It’s always interesting to go back and read posts from the past – especially from the early days – as it truly proves just how far we’ve come over that period of time.
This post is from November 5, 2010 and it’s titled, “Making Progress After the Emotional Affair.” Linda shares some things that helped her to turn her affair recovery in a positive direction after a rough stretch where she was feeling sad, helpless and defeated.
Please share your thoughts in the comment section on anything that might have been a positive catalyst for you in your own recovery and healing after an emotional affair – or physical affair.
Making Progress After the Emotional Affair
A month ago I was going through a rough time. I was feeling very sad, felt helpless and didn’t know if I had the strength to continue to fight the feelings associated with the emotional affair. I contributed my emotions to the two year anniversary of Doug telling me he didn’t love me anymore.
I was frustrated that it had been two years and I had not progressed the way I had hoped. I believed by this time the insecurities, the loss of trust, and the constant thinking about the affair should have disappeared, or at least not be still so painful.
I was frustrated enough that I came very close to calling the doctor and asking for anti-depressants. I also considered looking for a good therapist who could make me feel alive again.
Luckily some good things happened – mainly because of this web site – that helped me feel happy again. I now feel like I have found my old self again and I also believe that I finally have my husband back – the husband that I have known for the majority of our marriage.
I want to thank everyone and share some of the things I have learned in the last month that have helped with my recovery from the affair.
Some of the things I’ve learned after an emotional affair…
The first thing that made me feel better occurred during my interview with Dr. Huizenga. Simply enough, he asked me how I was doing. I responded that there were good days and bad days. He told me that it had “only” been two years and if I was 80% there, I was doing a good job.
His words helped me realize that this is a very hard journey that takes time and patience, and if I continue to make improvements then I am doing fine. It’s one step at a time. His words helped to take the pressure off because I feel I don’t have to set a time limit on my recovery. I just need to continue on a positive path.
The next thank you would be to Jeffrey Murrah. He constantly commented to me that by keeping the fantasy of the affair alive hinders recovery and allows Tanya to live “rent free” in my mind. This advice made me finally realize that by allowing her to enter my marriage and my mind has taken away my happiness. I am not going to allow her to enter my life anymore!
I started thinking about what she would think if she knew I still looked at pictures of her. She would probably believe that she is still a part of our lives and that she was more important than she should be. By constantly talking to Doug about her and their relationship, I was keeping the fantasy alive for Doug and myself.
I was guilty of comparing a real love relationship to an illusion, when I know there is no comparison. I know what Doug and I have is so much better. I have stopped talking and thinking about her and the emotional affair, and as a result, our relationship has improved immensely.
The books helped me see love, myself and Doug in a different way. I learned how so many of my behaviors were based on fear and contributed to the distance I felt in our relationship. I learned that real unconditional love begins with loving myself and not based on how Doug makes me feel. Rather, real love is caring about the happiness of another person without any thought for what we might get for ourselves.
I also took the advice that maybe in some ways this website was not healthy for my recovery. Therefore, I will now concentrate most of my post writing towards helping people get past the affair and helping them improve their marriages and lives, rather than dwelling on my feelings and emotions during Doug’s emotional affair.
I also came to the realization that initially this website was beneficial because it allowed me to express my feelings and pain, but I found that maybe I was using it to throw the affair in Doug’s face. I came to this conclusion a couple of weeks ago when I was typing a post and Doug asked “What did I do now?”
The post was about our neighbor and had nothing to do with him, but his words helped me see that many times I was being unfair to him. At times I said things that should have been put to rest a long time ago. Continuing to bring up the emotional affair and making him feel bad kept a wall between us in our relationship.
These last few weeks I have felt like a new person, and as a result Doug has become a different person as well. I can say that I feel he is back to the way he was years before the emotional affair. This is partially due to the fact that he doesn’t feel as though he has to walk on egg shells waiting for me to have a meltdown or bring up the affair one more time. He sees that I am happy, so he is happy too.