Good Wednesday!

When infidelity strikes your marriage and you are struggling with forgiving, trusting and healing (among other things), it can be very easy to forget the things that once drew you and your spouse together in the first place.

As a result, you may relate to this past comment from a reader:

“I have a hard time remembering the good times of thirty years, as strange as that sounds. The EA (emotional affair) colored all that with doubts and questions. I harbor a lot of negative thoughts about my husband. I tend to look at everything critically now when before I was much more easy-going. I tend to be much more vocal about the mistakes he makes than before. All of this is because of the EA, nothing else. His selfishness is the one thing I keep thinking about – how selfish this was and how I never noticed that trait in him before, which, as I look back I do see NOW. So yes, the EA definitely changed how I look at my spouse. The rose-colored glasses got broken along with my heart.”

Looking for anything positive in your relationship during this crisis will be a challenge at first, and it can be difficult to get past all of the negativity that is flying around – especially if you’re dealing with the post-traumatic stress of an affair when your emotions are up and down while your thoughts are obsessive.

You may be struggling through a very difficult period right now, but beneath the pain of today there must surely be happy memories that you have shared with your spouse, as well as appreciable positive qualities in your spouse – even though he/she has caused you so much pain.

So, our discussion questions for this week…

Have you been caught up in a web of negative thoughts and feelings about your marriage?

Is it tough for you to think about any of the good in your spouse and in your marriage?

What impact have your thoughts after the affair had on your ability to move forward and feel positive about the future of your marriage?

As always, please respond to others in the comment section.

Thanks!

Linda & Doug

PS:  Last week we had a discussion/challenge about being happy and positive.  It would be wonderful for those of you who took upon the challenge to give the rest of us a brief update and share how the week went and how you were affected.  Please go to the original discussion by clicking this link to share your comments.  Thanks!

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    37 replies to "Discussion – Being Caught in a Web of Negative Thoughts"

    • Lissa

      When I was growing up I was always known as the worrier in my family and it was a joke that i would worry if i didnt have anything to worry about! My husbands EA certainly gave me something to worry about and I realised that i was caught in a very negative downward spiral!

      I Couldn’t see anything positive and questioned everything about my marriage….how many other EA has he had, out of all his female friends which ones has he flirted with and chased, has he ever really meant it when he has said he loved me, can he really ever be happy with just one women and not need to be adored by other women.

      I have had to accept there are some answers I will never know and I just need to focus on the good stuff. I am hoping by looking at the positive and concentrating on keeping me happy all the positive memories will return and my worries will lessen.

    • Hopeful

      Did I ever get caught up in a web of negative thoughts! Lissa’s words sound familiar. I was the worrier and witness in the family, and the EA sent me on a spiral of doubt and fear and worry: is he going to do this? was it worse that I realize? how similar was the one previous weird relationship with a ‘friend’? is this just he nature? did he feel the same way about me as he did her?

      This last one really took hold on me for so long. Some of the flirting in email sounded so similar to our start that it made me feel like a loser for being the one to stick around and that I wasn’t special at all to him.

      This still sticks some days but mostly is diminished. But, only because my H has gone through massive personal growth, as have I and as have we together.

      I can finally see both the crap treatment he doled now in the past, as well as better understand how the man I loved and who loved me could have treated me this way. I will never accept the treatment again, but I now get it as a lifelong pattern that had to be broken down and then reordered slowly and painfully.

      So, I finally got to a place where I can feel love and joy in memories that were good, even given his EA without completing obliterating our past. I also take more comfort and joy from the everyday love we share now, trying to not spoil what we have (as best I can) by living mindfully in these moments of healing without worrying about when he is going to F things up again. Because of his work and our journey post-EA (a dreadful one) I know in my heart that he has changed and this is unlikely to occur again and I know how remorseful he is. If he does this again, I’m leaving, I know that. I also know that my instincts are excellent and I will not accept being stonewalled. I will know if something is up. So, with this knowledge and our new relationship, I try to hold on to the history we have shared as truly meaningful, live in the moment, and take stock in the fact that it is also meaningful to have survived this EA together, through our shared commitment and love and work.

      Again, none of this seemed possible initially because my H was being a narcissistic and selfish man who didn’t want to own up to what he had done. It was a long road. Escaping the negative thoughts was and is still a process, but honestly, the tearing down of his defenses and our work on each other was the only way through.

