It’s time to discuss what’s on YOUR mind and share YOUR struggles.

In case you didn’t know, or are new to our site, the open discussion is where you guys call the shots and discuss the topics that you want to discuss.

We know there must be some things that are going on that you can either ask questions about, share your experiences – or maybe just do a little venting.  

We appreciate it as it not only helps to share and get the input from others, but it also helps us with possible issues to address in future posts.  Thanks!

With that said, the floor is all yours!

Feel free to discuss anything…

  • What’s on your mind?
  • What are you struggling with?
  • Have any success stories to share? Big or small. (We especially want to hear some of these!)
  • Are you ready for Spring yet?
  • Wanna share any lessons you’ve learned recently?
  • Got a question? Ask it.
  • Do you have any problems or situations that you’d like the community to offer their opinions on?
  • Any good books you’d like to discuss?
  • What’s your favorite movie of all time?
  • What are you and/or your spouse doing to further the healing and recovery in your relationship?
  • What’s working or not working?
  • Has your therapist given you any good advice or exercises that the rest of the readers might benefit from?
  • What has your spouse done lately that really pisses you off?
  • What has your spouse done lately to make you really happy?
  • Tell us a little about yourself.
  • Everything and anything is on the table for discussion!

Please don’t be shy. If there is anything whatsoever on your mind, please leave a comment below.  And please reply to each other in the comments, as each person leaving a comment is not an isolated incident.

Thanks!

Linda & Doug

 

    20 replies to "Open ‘Mic’ #39 – What Do YOU Want to Talk About?"

    • Exhausted

      Hi everyone.
      I guess I would like some words of encouragement and a little guidance moving forward.
      I an now a year and 4 months from Dday. I am doing well for the most part. My husband and I are in a good place for now. But obviously the thoughts are still there, although it doesn’t affect me as much anymore. And ofcourse the fear of it happening again knaws at the back of my head. I try my best not to think about all of it too much, to stay in the present, but sometimes its hard.
      It’s also sometimes hard to believe that he really loves me and regrets his actions and decisions even though I do see that he is truly sorry. I sometimes don’t know if I am on the right track, am I really moving forward, truly healing? What does healing look like in the end though?

      • Shifting Impressions

        Exhausted
        I am a little over six years past d-day and in my experience recovery and healing are long difficult journey. There are simply are no shortcuts. I found I had to grieve deeply before I could even think about healing. I had to get in touch with my anger and pain rather than push it down and “try living in the present”.

        Our cheating spouses would like nothing better than to “JUST MOVE FORWARD”. In all honesty I found the journey to be like a roller coaster ride of emotions. Often taking one step forward only to find myself taking two steps back.

        I did a lot of reading on the subject and spent the first few years journaling my feelings. I gave myself permission to grieve and permission to NOT KNOW whether or not our marriage would survive. Slowly and I mean excruciatingly slowly we moved to a better place. It took three years before I stopped crying everyday. It took months before I could sleep through the night. It took a long time for my husband to be able to really listen as I shared my pain. It took well over a year before he dropped some of his defensiveness and showed true remorse.

        In about the forth year I experienced a deep sadness for all that was lost. The cheating spouse has no idea the epic battle that the betrayed spouse faces after being betrayed. The strangest things can trigger us. And yes six years later it still happens now and again.

        So what does healing look like?? I’m not sure. But I sleep better and have stopped crying. We laugh together again. We make plans for the future. The triggers come and go much less often and I know I can survive them. I accept that something truly precious was lost. I realize that I am forever changed. I discovered a strength I never knew I had. I found out some people in my life are absolute gold!!! I know that we are still moving forward albeit one tiny step at a time.

        We live in an instant society but there is absolutely nothing instant about this journey. No easy answers! Take care….I wish you all the best.

    • Betterdays

      Hi Exhausted,
      I’m a few months past you. I’d say, don’t try to rush it. Let this process play out. If you feel something is off or he needs to be double checked, don’t feel bad. He created this mess. If you have days where you just don’t know what your future is, so be it. There is no timeline. 2 or 5 or 10 year after DD, you have every right to decide that it’s just too much and you can move on when/if ever you decide. As long as your marriage boundaries aren’t continually being crossed by the cheaters actions, you have to look at yourself for healing. For me, I’m not religious and don’t buy into the whole forgiveness concept. I’m more of the acceptance concept. Accepting the reality of who I’m married to. Accepting that she’s human and made many very bad choices and is capable of it doing it again. In fact, I feel we are all capable. It’s just determining the likelihood. There is always potential for the other shoe to drop and present a time to part ways for good.

      You are not a mind reader and if he says and more importantly shows he wants to be there with you, what more can you do? The second they waiver about wanting to be there, send them packing.

