Hello Everybody!

We had a very nice Christmas and we hope that you managed to do the same.  Since everybody is home from school, we’ve been taking it easy and just enjoying the holidays and the time off.

We’ll take the rest of the week off from blogging, but did want to throw out a discussion topic for the week.

It’s been obvious that likewise many of you are taking some time to be with family and friends, or just doing whatever, which is to be expected this time of year.

Since this is such a tough time for people trying to survive an affair, we wanted to hear how Christmas went for you.

Please share your Christmas experiences with the rest of the blog community – good or bad.

What sort of challenges were you faced with during the holidays that may have been different from any other time of year?

Perhaps you can share how you were able to cope with triggers, emotions, thoughts and any other affair related issue that came about.

If there is anything else you want to share or have questions about, please feel free to throw it out there!

Take care and have a happy New Year!

Linda & Doug

    64 replies to "Discussion: Please Share Your Christmas Experiences"

    • D

      Two years ago after opening presents my wife sneaked off a quick email saying “Merry Christmas sweetheart, xoxo” to the OM.

      After she confessed in January and told me she didn’t love him or had any real feelings for him and that they had broken up mid December for good, I read the emails and found that one liner as the Coda to their affair. I had expected at the end to read, “It’s over. Leave me alone.” It was enough to send me over the edge.

      Last year I bitterly wanted to send her that email, a sarcastic little FU on this happy holiday. I didn’t.

      This year I almost forgot about it entirely and when I did it just sounded silly and stupid. I’m looking forward to next year.

      Now on to a much happier New Year.

    • kelly

      This was my third Christmas since D-Day. The first one was miserable and the second one was better, but nothing to write home about. There was a time when I thought Christmas and other holidays were forever tainted because of text messages or emails my SO sent to other women. Guess what? This year I didn’t think about it at all. Never entered my mind, not even once!!

    • Hopeful

      My H and I both work full-time, and so the biggest challenge this holiday season for me has been that we have both taken time off from work for family time, which means that we have had more time in each other’s presence than we have had since Dday. And it has been stressful. I have had more time in the past several days to think about our relationship than I have had in months. My H and I had a heart-to-heart discussion last night, which was sad and painful. He expressed deep regret and guilt and shame about his EA. He said that he loves me “so much”. However, he also indicated (for the umpteenth time in the last 8 months) that he is not “getting what he needs” from our relationship and hasn’t been for years. Frankly, I am so sick and tired of hearing about his unidentified needs, which I am apparently not meeting. If it weren’t for our children, I would be so done with him. At this point, I just don’t know what to do. I don’t know if I should keep trying. I feel as though I have tried really hard (I initiated marriage counseling in April (which, unbeknownst to me at the time, was in the midst of his EA); I’ve read a million books; I tried to do exercises with him from marriage counseling and from the books), but I have endured so many unkindnesses from him in the past 10 months (i.e., when he told me during his EA that he “is not attracted to me and hasn’t been for 20 years” (!!)) that when I review all of the unkind comments he has made to me, coupled with his ongoing assertions that he is not getting what he needs from our relationship, I wonder why I keep trying. Thoughts? Advice? Suggestions? Has anyone else’s spouse ever said anything like that to them (about not being attracted to them for 20 years)?

    • mamak

      I fretted and worried about how I might handle the holidays for weeks leading up to our events. At first, I found I didn’t think about it and went on with things per usual, but there were triggers and they impacted my ability to enjoy myself on multiple occasions. (We are 9 months from Dday, 6 months since my H broke off his relationship and stopped the constant contact and 4 months since she left her job (they were at the same company, on the same team) and as far as I know, that’s their last contact…)

      Here are a couple of my bad moments….
      One of our guests at a holiday event was discussing a news story about a political candidate and her infidelity with one of her staff members. It turned into a party-wide discussion about infidelity and I really struggled maintaining my cool until I was able to remove myself. None of the guests knew about our situation, and the conversation probably seemed harmless to everyone else. After I left the room, taking deep breaths to keep myself from turing into a crying mess, my husband came to ask if everything was alright. He was a part of the conversation, yet had no idea what might have upset me. The whole thing was probably 5 minutes of the time, but the emotions lasted the rest of the day, and resulted in a blow-up later that night because I was so frustrated that he didn’t understand what upset me, and even after me telling him he still didn’t seem to get why I got so worked up about it.

      My husband also wrote me a nice note in a card, talking about how I might feel like 2011 is a year to forget but he hopes it’s a Christmas to remember etc. which was sweet, but it was the first thing I ‘got’ on Christmas morning and the reminder of his EA made me feel disconnected from my children and the excitement the rest of the morning, so much so that I forgot to take pictures.

      Reading other responses here, I am hopeful that future holidays will be easier.

    • ifeelsodumb

      Hopeful…have you read the book “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman? My sister recommended it to me months ago…just never got around to reading it!
      Anyway, my H is out of town on business, I couldn’t sleep, and since I’m still having such sad feelings about how my H isn’t connecting with me, not helping rebuild our marriage…I figured, what the heck! So I downloaded the book on my PC and started reading!
      I have to say, it’s a good book! I learned that MY love language is Quality Time, time spent just talking! Which is why I don’t feel loved by my H…he’s not a deep talker at all, and what I mean by that, we’ll discuss where we are going to dinner, what we’ll order for dinner, how good the dinner was, etc…but we don’t talk about US!! And I NEED that!! That’s MY love language!
      And I learned that my H’s Love Language (LL) is Words of Affirmation! He NEEDS me to tell him that he’s a great guy, he’s intelligent, that I appreciate him, etc!! And to be honest, I wasn’t doing that! He does do a lot to help me around the house,(that’s called Acts of Service) but I never told him how much I appreciated it….BUT…when the OW came on the scene, Oh Boy, that’s how she reeled him in!! He said it was an “ego boost” and he really enjoyed the compliments she gave him…aka.. Words of Affirmation…my H’s Love Language!!!
      So now I know what I have to do…when he comes home today, I’m going to have his favorite meal ready to put on the table, the house will be sparkling, all Christmas decorations put away, I’m going to create a warm, inviting home…and I’m going to let him know how much I truly appreciate him! He hates going out of town on business, so I’m going to let him know that I truly appreciate the sacrifice he makes!
      The author of the book says that once you decipher your spouses love language (LL), and start speaking it, then you will see a difference in your marriage…so you know what….I’m going to try it!! What do I have to lose? I love him, I want to repair my marriage, I want us BOTH to be happy…and my ranting at him for having the EA is doing more damage than good, especially since his love language IS words of affirmation!! Does that make sense?
      I also discovered that the love language of Physical Touch is not MY love language!! In fact, when I’m busy in the kitchen or my mind is somewhere else and my H starts to hug on me, try to kiss me, well, honestly, that irritates me!! LOL! BUT, in the test at the end of the book that you take to discover what your LL is I scored lowest on Physical Touch…and it makes sense…I grew up in a home where we didn’t hug, touch, kiss, etc…In fact, I don’t remember seeing my parents do ANY of those things in front of me!! BUT and this is huge, my H grew up in a large Italian family, where you are greeted by a kiss and a hug when you arrive and when you leave!! So that is normal for him, for me, no. Also, my H grew up in a family where, as the first born, he was given a lot of responsibility, and also A LOT of discipline…and he was never told that he did a great job, or that what he did was appreciated…he was just expected as the firstborn, to get it done!!
      This makes soooo much sense to me now!! I would encourage you to read the book…it can’t hurt, right?
      Also, what your H said during the EA HAS to be taken with a grain of salt…to put it bluntly, they act like stupid, brainless, immature, selfish morons during AND after the EA!!! Of course he was attracted to you!! Good Grief…he’s been married to you all those years! Had children with you!
      Listen, just recently during a discussion about the EA, I asked my H what did he say about ME to the OW…he didn’t want to answer me, but I pushed for an answer since I KNEW it wasn’t good, based on the fact that during the EA his cousin deleted me from her FB…and she really HATES me now…and I’m like “Geez, what did I do to her”, and since I did nothing, I KNOW he had to have said some pretty bad things about me!
      So I asked him “On a scale of 1-10, how negative where you about me? He said a 7-8…so 70 to 80% of what he said about me was bad…I then asked what were some of the things you said, and again he didn’t want to tell me, but I pushed and he said he told her I NEVER got out of bed before 10:30 or 11:00 am…LOL…Hmm, it’s 9:36 right now and I’ve been up since 7… ;p and also that I didn’t do the laundry, cook dinner, vacuum, sweep, etc…and when she asked what DID I do…he told her I go out with my friends at night to movies, etc….I laughed out loud when he told me this!! It was ALL a pack of lies!! So yea, they had a “honest” relationship, didn’t they?? LOL!!! Oh, and OF COURSE she proceeded to tell him how she “HAS” to work, she wishes she had MY life, but she can’t afford to quit work, she does everything around the house, no one helps her,even though she has 3 able bodied teens that live at home!! I took great pleasure in pointing out to my H, thanks to her FB pictures that aren’t blocked, all the trips she and her fam have made in the last 2 yrs!! Expensive trips!! Poor her… “she HAS to work, she can’t afford to stay home” well, my advice, keep your fat butt (and trust me, I saw the pics….it IS fat, hehehe) HOME…and maybe you can stay home and sleep in until 11 am!!! LOL!
      Anyway, Hopeful, maybe you can read the book and try to meet your H’s love language…All I know is that I’m TIRED of the sadness that seems to dwell in side of me all the time…I want to get past this, I really do, and I believe that my H does love me, he just doesn’t love me the way that I respond to best…I’m going to put into practice what I’ve learned and I’m going to show him what MY love language is…so maybe we can stop hurting each other, and get back on the path to a more stable home life…for ourselves AND our children! Hope this helps!