    • Lissa

      Nice comment hopeful but now I am worried we are married to the same man 😉

      It is a depressingly similar story though but it does makes you realise you are not alone.

      I don’t think my husband has gone through the same discovery process yet but like you I have come through this stronger. I know now I can trust my intuition, I know that I will never put up with the cheating and I know if the worse does happen I will be ok!

    • KelBelly

      Worry Wart is my middle name lol! I have always fought anticipatory anxiety and everything being a worse case scenario so when my H had his EA, everything seemed so overwhelming.

      I began to wonder how much of my marriage was a lie and wondered where the truth of everything really was. There has been so much negativity in our marriage this past couple of years that it was really hard to see all the good through my negative thoughts. All I could do was focus on the current hurt.

      Now, I think that by remembering all the good things that we have had in our marriage, it what helps get me through the hard times when I want to focus on all the negativity. It also helps that we are making new and good memories by spending time as a family and taking the time to heal the wounds. I know if my H wasn’t trying as hard as he was, that I would still be caught up completely in the negativity.

    • gracefortoday

      Six months out from Dday and I struggle a great deal with negative thoughts. My thoughts run all over the place! While my logical brain knows that he “affaired down” as they say, and I could list dozens of reasons I am above her (starting with the fact that I am a loving mother, and by her own admission she doesn’t like kids! Wonder where he thought THAT was going??) and moving on to the more shallow and obvious that I have a MUCH better body than her. And from there jumping to the deeper, I have values and morals that she is clearly lacking….. I still struggle often with comparing myself and wondering how could I NOT be able to compete with that piece of work! And yes, logically I know it was never about ME, what I did or didn’t do (he has admitted that) and in reality it likely wasn’t about HER either. It was about HIM, and the stresses in HIS life that threw him into self-destruct mode. What he saw in her was a better reflection of HIMSELF in her eyes than what he was feeling on the inside at the time. He was weak and she took advantage of that. At least those are the things my brain tells me. My heart still tells me I am not good enough and never have been. My heart believes the mean things he spoke in the middle of his EA/PA when he was desperate to protect his dirty little secret. When he was deliberately picking fights with me to “justify” what he was doing with his slut.
      As for the future, it is hard to see it right now. It is hard to hear him say “I love you” when he said it to her. Does it even mean anything anymore? It is hard to lie in his arms in bed, when I know he let her do the same on two or three business trips. It is soul killing to know he let her spend the night with him. While he regrets it all now, and is in both IC and MC, and mostly doing the things I ask, it is hard to find the positive for the future. I think I am still grieving the loss of the marriage we had, which was GOOD, even by his OWN admission. That makes it even harder to take. At least if I could say we had grown apart, were fighting all the time, had stopped having sex…..ANYTHING…I might be able to make some sense of it.
      At the end of the day though, I have to agree with some of the other posters here who say we will probably never truly “get” it. Never have “all” the information. So I just get up every day and decide one more to forgive, and be the best me that I can. I am focusing more on myself. I have spent the last three years fighting for my marriage and trying to shield four kids from their dad’s choices. Time to think about what I need for my own healing.

      • Hopeful

        Gracefortoday, wow, a lot of your thought process rings familiar. Different scenario as my H didn’t have a PA but I do fear it might have led that way eventually. I discovered this all relatively early on. The stonewalling and nasty treating during it all to justify himself and distance us happened rather suddenly in a relationship that had been close and loving and lovely. We went form best year to worse with almost no transition.

        This comparing to the OW plagued forever and still gets me sometimes one year out. She was/is pretty sexy but not any more than I, and she’s desperate, unemployed ‘artists’ who hadn’t done much in a long while that wasn’t prodded by her seemingly great boyfriend of seven years. She is fine, in other words, and likely not a monster, but selfish and narcissistic. Lame. Loser. Getting older. There is no reason for me to belittled by her but I tortured myself. My H hates her now and what he did and I know this to be true. He was and she was too I guess under a hormonal / fantasy spell that was mostly about getting egos strokes for doing nothing to patch over gaping childhood wounds and lack of effort on both their parts to take care of and control of their lives. IT was a convenient salve that was easy to take for awhile and had nothing to do with each other or me. I know she hates him and they were basically lying to each other, too, presenting fantasy versions of themselves to each other. Lame.

        Anyway, I still don’t get it either. I don’t think my H does fully either and he is beyond ashamed.

