurt like I'm hurting. This type of thing is just not like me, I'm not a revenge kind of guy. I usually sit back and let karma do her thing.

I've been journaling everyday and it's helped up toll the last few days when the topic has been focused on these few things. Anyone else have these feelings or go through this? Did you act on the impulse to seek revenge or to do the same thing? I don't need anyone to tell me it's not the right thing to do I know this much, but even knowing it's not the right thing to do doesn't stop me from having the thoughts and desires to do it.
Quote 0 0
It sounds like it's still quite early on for you after the discovery of the affair, but yes I think it is very common to be up and down on this wild rollercoaster ride of emotion. 
That's because you have suffered the biggest betrayal imaginable, and the mix of emotions you are experiencing is so varied.  Your trust's gone, you're angry, hurt, bewildered and actually suffering a kind of bereavement if that makes sense.  You're grieving the loss of a relationship as you knew it.  And it hurts! 

A lot of people, in the way of a wounded animal, would want to lash out, to defend or protect themselves and I think that feeling will get less with time. 
It's unfair. I agree with you there. At first I resented the AP for taking my husband away, I thought she had something I didn't, was better than me, cleverer, more attractive or something but then I began to realise that the affair wasn't anything to do with what I didn't have, more to do with what was broken in my husband.
And you're right, a revenge affair wouldn't be the way to go.  There is a saying, 'Revenge is a dish best served cold'.  In other words, don't act on anything in haste.  I think you're feeling like that because you are rightly still angry.

But, as you have probably realised, your wife is probably feeling really ashamed and foolish deep down and to a certain extent, all those probing questions will keep reminding her of that.  It's easy to forget that, even if it's self inflicted, the WS is probably hurting too. 
And we have all had the kind of overactive imagination that provides us with answers to questions before we get the real ones!

Just a suggestion, but maybe you could ask her if she would be willing to talk things through with you if you could schedule this to a couple of times a week?  Then save your questions up and stick to those times?
Perhaps if you both know that at certain times, it's your talking time, it would help. It's amazing what can happen when the pressure is off.
It may help to gently explain what it is you need from her, and then take a step back and see if she moves towards you.  Focus on yourself a little more too, on your own healing.
The journaling is good by the way, I find it very therapuetic to get the mess in my head out on to paper.  Doesn't always make sense, but saves me from going nuts...
Quote 0 0
Hello TimK it's been almost a year since Dday and I still have the feelings of revenge and jealously. My thoughts are my husband still has his life in tact and the ow has her life but I'm left to pick up the pieces of their mess. That infuriates me. I'm doing everything I can not to act out on my emotions. I can tell you this every time I excercize restraint and I let a little time go by to cool off I feel really good about myself. After all I don't have to carry that shame. Hope this helps you.
Quote 0 0
TimK wrote:
...I have a very hard time knowing what to tell her or when. Do I tell her when images pop up in my mind? If yes do I tell her what that image is? Do I tell her when I think about a situation? If yes do I tell her what situation is our what it entails? I'm not sure what is helpful and what is harmful. I read one part of a book that said she should try to recognize when these things are happening and ask me what is happening or what am I thinking about. She's done this a couple times but she usually says "is something wrong? Is something going on?"...
If the affair is over, she just wants to move on. That last thing she wants to do is go back and revisit it and have to face whatever shame is attached to that choice or the pain it inflicted on you. You, on the other hand, are having to process what she's already experienced. You NEED to do that, and she needs to be willing to join you and help you work through it.

But it's hard for both of you, I know. Whatever empathy both of you can have for the other person's plight will help you a bit, but you really do need her to be involved in helping you find relief if she wants you to return to intimacy and trust in its fullest sense. She SHOULD be taking the initiative to check in with you and help settle whatever pains and fears are being stirred up, but she won't be able to do that perfectly. I don't know her story, but she may be fighting her own demons that stand in the way of her doing that consistently. Still, the more she takes the lead in doing so, the sooner those negative emotions and intrusive thoughts will be put to rest.

