Skelling
A quick summary of what has happened to us. My husband and I started dating in highschool. He wasn't very commited at the beginning as he was still hung up on someone else, which lead to two breakups during the first three years. After we got back together I became more vigilant, more insecure and therefore clingy. He is a very open person, who likes to chat and make contact. I call it flirting, which he always dismissed. He on the other side never showed any jealousy, which lead me to believe he is taking me for granted or even worse no other man would show an interest in me and I could see myself lucky that he took me. We got married 7 years after we had started dating as his parents din't approve of it and my husband didn't want to rock the boat. But six month before we got married, we had our daughter and so his parents didn't have a "valid" reason. Throughout the years the relationship to his parents stayed difficult and I often felt, that my husband would not back me up but ask me to "take" it in order not to rock the boat. Two more children followed, then a mc and then our last child, who was born with a rare genetic defect but at birth we were only told his heart isn't working right. My instincts told me there was sth else but it got dismissed. Things were rocky after he was born, due to his health and many unknowns. I had no answers and what felt like no support in my fears. I often was sad and plain misserable. I tried telling him how I felt. I wasn't able to see it myself so I told him that I don't want to reach the end of my life and ask myself if that was all? I ddin't want to be stuck there. I wanted to get out of that misery and feel again, be happy again. He heard it as that I din't want him anymore and that I regret my life with him, although I never told him that I didn't love him anymore but he assumed that and I can see why. Fast forward, my husband goes away on business finds "his person", the one that gets him and makes him feel appreciated and wanted, happy. She listened and told him he was right in feeling that way and that I wasn't appreciating what I had and just choose to be miserable. This made perfect sense to my husband and so he ends up having an affair, which continued for about 5weeks. During that time I knew sth. was off and I was trying to "make him happy". It felt like a lost battle. We had a big argument and he said if I didn't change, he was going to leave. Later he claimed he didn't mean it but felt he needed drastic measures to make me listen. So at some point I told him, that I want to fight for this marriage but that I can't fight this fight on my own. This lead him to finishing the affair and he was never going to tell me about it. About a week later he had his last day at his previous job and she contacted him as she wanted to wish him well...This is the message I saw and what then lead to finding the call logs that my husband had forgotten to delete. He told me it wasn't as it seems she was only someone that he felt he could talk to and who was trying to help us fix our marriage. I was hurt and I asked many questions and got many lies. I asked if there was more than those few calls that I found, anything physical... No the answer to all. Once again I felt insecure and not enough. It took me a whole year to come to terms with that. During that year I asked a few times about it and he said its all in my head and that I never let him have female friends so he kept it quiet. So I felt bad about sending a message to her accusing her and even asked him to contact her and apologize on my behalf and that I didn't want to ruin a friendship for him. He told me he didn't want contact with her but sent that message anyways so I wouldn't get suspicious. She replied that she doesn't want contact either and he thought that this would be the end of my asking. But something kept nagging on me and I played detective. Last August I discovered the google history. he had looked up "How to unfall in love", translations for spanish compliments... I confronted him. Denial for a couple days, then he admitted there was sth else. Another day later he told me they did have sex but protected. And the calls were frequent but not that frequent. Weeks later he admitted to calling her daily on his way to and from work, sending pictures and that the sex wasn't protected but it only happened once, they were drunk.... A month later he admitted that the previous story was made up because he thought it would hurt less. And he told me the "full" story only that it came with a lot of holes as he doesn't remember the details. 
It has been 18 month since inital discovery ,5month since the physical discovery, 3month since the whole story came out. I have been commited to work on this marriage and so has he. I read a ton, understood a ton, found some answers. I am part of a support group that is lead by a counselor. I came across this page just recently and listened to the podcasts and read in here. I encouraged my husband to become part of Tim's group to find out the why because this is important for us both. I needed to know what he felt and thought in order to cross one line after the other. But everytime I asked that he said. i don't remember. i remember doing ABC but I don't remember every detail or how it got to this point. So he joined Tim's group to try and get to the bottom of it. He explained that this was always part of him, needed the little extra, just a bit more, needing the attention and he explained it to me that he felt smothered because I was clingy. He felt not wanted or appreciated because I was not paying that much attention anymore as I was being sad all the time and he felt unheard because every time we would have an argument, he didn't dare to speak his mind because he felt it wouldn't be heard anyway and I only accept what I want. When the OW came along and frankly just threw herself on him, he felt overwhelmed because he was craving that feeling so much. I have to admit that I made many of those mistakes. I shut doors and I cried and begged, I blamed. But I am now at a point, where it feels that I carry all the weight. I feel like all those 20 years, i failed to make him happy. That all those years I wasn't enough and that maybe there is something better out there. He says I am getting it wrong and that it isn't his fault how he felt. I fell into this deep rabbit hole and it just seems too deep to climb out now, just when I thought, I could see the rim. I am exhausted and I lost my will to live. I don't want to live blaming myself for him feeling unhappy and not being able to talk to me. I can I live with that, that I made him crave the feeling of being wanted? he told me I need to stop feeling sorry for myself and see that we now know what we have done wrong and what we can change to have a better marriage. But all I can hear is "We now know what YOU did wrong...". Maybe I am feeling sorry for myself and maybe this will just be my last mistake. I just told him last week, that I understand that I am at fault too and that I need to work on this but at the moment I have to work on building me up first so that then I can accept my faults and work on them. He told me yesterday we don't have to work on that now but these are the mistakes and at some point we have to deal with them. I am exhausted and although I understand I made many mistakes, I didn't need to be reminded of them, when I am struggling to find my selfworth and question my existance. I don't know where to turn now, I am just praying for someone to turn off the light.
Quote 0 0
Vanessa
What you are experiencing is called "blameshifting"

