Spartan7
I have lived a double life in one way or another my entire adult life. I lived in that world for so long that, to me it became the norm. It's honestly missed up, now that I look back at how I've lived. Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde text book story. To this day there are things that even my family have no clue that I have done / experienced. I did all this cause I believed in a cause. What I felt was right. What I believed in. My core values. And at the age of forty years of age, I destroyed everything. I've read other people's stories and how the cheating partner says " If you would have asked me a month before or a year, or even a day if I would have an affair, I would laugh in your face and tell you how crazy you would be."
Yea, I would have done the EXACT same thing. No, I'm not saying that, or even typing this, to jump on a imaginary bandwagon. I was raised in a home as a child in what most call Disney World. My parents were amazing. Perfect couple, and amazing parents to me and my two sisters. Extremely religious, and even more on preparing my sisters and myself on being respectable individuals later on in or adult life. In my adult life I was driven to be the guy that was called upon to be a protector of those that couldn't protect themselves, and go after the evil so others could sleep at night. The only reason I'm giving a little detail about my life is to show others that I was a highly driven, always committed to do what was right no matter the cost, and yes I cheated on the only person that ever meant more to me than anything I have or have done in my life. I had an affair for a year. There is no one to blame. No one but me. I have taken full responsibility for what I have done. The damage caused not only to my family, my wife's family, our children, but most importantly to my wife. Like a tornado, I destroyed, leveled, broke her spirt, her trust, and her faith. It's honestly maddening to me. To see this gorgeous Lady, cry uncontrollably. Moments of rage. And the saddness and disappointment that is in her eyes. Maddening, cause I put her in this world of destruction. I've experienced so much in my life, more than the average person. Ive done and seen things that very few could understand. But I can say this statement with one hundred percent accuracy, I have never, ever felt pain and saddness like I do now for hurting my wife like I have. Trust me, that's a very bold statement. My Affair was discovered this past November. And as I type this most days are horrendous. Answering questions she has, seeking consoluing, therapy, mood swings, everyday usually starts fairly good, but at the end of the day I'm holding her while she cries. The most devastating thing in fourty years of life I can honestly say is holding her while she is crying, and hearing her ask me why did you hurt me so Brian, why did you hurt me I love you and you have killed me. I've experienced lots of pain before this, but never have I felt pain like I do when I see the woman that I took a oath in front of God to cherish and honor, cry and scream cause of the pain I have caused her. It's a pain worse than death. She didn't deserve this. She never should have had to experience anything like this. AND I SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN THE ONE THAT CAUSED IT. I'm typing this right now, laying in a floor in our house. Our youngest son wanted to have a camp out in the living room. My youngest son, my wife, and me camped out in the living room. I pray nights like this never end. She's my best friend, my wife, my world, and I threw that all away for a year. Saying comforting words helps her, but actions always speaks louder than words.,I made her a promise the other day. Wether she wants a divorce or she wants to let me be the man I should have been, regardless of the two, I will stand by her and together we will get her through the pain and destruction I placed her in. Although for someone being the cheater, making promises doesn't have much stock. Remember, actions speaks louder than words. I will stand by my wife, my best friend and get her out of the dark place I have put her in. Because I love her. I was just the knuckle dragger who threw everything away, what most men would kill for, for an entire year. Either way, redemption for me is seeing this beautiful lady, smile and laugh again. She deserves it. And I will walk side by side with her down this road, carrying her if I have to, out of her Hell. That's my promise to my best friend, my wife, my Seahorse.
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Anna26
Spartan7 wrote:
I have lived a double life in one way or another my entire adult life. I lived in that world for so long that, to me it became the norm. It's honestly missed up, now that I look back at how I've lived. Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde text book story. To this day there are things that even my family have no clue that I have done / experienced. I did all this cause I believed in a cause. What I felt was right. What I believed in. My core values. And at the age of forty years of age, I destroyed everything. I've read other people's stories and how the cheating partner says " If you would have asked me a month before or a year, or even a day if I would have an affair, I would laugh in your face and tell you how crazy you would be." Yea, I would have done the EXACT same thing. No, I'm not saying that, or even typing this, to jump on a imaginary bandwagon. I was raised in a home as a child in what most call Disney World. My parents were amazing. Perfect couple, and amazing parents to me and my two sisters. Extremely religious, and even more on preparing my sisters and myself on being respectable individuals later on in or adult life. In my adult life I was driven to be the guy that was called upon to be a protector of those that couldn't protect themselves, and go after the evil so others could sleep at night. The only reason I'm giving a little detail about my life is to show others that I was a highly driven, always committed to do what was right no matter the cost, and yes I cheated on the only person that ever meant more to me than anything I have or have done in my life. I had an affair for a year. There is no one to blame. No one but me. I have taken full responsibility for what I have done. The damage caused not only to my family, my wife's family, our children, but most importantly to my wife. Like a tornado, I destroyed, leveled, broke her spirt, her trust, and her faith. It's honestly maddening to me. To see this gorgeous Lady, cry uncontrollably. Moments of rage. And the saddness and disappointment that is in her eyes. Maddening, cause I put her in this world of destruction. I've experienced so much in my life, more than the average person. Ive done and seen things that very few could understand. But I can say this statement with one hundred percent accuracy, I have never, ever felt pain and saddness like I do now for hurting my wife like I have. Trust me, that's a very bold statement. My Affair was discovered this past November. And as I type this most days are horrendous. Answering questions she has, seeking consoluing, therapy, mood swings, everyday usually starts fairly good, but at the end of the day I'm holding her while she cries. The most devastating thing in fourty years of life I can honestly say is holding her while she is crying, and hearing her ask me why did you hurt me so Brian, why did you hurt me I love you and you have killed me. I've experienced lots of pain before this, but never have I felt pain like I do when I see the woman that I took a oath in front of God to cherish and honor, cry and scream cause of the pain I have caused her. It's a pain worse than death. She didn't deserve this. She never should have had to experience anything like this. AND I SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN THE ONE THAT CAUSED IT. I'm typing this right now, laying in a floor in our house. Our youngest son wanted to have a camp out in the living room. My youngest son, my wife, and me camped out in the living room. I pray nights like this never end. She's my best friend, my wife, my world, and I threw that all away for a year. Saying comforting words helps her, but actions always speaks louder than words.,I made her a promise the other day. Wether she wants a divorce or she wants to let me be the man I should have been, regardless of the two, I will stand by her and together we will get her through the pain and destruction I placed her in. Although for someone being the cheater, making promises doesn't have much stock. Remember, actions speaks louder than words. I will stand by my wife, my best friend and get her out of the dark place I have put her in. Because I love her. I was just the knuckle dragger who threw everything away, what most men would kill for, for an entire year. Either way, redemption for me is seeing this beautiful lady, smile and laugh again. She deserves it. And I will walk side by side with her down this road, carrying her if I have to, out of her Hell. That's my promise to my best friend, my wife, my Seahorse.