        I think…it does take time and a certain amount of implosion of the relationship so it can be rebuilt. The PA dimension makes it harder. I was ripped apart simply from one kiss that occurred. Ripped apart.

        Anyway, six months may feel long, but it isn’t really very long at all.

        Hugs

      • Anita

        Gracefortoday,
        It is time for you to enjoy your life again.
        I hope your husband understands that by you giving him
        a second chance, you have given him that chance to
        make a better person of himself.
        I can understand why you feel the way you do, you gave
        time and effort towards fixing your marriage after his affair, and it has stolen time that was subpose to be yours to
        enjoy your life. this has robbed you from enjoying
        who you are and doing the things that made you happy.
        My advise is to go and do these things that bring you happiness and joy, and live again. If he is stupid enough to
        cheat again do yourself a favor and get rid of him.
        God gave you a life to enjoy and he also created you to
        be the best you can be, if a cheating spouse captures
        all your attention, that cheats you out of doing things that
        give you growth, instead your having to give attention
        to a spouse who can’t keep his pants on. That is unfair
        to you, and it cheats you out of enjoying your life.
        When your married both spouses should be allowed to
        grow and do things without cheating being a problem.
        Gracefortoday, its time for you to live again.

    • Rachel

      My husband took his wedding band off yesterday. His lawyer told him to. He cant make a decision to save his life. Someone always has to help him decide. It hit me really hard and I’m not sure why. Perhaps I always had a glimmer of hope because he’s kept the ring on for 3 weeks now after I filed.
      I’ve had this hope since he announced his love to the g. F. From thirty years ago.
      Well now he has someone else. She’s divorced and they work together.
      I can’t believe how disrespectful he is towards me. Why can’t he wait until the divorce is final before seeing anyone?

    • Anita

      Rachel,
      I am sorry.
      However, I am dealing with some emotions of my own
      past. I received some news a few days ago that has me
      in a bit of an uproar. Several months ago I set out to get
      my marriage annuled and I was quiet sure that my exhusband would partipate in order to get our marriage
      annuled. He told his family that he filled out the papers and mailed them, however that did not happen, after repeated attempts from my church to get him to partipate, there was no response from him. Either he lied to his
      family, or his family lied to me. Because of his lack of
      response they were unable to declare our marriage invalid,
      which means my exhusband and I are STILL married in
      our church, even though we have a civil divorce, and he’s remarried in civil law. I am having a hard time understanding why he didn’t partipate, it would have
      been a nice gift to his current wife to have our marriage annuled. All he had to do was answers some questions
      about how he felt prior to us getting married, and it would
      have been enough to declare our marriage invalid.
      I will never understand this man, and once again I need to forgive him.

      • rachel

        Anita, so sorry for your sadness.
        I agree with you, I will never understand this man!

      • Anita

        Rachel,
        I do understand your pain, my exhusband didn’t wait for
        our civil divorce to finalize either before he brought his relationship between him and his affair partner out into
        the open. I also was disgusted with him for not waiting,
        however overtime I realized it didn’t matter our marriage
        was to far gone. I guess I am still wondering why
        my ex husband wouldn’t partipate in the process of getting
        our own marriage annuled. His current wife is someone
        he met later, and maybe its just me, however if I were remarried to someone else I would want every single
        tie to my past marriage broken, in our case annuled.
        As for his current wife, I hope someday she will pressure
        him to follow through on this, she is my only hope that
        he will listen to her, and then maybe he will do this so I
        can be set free.
        If he never does this, I can never remarry within my church,
        instead I will have to go to another church to get remarried.
        Even then my new marriage will never be reconized within
        my home church, until my exhusband does his part to help get our marriage annuled.
        Rachel, we both have been through are share of heartache.
        I do hope for your sake that you get everything you want, even if that means reconcilation someday between you and
        your husband.
        For myself I want to be set free.

    • rachel

      Anita,
      My husband and I will never reconcile. He is a person that me and my boys don’t recognize. It is his loss. My plan is to take care of my boys and help them heal from what their selfish father has done and to concentrate on myself and rise above the pain that this man has caused.

    • Anita

      Rachel,
      I do understand and you are very much right “it is his loss.”
      However by you going forward with your life, it will take you
      further away from this.
      Through all of this, remember its ok to take time out and enjoy yourself, I don’t know what your hobbies or interests
      are, however you need to do them, it will lighten your mood,
      and give you a break. Do things that make you feel good.
      Take care.