    • Bewildered

      7 months post D-day…..A few days prior to Christmas my Husband sent me a poinsettia like he has done for many many years. Unfortunately the many many years before he had his secret friend Sarah in the shadows so when the poinsettia arrived at my work this year I gave it to a co worker who was having a terrible week. It made her day. Major blow up with my husband because I never brought home the plant – to me he should not have been automatically sending me plants if things were so bad he needed his friend on the side. To me sending the plant all of those years represented guilt and was not a genuine jesture on his part therefore I could care less if he ever sends me another one. Once I explained this he did his best to pull me out of my hole and we managed to salvage Christmas for our kids. I could tell that my reaction killed him because he prides himslef on being a gentleman just like his Dad was by sending flowers..unfortunately, his EA with Sarah ruined that permanently.
      One other thing I needed to convey was that his words no longer mean anything to me (because he misled me for soooo long) that his actions (and unfortunetly they have to be all new) are the only way I am able to tell how he feels until trust is rebuilt. 20 years is a long time to deceive someone. And that those were his actions not mine so I am not to blame.

    • JS

      Hopeful –
      I can identify with some of what you are saying. My H told me something similar in the midst of his EA, before I even knew he was in an EA. He said he had been unhappy with me for more than 2 years and he would not be putting up with it any more. He blamed me for having “changed” and become a different person and said he wasn’t getting what he needed from the marriage. (Keep in mind he was putting exactly zero into our marriage and had expectations that everything would be done for him, so to hear him say he wasn’t getting his needs met made me want to stick a pencil in his eye.) And, although he didn’t say this part to my face, I found notes he had written about what was wrong with me, and the first one was that I had really “let myself go” and look frumpy and dumpy. That hurt me so deeply. We are about 15 months post D-Day (I had 3 D-Days due to his inability to stop the EA), and I still remember how much it hurt to hear him say those things and to read his thoughts. When we talk now and I tell him that, he just about tears up and says how sorry he is for having thought that, and he admits now that he was doing everything he could to make me the villan so he could justify the EA. He also admitted he was comparing his 41 year-old, accomplished, professional wife who carried his two children (and has an imperfect body as a result), to his 23 year-old bleach-blond file clerk mistress who has all the time in the world to work out and be perfect. (no offense to any file clerks out there, just saying I work twice the hours she does WITH two kids a family to support, and her daily goals are finding the next happy hour and hitting the gym – it’s easy to look like a supermodel with that life.) It is still very hard for me to push out of my mind, even though I know his thoughts and words were coming from the “affair fog.” My H now admits that you get what you give, and he was giving me nothing back then. Things aren’t perfect now, but he’s giving more than he ever has, and he says he now understands what he wasn’t doing in the past and that he was selfish and expected me to do everything for him. If your H is still a bit in that fog of expecting you to be his everything and not giving you much back, hopefully he will come out of it and realize that he needs to give in order to get, and that by giving, he might find that he is getting more in return and is, in fact, getting his needs met.

      Your comment about starting counseling in the midst of his EA hit home, too. I did the same thing. “What can I do to be a better wife since my husband is so unhappy with me?” And the whole time he was lobbing these bombs about what was wrong with me to our counselor, yet was having an affair. The injustice of that is still quite painful for me and sparks anger from time to time. How does a person do that to someone they claim they love? I just don’t get it. I’ve told him I am what I am and if he doesn’t like it, get out. I know I’ve always been a very generous wife and mother, and I have always been there for him and he knows it, and if that’s not enough for him, go see what that 23 year-old will do for you, buddy, and how quickly that will flame out.

    • csb

      Mamak – same thing here! In an effort to “return to normalcy”, my H and I decided to have a pre-Christmas party with friends. We are almost 3 months since DDay, when I discovered his 1 1/2 year EA with an old girlfriend (yes, Face Book, I hate you..thanks!)

      Anyway, a friend showed up and began to tell us how her fiance had a PA, etc. Her DDay was around the same as mine, so it hit home. Her feelings were very raw and you could tell she just needed to vent. I tried to sit there and appear like I was just part of the audience, but I felt the room closing in around me. I excused myself, saying I had to clean up.

      I now view every holiday, birthday (children and my own), anniversary, etc. that happened in that past 1 1/2 years with a feeling of revulsion, because I know it was a lie on his part and I was a fool, thinking we were a happy couple. I just hope I one day don’t see things that way. I feel I earned those special dates and memories and it’s so unfair that he has tainted them for me.

      I guess it’s to be expected, every Dear Abby column, news blurb about cheating stars, etc. strikes a chord now.

    • Holding On

      This was my first Christmas, almost 6 months out from D-Day. It has been a hard holiday season. I have not felt in the mood of doing the shopping, cooking, cards, etc. I felt very removed from the excitement and I have several young children. It has been sad to not be “in the moment” with them. However, I will say, this has been the best Christmas at truly appreciating the season and celebration of the birth of the Savior. I have a deep love for Him and His love for me. He knows my pain and sorrows. He has borne them. He is the one that can and has truly been with me through this painful and dark time in my life. This has been the trial of a lifetime. I never expected this and the pain and devastation of the person you love and trust the most doing something so damaging really has been life altering.

      Going into the Christmas week, I was not feeling close to my H and we tried to spend more time and get in a better place. I so wanted my Christmas to be during happy times and not my “pit” days. So we spent some extra time and I was up until the 23rd during shopping. I think the stress and also my “time of the month” and worrying about being happy just was overpowering. I had a hard converstation during shopping and asked if I was not working nights, would the EA have happened. Stupid question. If he says it wouldn’t have, I blame myself. If he says it probably would have anyway, he is a scumball and I hate him. So it ended badly – I think he said it probably wouldn’t have…blame me. And really, we can’t change the past, why do I go back? It was alright until Christmas Eve, we spent time with inlaws and I hate the faking as if I am doing wonderful. I hate the fake small talk on what I have been up to. What I have been up to the last 6 months is mental, emotional, and physical anguish. The daily fight to control my thoughts, feelings, and emotions. So I was feeling quite down that evening as we prepared Christmas together. Then I exploded and basically told him all the things he did wrong. All the disgust for his choices during that time. All the hurt and pain. He was wonderful and took it, but I hate doing this. I hate my emotions. Christmas morning was quiet and distant. It was horrible opening presents from him and feeling such disconnect from him and the happiness that should be ours. I feel horrible that I let the past and past behaviors effect my present happiness. By Christmas afternoon, I was able to come around and feel better, but pretty much everyday since has been distance, sadness, pain and “pit” feelings and just utter disbelief, anger, disgust. It’s like I’m hitting all those grief stages over and over all day long. It is exhausting. I have also had lots of questions and accusations over his past actions that I can’t seem to let go of and have been telling him again of how wrong he was. Not good. Also, we are still having family in and that is an added burden and stress when no one knows of our situation.

