Discussion – It’s Success Story Time Again

In case you’re not aware, every so often we like to focus our weekly discussion on your affair recovery and healing successes.  Well, it’s been four months since our last episode of success stories, so we are past due.

It’s always good to hear how others have made progress and helps give hope to people as they battle through their own affair recovery.

Often we are exposed to so much pain and devastation after an affair that life becomes one hopeless, depressing day after another.   We need some fuel – some motivation to keep us going.

Realizing the successes in your affair recovery – no matter how small – can give you hope for a better future and compel you to fight on.

What might seem like small, insignificant baby steps can possibly grow and snowball into even bigger, longer lasting successes.  It also helps those readers who are newly into their own journey realize that affair recovery is a process and is accomplished one step at a time.

So, with that said…

Tell us some of your successes while recovering from the affair and how you were able to accomplish them.

For example…

Have you been taking care of yourself and getting stronger? How are you doing it?

Do you see positive changes in your spouse and his/her actions? Describe them.

Are you communicating better? How?

Do you seem to be reconnecting with your spouse?

Have the triggers and obsessive thoughts diminished? Why?

You get the idea… NO SUCCESS IS TOO SMALL!

As always, please respond to each other in the comments.


Linda & Doug


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14 Responses to Discussion – It’s Success Story Time Again

  1. chiffchaff July 25, 2012 at 11:22 am #

    Happy to provide you with more cheery comments as thanks for providing this great blog!
    Things are substantially better in my marriage (almost 12 months post Dday#1) as well as personally.
    Personally I have just completed a running course and can now run continuously for 30 minutes (over 30 mins this morning as it’s now part of my schedule) which might not sound like much to some but I could barely run for one minute 12 weeks ago. I always thought running was completely off limits for me. Turns out I was wrong.
    As a result of dealing with the past 12 months upheaval I have constantly challenged myself and learnt lots about what I’m capable of doing, basically much much more than I had ever thought possible. I’m now considering triathlon training next.
    I’ve stopped accepting things as being impossible because they’ve so far turned out to be far from that.
    The improvements in my own esteem have gone hand in hand with my esteem within my marriage. I no longer take crap from my H and am happy to argue my point. I didn’t argue before. My H is still not great with arguing but I can see he’s trying and we both tend to analyse the argument afterwards to see what it was really about.
    We communicate better. He’s open to reassuring me about his whereabouts (important right now as this time last year he was with the OW having a ‘holiday’ when I thought he was going to work – trigger time) as he says he knows why I ask. He’s more aware of the damage he’s caused not just to me but to himself. He’s lost friends as a result of what he did. He seems more like an adult. We have more fun. We’re definitely reconnecting and he tells me often how he’s so pleased that I was prepared to give it another go after all he did to ruin our marriage.
    I’m not deluded, I’m more realistic about who he is and can be. I’m also more aware of his needs and his need to be noticed, by me and by others. I know I was guilty of sidelining him in the past.
    Things feel much more optimistic but the triggers are still there. I think they’re essential so long as you don’t dwell on them. I’m not relaxed about our situation, I think that takes time, and I think I accept the affair rather than forgive it. I can still have obsessive thoughts and still despise the OW no matter how much I try to pity her instead. I’m just glad I never have to see her seeing as she lives so far away.
    My H also seems happier in himself, which is so very important to me.

    • Doug July 25, 2012 at 11:42 am #

      Great stuff chiffchaff. Thanks for getting the ball rolling today! It sounds as though you have become stronger in many ways throughout your ordeal.

    • Battleborn July 25, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

      ChiffChaff. OUTSTANDING! I am not a runner, never was but reading your post makes me think I should look into it, too. My H is a USMC running freak so this might be my chance to do something with him…. hehe maybe even better than him.

      More power to you, girl!

  2. Hopeful July 25, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

    This time last year was the absolute pits. I’m about 13 months post DDay. This time last year, I found a horrendous message written to the OW (one month after DDay) that was very intimate and revealing, exposing of our growing tensions, and alerting her to the fact that they’d have to cool it for awhile but that she meant so much and was an amazing person, bonk bonk. IT was just an EA with no direct declarations of love but plenty of flirting, open admissions of attraction, and pumping each others egos .

    This letter marked one of many bottoms to come but me finding it was also one of the turning points because it was the first REAL pieces of evidence of the extent of the EA and it led to him calling it off, her recoiling and attacking him like a selfish nit, and him waking up to the fact that he didn’t know her at all, that she didn’t care about him, that they were not friends, did not really share a special bond that existed beyond their email bubble that kept them in an illusory sense of intimacy.