    • Gizfield

      Omg,.I read on here not long ago about the Apathy phase, and I am SO there. Seriously. when the husband texts me I am I am like “I wish you would leave me alone, text your slut” I dont respond for like 30 minutes and it is very perfunctory, as they say. I have absolutely No interest in this guy tonite. He could eat shit and die. I think thats a very healthyreaction considering what he has done. I redid my contacts in my phone and he is now “liar” on my contact list. I LOVE it!

    • rachel

      Well my wedding rings are off. My cousin and his wife saw the H out dancing with another women. I am furious! We are not divorced! He leaves early in the morning and doesn’t return until late at night. He’s not even in touch with our boys. My heart aches for them. I can handle it but it’s them that i worry about. How can anyone be so selfish?

    • Anita

      Rachel,
      I agree that he should keep in touch with your sons.
      Are you both living in the same house?
      Its much more easier if your not. The less you are around him the better off you are, the less you know about what he doing at this point in the time, it makes it easier on you.
      Rachel, the moment I signed my divorce papers I moved to another state, of course I don’t suggest moving to another state, but I would suggest different living arrangements, where your at least not in the same house as him.
      When I moved away from my exhusband, it gave me that chance to heal and begin my own life. By me being in another state, it helped. Whatever he did no longer had
      an effect on me. My children were older so that was never a problem. I know this is hard time on you, and by you having your own place it makes it much better for you.
      Also for your own healing the least you know about what
      he’s doing each day makes your healing easier.
      Rachel, also don’t forget to doing things for yourself,
      go out and enjoy yourself, its for you.

    • rachel

      Anita,
      He still lives in the house. He won’t leave because he says it’s his house. He asked me to leave again on Thursday. Of course I won’t. My oldest son wants him to leave hasn’t told his father but has only told me. I try not to discuss it with my youngest because he is hurting so from this nightmare. The H discusses with our children that I won’t sign the home equity loan papers and we are going to go to bankrutcy because we have no money. Having 6,000.00 in his checking account doesn’t sound like no money to me. He is still full of lies. He golfs, goes out to lunch, drinks, goes to breakfast and now dancing clubs. I think he has plenty of money! I have been doing things for me and taking care of myself. But the stress that he gives me outweighs all of my trying to heal. Thank you, Anita.

    • Anita

      Rachel,
      He sure hasn’t made this easy for you.
      When my exhusband and I divorced we sold our home and gave our children the household items, my children really appreicated getting those things. My exhusband and I went
      our separate ways and started over from scratch.
      At first it was hard, however overtime I accumalated everything back again, long with buying my own home.
      In fact it wouldn’t hurt for me to get rid of some items again,
      its amazing how fast things accumalate.
      My exhusband and I agreed from the beginning that we would do it that way, and it helped because then there were
      no disagreements, and we were both glad to let our children have it all.
      I hope things get better for you soon.

    • Surviving

      @Rachel,
      I can’t believe your husband is being so selfish,
      For him to live there and carryon like this is beyond comprehension.
      At what point can you force him to move out? Or do you have to sell your place?

    • Rachel

      I can’t force him out. He said he will leave on divorce day.
      We will go to court in a few weeks. I guess thisnisnwhere things are told what I want kind of thing. My attorney believes that I will get the house. My boys need something normal. They are having a very difficult time. They don’t spend anytime with their father. That is their choice. I don’t bad mouth him to them. They see what he has done to our family and completely disagree. They said that he will be sorry some day. But this is what he wants. He said that we are not the first family to divorce and won’t be the last. The kids are older and we will be still close. The kids have backed away. What father leaves his family to seek happiness? It’s all about him!

    • Surviving

      @Rachel,
      Was he always this selfish?
      Ok I get it he doesn’t want to be married and be a dad, actually I don’t understand how he could just walk away from it all but them to stay there and behave this way is beyond hurtful.
      The kids see this behavior and it will be very hard for them to forgive him.

    • rachel

      Surviving,
      No he wasn’t actually selfish before. He had surgery on his neck in 2010 and he started to change then. He wasn’t perfect anymore. It didn’t bother me but he’s been perfect for his entire life. He’s very handsome, perfect clothes, teeth, hair. So I think this is when things started to go down hill. He started going to the gym, wearing cologne, dying his hair, etc. Then in Feb. 2011 he started the affair. He was with her when he was 20 yrs. old.
      It shocks me that he is walking away from our children. Why wouldn’t you work on yourself, then your marriage. Then if it doesn’t work at least you could say that you tried.