    • Deeper Thought

      I am 11 months past D-day. Things were mostly fine lately, my H and I are working on our marriage after his EA. We’re doing okay. I was doing okay, until I had a birthday blues. I didn’t expect that a birthday could be a trigger for depression. It took me back to a year ago, when the EA was going on. My H’s birthday is in the same week as mine, so I remember that his AP gave him a special birthday gift. He was going to use the gift last Summer, had D-day never happened. It did, less than a month after his birthday. He went no contact and returned/canceled the gift from her, which was very considerate and I appreciate it. We’ve been trying hard to rebuild trusts between us since then, with the help of 2 different counselors. We’re on our way there but I know that trust is just never the same since a betrayal. I’m working around it to stay together. We love each other and it’s worth fighting for.

      I’m also like you, Exhausted. I have the fear of the same thing happening again, even though I see he was remorseful. He said he would make it up to me, but it’s hard for me to see it when I caught him lied so many times, about his EA and other things. He was also being defensive and passive aggressive. We had to work through his anger issues with one of the counselors. Of course her advice was to communicate better. Yes, we are trying, I am trying, but is it going to change someone’s character? Is it going to stop him from lying ever again? Is he going to be truthful instead of saying that he would do something but eventually never did? Is he going to stop making excuses when I call him out on the stuffs that bother me?

      I know that the EA is over, but healing is long way to go. I see the EA as the tip of the iceberg. Just because the EA is over, it doesn’t mean the problems underneath are fixed. It seems that for me, moving forward also means dealing with leftover problems that were uncovered after the D-day. I too, am wondering what truly healing means and what it is like.

    • Exhausted

      We are also still working on other issues that we had. They all geed into each other and caused the one ‘big’ issue that made him to go down that road. He tries, but looking through my over exaggerated lense it seems very little at times. But I have made our boundaries very clear, just not sure what the consequences should be. I don’t want to go to the extreme for small miss steps. He knows another affair would be the end, it’s more about recognising wrong behaviour and situations before he finds himself down the wrong path again. But yes, I do know he is just human and made bad decisions and it could happen to any of us. He at least, for the firts time in our marriage recognised and acknowledged some of his bad behaviours and habits. I guess one day at a time?

    • Betterdays

      Exhausted,
      The consequences are, you go cold and start figuring out what your life without the cheater in the picture looks like. Figure out finances, living arrangements, divorce mediation, etc.. If that doesn’t wake the cheater up, nothing will and it’s time to move on. At least you’ll have all your ducks in a row. When I say we are all human and all capable, this is not a pass. These bad decisions destroy lives and end families. We just need to be able to determine a healthier and happier path and be strong enough to follow through when these realities come to life. Much easier said than done.

      Of course you’ll always read the odd story of “no signs” or “everything seemed perfect.” But most of us, when looking back, are able to see the signs clear as day(hindsight 20/20). And if you haven’t seen clear and drastic changes since DD, you haven’t seen a cheating spouse become a safe spouse. Period. If they like to go out after work and have drinks without you with people you don’t know, hang out with friends that practice the same type of cheating behavior, hang out with single friends always on the prowl for a hook up, not an open book with their electronic devices or any other similar behavior, then you should be worried.

      • Betterdays

        Oh, and just to be clear, nothing “made him to go down that road.” It’s a pretty weak argument that cheating is somehow going to fix your marriage issues. If you get fired from your job, you don’t go rob a bank. You go to the unemployment office, you get proper training, you update your resume and start getting apps out. The cheaters think robbing the bank is the answer.

    • leaningonhope

      I have often wondered something. Is there a such thing as “an attitude of infidelity”?
      Such as, ok, the actual affair is over. But the eyes still wander, the little mixed signals, the places frequented, the “potential” acquaintances at the regular coffee shop… in addition, the inability to understand the need for the cheater to “facilitate” the healing, and/or participate? The seeming inability to empathize, the seeming inability to have consideration for [his] spouse’s needs. Needs. Such as trust, security, actionable/apparent commitment.

      • Puzzled

        leaningonhope:
        I’m not sure how far along you are in the recovery/discovery process but everything takes time. Unfortunately, the cheating spouse can’t grasp the thought of empathizing because they don’t think they did “wrong” until well after D-day. Trust and security are so fragile and our cheating spouse never understands the true damage that they’ve done. I’m almost 5 years out and my wife still really doesn’t completely understand the daily struggle to trust her. For me, the trust came slowly but it’s still not 100% and I’m not sure if it ever will get there. She has chosen to keep the name of her affair partner a secret. I’ve asked. I’ve pleaded. But, for 5 years, she has chosen to protect herself and the other guy. And that’s a bitter pill to swallow every day.
        Give it time and things can improve for your marriage. But demand honesty and transparency because you deserve it!