When she asks, "Is something wrong?" she probably already knows something is and part of her wants to do her part but part of her likely hopes you will just say "no" (even if it's not true) because she doesn't want to have to step into that pain. I'm not making excuses for her or trying to let her off the hook... she should be willing to do it anyway... but I see that struggle often, even in spouses who genuinely want to put things back together but are still a bit lost in their own "stuff."

I do not think you should be specific about every image that comes into your head. As you let the work of forgiveness happen in you, you will find ways to be very honest about the deep pain you are experiencing and even be honest about struggling through negative thoughts, but focus on the present pain (asking her to participate in comfort/relief) rather than going back to the specifics of the affair. Those images will continue for a while, but it doesn't help you get over them by focusing on them, even in conversations with your wife. Attending to the details of the affair only reinforce them. Instead, the focus needs to be on the result of those details... the tremendous sense of hurt, betrayal, uncertainty, etc. that they produced.

And your wife shouldn't be your only relief right now. Honestly, she may not be capable of bearing it, even though fairness/justice might demand that she do it. Sharing with a counselor or trusted family/friend would probably be a healthy outlet for you.

You're making some good choices, trying to make it through this horror the best you can. Keep it taking the next step.
Quote 0 0
I understand exactly how you feel TimK. I'm 9 weeks from DDAY and have experienced many of those feelings many times. The following morning after I learned of the affair I began thinking of who I could go have Sex with and the feeling is returned MANY times. Once in the last few weeks I actually said I was going to go to the home of someone my WS feels betrayed by and angry towards insinuating I would sleep with them. I had no intention, but it's not fair that I'm the one suffering while he got to go have fun and excitement. I felt the distance in our marriage during the affair but I thought he was just having a difficult time coping with the loss of a career a few months before. I longed the feeling of excitement and being desired by someone. I'm 90% certain that a coworker would have jumped at the apportinity, and I thought about it, because I wanted to feel desired and alive, but didn't want to be responsible for the reason my children didn't have a father. Truthfully, were the roles reversed, I don't think that my WS would ever forgive me.
Initially I was resentful that I was home being 100% responsible for our children and he household while he was out making a fool of me. I'm still angry, but it bubbles under the surface enough that I can stay on top of it when I need to.
I feel that I know all the major details of the affair, I.e. It lasted 18 months and he reserved nothing sacred for our marriage...nothing. But having learned that I may be able to retrieve lost messages from Facebook, im drawn to do so. To see the affair in its enormity. Have a window into their secret world, the one that shattered my confidence, since of safety and trust.
Today is my WS birthday and I'm sucking up any pain that may make the occasion uncomfortable. I'm giving him way more consideration than I received.
I've tried to talk with my WS about the images and thoughts hat pop into my head. He doesn't seem to be able to handle them. He's done a lot of work learning the "why" of it all...but he's not able to hear me or make me feel safe in talking with him. It actually seems that I'm helping him more than he's helping me. He seems to be growing in leaps and bounds. I'm pretty awesome like that. A great support, good at making people feel safe and accepted but I don't get the same. He responds to me in anger and attacks. I tried to share with him my desire to recover messages, a big risk, and he completely attacked me for it. My husband has learned to talk, still doesn't listen.
It's a terrible things that we're going through, us BS'. I don't want to struggle with this pain for years while he sleeps peacefully beside me. Not a care in the world. It's very hard not to seek vengeance. Not to create my own justice.
Quote 0 0
VoodooChild (awesome name btw) good on you.

You're right about one thing... I'm a WS who's BS went and had one of those revenge affairs. Here's what I can say about that...

I was devastated when I found out. Especially when I found our with who. (Someone who was a high school sweetheart.) Ain fact, it pushed me closer to my AP because I suddenly had ammunition against my wife..