    • Surviving

      @Rachel,
      So true, once you make the commitment and have kids you owe it to them to make the extra effort.
      For whatever reason he’s putting his selfish needs first above everyone and then to stay in the house and mentally torture you and the kids with his childish behavior is something he will regret.

      His looks and health will deteriorate as he adds on more years.

    • Gizfield

      Rachel, your story is one of the more unusual ones I’ve read on here. Your husband or ex, whichever he is, is a very mixed up individual. It’s interesting he changed so much after the surgery. My husband had a quadruple heart bypass in his very early 40s, and changed significantly personality wise. It’s just really odd. Like some sort of switch flipped in their brains. Good luck with this one, for sure.

    • Rachel

      Surviving,
      my oldest son said to me maybe he is angry with you because you are accepting turning 50 and aging gracefully. My 81 year old dad said to me on Saturday that the man that I am married to has changed since his surgery. People have noticed this everyone but him.
      Gizfield, yes his brain has been switched by the switch. You are exactly right.

    • Angie73

      My husband had a EO with his ex girlfriend he dated when he was 19. He is now 40. We have been seeking couseling back in May 2011. I guess he started talking to her around April. I found out about it July 14th 2011. He had been acting like a jerk and being very distant. I looked at his phone and found a text and had the name as Eric. It said xoxox and I looked at the sent messages and he sent xoxox and more xoxoxo for the road. I then called the number and a girl answered. I hung up. I asked him who he was talking to and who she was..he said nobody it’s this dude from work and we just screw around like that. I didn’t believe him. We argued that day. I told him to call the number n he didnt want to cuz he said the girl was probably “Erics” wife. I said whatever! I kept bugging him to text or call. He wouldnt. I walked out the room n guess he text her real fast. He then walked out the room n put the phone on the counter. His phone went off..I read it and it was from her and it said Ok. His ent message was deleted. He said his phone sometimes does that. LOL Anyways, July 16th I found out he was talking to a girl. He said he met a girl at work. But as all woman do I kept investgating.. I paid for a reverse look up and got his ex girlfriends name. Elisha.. I finished my investgating on July 18th. He was on his way back from school. I asked him if he was talking to her and he said yes it was her and He was so sorry and he never ment to hurt me but they did nothing but talk. To this day I hurt. I compare myself all the time. Why he cn’t text me as much as he did her..text me as soon as he hears from me.,talk to me has much as he did her and during work. Now i get I am busy. But then I ask myself..u werent busy when u were talking to her. all of a sudden u r busy when it comes to me? I hate myself.. I wish I was beautiful so I can catch his eye.. I wish I was smart. I wish I wasnt a boring person so he can talk to me. We never have date nights. i want to be needed and cared for. I want to be thought of.. I can spend my time thinking about him and how much I love him. He hates it when I bring things up. He expects me to get over it cuz its been a yr already. Things trigger my moods and thoughts. I don’t know what to do anymore. He says he loves me and he did stop talking to her but It is so hard to move on and our marriage goes up and down. He isnt one who is affectionate and romantic. I need that and he knows it but doesnt do anything about it. someone help me.. can’t afford couseling anymore.

      • Maggie

        Hi Angie73,
        I know exactly how you feel. I am in the exact situation as you are. Same story – ex girlfriend from their teenage years, she 14, he 18. They are both in their 40s now and married, the slut no kids, we have 2 kids.
        Texting and calling every single day (include weekends and holidays even when we were on family trips together) for 2 and a half months till I found a text message on his phone.
        It past 8 months from D-Day and I am still seething with feelings of anger, hurt, betrayal and sadness.
        He said it has ended and I keep tabs on phone bills, messages, etc but all records are clean. My H hates it too when I talk about it cos he doesn’t want to remember what he has done to hurt me.
        Now he does his best to repair the damage and I can see his efforts but I just want to hurt him over and over again. I pick a fight or argue whenever I feel moody or negative and lay all the blame and shit on him. Divorce is always mentioned by me and he will plead and beg for forgiveness.
        Maybe you should be more assertive and tell him what u need and want. It takes two to make a marriage work. There are a lot of counseling websites that you can look up for help or someone in your church (pastor, family life council, etc) can help.
        Best of luck and take care of yourself who is the most important person in this situation.