we see it all the time: Physically abusive men are famous for their "she made me do it" defense.  I didn't WANT to hit her, but she knows my hot buttons and she just keeps on pushing.  Shall we blame the abused woman, or the jerk who thinks love equates to using your spouse as a punching bag?

It is NOT your FAULT the he chose and yes it was a deliberate choice to cheat. Every time he was texting her, spending energy and emotion deovted to her instead of his family he was choosing to lie to you and your children.  Every Time.  SO he did not make one small mistake he made literally hundreds of choices which put him and his adolescent "feel goods" before the needs of his family. 

Surely you were not the perfect spouse - not one person here can claim to have been perfect.  But that is what marriage is - an unwavering commitment between two imperfect people trying to love and support each other as best they can.  So, if you are a terrible cook or a lousy housekeeper, does that mean your spouse should go looking for fun somewhere else? Of course not! If life with you was so terrible, why didn't he act like a grown up and suggest marriage councelling, a separation or even a divorce?  NO, he wanted to have his life with you AND all the fun of an affair.  Please stop blaming yourself - this all lies squarely on his shoulders.
Quote 4 0
Skelling
Thank you for your reply. I did not mean to make him sound horribly mean. He does care a great deal about me and his family and wants to do anything I ask to help recovery. But i don't even know what to ask for. I don't think he is trying to put the blame on me. I think he genuinly wants to figure things out and actively work on recovery. However, when he says all those things, I can't help but feel that all this weighs on me. He does even say he doesn't want to blame me and that it was his fault that he didn't communicated but all this together lead him to making those choices. He says its not about me but himself but that I had pushed him for answers. He also says he understands that he made those decisions although he denies that they were concious. He said he compartmentalized, rationalized and justified but knows he did and takes responsibility for them. But I still blame myself for not being available, not listening not showing him that I do want to be married to him but going through a dark place and for not showing him more attention and affection. The man I fell in love with 20 years ago was my whole world, my everything. I always thought we had the same goals and dreams and now I don't even know, if I really knew him. I question everything because he felt he had no voice in our marriage. How can there be posiibly reconnciliation, if everything was not true? How can I try to fight for something, that I just learnt didn't excist? I am so lost and feel even more guilty to put our children through this.
Quote 1 0
Keepabuzz
Vanessa is on point here. HE is 100% AT FAULT, not you.  Don’t let him blameshift that onto you. There are ZERO justifications for adultery.  If he  wasn’t happy, he should have said I’m not happy and I want to separate or divorce. I’m not all for divorce is the answer when your not happy, but when you are unhappy enough, that could be the catalyst to drive change. Adultery is NEVER ok. He says he didn’t feel heard or that you wouldn’t listen? The. He should have spoken louder, he should have asked you to go to marriage counseling, there are literally hundreds of options that don’t involving adultery. No one, NO ONE besides your husband decided for him to have an affair. This is clearly blameshifting, as Vanessa pointed out, but I would add he is also minimizing his actions. The comment “we both know what mistakes we made”. What a crock of shìt!  “You should stop feeling sorry for yourself,”? REALLY???  He needs to get smacked with a big fat dose of reality!  

I have used the comparison of physical abuse to adultery many times here, and I stand by that. If I had hit my wife every day for six months, the length of time of my wife’s affair, everyone on the planet would have told her to run away from me and divorce me. Get a restraining order, press charges, etc. but with infidelity “some” people try to make the BS take some of not all of the blame. You are no more at fault for your husband’s affair than a beaten wife is for her husband’s assaults, period. I never got a single visible wound from my wife, but have plenty of deep ones that have not healed completely, and  likely never will, that no one can see, and only I feel. 