    It was also the beginning of me facing the level of lying and deception my H was capable of and me protecting myself and rediscovering my power and sense of self. Only the very beginning as the hell to follow lasted for a loooong time and is just now eased in the past 3-4 months.

    Success for us was him coming to terms and facing what he did, and me learning to trust my instincts. For us, he had to own up to everything (well, at least most everything) and really get the pain and risk. This took another eight months of fighting, evidence gathering, despair, crying, extreme anxiety, counseling, lying, exposing, and so on. This was all marked along the way with increased communication, layers of new understanding about what happened for both, more learning about our own relationship and how our families of origin crap played out here, and on and on.

    When in it, I felt hopeless often and wrought and so sad. I would obsessively read about her or think about things. I tried everything to get through but I was stuck. I had many unhealthy thoughts. I tried to look better and take classes and exercise and meditate. This helped some. I talked with friends and that helped too. I read here and other books on the topic and that helped.

    Looking back, I know we were progressing, learning to trust, recommitting, facing the facts, changing the power balance, cracking through massive blind spots and layers of deception (mostly from my H’s failure to really own up to what he did and how bad it was to do this to someone he loved).

    Honestly, we were so attenuated at times that the only reason things worked out is both of our wiliness to try again and work hard and our very strong love. If I didn’t love him so much, I would’ve left.

    But, 13 months later, I am a stronger person, as is he. We have examined much about ourselves and relationship. Our everyday interactions are completely different and this feels permanent. Old tendencies will resurface eventually but I feel confident that things will not play out the same way. I now trust my intuitions which knew something was wrong before anything even happened. I knew. He also cannot hide behind his self-deceptions. And we both know an affair or anything like it will lead to the end of our relationship.

    This has been a long, hard, road of mindfulness in the everyday and cracking open vulnerabilities and learning to retrust. Still a process here but I’m happy with where we are.

    I guess the one thing that worked for me in retrospect was talking and researching and not letting anything just sit unexposed. I refused to just get over anything or expect partial truths or fishy tales. I knew that transparency was required for me to trust him and now I am working on finally forgiving and trusting. If I had just said, fine, I know enough at points when he was still defensive and lying, I think he would not have grown and there would have been a huge wedge between us that would have festered and that I would’ve feel deep resentment and anger and fear forever. Working through the deception and defensiveness was hell and relentless as for my H they were thick walls. He thought I love my W and am sorry and that is enough. I knew otherwise. This led to months of turmoil but eventually led to the breakthroughs and downs that enable me to eventually truly let go of it all. not there but I know I will be. It is, in other words, impossible to “let go” of something the other person has not taken responsibility for and seriously, seriously, and profoundly seriously growth from without defensiveness.

    My H was willing (eventually) to do the hard work on himself. None of this would’ve been possible otherwise. Without that, the relationship is probably not worth salvaging, but getting to that place took MONTHS. Baby steps but really MONTHS.

    Enough from me.

    I am very happy now.

  3. Patsy50 July 26, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

    It ‘s been 18 months since my husband told me about his EA with a coworker 30 years younger then him.
    Yes, I have been taking care of myself by exercising and eating right and also listening to music which has helped alot. Also educating myself and my husband on what an EA is as both of us never heard of such a thing.
    I am very proud of my husband for doing all that is asked of him. He has been open and honest, communicating better which in turn brings more intimacy and truly sorry for the hurt he has caused his family. We have both worked so hard to be at this place in our relationship now and will always need to be aware of each others needs.
    Sometimes a trigger or two will crop up but it’s just like a thought which quickly disappears, not painful anymore. I think because I have come to terms and made peace with the affair. It’s in the past and I have moved on to a better, more caring and loving relationship with my husband of 40 years.

  4. Recovering July 26, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

    I am so sad that there aren’t more success stories!! I am having a creepy feeling day.. one where everything seems to be going well, and then I read some story about how the cheater gets a call or text or something from the OW and it all starts up again, but this time it is hidden MUCH better than before… I was really hoping for a good success story to lift me out of the ickiness I am feeling!! Does this paranoia ever go away? I mean, I check his emails, his phone, he tells me if he has seen it (and I mean seen it far down the hallway, not talking or whatever) and tells me if he has to email it BEFORE he sends it an email (it came back to his workplace after being gone for 11 months – WHORE). He is supportive of my feelings, most of the time, and doesn’t go out after work to the bar anymore with “the guys” and really does nothing without me. He calls and texts me several times throughout the day, and we have lunch together whenever I am at my home office because it is close to his work (I didn’t get THIS job until AFTER D-day). When do I get to stop being paranoid that the whore hasn’t weaseled her way back into his life? He is trying… when do I get to relax at all?

