Friday was the 2 year anniversary of our D-day of my emotional affair and it has been an incredible trigger for Linda.  The fact that it’s the anniversary is bad enough, but what really brought it on was a comment that one of our daughters made the night before.

We were having dinner and were discussing some teenage love issues regarding one of our daughters’ friends.  It seems this girl is quite controlling and possessive of her boyfriend, which is quite humorous to our daughters.  The conversation evolved to where we were talking about some of Linda’s girl friends and how controlling they can be with their husbands.  The word “whipped” was thrown about.  The comment that was made that set Linda off was “I think Dad is probably the least whipped father I know.” (I cringed when she said it)

Now she actually meant it as a slightly off-beat compliment to me because I don’t cow-tail to anyone.  Linda included.  I never have and I never will.  Some of our friends, on the other hand, will do or say anything to their wives just to appease them or avoid pissing their wives off, regardless of whether or not they really believe in what they are doing or saying.

Well, this struck a nerve with Linda and instantly generated those thoughts that I more than likely acted as a “whipped” man when it came to Tanya.  She was angry.  She wondered why I couldn’t act that way with her.  When she mentioned this to me later that night, I kind of overreacted and got somewhat pissed myself.  I felt it unfair for Linda to be angry with me for a comment our daughter made, and furthermore relate it to my emotional affair based on her perceptions of my relationship with Tanya.

Linda was silent, obviously stewing the rest of the evening.  We then went to bed and had one of our infamous late-night conversations about the situation. I knew it was coming too.

Without making this an entire book, the gist of the conversation was that Linda still feels pain at times, especially when certain affair triggers pop up.  This has been a tough week for her since it’s the anniversary of D-day, and I understand that.

She was looking for me to be compassionate and try to help her through this pain, but all I could do was get  frustrated over my interpreting Linda’s expressions as accusation and obsession with details of something that happened two years ago – issues that we have gone over time and time again.

I told her that I agree that she has every right to be angry with me over my emotional affair and that I can accept that without issue.  But since the affair, sometimes it seems as though she is expecting me to be the perfect husband who knows what to say and do in every situation that crops up in our relationship.  Well, that ain’t me, and it never has been.  Hell, I’m just a dumb man!  I tend to speak my mind, sometimes without regard to other people’s feelings.   I also at times have this problem with needing to be right and needing to “win,” when I should really learn to step back and try to understand and be more empathetic.  Unfortunately, I also don’t come to these realizations until after the damage has been done.

Even though we have both read tons of materials over the last two years on affairs, communication, marriage and love, there are still times when we temporarily revert back to our old ways.  After all, old habits can be hard to break.  Even so, at least now we both are better at analyzing the situation and understanding where we may have gone astray, and can then correct it for when a similar situation arises in the future.

Perhaps this is all a “male – female” thing – as far as how the sexes tend to communicate and connect emotionally in different fashions and wavelengths.  Whatever it is, I need to get better at it.  I think I have come a long way since my emotional affair with respect to communication and giving Linda what she needs, but it (I) continue to be a work in progress.  I think I need one of those electric dog collars and set it so I get a shock every time I say or do something stupid.  I’m sure Linda would like that very much!

(As a side note…it has been two years since D-day, and Linda still feels the hurt and pain from the triggers.  We both work on things daily within our marriage, and we both have read every book and taken every course there is with respect to infidelity.  Imagine how long it would take to recover from infidelity if we did not arm ourselves with this knowledge gained from the wisdom of the many author’s and professionals that have created these resources. I hate to think about it.)


    13 replies to "My Emotional Affair D-day Anniversary"

    • Jeffrey Murrah

      Doug,

      Anniversary reactions are common. They will likely continue for a few more years, until you change the patterns.

      Such reactions are common on anniversaries of traumatic events, birthdays, holidays and family gatherings. Knowing the pattern and actively working to ‘rewire’ those meanings associated with those dates is key in transforming them.

      • Doug

        Hey Jeff, How does one change the patterns? Do you mean the thought patterns associated with triggers/anniversaries?

        • Jeffrey Murrah

          Changing the patterns requires making new and stronger patterns associated with those dates.

          Some ways to do this include:

          1. Make sure that you spend some one on one time with your spouse on those days.

          2. Pray, you need all the spiritual resources you can muster in changing these patterns. If you can, pray together on changing the meanings associated with those days.

          3. Use those anniversary reactions as a call for the two of you to hold each other accountable to each other.

          4. Identify what you can be thankful for. With every crisis there are changes. There are losses and their are gains. Focus on the gains and what you can be thankful for. Give thanks that the marriage is still together, that your love is still intact, that you can talk to each other, that you can find time for each other, that you have your health, that your relationship was saved from certain destruction, that you woke up from selfishness, etc.