    • Anita

      Angie73
      If you have a pastor, they maybe able to help you to find
      some counceling, or support group.
      Angie73, the most helpful thing you can do for yourself is
      to forgive him for your own peace of mind.

    • Josie30

      Oh my gosh. This is surreal since I can relate to so much that Maggie and Angie73 have said. It’s been 2 years since my Dday and I still have SO many angry feelings. My H is trying hard and is truly sorry but I still can’t forget the disconnect he had during his EA with his slutty assistant. She is a divorcee with 2 daughters and was also one of my best friends! I took her to fund raisers, plays, dinners and we even took her on a conference with us. She had it made!! then she got breast cancer and had a double mastectomy and replaced the B’s with a couple of double D’s. I read once that women who go through that experience feel as though they have lost their sexuality. So I guess she felt that way and so she decided to test it with my husband. They were good friends (as she and I were) and we both helped her through it. But little did I know she started texting him and playing the damsel in distress role. Which of course he fell for hook, line & sinker. I had always noticed that she was the type to play the card of “poor me” and “I have such a hard life and a crappy ex”. But then she really played it up. So the texts became more and more frequent and she started telling him what a great body he has. And he ate it up! And responded to her by telling her she was sexy too. This texting continued and progressed for several weeks before one went to my daughter by a mistake! She forwarded it to me very confused so I said it was for me. Which she didn’t even question since her dad and I had always shared a very loving and physical relationship. We were always holding hands and hugging up until the disconnect a few months prior. (He kept blaming stress from the job when I would ask him what was wrong) The text made me very suspicious so I went on our cell carrier website and pulled up his data. And could NOT believe how many texts were exchanged daily! Sometimes as many as 50! From the minute they got up around 4:30-5 until bed around 11 or 12. They stopped for the most part during the work day unless he was at a meeting. How did I not know this was going on for months?? Even while we were on a family vacation they were going back and forth every half hour.
      When I printed out the data and went to his office and told him to fess up he did. I said she is gone tomorrow! He dragged his feet for a couple weeks on the firing so I drew a line in the sand and said her or me. He fired her that day.
      My H claims it was definitely on its way to a PA but it was discovered before and nothing physical happened. I have grilled him to the nth degree and he sticks to his EA only story. I am still so hurt and angry about it!! It was a double whammy from my H and my friend!! How could I have been so blind! When we went on the conference a few months
      prior my sister was there as well since she is in the same business and she said to me “Watch out for that one…. She is trouble” I said “what are you taking about? They are just good friends” Then she said “I’m telling you! She is sending out the “F#^* Me” vibe to your husband!!” I poo poo’d her accusation since my H was not the type! Or at least never was. He always prided himself on being a loyal, hard working family oriented person. And always was. It was like I was looking at someone I didn’t even know. The transformation was unbelievable -from when she got diagnosed in summer of 2009 through the winter when we went on the conference then in the early spring is when he really disconnected and thats when the texts doubled. I am still obsessed with wanting to know every detail and trying to piece together when and how we fell apart. We were always so great together and always so connected and loving. I knew we were in a slump since I was occupied with kids and their numerous activities and didn’t give him much attention. But I didn’t think he needed it. And I figured it was just a stage in our life that would be over soon. We went to concealing for 6 months and he continued alone for another 3.
      Do I need to just let go of the obsession with wanting to know if more happen? I still have this awful fear that it was a EA & PA and he won’t admit it. Does it make it much worse being an EA & PA? I know for sure the EA almost destroyed me. I don’t know if the PA on top of that would or not. But I also hate feeling like we are living a lie. My H is working hard at returning to his old self, holding my hand all the time, being very helpful with the kids, coming home for a family dinner, hugging and kissing me for no reason, leaving me an occasional love note, Texting me once or twice a day to ask how I am. He even has posted a few love notes on my FB wall! Knowing that her friends will see it and probably report it back to her since we have mutua friends. I still love him so much but this has changed me forever. I have a wall up now. I have trust issues now and I am not quite as optimistic as I used to be. People always used to tell me how much they loved my optimism and enthusiasm! I feel so different. Even 2 years post Dday. Can someone tell me if I should just drop the obsessive PA thoughts and move on? Oh I should mention that the slut wrote me a letter a year after we canned her saying she was “sorry I got so hurt over their friendship” What a joke and a cop out if I ever heard one! She even had the nerve to say she and my H never meant to hurt me! And that she always liked me. And also said nothing physical happened. But why on earth would I believe her! I can’t help but think Did my H put her up to writing me? We live in a small town and she lives here too so it could have been so that I don’t call her a whore in public (which I never would because I have class).
      But my mind spins all the time. I guess my big question for everyone is…. Do I need to know everything for us to heal or am I better off just believing him and trying to move on” Has anyone ever found out much later that it was a EA & a PA and been able to repair? Do you wish you had not known about the PA? Help!