How I wish my husband could be so open about his feelings.   Instead he keeps things to himself and tries to sort it all out in his head. He finds it terribly difficult to put things into words in the way you have. He can't even write things down and express himself in that way. 
I want to thank you for sharing how what you did made you feel about things, so honestly, it gives a BS, or at least, this one, so much insight.
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Spartan7
I was the same exact way. I never expressed anything, and I kept everything in my head. My thoughts, my feelings / emotions. It was easier that way, plus I was trained at an early age that there is zero time for emotion in a former profession. I lived and breathed this what I call " throw everything in the lock box in your head " for sixteen years. Problem is, no one told me that the " lock box " one day will be so full that you can't shut the lid. My wife is the very one, actually knew what I needed, and convinced me to seek help. I began counseling sessions and I am now in Prolonged Exposure Therapy for PTSD. If I have anything , as in advice for you or your husband, just like an affair the mind has to heal. You have to get the right type of help. If I had not listened to my wife, I would honestly be alone, and withdrawn from the world. I can say that because for many years I was. My wife has supported me in everything I have done, and has walked side by side with me. Even after the discovery of the affair, every week she reminds me of and tells me to go to my therapy sessions. It's really, really, super hard for someone who deals with things in their own mind and never show or say emotions. But with the right help, anything can be done. You just need the right road map to get to where you want to go.
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TimT
Spartan7 wrote:
...I cheated on the only person that ever meant more to me than anything I have or have done in my life. I had an affair for a year. There is no one to blame. No one but me. I have taken full responsibility for what I have done. The damage caused not only to my family, my wife's family, our children, but most importantly to my wife. Like a tornado, I destroyed, leveled, broke her spirit, her trust, and her faith. It's honestly maddening to me. To see this gorgeous Lady, cry uncontrollably. Moments of rage. And the saddness and disappointment that is in her eyes. Maddening, cause I put her in this world of destruction...