      Like mamak, I am also hopeful by reading the other posts that next Christmas will be better and maybe the year after I won’t even give most of the stuff that runs through my mind now a passing glance.

    • Holding On

      Hopeful,

      I found out after the EA, that my husband has not been happy in the marriage for a long time. He phrased it as it has been overall negative for 12 of the 16 years of marriage. NICE. And he tried to tell me but felt I never listened or fixed things and basically gave up. It is very hard to “fix” our marriage now, after the EA, although that is our goal.

      I feel for you and can feel the frustration on making him happy. I feel like I don’t really know what exactly I need to do to make my husband more happy. Can I be the one to do that fully? Does he need to take some responsibility for his own happiness? I think the books 5 Love Languages and His Needs, Her Needs are great for finding out what needs your husband might need to feel love from you. I also would suggest getting really specific and asking what he needs and make a list. Is he able to verbalize what exactly you are lacking in giving him? If he thinks you aren’t giving him what he needs, he HAS to let you know what those things are.

      We have yet to really sit down and tackle some of my H’s needs and lackings with me being so hurt and angry and up and down on the EA recovery. So he is even at a more negative place now than before the EA happened…I just can’t fully appreciate, adore, and give affection. Or I have some really good days, replaced by horrible days…and the negatives outweigh the positives.

      I’m so sorry, Hopeful. It would be hard to keep trying and feel like you are failing. At times, I also wonder if I will ever be able to be what he wants if I never was able to in the past…and I thought we were happy. I would have said we were in a “comfortable” stage of marriage. I would have said, overall positive. It is a really crummy place to be in.

    • DJ

      Bewildered – while my husband’s six-year affair is nowhere near 20, I do have some of the same issues you have. There seemed to be nothing my husband could say or do that he had not said or done to her. She was a major part of his life for a long time. Just saying he loved me was a trigger at first because he said it and wrote it many times a day to her. There were no words of romance, no gifts, nothing that was not a reminder of his affair. We almost gave up. My online therapist suggested I come up with a list of my needs for recovery. We tweaked it and I presented it to my husband. At first he got mad. But he kept the list and now I can see that he is doing stuff from it. It is helping.

      Cheating spouses are famous for saying their needs weren’t met. Well, now the shoe is on the other foot and you have needs that they need to meet, or else. Seriously, or else.

      Holding On – yes, it gets better. Last Christmas was a disaster for my family. This one was blessed. Not that everything is resolved and we are completely recovered – far from it. But we are able to enjoy each other’s company without bringing up the affair or having it hang over our heads. I know we both still think about it – that look of sadness comes over both our faces at various times each day – but we can keep it at bay when we need to. And we both wanted a good Christmas.

      If you are both willing to work at it, and it seems you are, you can have a wonderful time next Christmas. It does happen.

    • JS

      Bewildered – his EA lasted for 20 years?????

    • Bewildered

      Yes, our entire marriage – upstanding guy huh? So, not only am I dealing with an EA discovery I am dealing with him basically make his own rules our entire marriage. He has known her longer than me and this year is the first I have ever heard of Sarah. It started off as a work affiliation and somewhere along the way they decided each was a good sounding board for things going on in their lives and exchanged cell phone numbers. My question being what about me and my feelings? How can someone who has basically disregarded my feelings for so long ever going to be able to treat me the way I am supposed to be treated? I am trying so hard but if it was a year long thing because things weren’t going right maybe I could somehow grasp that…somehow. But, no! My demand is that he ask me to marry him again (and only me this time not me and Sarah) before I will ever wear my rings again…question I am asking myself now is knowing all this would I want to marry him again? It is not a nice feeling finding out your entire marriage was a farce.

    • csb

      Bewildered – I would feel the same way. My H’s EA lasted 1 1/2 years and I see all of that time as a farce, so I’m sure you are feeling that times 20!!! If he knew her before you, why did he marry you and not her?

      I saw a comment here somewhere about the OW being part of the marriage that was “in the past” (even if the EA only lasted months/weeks), so the “post-EA” marriage has to start all over (something like that), free of her. I could relate to that comment because I think I keep beating myself up by remember “the way we were”, or at least how I thought we were. I keep trying to reclaim that – those feelings of trust, security, being cherished, etc. Facing that that relationship was in the past and cannot ever be the same is helping me to come to terms with recovery.

      May I ask, has he cut off all ties with her? Do you believe he is committed to making your marriage work? I wish you the best in surviving this and reclaiming your life.

    • Swivet

      I found out about 5 months ago my W, of 23 years, was having an EA. During this time she has told me that it was over but I caught her 3 more times and the last time was on Christmas day while we were spending it with my son who is in college. She has told me AGAIN this will never happen, I can’t find the strength to believe her and I don’t want to make myself venerable AGAIN!

      We have struggled for the past two years due to my extensive job travel and right now she is in menopause, proven by a blood test. She says she is extremely unhappy with herself and I have asked her what I was not providing her. She said I was providing her everything and that I am a wonderful husband, well if I’m that wonderful how could this happen? She recognizes that she is not the same person as she was before, she wants us to grow old together and have a wonderful life together but she feels discouraged of our chances.

      Just like everybody else I believe that during the EA everything was a lie, I confronted her about this and she said none of it was a lie. If I could see this guy I would kick his ass!!!

      I left the house last night and spent it in a hotel and this proved to me that I have the strength to walk away, as much as it pains me to say but if this does not stop I will walk! We just talked about 30 minutes ago and I asked if she wanted me to come home and she said yes.

      I want to forgive and forget, right now I can’t forgive and I will never forget. We have to learn to deal with this and move forward. She feels very ashamed, embarrassed, and guilty; good! I am going to try and not bring it up because it just causes us to fight and we say things that do not help the situation. We both recognize that we need to get our lives back on track with the Lord and serve Him before ourselves but we are human and the flesh wins a lot.

      I hope and pray that us and everybody that is going through this can have a blessed year and that each day get better.

    • D

      DJ, I can’t express the depth of disgust I feel for that concept that the cheating spouses needs weren’t being met so that’s why they strayed. Talk about blaming the victim. That’s akin to saying the rape victim was asking for it. If your needs aren’t being met then you say something. If you aren’t heard, speak louder. If you still aren’t heard then either accept your situation (i.e. stop complaining), or leave. There are legitimate choices to deal with uncomfortable situations that do not involve deception and pain. I understand there are children or finances or whatever other excuses there may be, but again, deal with it or deal with the alternative, but don’t you dare blame someone else for your lack of character.

      The betrayed spouse’s needs are now very clearly not being met and yet who in the relationship does the bulk of the duty to save the marriage, to repair the damage? Most of us feel, from the way we’re treated, that we’re the ones responsible for the affair, like we’ve done something horrible to deserve such treatment. Such BS. The betrayed spouse could conceivably be a total nightmare, abusive, withholding, manipulative. It’s still not an excuse for cheating. The concept of “unmet needs” should be forever stricken from any discussion on infidelity.

    • Bewildered

      Thanks for your kind words and well wishes. He keeps saying he would have married her if he loved her…but he loves me. My speculation is that he only truely loves himself. True self centered narcissism at its finest – having his cake and eating it too! No, he doesn’t want to loose the security of our marriage and his family but, when did he considering my feelings during the last 20 years. He says he has cut all ties and it was easy to do because she never meant anything to him. He has recently started to do the accountability things I requested. No, I do not trust him – and as I have explained to him none of his words mean anything to me any longer – his actions are now what I am looking at.

      I feel for you too…1 1 1/2 is a frightening period of time too!

    • csb

      Swivet – my H had a 1 1/2 year EA with an ex girlfriend. He insists nothing was wrong with us, he was very happy, etc.

