Pringle15
My world started to unravel about 3 months ago as I've slowly uncovered my husbands afairs . All the cheating happened in a 12 month period where things were very hard for him at work.

The final blow came the day after boxing day when the extent of the emotional connection he thought he had with another woman was revealed.

Since then he has done everything possible to change and to try and make right his mistakes. He's doing courses, admitted that he took me for granted and treated me badly and has tried to the man that he thinks I deserve. I'm still very much in love with him and really want to heal, but I'm stuck in a cycle of accepting his love and feeling a connection like I havnt felt in years and then focusing in on one aspect of the affair to the point of obsession until I drive myself crazy and explode. I then feel so guilty afterwards because he's trying so hard and offering me this love and understanding that I didn't ever imagine possible.

It feels so self destructive and I just want the cycle to stop because it's hurting us both. Any help or advice would be welcome. 

Thank you 
Wife, mother and kick ass officer 
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TimT
First of all, let me assure you that your reaction is absolutely normal at this stage of your healing (as many participants in this forum can tell you). You are hyper-vigilant to everything related to the hurt/trauma you've experienced. The good news is that as you continue to heal these reactions will become less intense and less frequent. But it takes time...

You're husband's assurances and comfort are helpful, but there are things you can do, too.

If you have an EMDR certified counselor in your area, you may want to go see them. It's a good therapy for helping deal with emotional trauma. For more information about it and other helpful tips on this topic, check out these 2 podcasts:
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notemanj

I found an EMDR therapist and she was heaven sent! I kept asking her if she had a magic wand shoved up her sleeve. It was truly the single most helpful thing I found to get those thoughts moved out of the fear center of my brain and put back into the right place for memories. In one session, I went from obsessing over a particular event to not even thinking of it the next time my WH and I were discussing his affair. 

My other suggestion is to write about what is eating your brain alive. Send it here to us if you want feedback on the trigger. Write it down in a journal when your H is not around. On paper, or even here, you can dump all of your hateful, rage-filled thoughts. On paper (not here because curse words are not allowed) you can use every filthy, awful, mean, hurting, angry, vile words you need to get it out. It truly does get it out of your brain. I would suggest actually writing instead of typing, also. You can press as hard as you want with the pen or pencil. Break a few. It might feel good. Then put the journal away. Or burn the papers if that’s what makes you feel better. 

This time is about you getting through this trauma. And don’t ever forget that it is indeed trauma. Just like war veterans. I know that can sound over dramatic when you think about what vets have gone through. But your brain doesn’t know the difference. So, you must focus on what YOU need to heal.

It sounds like you have a pretty good partner to go through this with, but no one is perfect, and he is probably no better equipped to deal with this disaster than you are. That means that you are going to have to tell him what you need, even though there are times when that idea is going to infuriate you. 

Read the forum here for anything that sounds like it might relate. Read the information Tim has on this site. Listen to podcasts. Tim has done some really amazing ones. Or videos on YouTube. Affair Recovery is a great one on YouTube.

One last suggestion for now. Check out http://www.bloomforwomen.com. There are courses that you can listen to with homework to help you move through this. For $10/month you get access to everything. 

Wishing everyone here peace and healing!

Female BS Married 18 yrs
DDay 3/7/2017 through 4/2019 and counting. 
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Pringle15
Thank you both so much, my husband saw this post and has already found a therapist in our area. It just feels like every time I feel in control and like I've processed one thing, bam there's another. I'm currently processing his affair ending in June 19 but him staying in contact with her right up until I found out. Even replying to messages as I fell apart slowly finding out about the betrayals with 2 other women. He's told me it ended in June and they decided to go back to being friends. She is such an plain person, not exciting, not beautiful, no spark, she's insipid. I felt so confident in my own beauty, confidence and sexuality that I never felt any threat from her. I even encourage him to stay friends with her once he got made redundant, because I convinced myself that he needed a friend and he seemed to be able to open up to her. As a women we communicate freely and support each other, I was so naive to the dangers of doing this with the opposite sex. Unfortunately so were they. 

I'm trying to understand his reasoning for the continuous contact, to block her and cease all contact he would have to admit to himself what he'd done. He also hates conflict and struggles to set boundaries. But the idea of her continuing presence in my marriage while my heart was breaking and he continued to lie to me, means I can't find a safe space in my own history. He said any feelings he thoughthhe had for her disappeared as soon as they called time and he realized how stupid it all was. It was the attention that he loved and the validation she gave him. 