Spartan7, I'm glad you are in a process of repairing what you broke. I EVENTUALLY got to this place as well, but too late to save my marriage. I was lost in the "fog" too long. But even now, so many years past my affair and divorce, there are times when the sorrow for what I did to my wife and my children washes over me. They have forgiven me and I have experienced grace in so many areas of my life, but I will always regret what I did to them. 

Pour yourself into them. And figure out whatever you need to figure out to gain insight into why you did what you thought you would never do. 

Thank you for sharing your story.
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Anna26
Spartan7 wrote:
I was the same exact way. I never expressed anything, and I kept everything in my head. My thoughts, my feelings / emotions. It was easier that way, plus I was trained at an early age that there is zero time for emotion in a former profession. I lived and breathed this what I call " throw everything in the lock box in your head " for sixteen years. Problem is, no one told me that the " lock box " one day will be so full that you can't shut the lid. 


That's very succintly put and my husband is just the same.  Even after almost thirty years together. I don't see him ever being able to open up and talk in the way I can.  That's a shame as I believe it could be at the root of our problems.  I'm someone who actually needs to be able to connect to a person on an emotional level too, something that seems to be lacking in our marriage, but if I tried to explain that to my husband(and I have on numerous occasions)he just doesn't understand why I need it, or just can't give it. 

There has been an odd time I have compartmentalised a problem. (Like when my father passed years ago and I was suddenly the rock that everyone else including my mother relied on) But it never stayed completely in the box, every now and again I had to take it out and shake a few creases out, fold it up and put it away again! 
I don't think it really does you any good keeping everything in, it festers eventually and you never learn to deal with the problem.  It needs to come out into the fresh air, to heal.

You are very lucky to have such a supportive lady by your side and she is really fortunate that you can open up and share your feelings with her.
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Spartan7
Yesterday was my birthday. I didn't want anything. No cake, party, not even so much as a card. And yet my wife went out and done all these things. I felt like she wore a mask yesterday. There were no questions from her about what I had done last year. Nothing. It was just really quite yesterday. Even at a small party, just our family, things just felt strange. Bothers me. I just feel lost in a ocean that has no shore line. I just want to get back to her. That's it, I just don't know what to do or even really how to act today. I love her. My question is, is she falling out of love with me....
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Anna26
I think you will find that all special days, anniversaries, birthdays, Christmas, will feel really difficult right now and for some time.  First time round you really don't know what to do.  When my husband's birthday came round I really didn't have a clue what I should do either.  Should I make a huge effort? (would seem false given that we hadn't really solved our current problems). Did he even deserve it?  If I didn't do something would it seem like I didnt even care, and push him even further away?
In the end, I just kept everything low key, and we just had a take out pizza as a family or something.

It's really hard and I empathise with your wife. If you thought it was a bit of an act, it probably was because it takes a huge effort to grit your teeth and do something for someone who has really hurt you badly.  Even after quite some time.
Half of her is probably wanting things to be normal and the other half  is having a had time rationalising it. 
She did these things for you because deep down she cares.  Tell her you appreciate it, even if you didn't want it.  Maybe you didn't want it because you felt you didn't deserve it?

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Kalmarjan
I agree... Remember something your wife already realizes...

Love is a VERB. It's not a noun (or it shouldn't be!)

You're very lucky that your wife is showering you with attention. My question to you is, have you forgiven yourself yet? I only ask because it seems in your short writing that you are a bit stuck.

How are things progressing with your healing, her healing, and the situation? Have you come to any conclusions on where things are going?

These things may be colouring your experience and making it harder for you to just be present.