I also had to swallow it. It's true that had I never had the affair, my BS would have never gone to the other guy... But then again I was astonished at how fast I was "replaced." (I see the irony here... My affair progressed so fast, so why would I be angry my wife's went quickly too?)

As long as I am not seeing the guy, or his stuff on FB, then I'm okay. Yes, she's still friends with him, and on FB too. I am okay with it, but honestly there will always be a part of me that is insecure about this other guy.

Then again, I am the one that initiated all of this.

All to say, reading your post makes me understand why my wife would do something like that.

Onto other things...

One thing I found was my wife was on Paxil. It dulled her pain, but it also allowed her to talk with me and not lose her cool. She's a fiesty person, so before all of this it was impossible to talk with her without an explosion. It helped to clinically talk about things... In a way that was safe, without any blame or something like it.

It might be at a counsellors spot, it might be out at coffee (and I suggest somewhere in neutral ground) but it's good to just talk. Forget all the blame, the bull, the he said she said, the fixing all of that.

It is good to get all the cards out, and show them (cliché, I know... But for a reason.)

It could be an opportunity to get everything out and examine where you are. If there is one thing I suggest, STOP fixing his things. Focus on your own. He's a big boy, he can take care of himself.

Get your stuff out there but in a way without emotion. I know it's hard, but treat it as if you were writing an employee up for a transgression. You are presenting facts... Like how you feel, how things make you feel.

He may shift and try to argue. Good for him. Direct the action back to you. Here's the thing WS need to understand. It's all about YOU at the beginning, how you can best feel safe enough to continue. His feelings and WHY are important, but that's for HIM. It should have no bearing on you right now, and neither should you be concerned with it right now.

I learned this first hand while going through my WHY and what I did leading up. Honestly, while my wife was interested, I noticed it hurt her a lot more, so I worked on it myself. I guess it helped that I had my own place.

Anyway, just some food for thought there.
Quote 0 0
TimK- I feel the same way...a roller coaster ride of emotions. Some days are good and the thoughts aren't in the forefront, but other days I realize something new or have vivid images of the betrayal- or get new details ( like last night). For me it's been over a month and thoughts still come in my head and unfortunately I fear they will for awhile. And yes, I've thought the same thing about how he got to experience fun and excitement and I'm left with a pile of emotions around hurt. It sucks and it's not fair. Still I imagine you, like me, know better than to engage in the temptation for fun and excitement. I know how awful this hurts and I don't want anyone (maybe his AP, ha) to go through the same depth of pain this causes. I can see he is hurting too and that helps some. But I resent the intimacy and connection they had. It eats at me and I don't know how to make it stop. It's like a Scarlett letter that will always be on us...unfaithful husband, imperfect marriage, naive wife. And it'll be worn forever.

I've read and reread TimT's response to you and as always, he's on point. Focusing on the images and details don't help. I know this. I try not to but some days are harder than others. He says the focus should be on the results of those details, though I must admit I'm not sure (having little sleep tonight) what that means. Can anybody clarify?
Quote 0 0

I'm not sure, but I think TimT means that at some point there has to be a shift from the details of what has happened, over to focusing on what the affair has caused, in other words the hurt, pain anger, and learning how to deal with that in a constructive way and one that will be more beneficial to you, your spouse and the relationship?

Our imaginations run away with us, and when we don't have the answers to a particualr question, we can easily imagine a scenario that might not be true. Before you know it, you've got yourself picturing them galloping off into the sunset together and yourself, homeless, penniless and in bits.  All that does is increase our anxiety levels and make us more unhappy or angry.

I've tried, and had some success with flipping the off switch, with all of that.  I never got many answers to my questions anyway, and eventually it's got to the point where I'm not really bothered anymore.
There may be a big difference here in that I'm not living with my errant spouse, so I don't know what may or may not be going on anyway.  Nothing, I hope! But I have no control over that.
Quote 0 0