Hitting your spouse is abuse, and so is adultery, without question. Adultery is emotional, psychological, and emotional abuse. I have never seen a BS disagree with me on this point. Although many WS’s have tried. Your husband may not be continuing his betrayal, but from what you have posted here, he is still continuing his abuse of you. I would stop that immediately.  

I’m glad you’re here, and welcome. There are many helpful, caring, souls here, from both sides of the table. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
Quote 3 0
Skelling
I hear what you are saying and unfortunatly, I have used that phrase before :"If you don't like it, you can go." So he kept quiet and just took it. I don't feel it would be fair of me to push all the blame back at him. Thats not how a marriage should work. I recognize that he looks at himself and wants to change. Through all of this, he found his faith for which I have always prayed and what I always wanted. And i should have put that more clearly. He is willing to work on himself and has regognized that in the past he was a people pleaser and a flirt and he does want to work on that.He recognized that in the past he made that my fault and wants to change that. I just feel that all that is coming too late and he desperatly wants to fix this so he brings up everything that needs to be dealt with at some point.  I am just not there yet. I am trying to survive day by day and at the moment don't even know, if I want that. I understand it sounds dark and dramatic but inside it just feel numb,empty. I am sorry to sound like a cry baby who doesn't know what she wants. Its exhausting and the worst pain, I have ever had to deal with.  I don't know, maybe if I let him read this, he will understand how all this makes me feel, hearing it from someone else but me. But I think he then would feel attacked or misunderstood and would think I trash talk him. I really don't know.
Quote 0 0
hurting
He is blame shifting, which is completely inexcusable. 

IMO part of the problem here, is that yes some of the things that you did previously may have contributed to the marriage being less than ideal- BUT that is NOT a reason to cheat and NOT a justification for it. When a WS starts to bring up said reasons as justifications for their own behaviour? That’s flat out wrong. There IS no justification for cheating and lying. At all. I suspect that is why you feel it is ‘your fault’ and ‘your problems’ which need to change. It’s like he’s trying to say that you weren’t perfect so he cheated. That’s rubbish. As Vanessa said- marriage is MEANT to be an unwavering commitment between two imperfect people. Infidelity does NOT come into it. 

Ultimately, you ARE enough. HE was the one who was not. Do not let him make you believe for even one second that YOU are the reason he did this. HE did it because he may be immature, selfish, blind to what he had, has a pathological need for attention and an addiction to feeling good... the list goes on. 

My husband too, was flirty, had no boundaries whatsoever and cheated. This is NOT my fault. I am a hundred times too good for him. He told me he was behaviour worsened because he felt he had ‘missed out’ on being with others, partying etc when we were younger because he was with me. He follows on from that however, to acknowledge that he did all of those things because he was a selfish blind immature as*hole who took ME for granted. 

He ‘missed out’? Now he has fcked up the best thing that he had in his pathetic superficial life. He has ‘missed out’ on having a solid, trusting and loving marriage. We are ‘working’ on our marriage, but I will NEVER trust him like that again. I will never ever forget what he is capable of. He missed out all right. 
Quote 1 0
Keepabuzz
Do not feel sorry because you are saying how you feel. You are not being a cry baby who doesn’t know what she wants. What you are is a wife that has been betrayed and abused, and is in the worst pain she has every experienced. It’s perfectly NORMAL to not know what you want. I know I certainly didn’t in the first year and a half after my wife’s confession, and she came completely clean, not trickle truth, not more lies. I understand COMPLETELY those “dark” thoughts, the must “turn the light off” thoughts, the complete emptiness and void on the inside. I totally get it, I have been there, I was there for a long time. Honestly, if not for my kids, I am pretty sure I would have “turned the lights off”.  I came very close a few times, and thought about it often. The pain was just too much to bear. You have every right to take as long as you need to figure out what YOU want, and how YOU want it. He can either support you through that process (that he put you in), or not. If he doesn’t, then I would be good riddance. But if he does, it HAS to be at you pace, and he has to TOTALLY own his affair. You can own your mistakes, but do not own that your mistakes “drove” him to or “caused” his affair.  