    • Recovering July 26, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

      He is even leaving his job to get away from the whore… same company, different location in our area… and taking a pay cut at that… I AM being paranoid, arent I? He’s not THAT smart to do all of that to continue cheating, right? I mean, that would mean that he loved IT and then why do all of this work with me if he did love IT? I’ve gotta be just having a freak session because things seem to be going really well… Is that normal too?

      • chiffchaff July 26, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

        it happens to me from time to time so I suppose it is normal. It must be worse when the OW works with your H though.

    • Doug July 26, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

      Recovering, I hear you. I’m a bit surprised there are not more successes. Last time we did this there were about 150 comments. Sometimes, I think people think that there has to be something major to happen before they consider it a success, when really it’s the day to day successes that can truly build on each other.

      It sounds like even though you still feel paranoid, you have shared some success in that your husband is changing and is trying to help you heal and rebuild your relationship. I can’t answer for you definitively if and when the paranoid feeling diminishes (so maybe some of the other BS can chime in), but I would think that your husband’s actions should give you an indication whether or not the OW has “weaseled her way back into his life.”

  5. WriterWife July 26, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

    I’m about 7 months post D-day and things are going very well. At the end of April things came to a head and ultimately led to a big change. We were on what I felt was a long slow path to recovery and I very much felt that he still had an emotional attachment to the OW and wasn’t letting go of her or the hope that one day this would all be over and we could all be friends again. I figured it would just take time for that to go away.

    The first night of a week I was out of town for work at the end of April, the OW emailed both of us wanting to talk and maybe resolve things. My husband was in favor of that and, as he had in the past, kept saying that I had unresolved issues with the OW (she was a best friend) and needed to talk to her. He was very much pushing a meeting. I didn’t want one. He felt he “needed to do everything possible to make this situation better” and it was clear he meant better for her and not for me, even though he was trying to convince himself it was for me.

    When we talked on the phone that week we fought, a lot. But I was very busy with work which meant that we emailed a lot and in that medium we were more able to think through our feelings and get them out in the open. We sent a lot of very long, very emotional emails.

    And something… changed — like a switch was thrown. I wish I knew what it was. But suddenly my husband saw everything from my point of view. He realized he hadn’t taken responsibility and he hadn’t accepted the amount of pain he’d caused me. He realized that telling me he didn’t have feelings for the OW wasn’t worth anything — that I could only rely on his actions and his actions seemed to suggest he had feelings for her.

    Since that point, everything has been different. He and the OW still work together and whereas before I hated the idea of them emailing, or ending up having to talk to each other, now it doesn’t worry me (though he still keeps NC as much as possible). Because whatever was there that kept him tied to her — wanting to be tied to her — just isn’t there. And I know he’s not lying about it because he used to lie about it and I could tell.

    He still has remnants of issues to deal with when it comes to the OW (as do I) — he’s angry at her, etc — but any desire he had to be with her, love her, reunite with her at any point in the future even as friends, be facebook friends with her down the road — is gone.

    Meanwhile, he’s always reassuring me. If I have the slightest hint of a concern, he will drop what he’s doing, focus on me, and spend as much time as we need discussing it. He doesn’t push me to “get over it” or to feel a certain way. All the things he’d once denied, he accepts — all of it, including how the OW was a horrible friend to me.

    Our marriage counselor always stressed marriage as collaboration. I truly feel like my husband and I are collaborating on this recovery — we’re helping each other out, supporting each other, being honest with each other, not trying to control each other or the process individually.

    Fingers crossed it continues. My only lingering fear is sliding back to the status quo that led to the breakdown of our marriage and his eventual EA. The only thing we can do is be diligent, open, and honest. Really, we just have to always work on it.

  6. Carol July 27, 2012 at 9:23 am #

    I don’t know whether this counts as a success or not, but after months and months of delay my H has finally started individual counseling. This was something I told him he needed to do after D-Day, but he dragged his feet on it. He said that he wanted to work on ‘us’ first, that he was already making important changes, that he knew what the problems were, that he knew what to do about it, etc., etc. Which smelled to me faintly of denial. Well, he’s finally started individual counseling. And he’s finally having to confront the reality that he has a lot of baggage from his family of origin.

    He is *seriously* passive aggressive — nothing was ever his fault; he didn’t want to take responsibility for our family’s happiness and well-being; I was always too emotional or making too big a deal out of things; every time I asked for any change no matter how small, he’d stonewall or start throwing all kinds of red herrings into the discussion to get me mad and distracted; he hid things from me routinely, big and small things, just because he could; he lied, about small things and, unfortunately, about other women.