      When I asked how he could talk to her everyday, then come home and face me like nothing was wrong, his answer was “when I was with you, I was with you….she wasn’t there in my thoughts”…..I told him it sounds almost like polygamy to me!!! I told him he had to be majorly screwed up to even be able to justify it that way (aren’t all cheaters screwed up anyway?). Another favorite of mine is his saying “but I’m still here with you, I chose you”…. like I won the prize or something!

      I know it may seem easier not to talk about it, I’ve gone through that too. But I can tell you that burying it or trying to “keep the peace” isn’t the answer either. Your W chose this path, she needs to recognize the pain she has caused and “take her medicine” by hearing you out.

      God Bless!

    • Paula

      D, I really like the way you put that, unmet needs, yeah, right! Mine were very unmet, I had to work a 70 hour/week job, do all the parenting, housework, cooking, business accounts (as well as my own job!) family “worrying,” and planning. I was very unhappy with the way my OH had made unilateral decisions about OUR life, without consulting me properly, or taking into consideration MY feelings. However, I didn’t stray, I stayed true, trying to work through the feelings of being discounted, made to feel like my contribution was minor, and his wants and needs (about life, in general, not just emotionally) were more important. THEN, he starts shagging his ex GF, who just happens to be a lifelong friend of mine, right under my nose, EVEN while our children are in the same house!!! If any of you knew this guy, you just wouldn’t believe it. Truly a very long (16 month) moment of madness, that has torn me into millions of tiny, screwed up pieces. He recognises the madness, is APPALLED, but I can’t seem to “get over it.” I just wish we weren’t so close, such great freinds, and that I didn’t love him with everything I have, it has drained so much evergy from me, and I have been battling with whether I’ve stood all the pain I can stand, and it’s time to let go, but I can’t seem to make it “work” about the kids, in my head, when I run through all the scenarios, so keep coming back to the fallback position of “just stay, trying to bear it all, at least until our baby goes to uni,” but my strength waivers all the time. OH gets it fully now, he NOW understands that he awakened some demons from my past who were slumbering along beautifully, but have certainly woken to wreak havoc with my sanity and ability to be the “coper” I had been during the past. Some days I feel time has made things worse, not improved things, as I haven’t moved as far along as I feel I “should” have – yes, I know that thinking is not helpful, but difficult to ignore when you are still dragging that horse around!!

      Happy New Year, everybody, let’s use it to re-double our efforts to look after ourselves, and those we love.

    • DJ

      D- I did not mean to say that I thought cheatings spouses were right or justified in any way for saying that their needs were not met – just that this is something that they so often say.

      My husband did try that ploy, and boy did he get it right in the face. It was just an attempt to defend his actions. But like our counselor often says, there is no justification for an affair. Period.

    • Swivet

      Thank you csb. I have tried to get her to talk but she said it is too painful, I have to agree. I wish she would but she insists there is no relationship but I don’t beleive that for one minute. She has heard me out numerous times but she will not tell me her side and that is what I want to hear. I have told her that she has shut me out of her heart and does not share with me anymore. I will keep trying as gentle as I can without getting angry.

    • D

      DJ – I wasn’t coming down on you, but rather on almost every Infidelity book that mentions this stupid idea.

    • Swivet

      ifeelsodumb – Thanks to your post I am going to read that book again. My wife and I read that about 10 years ago but I’m not sure if we really understood what the book is about. After all that has transpired we may have a different outlook on the book. Thank you for mentioning it in your post. I believe one of my languages is Affirmation also, I rarely hear that from my wife.

    • Swivet

      D – I too wanted to rub my wifes nose in it or hurt her so bad emotionally that she would feel the same pain as I do, but I could not do it! There are good days and bad days and I know time will heal them if they stop communicating. I look forward to being where you are at and barely thinking of it.

    • Paula

      kelly, it was also my third Christmas, and it was fabulous! I made a huge effort to get through my melancholia about it, and we had a superb day, with my OH having ACTUALLY SHOPPED for me, the first time in 24 years he has ever really made the effort (always taking my, don’t worry too much about me, we’ll get some nice things for the kids, very literally, lol, not that I really minded in the past.) He had the present under our bed, and produced it in the early hours of Xmas morning, all worried that I wouldn’t like it, but it was VERY thoughtful, very personal, and I loved it. I made a beautiful breakfast, the two younger kids (who weren’t working, eldest daughter off to work in the wee small hours, not home ’til late afternoon) opened prezzies, etc. I then got time to prepare the food for the day, which I really enjoyed, while OH went out and did farm jobs. I turned on a music DVD, of a band I love, very loud, danced and cooked, and once almost finished, poured a champagne cocktail, and enjoyed. OH arrived back early afternoon, we made fantastic love, and later, his parents and our eldest daughter arrived to a delicious dinner of luscious seafood, sumptuous salads (southern hemisphere Xmas, always BBQ/summer deliciousness!) and my memeories of that hideous Xmas past were surpressed as much as I could. Off to lake house today for New Year’s – such a hideous life, lol! Little nervous about going down there, as I always am now, since he violated MY place, my bed, my retreat, of my design, that I poured so much love into, but it’s been years now, and we’ve had plenty of successful holidays there since, so I know I’ll be okay. Planning on relaxing, lots of long walks/swims and trying to re-capture my sexuality, which has been MIA for about six months, I got a glimpse of it back on Xmas Day!!

      Anyone else ended up here? I’ve always been a very sexual being, and this intensified for the first six months post Dday, and was still really good for the first two years, but now, I just can’t engage properly in sex, I have too many sick, mental videos playing, and I’m SICK of fighting to turn them off – and at times, keeping the bile down. Sorry for being so graphic, I’m not usually a sharer about this, but I feel robbed of a really important part of me, of us. Next topic for counselling when I return in late Jan. Suggestions from anyone who has lost this part of themselves, would be appreciated.

    • blueskyabove

      Apparently the needs of the CS are SO important that it justifies having an affair. But after DDay when the BS has unmet needs they are advised not to show them lest they come across as clingy and unattractive. Talk about a double standard. IMO there isn’t anything more unattractive than someone having an affair. I don’t ever want to be that needy.

      blueskyabove
      4+ years post DDay
      Rebuilding

    • blueskyabove

      I meant to say I don’t ever want to be so needy as to become a CS.

    • ifeelsodumb

      Swivet,
      Also look at this website http://www.loveandrespect.com and order the book! It’s really helped my H and I a lot…hasn’t solved our problems, of course…nothing but time and talking will do that, but it did give us some much needed insight on how men and women relate to each other!
      Also, for your wife, order “How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair by Linda MacDonald…I think this is a book that EVERY couple who has experienced infidelity should read! The CS should read it so that they understand what THEIR responsibilities are in helping to heal the marriage AND their hurting spouse…and every BS should read it so that they know AND understand what they are experiencing IS normal, and also so they don’t take any crap from the CS about this being “their fault”!!
      And Swivet, take it from one who knows and understands about this statement you made ” I too wanted to rub my wifes nose in it or hurt her so bad emotionally that she would feel the same pain as I do, but I could not do it”….Let me tell you from experience…You had BETTER let her feel some pain…otherwise you are making a HUGE mistake!! I speak from experience! You see, this is NOT the first time I have been where I am today! 24 yrs ago my H got involved with another woman, while in the military, serving in Korea…we had only been married 2 yrs, and had a 1 yr old…within 10 weeks of him being gone, he was “just friends” with the OW…after he came home, she sent him a letter, telling him that she missed him and wished him well!! I hit the roof as you might expect…but after I, that is ME not HIM, after I went to counseling, and was put on anti depression meds, I forgave him, and never brought it up!! In fact, I forgave him so completely, I never even thought about the other affair until about 5 mos after this one!! I couldn’t believe it!! FIVE MONTHS after it was like a freaking light bulb went off in my head!! I asked my H: When you were talking and texting the witch, didn’t you even think about LAST time and how hurt I was”?? His response”No”!! As you can imagine, that hurt me all over again!! But, he never intended for me to find out about this EA either, so of course he never thought about it!
      So I would suggest you read this link https://www.emotionalaffair.org/the-cheating-spouse-must-feel-your-pain/ and this one https://www.emotionalaffair.org/helping-your-spouse-with-healing-after-an-affair/ I would suggest you have you wife read these plus other discussions on this blog…if she will!! Good luck!