I do agree it takes both to heal the marriage, but only the WS owns their affair. Also, the heavy lifting should be on the WS in those early days and months, and since your husband decided to continue the lies, and secrets, and deception for many months he has kept you at square one, actually put you behind square one as more and more lies and deception came out. So don’t feel bad becasue youmhavent healed enough yet. You’re still reeling for the shock of it all because he has drug out your d-day over many months. So in reality you’re only 3 months from the last revelation. 3 months out is so, so early. I didn’t even begin to feel better until after a year.  But you WILL feel better, no matter if you stay with your husband or throw him out. 

Your husband would nt be attack here. That type of behavior is not allowed or tolerated. That’s not to say that he wouldn’t get some pretty bling thruths if he came on here and tried to justify his affair. He should come on and post, this is a place of healing not vengeance. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
Quote 3 0
WS_bob
Since I want to heal, too, I decided to post and I am fully expecting to get some headwinds.

First things first, I am at a place where I fully understand that what I did was my choice and that I inflicted unbelievable hurt onto my wife. She has been an unbelievable help, more than I deserve most likely, in providing books, articles, podcasts, which gives a ton of insight of how my wife is feeling and what I can do to help her. I have gotten tons of insight into what I did wrong and where it went way sideways. 

During the affair, which started with a two-night stand and then emotional on the phone, I was fully believing that she didn't really want me anymore and I was like a child justifying my behavior with thinking that I deserved happiness and that I couldn't figure out what would bring that back with her. Since the AP seemingly understood and made me feel good about myself I believed her cause it was convenient. I know I was extremely selfish. My wife mentioned that I started a huge argument, threatening to leave if things don't change (and I know that she heard, if she doesn't change, but I meant communication between her and me). During the talk after, we discovered that WE didn't listen really to each other and all of a sudden everything seemed so easy to resolve (if there weren't the affair, so I ended that and never wanted to say a thing since that would destroy all the hope and close the door that just opened). I felt I couldn't risk it and did everything to try to convince her that there wasn't anything after she discovered the call logs cause I loved her too much to hurt her with the ugly truth.

Now, what I learned, is that not telling the truth was extremely selfish, just serving myself cause she deserves the truth to decide whether she wants to live with it and try to work things out. That I will never get it how much she is hurting even though I am getting a glimpse, looking into her eyes. And that I have to look at myself, why I have certain feelings, accept them but challenge the thought. 

However, since one hasn't read about the aftermath of affairs, it doesn't get put in front of oneself how much carnage an affair is causing because the majority of people (including myself and Tim, too) would have sworn that it couldn't happen to us and there is no point thinking (or even researching about it) of affairs. So when people say, there was always another choice, including divorce, I agree, but before you deal with the after-affair you didn't even think about that. Then also when you start to deal with the aftermath, you have no idea, you try to minimize and trickle truth, not because you want to be selfish but because you genuinely believe that the BS is better off without the details, cause what she doesn't know, doesn't hurt her (or so you believe) and when you see the reaction, you feel validated in that. I know now that it was obviously me who didn't want to see more hurt and having to deal with it and her deserving the truth but before you actively work on recovery, you justify and minimize and blame. I told her that I will be strong for her/us as long as it takes and I mean it. My newfound faith and my love for her give me strength, but I have to admit it is hard (but I know I deserve that and she didn't). 

One thing that I haven't read anywhere but should also be warned about is that you don't try to start to fix things or even mention what might have gone wrong in the marriage before the affair. While you as a WS think that it needs to be dealt with during recovery cause you are motivated to fix everything at once and as fast as possible, you use it to explain your behavior, which gets interpreted as an excuse or justification of having the affair and shoots back very fast. I fully get it what it causes but you get tempted since the BS wants to know answers and you seemingly have them. Now through all the reading (and Tim's "Why?" group course) I have discovered a lot about myself, why I am feeling certain things, why I have blamed my wife (unknowingly to her) but never communicated that, never challenged my thoughts that those feelings brought up. Now trying to convey that to my wife went completely wrong. She has been pushing for details she says she needs but I have no recollection for. She wanted to know how I went from not wanting to have sex with the AP to doing it. I told her that I had not felt wanted and the AP seemingly did that (which was obviously bulls*** since she just served her own needs). It seemed to fill a void that I had felt. Now my wife obviously took that in a way that SHE didn't make me feel wanted, however what I tried to convey is that I never challenged those thoughts, told my wife about it or give her any insight into my feelings. It was not her fault but mine for not telling her how I felt, wherever that feeling was coming from. I still have to work on where some of the negative feelings are coming from and how to appreciate all that my wife does, I hope counseling is going to help with that. 

Now you can start to throw bling truths, I am completely open to learning perspectives I haven't discovered yet.

Quote 4 0
Keepabuzz
WS_bob wrote:
Since I want to heal, too, I decided to post and I am fully expecting to get some headwinds.