    I have always felt that he didn’t see ME — he would see his parents, who disapproved of his most passionate interests and discouraged him from pursuing his most obvious talents — or his older brother, who is very bright and also mildly autistic, and whose conversation too frequently turns into a bad parody of a high school debate team, where the brother has to ‘win’ at all costs.

    He is *finally* starting to see and begin to express — slightly — a bit of anger (just a bit!) at his parents for always putting his brother first (his brother is very bright in some areas, and his parents arranged family life around his brother; they told my H they actually believed in ‘primogeniture’; my H was more or less expected to be the amiable, compliant sidekick). He is *finally* starting to separate me from them. The other day, he expressed a wish to write poetry. Now, I teach literature for a living. So unsurprisingly I like poetry. 🙂 After 17 years of marriage, you’d think he would know this. So I said, go ahead; write poetry; you should do it. He was surprised, he said, that I didn’t ‘belittle’ him for this wish. I said why in the world would I do that? I have friends who are poets; I teach poetry all the time; I write about poetry; I myself like writing poetry; etc., etc. It finally dawned on him — FINALLY — that I am NOT his family and that I actually LIKE the parts of him they always wanted to suppress.

    Sheesh. So frustrating to have to fight for so long and to have to suffer so much pain before I could get him to hear, after 17 long years, MY voice really and truly, and not through the filter of his parents and brother and their efforts to shape him into somebody he’s just not. But at least he’s finally starting to address the root causes of his passive aggression and maybe, hopefully, be able to be a real, full, emotional, authentic person, instead of the role-playing compliant self-repressing chameleon he was trained to be in early life.

    • Letusgoandmakeourvisit July 27, 2012 at 11:02 am #

      I am four days shy of the first anniversary of D-Day. After 14 years of a very good marriage (she would agree with this), she was asking to “explore” another relationship with an older married man that she had “fallen in love with.”

      Slowly, she came to her senses and there’s been NC with OM for 8 months. We are in regular couples and individual therapy, attended an IMAGO workshop, and our life together is very pleasant: shared household responsibilities, weekly dates, good sex, lots of conversations, little jaunts away without kids. We even danced for three hours last weekend. A few arguments, but no ruptures. The 30-day moving average keeps getting better.

      Here’s the trouble: her feelings for me are not the same as pre-EA. She still has a delusional view of the OM (he’s a married serial adulterer, prostitute user, described by many as a “sociopath”, all of which she knows and refuses to believe) and cannot let go completely of the fog of limerence. So while only a month before the EA started she wrote rhapsodic verses about me, today I seem less than what her heart truly desires.

      So, I have the actions and behavior of a good marriage. I still want the heart of a good marriage.

      For her, for the kids, and even for me, I am sticking to the current path. I feel like I deserve more.

  7. New beginnings July 29, 2012 at 4:05 am #

    I’m only 2 months in from discovering the emotional Internet affair. I try to make each day a new one, a fresh start….. I’ve done heaps of reading and spent a lot of time looking at myself, it’s hard not to do when you hit rock bottom, your hopes and dreams shattered and you heart ripped in two. My husband has been really honest with me and we have removed things from his life to help build the trust again (something I treasured before) . He is having individual counselling and we both go to couples counselling. I still get obsessive thoughts, but are attending counselling individually myself. The anxiety is getting better by the day but I still have my moments. I struggle with how free he feels that he no longer lives with lies, while I’m left with pain, but together we will work it out, early days, baby steps, one day at a time! We have both come to the conclusion that really we needed to burry our old marraige in some ways and now start again making sure we lay foundations to last a lifetime. We have been together for 22 years married for 16.

    • Anita July 29, 2012 at 9:56 am #

      New Beginnings,
      You mentioned ” I struggle with how free he feels that he no longer lives with the lies, while I’m left with pain.
      As hard as this is, do not turn his wrong choices onto yourself. His wrong choices belong to him, he needs to
      address his issues so he doesn’t do this again. He needs
      to do the work of his own internal issues. Whatever was going on inside of him still doesn’t give him the right to involve himself with another person.
      New Beginnings taking care of yourself is important so
      this doesn’t wear and tear on you. I know this is painful
      for you, and your seeing a side of your husband that
      is hurtful to you, however do not turn this onto yourself.
      It is a disappointment when a spouse chooses this
      type of behavior, however his choices belong to him,
      and try not to let this get to you, in time forgiving him
      will also help with your healing.

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