    • Hopeful

      IFSD,
      Thanks for your comments. I have seen the book that you recommended, and I will read it. I’m just a little discouraged because it seems like I am always the one reading the books and trying to find the answers. I’m tired. Even though my H’s statement to me that he is not attracted to me and hasn’t been for 20 years (!!!) was made during his EA, he really hasn’t backed off that position much, even though his EA is over. He has told me that he loves me, but that his romantic needs/needs for intimacy are not being met in our relationship and haven’t been for years (!!). What do I do with that? He is in counseling — should I give him some time? Although he is definitely being nicer to me since Dday, he is completely unaffectionate towards me; he does not hold my hand, hug me, or even touch me casually. He actually seems to go out of his way to avoid my touch. He claims that our sex life “has never worked” for him. Why am I trying? If that’s how he feels, can that be changed? (For the record and at the risk of sounding conceited, I am slim and attractive). Even if I come to understand the languages of love, can my actions change his feelings, which he describes as “basic”?

      DJ, I am so sick of hearing about my H’s “needs not being met” in our relationship. That is the one phrase that I never want to hear again as long as I live.

      JS,
      I too get angry every time I think about our marriage counseling sessions, during which my H kept saying that he was finally being honest about how he felt, when he was actually carrying on his EA the whole time. Sickening.

      I guess my question is whether I should keep trying or not. Emotional affair aside, if my H’s position is that he is not attracted to me and hasn’t been for 20 years (which is BS, by the way), and that our sex life has never worked for him, is it worth my time/effort to see if he changes his position? He seems very clear that that is how he feels. I wish he would just leave. I can get past his EA, but how can I go forward in a marriage in which my H is not attracted to me and hasn’t been for years?

    • Hopeful

      Sometimes I feel like I can wait a few more months to see where his counseling takes him. I vow, in the meantime, that I will spend the time doing things for myself and for my children. Other times however, like tonight, I don’t think I can wait any longer. I am so lonely in my marriage, and I am anxious to get out. I feel sure that there is a more satisfying relationship for me out there, and I am not getting any younger (I’m 45). Shall I give it a time limit? Maybe 6 months and see where we are?

    • Hopeful

      Sometimes I feel as though I can wait awhile to see where my H’s counseling takes him. I vow that, in the meantime, I will do things for myself and for my children. Other times, however, like tonight, I feel like I can’t wait any longer. I am so lonely in my marriage and have been for so long. I feel sure that there is a more rewarding relationship out there for me and I want to move on (I’m 45 and not getting any younger). Shall I give it a time period, e.g., shall I commit to hang in here and try really hard for 6 months and see where we are?

    • Donna M

      13 years of being with my H I can honestly say this might have been one of our best Christmas. They say there is a first for everything! For the first time in our time together he HELPED me in the kitchen :)… We had 23 people for Christmas Eve as well as Christmas Day. I did 3/4 of cooking and baking. He jumped in and helped with the little things, but to me it was the BIG thing. I didn’t have to ask… We always had a joke of him being a Grinch! This year he was Santa in my eyes! We said we wouldn’t exchange gifts, but he went and bought me a Heart necklace (his heart as he put it). I feel like our marriage is finally getting to where it needs to be. 13 months after D day, and I can finally say things to him and not do it in anger. The trust is still not where I would like it, but in time.
      As an added gift, he confronted the OW and told her to leave us alone! Stop stalking us as well telling her he never loved her and was using her. She is still trying to get in touch with him, but all the emails are deleted and not read. He did all this in front of her co-workers, telling them she was having an affair with him and he ended it.
      As much as I hate her, just wish her the best and hope she finds someone, so she can move on!
      Merry Christmas!
      Hope everyone has a safe and Happier New Year….

    • Red Tulip

      Six months from D-day and the ‘I love you but I’m not in love with you’ speech and J leaving me for his EA partner, my first Christmas alone has not been a barrel of laughs and festive cheer. But I got through it, and I’m looking forward to growing stronger in 2012 with, or more likely, without my husband.

    • ifeelsodumb

      I hear ya Hopeful, I hear ya!!! I feel the same….tired of doing ALL the work…and when my H DOES read an article or a booklet…My Goodness!! You’d think the world stopped rotating! He goes on and on and on about it!! How he IS trying….yea, ok…one booklet, 96 pages….WOOHOO!!!
      Today is the start of DDay weekend for me…Exactly one year ago tonight, we had a HUGE argument about his lack of talking and responding to ME, and things I was concerned about….financial, the economy, his work slowing down, etc…he was soooo cruel to me that night, like he had NEVER been before! Anyway, I wanted to talk last night, I’m feeling a bit sad and of course, reliving things in my mind since it IS DDay weekend…BTW, DDay was a 2 1/2 day event for me….little things started adding up, my H lying for those 2 1/2 days, and FINALLY the truth coming out at 2:30 in the morning on the 3rd of Jan.
      Anyway, last night I wanted to talk,on Wednesday, he had finished the booklet “How to Help Your Spouse Heal” …and I wanted to know what he thought…he seemed to not want to talk, so I got upset, I mean, my goodness, the booklet tells you that it’s NOT about you, the CS….yet he still doesn’t get it!! He then tells me that he is tired and decided that this morning would be better for us to talk…the kids will sleep late and we can have the time to ourselves…. it is now 2 pm….and he hasn’t said a word!!!! THIS is what frustrates me!! As I told him last night, YOU decided that we would talk tomorrow…YOU decided that’s what would be best for us…what gives YOU the right to decide for ME? YOU decided to cheat on me, without taking into consideration how I would feel…and you are STILL making decisions based on what YOU want!!! GRRRR….this DOES NOT bode well for the weekend! I was hoping to get through DDay weekend pretty good…but I’m now thinking it’s going to be a not so pleasant time! 🙁
      My H RUNS from confrontation….even if it’s with me…the wife he” loves with ALL his heart”…but has no problem hurting me by shutting me out! So I understand where you are coming from…sometimes I feel it would be easier to just end it…then I read about how divorce affects the kids….and I don’t want that for my children…only YOU can decide if you want to give him more time…only YOU can decide when enough is enough…wishing you the best! Dare I say..”Happy New Year?? :/

    • sharkgirl

      Am I kidding myself, is it all the Christmas emotion, high expectations, what???
      DDay in May, he went to his Dads in July while still saying he wanted to get back together just couldn’t end his ‘friendship’ with her and I couldn’t live with that so told him go and decide who was more important, September finally ended it when I found weekend after taking me away he spent the following weekend with her even seeing the same film. November we got it back together and she really is off the scene now just not sure how sincere he is. He stays when suits but not ready to move back in yet, not convinced by his reasons but now I’m not sure I want him to come back anyway. I’m not convinced he’s dealt with things, he’s not said directly he’s here because he loves and wants me, shouldn’t he be doing anything to make this work yet he feels most of the holidays he spent in the pub with his mates. Great start to new year, coming to blows and his attitude ‘start as we mean to go on, see you in two weeks’ why becasue next week it’s his mates birthday so hell be out drinking and to hungover to even see his kids on the Saturday. Is this how he really feels, anger, hangover, guilt. I feel I need to accept he hasnt learnt anything from this and wont make any changes it all about me changing, compromising and accepting things, when do I just need to accept this is it and let it go. Just need to talke to someone who understands anyone… [email protected]

    • csg

      Sharkgirl…its almost 3 months since dday for me, my H had a 1 1/2 year ea with an old girlfriend. I am so sorry you had to start the new year with this sadness in your heart….so many of us are in the same spot as you…you are NOT alone in this! Im learninf that they key is to keep talking, voicing your pain and expressing your concerns. My H and I are working on rebuilding, its difficult because he prefers to avoid painful conversations and thinks when i bring things up it means we are “going backwards”
      I wish you a better 2012, and look forward to hearing from you as you find your way in this journey!