I don't feel like that confident person anymore, I feel likes that past me somone I can't trust. I spent months trolling credit card statements, hacking into his instagram, email and checking his computer history before I finally found his Google account history and everything was revealed. I found out the 'absolute truth' from him 4 times before I finally knew. Each time crushed me and each time was harder to come back from. Since the final blow he has been amazing and I've seen a huge change in him, but I feel like I'm still screaming for that past version of him to love me, choose me and put me first. 
Wife, mother and kick ass officer 
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notemanj

You have just experienced the death of your marriage. That is a very traumatic experience. Everything you are describing, the rest of us BS’s have experienced to some degree or another. You are grieving. And grieving takes as long as it takes. There’s no short cut. No other way out except through it. 

Which is a really crappy place to be in. Check out these two videos from Affair Recovery. I think the woman he’s talking to really explains it very nicely. 


 

Wishing everyone here peace and healing!

Female BS Married 18 yrs
DDay 3/7/2017 through 4/2019 and counting. 
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Pringle15
Thank you, 

I feel so guilty when I break down, especially when things have been going really well. It feels like I'm spoiling it by dragging up the past. I can see the pain and guilt it causes him and I'm split between, this is what you get for cheating and my heart breaking because he's in pain. 

The 'big' afair ended in June 19 but he only got caught out recently. He's lied so much and so much time has past that he finds it hard to give me dates. I just need to know when it ended. 

I don't know if in the long term this will matter or if I'm tortureing us both for no long term gain.

It feels like I'm now being offered a wonderful future, one that if he'd offered me straight after the affair ended I would have lapped up. But her ending the affair didn't change him, he continued to be selfish and put his own needs above ours and lie to me about going for lunch and kissing another woman. But he got caught and now all this time has past and I'm so exhausted from countless emotional blows, I'm so scared to take it incase I find out something else and I'm back in this hole again.

It's been 3 weeks since the final blow, but this all started in October. It feels like I've been stuck in hyper alert forever. 
Wife, mother and kick ass officer 
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notemanj

Everything I have read, and it seemed to hold true for me as well as some others on here, says that it will take at minimum 2 years before you begin to feel completely yourself again. That’s 24 months. Not 4. For many, it was much longer than 2 years  

You are still very early on in this process. Even if the affair was 20 years ago, in YOUR world, it just happened. The reality you knew just turned upside down 3 months ago. And 3 weeks ago you learned more hurtful information.

EVERY time new major information is discovered, that clock starts over. And this is something your H needs to understand. Cheating spouses don’t seem to understand this fact. They simply think that they can hide the worst of the worst parts of their behavior forever. 

Tim and I disagree on this point, and it’s up to YOU to decide where you fall. However, I am a believer in the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Every last damning detail. Tim believes that you need answers to the most basic questions and then learn to let the rest lie where it may. Both sides have their benefit and downside. For me, it seemed that not getting the whole set of facts meant that they just found their way to the surface at later dates. And the spiral would start again for me. If my H had ripped the band aid off at once, in the beginning, things would have gotten better sooner. The idea of waiting 24 hours to ask a question that you may have had helped a lot of people. It gives you time to decide if you really want to know the answer. For me, it just gave me 24 hours of shaking and not being able to eat and being unbearably sad or angry. 

Tim believes that you need to know when the affair began and when it ended, whether protection was always used, and how far things went. For some, that is more than enough. You have to decide why you want to know. 

Other than that, these emotional swings are going to last for an interminable amount of time. Or at least it will seem like that in the beginning. It is helpful to set aside 2 nights a week, at this point, and plan on discussing the affairs. A few months from now, you move it to one night a week. After about a year, you can maybe settle for one night a month. Further on, you should be able to talk about major upsets that you have as they occur. By then, they will be less frequent. 

His behavior did bring this upon you. You have a right to expect him to deal with it. If he can’t, there is a much higher likelihood of him doing it again. If the two of you are going to survive this together, you both must be in it for the long haul. 

Wishing everyone here peace and healing!

Female BS Married 18 yrs
DDay 3/7/2017 through 4/2019 and counting. 
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notemanj

Also, my personal opinion is that WS’s know dates much better than they are willing to let on. Maybe not the exact date in the calendar, but within a month. And when it is around significant dates (anniversaries, birthdays, holidays) their memory should be much clearer. Refusing to answer because they don’t remember is a cop out as far as I am concerned. 

And PLEASE, stop feeling guilty for your feelings. They are yours. They belong to you. And they are a direct result of your H’s betrayal. If he wants to stay with you, he needs to learn empathy and understand that his actions have had some very dire results. If he cannot handle when you are hurting, no matter what the reason, he is not able to be there for you. And helping you with your pain is part of the marriage bargain. Period. 

Wishing everyone here peace and healing!

Female BS Married 18 yrs
DDay 3/7/2017 through 4/2019 and counting. 
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