First things first, I am at a place where I fully understand that what I did was my choice and that I inflicted unbelievable hurt onto my wife. She has been an unbelievable help, more than I deserve most likely, in providing books, articles, podcasts, which gives a ton of insight of how my wife is feeling and what I can do to help her. I have gotten tons of insight into what I did wrong and where it went way sideways. 

During the affair, which started with a two-night stand and then emotional on the phone, I was fully believing that she didn't really want me anymore and I was like a child justifying my behavior with thinking that I deserved happiness and that I couldn't figure out what would bring that back with her. Since the AP seemingly understood and made me feel good about myself I believed her cause it was convenient. I know I was extremely selfish. My wife mentioned that I started a huge argument, threatening to leave if things don't change (and I know that she heard, if she doesn't change, but I meant communication between her and me). During the talk after, we discovered that WE didn't listen really to each other and all of a sudden everything seemed so easy to resolve (if there weren't the affair, so I ended that and never wanted to say a thing since that would destroy all the hope and close the door that just opened). I felt I couldn't risk it and did everything to try to convince her that there wasn't anything after she discovered the call logs cause I loved her too much to hurt her with the ugly truth.

Now, what I learned, is that not telling the truth was extremely selfish, just serving myself cause she deserves the truth to decide whether she wants to live with it and try to work things out. That I will never get it how much she is hurting even though I am getting a glimpse, looking into her eyes. And that I have to look at myself, why I have certain feelings, accept them but challenge the thought. 

However, since one hasn't read about the aftermath of affairs, it doesn't get put in front of oneself how much carnage an affair is causing because the majority of people (including myself and Tim, too) would have sworn that it couldn't happen to us and there is no point thinking (or even researching about it) of affairs. So when people say, there was always another choice, including divorce, I agree, but before you deal with the after-affair you didn't even think about that. Then also when you start to deal with the aftermath, you have no idea, you try to minimize and trickle truth, not because you want to be selfish but because you genuinely believe that the BS is better off without the details, cause what she doesn't know, doesn't hurt her (or so you believe) and when you see the reaction, you feel validated in that. I know now that it was obviously me who didn't want to see more hurt and having to deal with it and her deserving the truth but before you actively work on recovery, you justify and minimize and blame. I told her that I will be strong for her/us as long as it takes and I mean it. My newfound faith and my love for her give me strength, but I have to admit it is hard (but I know I deserve that and she didn't). 

One thing that I haven't read anywhere but should also be warned about is that you don't try to start to fix things or even mention what might have gone wrong in the marriage before the affair. While you as a WS think that it needs to be dealt with during recovery cause you are motivated to fix everything at once and as fast as possible, you use it to explain your behavior, which gets interpreted as an excuse or justification of having the affair and shoots back very fast. I fully get it what it causes but you get tempted since the BS wants to know answers and you seemingly have them. Now through all the reading (and Tim's "Why?" group course) I have discovered a lot about myself, why I am feeling certain things, why I have blamed my wife (unknowingly to her) but never communicated that, never challenged my thoughts that those feelings brought up. Now trying to convey that to my wife went completely wrong. She has been pushing for details she says she needs but I have no recollection for. She wanted to know how I went from not wanting to have sex with the AP to doing it. I told her that I had not felt wanted and the AP seemingly did that (which was obviously bulls*** since she just served her own needs). It seemed to fill a void that I had felt. Now my wife obviously took that in a way that SHE didn't make me feel wanted, however what I tried to convey is that I never challenged those thoughts, told my wife about it or give her any insight into my feelings. It was not her fault but mine for not telling her how I felt, wherever that feeling was coming from. I still have to work on where some of the negative feelings are coming from and how to appreciate all that my wife does, I hope counseling is going to help with that. 

Now you can start to throw bling truths, I am completely open to learning perspectives I haven't discovered yet.



Welcome WS-Bob
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
Quote 2 0
hurting
Good on you for coming on here, to try to learn and understand more. I really respect that. My WS reads from time to time, but has never had the guts to post. 

It’s funny how differently things are portrayed by the WS and the BS- not even for stuff that happened during the affair. I’m talking about the stuff of NOW, when you’re working on trying to fix things.

One thing my WS and I are learning REALLY slowly and with great difficulty, is that we often interpret the things that are said very differently to how they are intended. Especially with how high emotions may be running. We have had some MASSIVE arguments since over what I think he has said and meant, and what he thinks I have said and meant. Even when we are aware there is misintepretation, one or both of us are often so riled up that we insist that is what the other person is saying, even when they are sitting there saying ‘that’s not what I meant’.