      • Anita

        Josie30,
        Move on, whats done is done, and its the here and now thats important. 2 years have passed, and what happened
        back then is over. Its better to live in the present and leave the past behind, there is nothing you can do to change the past and it is what it is, let it go.

      • Healing Mark

        Josie30. Can’t speak for you, but can speak for me. I did not have to know everything to put my W’s EA behind us and reach the point where I could genuinely forgive my W for all the hell she brought to our family as a result of her EA. What I needed to know was (1) that she recognized that the closeness she chose to develop with the OM, and the lies and deceit that she utilized to hide and maintain her EA until she decided to end it, was and were wrong, (2) that she was truly sorry for all that she had done and would never, ever make such mistakes again, and (3) that she truly understood that if she started developing a relationship with another person that in any way crossed the boundaries that we have now mutually established for our marriage I would end our marriage and all friends and family would know the truth about her prior EA and subsequent decision to engage in conduct that she knew would result in the ending of our marriage.

        For a period of time, I, of course, obsessed about my W’s EA as well as to whether or not her affair had become physical at some point (it had) and the extent to which their “closeness” extended. These obsessions had to end before I could move on and potentially forgive my W. Fortunately, they did, but if it helps you, they did not end soon enough for me and I believe that I very much understand how you are feeling right now.

        For me, I from almost day one believed my W and her AP (a former good friend who when I confronted him about the affair, not only swore that nothing physical had happened – other than holding hands which he confessed to – and apologized for all that had transpired with my W, but who also was able to provide me with email correspondence that probably wasn’t concocted in which he and my W lamented the fact that their morals would not allow them become physically intimate even though both wished the circumstances were such that they could) when they said they did nothing more than hold hands or rub shoulders (actually, I can’t imagine that they did not kiss, which I don’t have a huge problem with, but they swore that they felt that if they did so, their kissing would no doubt lead to sex). But for awhile, I probably did not really, deep down believe them until I got to a point where I could trust my W sufficiently once again. And that took time and appropriate actions by my W, so in the interim, there were doubts as to whether I was being told the truth. The fact is, even if they had confessed to having had a PA, unless I had some objective evidence like a video tape of them having sex together, I wouldn’t really know the truth. So it was best for me to accept the story as presented to me and put it behind me and move on with my life.

        I will say that I made it clear to the OM that if I later found out that the affair was more than an EA, I would make his life a living hell and no doubt cause the end of his marriage by disclosing to his W what had happened. This after making it clear that if he had had a PA with my W and confessed at that time, I was willing to keep things quiet (I really didn’t want it getting out that my W had had an affair, not so much for what people might think of me, but more about what they would think about what they thought about my W, and the inevitable damage it would cause to our children). He stuck to his story, and to me this made the story at least a bit more believable.

        I also made it clear to my W that if I ever found out that she was lying about the depth of her affair, especially if she had had sex with the AP, I would consider this the same thing as her having another affair and would immediately end our marriage and disclose to all the fact that she had not only developed an inappropriate relationship with the AP, but lied about how far she had strayed when she knew that lying would potentially cause the end of our marriage. I also promised not to divorce her (I might have been lying) if she fessed up, and promised to not disclose the occurrence of the affair to anyone other than our counselor as we worked on our marriage no matter how far physically she had gone with the AP. Honestly, I did this in part to get to a point where I could more easily believe my W no matter what she said, but also to impress upon her subtlety that, if there was any evidence out there that I was not then aware of which evidenced the fact that her affair was a PA rather than just an EA, such evidence really, really needed to be permanently destroyed. I suppose this indicates my feeling at the time, and my feeling now, that it may not be possible to continue a relationship with someone who you know has strayed at one point, lied about the affair’s true nature, and then been caught in that lie.

        So give you H the benefit of the doubt, but also let him know that while you are from this point on not going to concern yourself with exactly what he did with the OW, including whether or not he had sex with her or otherwise got physical with her, he better be damned sure that nothing ever comes out that is contrary to his description of the extent of his affair, including evidence that the affair was a PA rather than an EA.