    • Hopeful

      csg,
      My H too prefers to avoid painful conversations and thinks that my wanting to discuss the EA from time to time is “destructive”. So ironic that he believes that my efforts to discuss his EA are “destructive”. Lol. Here’s to positive progress in 2012 for all of us. Happy new year!

    • toddlermom

      So my three year old son just spent his first weekend with daddy and the OW at their new place.. Im feeling pretty low just wondering if anyone out there has had a similiar situation. Or if there is any reconciliation stories specifically dealing with being left for another woman. They had a two month EA/PA and then he left us and moved directly in with her.. He has been living with her for two months now… Why am i still hoping? This month for some reason seems to be the hardest its like reality set in and nothing can be the same again… UGH

    • Disappointed

      D-day was nov 3. Discovered my husband having an EA with a friend and colleague who is married with two kids. Over 1400 texts and a few phone calls. Supposedly nothing physical. Her husband discovered texts 2 days later. She cut off all contact with my husband. He moved out Nov 7 and has his own apartment with a 6 month lease. We are not telling anyone

    • Disappointed

      D-day was nov 3. Discovered my husband having an EA with a friend and colleague who is married with two kids. Over 1400 texts and a few phone calls. Supposedly nothing physical. Her husband discovered texts 2 days later. She cut off all contact with my husband. He moved out Nov 7 and has his own apartment with a 6 month lease. We are not telling anyone because we have a business. He has left door open to returning but I am doubtful. He says he is still in love with her and will continue to love her for the rest of his life. That she made him feel something he has never felt before. It is important to him to say that he did not leave because of her, that he was leaving already. Over the last year he has withdrawn and become more short tempered with me. This week he told me that he told her he was leaving me before he told me. He also is acknowledging that affair was an impossible situation – he does not want kids. How can he think that was real?! How do you compare that to 20 years? He says our sex life has been great and that no one knows him better and that he still wants me in his life. I told him I do not want to be his friend. We are seeing each other a couple times a week. And we have been having some fantastic sex. Am I crazy to be intimate with him? My brother says I should stop communicating and let him have time to think. I don’t know what to do. And I am questioning why I want and love someone who seems to enjoy telling me he loves someone else… He says our story has already been written and we cant go back to the feelings of first love…

    • Fiona

      Thank you for this.

      My husband is the same not wanting to talk although he did acknowledge he knows I need to talk about it but that makes me feel I shouldn’t I also feel it’s all now down to him. I need to know this and me are what he really wants and why, for his actions to match his words for him to explain what the ‘issues’ really are that are stopping him coming home.

      I’ve learnt so much about myself through this and often doubt if he has and if he’ll make any changes.

      I keep trying to be realistic Christmas emotions, some of my expectation are too high and he’s never been one for emotions so any is actually a huge improvement. I just find myself going from things been so good not awkward, fake or forced to moments like this where I think is it worth it do I need to admit it won’t work and call it a day or am I letting everything get to me? I’m not convinced he’s fully dealt with things, but you can’t make someone do that, and I think his guilt still plays a huge part for him the talking left now is for him to do and I’m drained from trying to get him to talk.

      So am I just letting emotions get to me and does that mean the next few months are going to be so hard Valentines, our Anniversary, his Birthday and then the first D Day all times that were lies last year and I don’t know how I feel about our marriage anymore I can’t wear my rings I don’t feel as numb about them now but I can’t wear them and I couldn’t buy him a husband card for Christmas.

      I guess I just had such hopes for 2012 fresh start and all that, and I’ve just spent the day in tears questioning everything. Just feel if he really wants this he should be trying harder, doing anything. Thing is he doesn’t seem to realise I know more about what’s been and is going on his head than he does but it’s the why he can’t say because he doesn’t realise, doesn’t want to admit because what that means he has to admit about himself, doesn’t want to hurt me anymore, etc….

      I just needed to talk to someone who knows, if it wasn’t for my kids would’ve cancelled christmas this year it’s been so draining and I guess reminds you of the pain of it all the one thing you don’t want to go through again. Plus not helped been expecting her to contact him, seasonal emotions and drunkenness.

      Thanks and I wish you all the best for 2012 xx

    • Donna M

      @Disappointed,
      Sounds to me your H has his cake and is eating too!!! At this point it should be what you want, not what he wants. As I told my H he had his cake and came home for dessert SICKING. I can understand you wanting to date, why not fall back in Love. Don’t confuse it with sex. If he moved out he moved for a reason. Don’t fall into a trap of you are there for just 1 thing. Find out where you stand. Also ask him (I asked my H) if she was to come back what would he do, if he tells you he would run back to her RUN NOW! Don’t set your heart up for a second heartbreak!

    • Donna M

      @Fiona, I went through the same thing last year (2010). I didn’t celebrate anything. Even 13 months out of Dday I still won’t celebrate our anniversary. This year (2011) was our first real anything, it was truly one of the best we had.
      My H didn’t want to talk about anything of the EA for the first few months. I did confront him in Nov and it wasn’t under Feb that he finally came around and started talking about it. If he doesn’t want to talk about it, ask him if he is willing to write it in a letter to you. Or Try the 20 question game in a letter. Start out slow and work your way up.. Remember as your asking, only ask what you think you can handle. I am so sorry that I did find out 3/4 of what I know. Thanks to the OW who was nice enough to email the details of 6months of there day’s and nights together. I am beyond numb from it. I always thought we had a good marriage.
      Good Luck…

    • Disappointed

      @Donna – I have asked my husband “what if she contacts you, will you go running?” He says he doesnt know and has also admitted it was an impossible situation, that he really does not know her and that her kids mean everything to her. Frankly I think she was mad at her husband and used the EA to snap her husband to attention. My husband initially tried to have me feel sorry for HER. Poor thing does not work and gives all to her family. I told him I will not feel sorry for someone who has not had to work for 13 years. I have made H the center of life for 17 years… And no acknowledgment of the greatness of that. There is very little chance she would ever be back in the picture. Her husband has had her break all contact with H and her work with our company. But given what H says she will be a phantom presence forever. I think it was not real and he cant admit it. He thinks it ended because she got scared she was in love with him. I think it was all an ego boost for both of them. If our friends knew they would all be shocked he chose her. I was thinking of the sex as a building block but am starting to fear that it just is sex. At one point when he was mad he had said we had not made love in years, when I thougght that was what we were doing. Turns out, only I was. Or is that all part of the lies he tells himself to make sense of what he did. How does a guy who never wanted kids get mixed up with a mother of two homemaker? Her husband has to make 3-4 times what my H makes. When I said, so you are going to be a step dad? He said she would never expect that of me so I would give that freely. Says I expected things from him and did not just want him unlike her.

    • changes

      My Christmas wasn’t much of a christmas but for the sake of the kids i kept up a happy disposition. I don’t have much choice being the CS. I have just realised my H is having an affair of his own with a colleague of his. i am not sure what to think, maybe he is paying me back for what i did to him. I have opened up to him and answered all his questions but he still won’t let go. I have endured both verbal and physical abuse cos of my EA but he says he can’t reward me for cheating on him. I don’t know what to think anymore or what to do. It hurts but i guess i deserve it. i can only pray that he gets out of this phase soon. I made a mistake by having an EA, i have endured everything he’s put me through…. answering all his questions, giving him all the details he wants, taking all his verbal and physical abuse and to find out about this?
      What do i do? If i question him he will get defensive and become upset, so do i keep quiet and watch?