Im guessing communication issues like this are common in situations like ours. There’s a whole lot of fear, anger, hurt, pain playing into the equation. 

All I can really suggest is being very aware, even in non affair related conversations how often we misinterpret what the other person is saying. Don’t be afraid to clarify and ask again, and again, and again. Or to tell the person in different ways- yet STILL be prepared for them to only hear what they THINK you’re saying. I’m still working on this myself... and often have to ask myself ‘could he have meant something other than what I’m reacting to?’

WS-Bob, you seem to ‘get it’ in a lot of what you say. But getting it doesn’t erase the pain, torment, hurt and how you’ve utterly shattered and destroyed your wife’s entire world. Like you said... if there had been no affair, these communication issues would be so much easier to deal with. WITH your betrayals and lies colouring everything however, everything you say to your wife will be coloured by your betrayal and her pain.

It’s not something she can control. You’ve taught her that she cannot trust you. You’ve taught her that you don’t put her first. That you put your wants before her no matter what damage that may do... which of course, makes her wonder why she wasn’t enough for you? When you say to her things like ‘I didn’t feel wanted’ as a reason for your cheating, of course the question she will be faced with is ‘why wasn’t I enough? How did I not make you feel wanted?’ 

Perhaps you need to follow statements like that with some detailed description and reasoning of WHY- which will hopefully dissipate the unspoken ‘blame’ which is placed by such a statement and also show your self reflection in the process (I.e it wasn’t her. It was all you...)
Quote 3 0
Skelling
Thank you hurting for your reply. Knowing my husband is here as well and reading replies makes it somewhat difficult or rather uncomfortable but on the other hand may be helpful to have to naviagte those waters. I agree with communication issues and understanding things differntly from what was meant to be said and at times maybe even "wanting" to understand things the wrong way. You said that "getting it" doesn't take away the tremendous pain and self doubt. As you said everything seems to be tarnished by it like a picture filter on your phone. Thank you for putting my thoughts into words. It is true that I question everything and I mean EVERYTHING. When he said, he felt he didn't have a voice in our marriage, I immediatly questioned all the decisions I thought "we" made. To get married (maybe it was only because there was a child involved now, I mean "we" had planned to get married two years prior to that but decided not to because his parents were not on board, to have 4 children, to move to the US from Europe, to go on all those vacations, to buy the house.....the list goes on, which the leads to question any future decisions. What if he only agrees to sth. because he feels he has to? I question every time that he doesn't  have an answer to my question about the affair, if he really doesn't know or if that is another lie to protect me or maybe himself. I question, if he really means it, when he says he is all in and here to stay, even when it gets tough, especially when he says things like ( I need to stop feeling sorry for myself and look at what we could have...). I understand I can be a pain, especially, when anger overwhelms me. I understand its frustrating. I know it isn't fair to him, when he really is trying to work on this but this whole situation isn't fair. Fair would have been told about the affair right away, when he came home from the trip. But he thought I had to know something and that I must feel that he had done something and since I didn't he got even more angry at ME and told himself I don't care. It still would have been fair even after he decided to stop the affair, to tell me the truth and not wait a year, work through it on his own and forget about it. Because now he also robbed me of the possibility of getting answers, because too much time has passed, lines between lies and truth have been blurred and details have been forgotten. Fair would have been, if the OW even considered looking at my side, instead of making me the evil. Fair would have been for her to answer to my email and acknowledge that she did something wrong. I wrestle with that question too, to understand her motives, what was she trying to get out of it all? Fair would have been to get tested for STDs, even if he didn't tell me about it. I know I am ranting. I am sorry. I know I have to heal myself and can't look to him for healing and I know I have to look to the future and not to the past. Its not that easy though. There is sooooo much hurt and damage, so much destroyed. Reading here helps and getting the feeling of being understood helps and of not being a lone in this. Reading that people make it through this help, even though it doesn't seem possible for myself at the moment. Yesterday I read somewhere: "This too shall pass, it may pass like a kidney stone, very slowely and very painfully, but eventually it WILL pass". Just wish there was surgery for this as well. Wake up and be done with it. Thank you for being here and listening and for being my lighthouse.
Quote 2 0
Keepabuzz
WS-Bob

You should immediately and forever remove the phrase “you are just feeling sorry for yourself” from your vocabulary. It’s a really, REALLY shìtty thing to think, and by far worse to say.  I assure you that you have no ability to comprehend the level of destruction you have caused your wife. Imagine you and your AP were in your car and you were driving. You saw your wife walking down the street. You turn your steering wheel and drive directly toward her, and run her over (affair). Then you back up and run her over agin (when you admitted that it was sexual), then you put the car in drive, and run her over a few more times (further deceptions your wife had to find out that you still kept secret).  Would you look at her in a physical rehabilitation center a few months later where she is learning to walk again and tell her “you’re just feeling sorry for yourself”? I would hope not, and I’m going to guess that your answer would be no.  That is how utterly unempathetic, uncaring, selfish, and cruel it sounds when you say that to her. 