        • Josie30

          Healing Mark: Thank you so much for your input. It is very helpful. I relate so much to your conversations with your W. They sound very close to the ones I have had with my H. I too told him I would allow this one mistake in our marriage but 2 strikes and you are out. I also told him that I wanted full disclosure and that if anything should come out later even years from now that it would be unforgivable and I would take the children and leave him. And to not fool himself into believe that the OW would be able to keep that a secret forever. (We have so many mutual friends). And he also had plenty of opportunities to fess up to the truth both in our counseling sessions as well as when we just sit outside and talk. You are very correct in the fact that I need to put it in the past and forgive. I just find it so hard to forgive. I keep having visions of them together. But they are getting less and less frequent. Maybe part of it is time and the other part is like you said, a sincere effort on my H part to continue to show me how sorry he is and to be open and honest from now on. You sound like you are further along in the healing process than I am. How long has it been since Dday for you if you don’t mind me asking? I am hoping that I can get to a point that I can trust him again and feel the love toward him that I once had.

    • Josie30

      **Sorry not concealing but counseling.

    • Disappointed

      Really had a low moment yesterday. I went to my first “Insanity workout” type training class. Stepping outside my comfort zone, trying something new and attempting to lose weight. Hoping to make new friends outside the social circle I share with my H. Turns out there are only 3 of us in the class. Me with 50 lbs to lose and two trophy wives/soccer moms with maybe 5lbs between them. (The OW was thin and athletic – almost masculine looking from working out.) One even looks like the OW. Class went fine, but got in my car and started to sob. The OW has been out of the picture for 10 months but haunts me still and I hate it. I will never be as small as her-I am tall and curvy not flatchested and built like a runner. I will never be athletic and run with my husband or ski with him. I wonder if I will ever feel pretty again and it makes me so mad that I have let her and my H take all of that from me. It is my fault that I have given them this power. Taking the class was to reclaim it, but when I saw the women and had to liten to thm talk about their kids (Iwanted kids but had fertility issues) was a double whammy that blew me out of the water. My mom said to quit the class if it upset me, but I dont want to let the OW win. She destroyed so much (she was a friend). And yes, he broke his vows. But him chosing her even if just for a short time has completely messed up my head. I will work hard and hope to someday erase her from my memory.

      • Anita

        Disappointed,
        When others hurt us we need to forgive them, and overcome evil with good.
        Start taking control over your thoughts, you have the power to cast down wrong thoughts and replace them with good thoughts.
        God made you, and its your inner beauty that counts, and not the outside.
        If your wanting to workout do it for your health, and its good
        for you. We all have to start somewhere. Do it for you.
        Have you considered adoption? There are so many children that would love to have a mom.
        The past is over, and today is a new day!

      • chiffchaff

        Disappointed – you have to stop comparing yourself negatively to the OW and concentrate on doing those things that you want to do that make YOU feel better. Don’t do things that you’re only doing to try and bridge the gap that you see between you and her. I have had exactly the same problem (I too am taller, curvier, heavier and not as obsessed with looks as the OW) and it caused me such pain until I focused on doing those things that I felt I needed to do FOR ME.
        I didn’t like how big I’d become, so I started to lose weight, for me.
        I had once been very fit, I decided I wanted to be very fit again, for me.
        It’s easier to do things for yourself than constantly beat yourself up about what you’re not.
        Remember that the affair wasn’t about you, none of your perceived failings in how you look made any difference to what your H did. Focusing on that helps, well it helped me.
        Find a better class to attend that has more people in it is my suggestion. You will have to learn to cope with people who are thinner, sportier, whatever, than you but in a larger group this is easier as there will be people who you perceive as being not as good as you. Then when you have more confidence you’ll be able to tackle smaller group sessions like that and not give a monkeys about the other women.
        Don’t let the bastards grind you down.

    • melissa

      Negative thoughts…

      I wonder whether my husband is in love with his wife, still…
      Or still in love with HER
      Does he feel every day’s little joy?
      Does he know tomorrow’s happiness?

      But nothing erases my sadness
      Hour in hour out
      Day in day out
      Week in week out
      Month in month out

      Sometimes it’s kept in harness

      Some times…
      Is he in love with me, still?
      Or is he still in love with HER?

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