          That is enough to get anyone started. There are other things people can do as well, but I don’t want to write a whole book here.

          The key is to change the meanings. Don’t run away from it, change it!

    • ppl

      doug, i disagree you are whipped

      • Doug

        I agree. I just wish Linda would agree with us at times!

      • NotBroken

        ppl… how is it that Doug is the whipped one? He’s the one who had an affair and then Linda brought the marriage back to where it is now. She did all the work necessary to get Doug away from his EA affair. If Doug were whipped he wouldn’t need Linda to do that, he would have came crawling back himself. Unless you meant this as a joke, I’m not really sure if I agree. Linda, this is not to say that you are whipped by Doug, I just think your the stronger of the two.
        This comment struck a cord with me also because usually I get other wives telling me that I have my husband whipped. And I’m like HELLLOOO!!! If you only knew…. he had me whipped and tricked the whole time! I was the one on the leash being fooled.

        • Doug

          NotBroken, Yeah, that struck a cord with me too! Linda

    • Deflated

      Am so glad someone addressed this issue. I often thought how I would react when the D-Day Anniversary since it is also the birthday of our precious grandson. I did not want my memories of my grandson’s special day marred by the day I found out about my husband’s EA. It seems like a distant past even though it was less than 3 mos ago that I found out about it.

      I am happy to report that things are going great between my husband and me. We are both pleased with what we have been able to overcome and with the ability to move forward to new beginnings and new memories.

      The hurt and anger is still there but I will not let it cloud my view of our future.

      Thanks for the tips on how to deal with the D-Day Anniversary….I won’t run away from it but I will change it!!!!

    • Donna

      I am dreading D day… mine is not til March next year, so still have a bit of time to prepare for it. I keep hoping that tey day will pass and me not even notice until much later, that sounds better to me!

      I really wish my husband would just go to counselling with me. He said I am not to compare him to every other situation out there. He says that no one knows his heart and cannot say how he feels about OW. He says that everyone thinks he is in some fantasy and that he is infatuated by OW and just wants her for the sexual pleasure and excitment of the affair. He says that it has been the WORST affair ever (not that he has had one before!) becasue everytime he talks with OW he breaks it off saying Goodbye for the last time. Obviously this has happend over and over and over and over again. He says that he is not infatuated, this is the BIGGEST trial and hardest thing he will ever have to do.. and that is to break it off again and say this is the last time we will talk, then say Goodbye to the one you are so in love with.

      He chooses to be with his wife and family and has told OW that he is not leaving and that he wants his feelings to change towards her. He tells me that you cannot change your feelings for someone. He said that if my father dies, I would still love him, even though he is not around. He says that just because he may give OW up does not mean that he will never stop loving her. He agrees that you need to show action to help increase love, however he does not agree that love is a choice. He says that he can’t just choose to stop loving OW. Says that if I had to stop talking to him and never see him ever again, how would I feel. Disregards that we have had 14 years and 4 children together. He says that time with someone doesn’t make any difference.

      He knows he has to change his feelings for OW although he does not know how to do it or if he can. He says he can only try. That is better than not.

      He also says that just because on the net it says that you don’t say goodbye in person does not make that right. He talks with her when he feels his world is crumbling and that gives him his high and he then comes home to his family feeling happier and as a result says that I get the benefits of his happiness. So in some ways he says that it is a good thing he talks to OW still as she holds him together and helps him cope with his family life or something like that.

      Anyway, rambling here, however here are some of the thoughts from my husband.

    • LizS

      Right now I am trying to get through this week I can not even imagine what the next year might hold!

    • citygirl

      Any suggestions on how to “change” the D-day anniverary? I really want to run from it–go away with girl friends–because I know he’ll make me feel worse. My husband is busy and doesn’t really make time for birthdays and special occasions. Also, if he does anything I want it to be his idea and not mine…..suggestions? Feedback? Help!

      • citygirl

        Oh and by the way, my D-day is Valentine’s Day (especially sad).

    • Alan

      Well after 25 years I found out she cheated for the last two. Oh it was ugly. I got blamed for everything. Went to M/C for the last 3 years. Her years of childhood sexual abuse came out. Years of depression which she took out on me. It’s ok I took it. We are still together and she is getting help. But for me that marriage ended. She ended it. I don’t celibrate my anniversary anymore. I took every picture in my house and photo album that had me in it and burned them. All my military awards over 25 years I threw away. I want nothing to remind me of those years I waisted. I started a new life. She still gets upset about the anniversaries but I don’t care. I was the abused one for 25 years. I finally grew a set of balls and will live my new life MY way. If she wants to be in it fine. If not she is free to go. I put up with enough pain. My triggers are mostly gone. I burned them all. I will never be treated like second class again. And I will never celibrate the past. Never. That life ended with her cheating.

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