I can tell you with certainty the type and level of damage you have caused her is something she will deal with the rest of her life. We can all heal, but just because a person heals, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t life long effects from it. 

You sounds very similar to my wife when you described your “why’s”. She also said that she never got to have a voice in many decisions. I feel much like your wife, it was my understanding that “we” made those decisions. How am I supposed to be held accountable for “not listening” to her, when she didn’t speak up? Then the resentment grew, and the more I grew the more she treated me badly, and then my resent grew, and on, and on, and on.  

I will challenge you on the whole “never thought about divorce becasue I never imagined I would have an affair”. That is a cope out, IMO. I was in the same shìtty marriage my wife was in, and I didn’t have an affair. Even though I was the one that traveled for business, had plenty of opportunity, and would have had virtually zero chance of ever getting caught. The difference is integrity, and not telling yourself bullshìt stories. “I deserve to be happy”. My wife said that one too, as one her worthless justifications. You do deserve to be happy, we all do, BUT NOT at the expense of others. This was completely at the expense of your wife’s heart and truly her soul.  

You should google “soul rape”. That is the best 2 word description of what betrayal is like for the betrayed. There are few videos on google about that phrase. It will help you to understand better. The are women on there that have been actually violently raped and years later had their husband betray them, and they say the betrayal was far worse. Read that sentence again. That is very powerful. Their husband was their assailent, my wife was mine, and we are supposed to move forward, and not look back? Far, far easier said than done. It was impossible for me for even a second for well into year 2 from d-day. 

I understand that it must must be very hard to deal with your wife, with all the destruction you have caused her, but you did cause it, it IS YOUR fault. I understand that it must be very frustrating at times. My wife showing even the slightest bit of frustration with me about any of it, would send me into uncontrollable rage. Then no matter what she said was helpful, I would just scream at her until I couldn’t anymore. Later, sometimes the next day. She would say “I wasn’t frustrated with you, I was frustrated and angry at myself because I caused all of this. I’m the reason you are so hurt and in misery.” If she had clarified that at the time, I wouldn’t have gone off the rails. Your wife needs to SEE your remorse, she needs to SEE your anger at yourself, your frustration at yourself, your saddens, your despair. If you don’t show her and only “tell” her she isn’t going to believe you. Your words mean nothing, she needs to SEE it and FEEL it. Also by telling her AND showing her, she can feel it as opposed to assuming the worst. Showing her these things is what true transparency and being completely honest is. 

Average healing time is 2-5 YEARS from the last bit of trickle truth. So, your wife has a long way to go. My wife came 100z clean on d-day, and I don’t think I even started to heal until the end of year 2. I was in utter misery for the first year and a half. Literally constant suicidal thoughts. Unimaginable pain, complete loss of self, complete loss of all self confidence, complete loss of trust in everyone , to include myself. There is no pain pill you can take, there is no relief, just constant pain and the deepest sadness you can imagine. 

So, do me a favor. Don’t ever, ever, ever, EVER say “you’re feeling sorry for yourself” to your wife again. Apologize again, and again, and again, and again. Don’t just say “I’m sorry”. Always say “I’m sorry for XXXXX”, be specific. “I’m sorry” is something you say to someone You accidentally bump into, not to someone who you emotionaly destroyed. When you’re are feeling sad, or remorseful, TELL HER!!!! When you are feeling angry at yourself, TELL HER!!! Ask her what she needs you to do. When you can tell she is having a difficult time, ask how you can help her, what she needs from you. This a very long, very painful path you have you and you wife on, but if you continue to live honestly and with integrity, and EMPATHY, it will get better. 

Keep posting here, there is a wealth of knowledge and experience here. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
Quote 2 0
Skelling
keepabuzz thank you to you as well, you were able to put some of what I feel into words. It sure helps hearing that I am normal in feeling this and that it really does take that long. Today seems a little less dark. It helps to hear that I am not the only one having those dark thoughts, that they are not being dismissed as attention grabbing or "you don't really want this'. That they are acknowleged and seen as part of the process and that there is no judging or pursuading, telling me all I have to live for as this doesn't help but only fuels the guilt. It helps to be accepted and these feelings too. Thnk you for talking me off the cliff, without talking or pursuading. 

