Lookingahead
We are almost 11 months past d-day. For all intents and purposes I believe we have worked very hard and I know without a doubt that we want to be together. I have good days and bad. Some good days I'll be going along happy as a lark when the reality of what has happened hits me like a bus and I fall apart quickly. If I'm with my husband where he can support me I usually recover quickly. 

Then there are the days where all I can do is think about the affair. Truly, there is nothing more to learn about it as a whole. I'll never truly 100% understand and my husband looks back and says the same. We know all of contributing factors - steroids, ADD medications, depression, family history etc., but still neither of us can really full understand how it got to that point. All we can do is continue IC and MC to try and heal. 

I know for certain that we belong together. I have loved this man for a very long time. I am relieved to see that he is receiving the mental help he needed and I believe he does not want to ever hurt me in this way again. He is extremely remorseful and ashamed and is hugely empathetic to my pain. 

That said, I've been counseled how to battle intrusive thoughts and try to free my mind from the pain so I can move forward on this journey to healing and forgiveness and eventually trust. Yet I find myself struggling to do so without feeling like I'm sweeping it under the rug as though it's all okay. It's not okay. However, I'm really in a place where I need to find some relief and focus on what's in front of me rather than what's behind me. I feel stuck in a way. I want to be happy, yet because of what's happened I don't want him to forget what he did and how much pain he has caused me. I also have a self esteem issue in that I feel like I need to and deserve to feel the pain. It has to stop...I want to be happy again. 
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Keepabuzz
I know exactly how you feel. I felt the same way at that point in my healing, still do at times.  I asked myself that question thousands of times.

Am I rug sweeping? I shouldn’t be happy after what she has put me through, right?  I’m supposed to be miserable, right? If I’m not, then I must be rug sweeping.  What am I, or we doing to continue to “deal with” this?  Are we just pretending we are ok?  I’m not ok, she needs to know I’m not ok.  

That was a loop in my head for literally months and months. What helped me was to talk about the affair and the pain in a planned way.  Maybe once a week, like an appointment.  This allowed me to ensure she knew I was still in pain, and was not ok, and what she did wasn’t ok, but also allowed me to “allow” myself to experience happiness through the week. I would discuss many of the triggers that I had experienced during that week, what days were bad and good, etc. So I still got it out to her (not rug sweeping), but I wasn’t bombarding her with everything constantly. That was bad for me too. If I told her every time a trigger hit me, it took me longer to move past it. Also it was/is much easier to talk about the trigger when I’m “not” triggered. 

Maybe I’m just a nutcase, or maybe it could help you too.  
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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TimT
Lookingahead wrote:
...I've been counseled how to battle intrusive thoughts and try to free my mind from the pain so I can move forward on this journey to healing and forgiveness and eventually trust. Yet I find myself struggling to do so without feeling like I'm sweeping it under the rug as though it's all okay. It's not okay...
I suspect the the order of events is usually the opposite. Instead of waiting for intrusive thoughts to leave so we can forgive, letting forgiveness do its work usually diminishes the power of the past so intrusive thoughts begin to fall away. Practically, I think the difference means that the person who has processed forgiveness doesn't have to put so much energy into trying to stop negative thoughts. Instead, they recognize them every time they show up and then put them back where they belong. (I know, I know... easier said than done, but the distinction of focus is important.)

And here's the thing about forgiveness... it fully recognizes that the offense is NOT okay. Forgiveness, in fact, will recognize the full reality of the betrayal and understand that justice would demand a high payment, but then choose to do something else instead. That's not weakness; it's strength.
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Lookingahead
TimT wrote:
I suspect the the order of events is usually the opposite. Instead of waiting for intrusive thoughts to leave so we can forgive, letting forgiveness do its work usually diminishes the power of the past so intrusive thoughts begin to fall away. Practically, I think the difference means that the person who has processed forgiveness doesn't have to put so much energy into trying to stop negative thoughts. Instead, they recognize them every time they show up and then put them back where they belong. (I know, I know... easier said than done, but the distinction of focus is important.)

And here's the thing about forgiveness... it fully recognizes that the offense is NOT okay. Forgiveness, in fact, will recognize the full reality of the betrayal and understand that justice would demand a high payment, but then choose to do something else instead. That's not weakness; it's strength.


I have read and listened to so much on forgiveness. In particular, the podcast on here along with the book "How Can I Forgive You?" have been very enlightening. I know that I have chosen to forgive my husband. I have clarity in regards to the affair. I believe effort and deepening are the next steps. At this point I definitely do have more good days/moments than bad. The progress we have made is amazing and I see it everyday, yet I still feel stuck at times. 

My goal is to find genuine full forgiveness. If I had to guess, on most days I am shifting between effort and deepening. I just can't seem to get to that final place where I can honestly say to myself "I forgive him" and truly mean it. This scares me to my core! Am I in the right place if I have chosen to forgive and am making every effort to do so? Will it come naturally if I continue to make that choice each day? Should I remind myself that this is the goal to strengthen my focus? ust I simply be patient with myself and with this process and have faith that the choice to forgive will ultimately lead to actual forgiveness in time? 