    • ifeelsodumb

      Disappointed…sounds to me like your H is still in “the fog”…If it was me…and of course, this is just MY opinion…the sex would stop…TODAY! He has to feel the pain of what he has done to YOU and your marriage…If his physical needs are being met…why would he want to come back home? I’d tell him
      “I love you” (if you still do) but I will NOT be second place to anyone! We have a life and a history together…what you had with her was fantasyland!
      Also, I’d seek out counseling FOR YOU!! Ask yourself this…how has HE suffered in all of this? He’s moved out, but you haven’t told anyone, he drops in to have sex and get his needs satisfied, then leaves…and goes home and dreams of his fantasy girl!!! What about YOUR needs?? Take care of yourself…and when he comes crawling back, after the fog has lifted…have a set of guidelines ready that will help YOU heal and ask him if he’s ready to work on your marriage….together!! You might want to order the booklet by Linda McDonald that is recommended on this site…My H just finished reading it and and we have been talking about it the last few days…it really opened his eyes up to the damage he caused our me and our marriage! Today is my 1 yr DDay …well, at 2:30 in the morning it will be! And I haven’t cried AT ALL today…because my H has FINALLY been talking to me! Best of luck to you!! Concentrate on your self…and become a stronger woman, because after reading about EA’s this last year…I’ll be shocked if your H doesn’t come to his senses…soon! Especially since the OW is now out of the picture and you will need to stand up for yourself and make some demands of your own! Start by reading some of the postings on here….this one really helped me…A LOT!! https://www.emotionalaffair.org/the-cheating-spouse-must-feel-your-pain/ I firmly believe that if you forgive too soon then you are doing major damage to yourself and your marriage…even my H agrees with me on this! Best of luck to you!

    • ifeelsodumb

      @Toddlermom…I feel for you, I really do…I would suggest you get counseling to help you come to terms with the pain you are obviously feeling! And read this blog…it’s taught me more than all the books I’ve read! If you can do it, when you talk to your H, or he comes by your place…be sweet and kind…be the woman he fell in love with…because he is now living with the OW and the blinders are gonna come off and “fantasyland” is going to meet real life….and it’s not going to be what he thought at all! The success rate for these kind of relationships is about 4%…not great odds!
      So if you DO want him to come back home, let him see what he is missing…but also, become a stronger woman, that KNOWS what you want AND deserve..and DON’T settle for anything less!! ((HUGS)) to you and your son!

    • ifeelsodumb

      BTW, today is day two of DDay weekend, my Dday was a 3 day event :/ ……and I am doing great! My H and I have been talking off and on since Saturday since he finished reading “How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair” He finally gets it!!
      It’s been a LONG year, and at times I despaired that we would ever get this far! He’s more open now, and answers any questions I have…I have learned that this is a process, and we can’t make our partners do anything….We just have to work on ourselves and hope they finally wake up to how destructive their behavior really is!
      One thing my H did say to me today, was that after the first EA that he had 24 yrs ago…he didn’t feel the consequences of his actions….he didn’t “suffer” enough…I forgave too quickly 24 years ago and this time I didn’t…I STILL haven’t forgiven him, and I don’t know when I will, this is a process, and I have to see it through to the end!
      My H said that he feels that THAT is what has made the difference this time! He has FINALLY seen how this affects me and our family!
      If I have one bit of advice for ALL BS…DON’T forgive too quickly…let your CS see your pain and FEEL it…they HAVE to own it! They did this…and giving the excuse that they don’t like talking about it, or that YOU are living in the past, means that they STILL haven’t owned it! And YOUR healing will be delayed and you don’t deserve that!
      Selfishness is what started your partners EA and selfishness is what helps them to continue treating you is such a cruel way!

    • Jessica

      @Changes,
      No one has the right to physically abuse you. There is no reason for your husband to do this to you. Yes you had an EA but that doesn’t give him a reason to treat you this way.

    • Paula

      Changes, I agree with Jessica, you did something stupid, and selfish, but no abuse is tolerable, EVER. Get help, or get out, it sounds like he is trying to get revenge, and is very, very angry, but when is enough enough? I know I did hit (slap) my OH once, about six months in, when I realised the pain was going to be permanent, and was inescapable. I’m not proud of that. You definitely need to talk, if you want to try to save your relationship, but you will need to pick your times. Good luck, stay safe.

    • Disappointed

      Any time I focus at all on the EA or the OW my H gets upset because he says he wants me to understand that he had already decided to leave. I do not think he would have left so abruptly except that I found the texts. Right after I felt I had to remind him that there was good in our marriage not all bad. He says he wishes the EA had not happened and talks about how he wishes he would not have attended the party where they both opened the door. Supposedly she asked if he wanted to talk. It was 15 texts that night. Then over 100 by 6pm the next day when I got a text telling me how he missed me and could not wait to see me since we had been so busy with our latest project. I felt it was not for me but to this day he maintains that it was. Said it was him reaching out to me one last time and that my reaction was the final death knell. My gut tells me it was not meant for me. Right after he had a long list of grievances and grudges over events spanning the 20 years we have been together. Some I did not even remember. Since sex was one area he said had always been great – which surprised me – I decided maybe I could build on that. He moved out immediately and unlike many comments I read here, I feel like I am just attempting to get a chance to try to be together and have a better marriage. I am trying to push the EA to the side even tho it hurts me more than words can describe. I am making some changes which he says are too late. But he is calling me to go see a movie and spent new years and xmas together even tho he and his dysfunctional family abhor holidays. His sister is like poison to us and is encouraging him to buy a condo and stay separated or maybe even divorce. She is miserable in her own relationship of 25 years and is telling him how brave he is to have moved out and how much she admires him. She is the only one he is talking to besides his mother who has expressed her sadness to me about what happened. He says that I will never forgive him for the affair. I know that I can even tho it will be difficult. But I can’t forgive him while he says he will always love her even tho he doesnt really know her, cant be with her and now recognizes it could never be. When will he see it for what it was a fantasy, an escape? I am afraid he wont. Is there anyone that is dealing with an H that wants to differentiatee between the leaving and the EA? I feel I can’t even address the EA given the circumstances. We have had some good talks where we have both apologized for various things or said thank you or just realized we were feeling the same way and misinterpreting each other. But he refuses to tell me what was said that flipped the switch or made him feel so happy. H tells me it is none of business. Maybe he does not even know. I keep hoping the passage of time will make him snap out of it. Right now I have no idea what will happen. We have 4.5 months on his lease and I feel the clock ticking…

    • ifeelsodumb

      ToddlerMom…there is a new posting on the blog under “New to the Site, Start Here” It’s written by It’s Me….you should read it….it’s very encouraging!!

    • Swivet

      ifeelsodumb – thank you for the recommendation of the books. I found out after I bought How to help your spouse heal after your affair she also bought it a month ago. I asked her about it and she stated one persons opinion may not work for every situation. I told her that the book expressed how I felt and she then stated she could not do this for two or three years. We may be getting a divorce very soon, don’t want to but I don’t want to be in a marriage where my feeling are completely disregarded either.

    • sharkgirl

      @Donna M and everyone else
      Thanks for this thanks for the understanding reading all this has helped me believe that I can get past this and reclaim all them special moments and days, as for him talking I can only keep trying but maybe I do have to wait for a few months down the line when he has his moment of clarity it took several months to fully end the affair and see it wasn’t just fun (she started to become possessive, makes plans, want more once she thought she had him, plus he did really want me wouldn’t sign the divorce papers) and that it wasn’t real. I just need to accept I need to wait for him to be ready it’s more about the why he did it rather than what, I know enough of that like you say only so much you really need to know. Was there anything you felt critical to your healing? He always says it was just fun, we stopped been an us, etc… Where as I’ve recognised how my behaviour in our marriage was a result of how I was feeling, everything I was doing, etc… when he became friendlier with her he made it worse withdrawing more, etc… He can’t say how she made him feel but that’s what it was about wasn’t it, don’t know why he can’t/won’t although I think there are many reasons.
      It was only after we finally started the divorce in motion I think he truly saw what he’d done to me despite seeing me as an emotional wreck, acting irrationally and once even slumped on the floor as then it just made him feel bad he couldn’t handle his guilt, it was the look of hate he saw after that made him finally realise.
      I know it’s over I know in my gut but have made myself paranoid over the holidays, expecting her to text and because he’s spent so much time off doing his own thing when I feel he should’ve been with us. He’s said it last chance he’d get as won’t be able go out Christmas Day next year, etc… and his Mum died four years ago declared brain dead NYE died NY, first time he’s gone out since then am I making excuses or could it really have something to do with him starting to deal with her death, which I also believe to be one of his ‘issues’ he needs to deal with.
      I have to trust, I don’t have the feelings I had in my gut before, I’ve worked myself into this paranoia expecting her to text even if just drunkenly over the holidays if I ask I aren’t trusting but if I don’t I’m doing this to myself if she has I don’t think he will say anything because to him it’s nothing he’s not doing anything and she’s nothing. He’s not one for all saying I love you etc… but right now I really need to hear that, he is saying things right though I can’t deny that so maybe my expectations are too high or maybe I’ve realised what I need and isn’t it that. Gonna check out the love languages book, sounds good.