Oh, and I know the feeling of being around when you know you've done wrong and the person you hurt is going out of their way to show you love and affection. In my case it was my birthday, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and a funeral for our beloved grandmother who passed away when my wife and I were tentatively reconciling.

It's awkward, plain and simple.

But if you know why you're there, it's not so bad because at least you have a reason and can move forward. It's tough, but it's worth it too.

Remember, love is a VERB
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VoodooChild
As a BS (betrayed spouse), I can say that Kal is definitely onto something when he stresses the point that "love is a verb," meaning that it's an action. Sounds like your BS actions spoke of love and hurt creating distance at the same time. On days when the initial devastation is gone and I accept that the pain is mine that I, alone, have to contend with, I feel a numbing distance. It's empty space left where there once stood security, confidence, and trust. I can no longer believe that I am special or unique for my spouse, as someone else easily pulled him away from me. How special can one be if another can pull hem away, right? Logically I know that the affair has nothing to do with me. Even had I been the perfect spouse he would have found justification to go, because that's what he wanted/felt he needed at the time. Andrug of choice, so to speak. At the same time, isn't that something we long for in a romantic relationship? A place to be unique or special? Held in regard higher than any other? When that's gone, the magic of relationship fades to something more realistic, less exciting or validating. It's the knowledge that I could easily be replaced at anytime and not even realize it. That one sentence speaks of doubt in many areas: my ability to recognize trouble when it presents, my spouses sincerity, safety in the relationship, trust in myself and my spouse, that I can think of off hand. So what's really left after an affair that left nothing sacred to the marriage? Nothing but history and pain. So to stay in the marriage is to start over, begin anew, without the magical safety that I've chosen someone who believes that I'm "the one" for him, special, and would never hurt me. It may not be realistic but it sure felt better than this reality to believe the above statement.

I imagine that this whole first year will feel awkward and as a WS (wayward spouse) your going to have to deal with the space and discomfort with her. For me, every day that passes is a reminder of what a fool I was, how unimportant, that nothing I did mattered, how disrespected I was, of time that my WS pulled closer to her, that she became more "special," that she was worth the risk of losing the family, of hurting me...this time last year.

Anytime my WS is unable to allow me to feel what I need to feel, as they are, I interpret it as further evidence that he's unsafe. It reopens the wound to feel judged for feeling feelings that were caused by the one passing judgement against them. Think about that.
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Kalmarjan
I can't remember where I saw the post, but there was one back about the movie Inside Out. In it, the main characters won't let Sadness have her emotions impact the memory, so everything goes to hell.

VoodooChild touched on a great point there I think. She needs to have her emotions and anger, and work through them otherwise how will she feel as if she will be okay in the confines of this tattered relationship?

One thing I've learned from this, it's that the old relationship is gone. I destroyed that when I made my choice. When I cheated. There's the new relationships, and somehow it is stronger than my old one, but we are both wiser.

I think we ended up taking each other for granted. We assumed everything would be good and great, and we ended up in the ditch. Granted, while everything may have been hard to begin with, cheating sure destroyed everything, and it's something you can't take back.

Ah, this reminded me of sonething. I remember back when blackberry was a thing. I had my brand new curve. I was arguing with my wife, and I remember slamming my hand down on the counter, only afterwards realizing my shiny new phone was in my hands. One look at the cracked screen, and I could never have that phone back to the way it was. I needed to get it fixed, and while the screen looked all good after, it didn't work the same after that. I found I needed to be more careful with my things after that. A moment of anger and self absorption cost me dearly.

Same with my marriage. I was coasting on auto pilot, and I took my wife for granted. I always thought no matter what, I could handle things, and it was no big deal. Like the cracked screen, it's in the aftermath I realized how big of a mistake I actually made.

Part of my reparation on that was realizing my wife had to work through those emotions, and it was up to me to be there. I had to be her rock where her emotions smashed up against me like the ocean smashes the cliffs where a lighthouse stand. I had to be the rock that absorbed that anger, hurt, and emotion, I finally had to be the person I should have been when out marriage was first in trouble.

I've talked more to my wife than I ever have since we've been married. Nothing is taken for granted anymore.

That's what I mean by love is a verb.
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