As for what you said, it is true, that when he admitted not using protection, I felt violated and dirty. In the early days, I couldn't even stand him looking at me, because I felt ashamed, twisted I know. It was careless to think that she wasn't that kind of woman, who would sleep around (even though she slept with my husband after knowing him only a couple days and him knowing that she had previously been involved with a man that also was in a relationship with someone else, so clearly a patter here). It was careless to think, that no STDs could have been passed on and that it took me to even bring up that thought allthewhile, he continued to sleep with me, putting me at risk of getting STD as well, without my consent or even knowing. So yes I very much felt violated as I had no choice. I wasn't asked, if I was ok with that. Those weeks waiting for the results, were horrible. having to explain to my doctore, was horrible because again I felt ashamed and dirty.

You are also very spot on in saying that I need to SEE the remorse, words are not enough. You are right the "I am sorry" at times make me angry and I want to just scream for what part exactly? I do have to say though, that he is trying to get better at this. I don't want him to feel like a dirtbag or a beaten dog. I don't want to kick him, when he is down.Thats not my intention. And sometimes I do feel guilty, because I see him trying, asking myself, if I am asking too much. I want to acknowlege when he "gets" it, when he is looking at his own mistakes and when he is trying to make things better. i don't want to put him down and kill all motivation because then he may think, what use is it, if she doesn't believe me or if she is still mad at me. But I also can't be holding his hand saying "never mind, all will be good". Maybe one day we will be able to look back at this and see what we have learned and maybe we will make it to the other end as a stronger couple, with a better marriage. I don't know, I really don't. I think it would be easier, if I could see it. My husband is hopeful and determined and maybe, if he really is that strong and determined, maybe we will make it. Thanks again.
Quote 2 0
Keepabuzz
My wife also didn’t use protection. She said she didn’t think she needed to since she had already had a hysterectomy and he “didn’t have anything” 🤬🤬🤬. I was not asked, I didn’t agree, I didn’t approve, she still had sex with me. We did many things sexually together that I would have NEVER done if I had known the truth! It still have issues with giving my wife oral sex. Because now the image of him inside her only a couple of days before makes me want to vomit!  Sometimes, even now over three years later I will get intrusive visions of her with him while we are having sex, and I have to stop, get dressed and actually leave the room. I can’t even look at her.

Of course you feel violated and dirty, I certainly did too, and still do at times. It is a form of sexual assault. Your husband and my wife had sex with us, WITHOUT “INFORMED CONSENT”. That is the definition of sexual assault. If we had known the full truth, we would NOT have consented. I have told my wife that that is what she did to me. She at first forcefully disagreed (she had been sexually abused as a child, and raped by her first husband), I quickly informed her that I didn’t care what her opinion was on the matter. Once I explained in detail why it was, I could she her overcome with shame. Now, I didn’t tell her any of that to trigger shame, instead to get her to understand how I feel. It was a powerful conversation.  

A few few days after d-day, I told my wife she had to get a full work up done to test for all STD’s. She didn’t want to, I didn’t give a flying $hit what she wanted. It was do it, or she made my decision to divorce for me. She said it was terribly embarrassing. I’m sure it was. She said she told the doctor the truth, but how would I know? She just as easily have said I had cheated on her to make it easier on her. I didn’t get tested. I refused to go through the embarrassment, for I saw as no gain. If I had divorced her, I would have been tested before I ever started dating again. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
Quote 1 0
Skelling
Right?! I did tell my husband that I wanted him to get tested and until then use a condom (I know kind of silly after sleeping with him for over a year without knowing but still). However, I also had to get tested as for HPV there is no test for men. Yes very embarrassing. My my doctor was great, she was super nice about it asked me to come in early, so no staff was there. Labled and send all the work off herself and even coded it as general check up. She called me with the results as well and not the office. 

My husband also disagreed with me on this being a violation because he said, if he would have had a different sex partner, before we started dating, it would have been the same. (I believe he now feels different and feels ashamed as well) But its not because I would know about and could decide, if I wanted to use condoms or not. He knew that pregnancy wasn't an issue, cause he took care of that after our last child. Nevertheless, the thought of him being in someone else and only a day later being in me, and doing other things, makes my stomach turn. How he was even able to perform without having that on his mind, puzzles me along with me not being able to see it. For me yes those intrusive thoughts show up and I try to push them away, but I can't help thinking about what he did, how he touched her...., what he felt... It is absolutely horrible and the worst feeling. 
Quote 2 0