      The only questions I now have from this is am I forgiving to soon, have I really forgiven him when I still get these feelings? How do I truly know he’s felt my pain? Can we move on if he hasn’t dealt with this, though sounds like some of you guys have been.

      Guess he needs to move back in simple as, and if not he has to give me real reasons as to why not.

    • Swivet

      Red Tulip – I am sorry to hear that your Christmas was not a happy day and I feel your pain because I found out that my W was still in contact with the OM on Christmas day. We can get through this because we are stronger than they are!!

    • Dol

      Xmas was 8 weeks after d-day. We booked a cottage to ourselves, and I suppose there was some hope it would help mark a new start. While we have at least learned we still love being in each other’s company, sadly it’s really bought home how long and arduous this road is. I’m still going to bed thinking about it, waking up early doing the same. It seems to go in cycles. Sometimes my partner says I’m torturing myself – as if I’m choosing to feel this way. Wherever possible I do what I can to keep the thoughts away, but I guess it’s like a trauma. I don’t really know what to do except take each day as it comes.

      My partner’s back at work now – where the OM is – and is finding, it turns out, she’s thinking about him a lot. That’s perhaps not surprising, but I’m really struggling. I think we both keep hoping things are going to get easier, and maybe they are, slowly.

      Perhaps the problem is that the last 8/9 weeks feels MUCH longer. I guess we’re still fairly near the start. But it’s a struggle.

      My main problem in the new year is that I’m finding I still can’t focus on my work. I only have six months left on a contract, need to impress – currently can’t work properly at all. It’s horrifying watching the impact it’s had on me. I’ve been as strong as I can be: I’m keeping fit, stopped drinking. I’m wondering if the only possible next move is to move out for a while, give myself some proper space. But then, I leave my other half alone with her thoughts, and who knows where they’ll end up…

      To everyone here who’s struggling, and everyone who’s starting to find their path: thank you for being here and sharing your thoughts, and huge good luck vibes to you all for the new year.

    • csb

      DOL, in 2 days, it will be 3 months since DDay. My H had a 1 1/2 year EA with an old girlfriend, we’ve been married 30 years. I also feel sometimes like I’m torturing myself, reminding myself of my pain and reliving what they said, did, etc. The blog about the stages of grief is very helpful on this site.

      I am trying to move on and not keep rehashing things, everytime I bring something up my H acts like I’m trying to derail our attempt to rebuild and he views it as a “step backwards”, so I started to (once again) keep quiet, trying to keep the peace. Today, it all just came back and I bravely voice my concerns/issues to my H.

      What I’m trying to say is – you have been dealt a blow to the depth of your soul, everything you thought was your life isn’t anymore (if it ever even was), your view of love, trust, etc. will never be the same. Yes, this is all terrible and you deserve to carry all of this for as long as you need to, it’s not at the convenience of the CS.
      Everyone says it gets easier, I’m not there yet, but hopeful. Best wishes!

    • Swivet

      Dol – Has she told you she is thinking about him alot? My wife is in a hotel now and she said she did not want to talk for a while so she can figure out why she did this to me. I was surprised she called me yesterday to tell me about money she spent when she know I can get online and check while balancing the checkbook, it did make me feel good because she asked how I was doing. This is the first time I have had two fairly good day in a row, normally it is every other day. Does this mean I don’t think about, not a chance!!

      I am with you not being able to focus on work but I did have some wine last night and another restless or lack of sleep 🙂 I actually hope my wife stays a way for a couple of weeks so we can both deal with this by ourselves and then when we see each other we can deal with it with less anger (my part). I have come to realize that I had nothing to do with this, she did this and I am a good person. I believe this is what has helped me have two good days in a row.

      I also want to extend a prayer to all who are struggling with this and I pray that we can all find peace within ourselves and that our CS will finally understand!!

    • D

      Swivet, I think where I was personally when my wife confessed I probably would have fallen apart if she or I moved out. In hindsight, however, it would have been good for both of us. I’m certain she would have turned to the OM for comfort, validation, etc, but if you love someone ….

      What’s helped me down the line has been my gradual letting go of her, our marriage, our memories, the affair; so many things. The funny thing about letting go is that it doesn’t erase the facts, just our attachments to them, and in that there is something like peace because it means we’re not bound by the constraints of the past, rather, we’re free to explore the possibilities in our future. Or my future. and there is always hope in that.

      It sucks that she’s moved out, but it means something that she’s still communicating with you. If you can, find strength in that.

    • Swivet

      D – Trust me I often think about if she is communicating with the OM but she has told me they have not communicated. I try to convince myself to believe her in that she is not. I asked her if she wanted to work this out and she said yes but she is not optimistic about our chances. She does not believe that I can let go, I told her I could as long as she shows me she is not communicating with him and she shows me she is trying to earn my trust back.

      Every time I have a crazy thought I stop and pray and ask God to remove the thought and this seems to work for me. I have also gotten back into reading my Bible every morning and ask God to help us both each day.

      I am sorry that you had to let go completely, that thought has occurred to me many many times, sometimes I wonder if that wouldn’t be easier. I am glad that you can find some comfort in exploring the future, but I am truly sorry.

    • D

      Swivet, don’t think I don’t love my wife or want our marriage to continue. I do on both counts. And we are reconnecting. The thing about letting go of memories is that we can’t actually let them go. They’re there whether we like it or not. I’ve just released their significance. It’s all good. It’s like your kids growing up. They’re not little anymore. You’re love for them evolves.

      Here’s the thing: you’re wife is going to be insane for a while. She’s going to say things to you that she may not remember nor certainly even mean in a day, a month, a year. The fog is real and it truly creates a haze. There are things also said in defense. Think about it. You care deeply about a person but you’ve hurt them more than you’ve ever thought possible and they HATE you. It’s not that they want to hate you, but the hurt is so severe they can’t help it. Their anger has nowhere else to go. Their pain cannot subside. I tried so hard to be above my anger, to be there for my wife. I simply couldn’t sustain it. She stuck a knife in my back and I needed to express myself. So we went through what you’re going through where time apart wasn’t because we wanted to be apart, but because she was causing me pain and she didn’t possess the courage to take the responsibility for that. She ran away to escape her guilt, not me.

      Food for thought. Best to you.

    • blueskyabove

      D,

      I didn’t take my anger out on my H, I took it out on me. Some people internalize all the bad stuff. Some don’t. I wonder if this is a gender thing or if it is because of how we were taught to handle conflict within the family of origin. Maybe a little of both.

    • melissa

      Happy New Year to everyone.

      My first Xmas after D-day was awful. The second one better but not perfect. This one was a huge improvement. We went away, had some sunshine, some great food (and wines) and my H even told me I was ‘great fun’ (important as it’s something he’d told me that the OW was – and of course, I wasn’t). I did have some niggling fears at times, thought about the past and the OW but all in all, it was such a wonderful experience. I just hope my H has learned from his mistakes and is re-connecting with me on a real, truthful and loving way. Fingers crossed.

    • Karen

      D-day was Christmas Day 2012. this is the First Thanksgiving, Christmas, and probably New Years ( it’s only just past Christmas)we have not spent together in 35 years of marriage. Separated in September for lack of remorse, lack of full disclosure, and verbal, physical, emotional abuse associated with my continual questioning, trying to understand. I moved out due to the abuse. Attended a marriage weekend that did nothing to help. He still doesn’t “get it” and can’t understand why he and his skanky AP can’t still be friends!!! I have given him a year and dozens of chances to fix this mess he created and I am getting to the point that I no longer care about anything he does. I will never trust, respect, or believe in him again. So why stay married? I have made it through 2 major holidays and can make it through the next one, not without excruciating pain, but at least with some self respect and dignity. If he doesn’t love me enough and doesn’t have the balls to be truthful, then he doesn’t deserve me. Happy New Year 2014.

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