I love my husband more than words can express. He has done everything in his power to help me heal. He works tirelessly to support me. Yes, he wants to move forward and past all of this. In part for himself, but mostly for me as it kills him to bear witness to the pain he has caused us. I want more than anything to reach that point where I can look at him, see him for the man he has become and take that step forward placing the past where it belongs. I want to smile and laugh and enjoy living life again without the burden of fear and pain wrapped so tightly around my neck. 
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DorothyJane7
Lookingahead wrote:


I have read and listened to so much on forgiveness. In particular, the podcast on here along with the book "How Can I Forgive You?" have been very enlightening. I know that I have chosen to forgive my husband. I have clarity in regards to the affair. I believe effort and deepening are the next steps. At this point I definitely do have more good days/moments than bad. The progress we have made is amazing and I see it everyday, yet I still feel stuck at times. 

My goal is to find genuine full forgiveness. If I had to guess, on most days I am shifting between effort and deepening. I just can't seem to get to that final place where I can honestly say to myself "I forgive him" and truly mean it. This scares me to my core! Am I in the right place if I have chosen to forgive and am making every effort to do so? Will it come naturally if I continue to make that choice each day? Should I remind myself that this is the goal to strengthen my focus? ust I simply be patient with myself and with this process and have faith that the choice to forgive will ultimately lead to actual forgiveness in time? 

I love my husband more than words can express. He has done everything in his power to help me heal. He works tirelessly to support me. Yes, he wants to move forward and past all of this. In part for himself, but mostly for me as it kills him to bear witness to the pain he has caused us. I want more than anything to reach that point where I can look at him, see him for the man he has become and take that step forward placing the past where it belongs. I want to smile and laugh and enjoy living life again without the burden of fear and pain wrapped so tightly around my neck. 


 I am right where you are. It's rather confusing to feel this way. Hopeful one minute, connected even, and then triggered and scrambling to throw away the nasty thoughts. It takes a lot of energy to combat the feelings of devastation. 

 It seems to me that these aren't old wounds. It isn't the same hurt over and over. It seems like it's getting to a deeper part of me. Some sort of acceptance overtime that is digging deeper into who I am. 

 Much like and throws description of "the reptile,"  I feel like I am two people. One who is resilient and strong and committed to my husband. That part of me recognizes his efforts and his sorrow and remorse. That part of me is hopeful and looking for the future. Then there is another part of me that was crushed, is afraid, and has internalized the situation.  It's the personal hurt. The part of me that has taken all of this so personally, even when my husband often says "it really wasn't about you! "

 I feel like that part of me is still struggling with excepting's and hasn't forgiven. It's weird to think of myself as two parts. But this makes sense somehow. 

 The part of me that struggles is the part of me that is not "love".  It's the me. It's only concerned about my happiness, my well-being, my protection. I don't know when it will back down. I don't know when or how it forgives. I've never been hurt like this before. 
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anthropoidape
DorothyJane7 wrote:
It's the personal hurt. The part of me that has taken all of this so personally, even when my husband often says "it really wasn't about you! "


This is often the core problem I think. From the BS side it was all about us, from the WS side it was not. It is asymmetrical. This is why I like the drink driver analogy better than some other criminal analogy. The drink driver can honestly be like "I was just trying to drive home", the victim can be like, "yet I am a cripple now." 

It is pretty clear when you look at it that way that the drink driver needs to get some insight. 
Maybe it is okay, maybe it will be okay.

BS, d-day Feb 2017, 16 mth affair.
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Joy
Be patient, give yourself time and love and take care of yourself.  Focus on doing the things that you like to do.
The key to moving forward is knowing that you trust yourself to be able to survive and live a happy life if your husband were to have another affair.  It's the fear that keeps you stuck and unable to move forward.  Get lots of IC so that you feel strong enough to stand on your own two feet.  In time that confidence will spill over into your relationship and make it possible to have a mature and healthy relationship.  This will all help with the intrusive thoughts.  
As far as forgiveness.....you should not be looking for justice, but you don't ever need to feel pressured into full forgiveness.  I forgive a little more each day, but it's honestly like trying to empty out the ocean with a bucket.  It's going to take some time!  
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Lookingahead
Thank you all for the advice. I think it was Keepabuzz that suggested talking about it once per week. Our MC has definitely advised limiting time regarding affair discussion. I'm not yet at a point where I could go a whole week, but after a particularly difficult weekend I made the decision to implement a 15 minute time slot each night to discuss the affair. Some days we do it well and others not so much, but the effort is there. I believe it has allowed me to enjoy more of my day, but also share my feelings and allow my husband to support me and acknowledge that I am still very much in pain. 
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Youny79
Often I think that the affairs start not from a one of event but through a reluctance to take responsibility for our lives. When we are in a commited relationship does anybody really know the level of focus and commitment needed to be happy in life or is just "not cheating" considered living a fulfilling life. I read an interesting thing about limerence recently limerence occurs when there's a possibility of a relationship to exist that is to say an uncounscious longing for what could be if things were different so the circumstances of physical attraction after marriage are ripe grounds. Taking responsibility means honesty with yourself as you move through life. If the first time your husband felt a little connection with somebody that played on his mind with out the guilt and shame he could have seen that the circumstances of being married can fuel a desire for the forbidden. When you tell a child he can play with this toy but not that one more often than not the child becomes obsessed with the toy he can't have and has no idea why? 
Limerence can go unchecked as a little chemical high or obsession. If he took all the imagine stuff out of the picture saw it for what it is or who she really is I'm convinced he would see how best to apply his energies to make him happy the little longings that seem exciting are just imagination misused with steroids 

I actually believe although on the surface we appear different and are in different situations I think deep down our requirements are all the same 
we want deep and meanful relationship with another human being we need to take responsibility and time to get clarity on why we feel what we feel and disearn the facts from the fancies. Patterns from needs 
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