        • Betterdays

          Puzzled, I agree with everything. But you don’t know who your wife’s affair partner is? After 5 years? That is step #1. “Honesty and transparency” are so far from what you have. How can you have any idea whether or not she is spending everyday with her AP. Whether or not you are inviting this person into your home. Whether or not you are ok with her hanging out with a “friend?” Dude, you have to do something about this.

    • tryingtogetover

      I enjoy hearing from you all, even though we are all in some shared pain. I am hopeful that my husband really does understand the pain that he caused. It took a few years, but he “got” it, with enough discussion, examples, and straight talk. I would say what frustrates him now is his inability to make everything the way it used to be, because that’s something no cheater can do. They can rebuild trust and start what is basically a new relationship with you, but they can’t erase what they’ve done. That’s the acceptance part, I think, for everyone.
      As for the “attitude of infidelity” I did have some harsh confrontations in the weeks right after our final D-day, when my husband was basically still tripping out and trying to prove that flirting was normal or something. I would ask him, “What is your end goal with this? Are you seriously trying to start something again?” I will say that what really ended it for him, and this is personal to his own situation, is he quit drinking. That one major life step helped facilitate a lot of other behavior change. He wasn’t an alcoholic and would not label himself now sober, but he recognizes that drinking makes him act like a jackass and clouds decisions. That doesn’t let him off the hook for what he did – I am just saying that sometimes the cheater making a major life change toward betterment can erase that attitude of infidelity, whether it’s changing what they ingest or where they hang out or how in touch with their emotions they are or whatever.
      I wish you all luck with keeping yourselves and your sig others on a path toward better days!

      • Another One

        Almost 6 months out from Dday and my husband is still struggling to comprehend the depth of pain he caused, and the permanent nature of the changes he caused to me and to our relationship.

        Leaningonhope, it could be your husband is refusing to accept how much damage he did because he doesn’t want to see himself as a bad person. My husband has made a lot of mistakes in our affair recovery, mainly due to selfishness, but he is now finally learning and trying to do the right thing. Reading books, articles and blog posts from this and other websites have helped open his eyes. Maybe it will help your husband.

        Tryingtogetover, we had a similar experience. H has not stopped drinking altogether but one agreement we’ve made is that he won’t drink when I’m not around, even if he’s just out with the boys. He doesn’t drink much anyway, but he made some very bad decisions regarding OW and the affair while drunk so that’s a rule I felt the need to place fairly early on and he is happy to comply with it.

    • Sue

      Well maybe it’s time I posted here. I’ve been reading your posts for a long time. My H and I are 20 months from D-day. We are in our early 70’s, and he had a four year physical affair with his high school sweetheart (whom he never got to date in high school). We have come a long way since D-day, with individual therapists plus continued marriage counseling this whole time. We get along like friends or good roommates, and I “love him but am no longer in love with him.” He says he loves me deeply. My guilt and frustration is with me. Why can’t I forgive him and love him like before? We are too old to tear everything apart and get a divorce. Looking back over a 42 year marriage I don’t think we were ever really emotionally connected, because he can’t connect that way. We had a happy and good marriage for the most part (like maybe 90%) but I can’t go back to that. I always knew we weren’t connected emotionally and it was a HUGE something missing for me. Now that he’s had this affair it’s a glaring NEED for me to be emotionally connected. And he just can’t do this in spite of a year and a half of intense therapy and knowing this was a dealbreaker. So while I know he feels guilty, remorseful, and ashamed and all that, he can’t talk about anything that’s feeling-related, and without that connection, I can’t even come close to forgiving or moving closer to him. He is being the most perfect husband now, hence my guilt that I can’t reciprocate. Are we destined to live out our days like this, arms length apart, social distancing each other? Am I supposed to fall back in love with him because he’s such a good husband? (And yes I am VERY grateful that I am married to a “good man.”) Should I just be satisfied with what I’ve got? What am I not seeing?

    • Shifting Impressions

      Sue
      Thank you so much for sharing your story. This is a good place to let out some of those feelings of frustration and ask those very difficult questions.

      I have wrestled with forgiveness and “loving him as before” as well. For me d-day came about two weeks before our 40th wedding anniversary . What can I say. It’s been over seven years now and It has gotten easier. I know that I have not completely forgiven either but I am much closer than I was even one year ago.

      I think that perhaps you are being way to hard on yourself. When our spouses betray us, we end up fighting a battle of epic proportions inside ourselves. I know that I will never be the same….something broke deep inside. I encourage you to give yourself permission to grieve. To allow yourself to feel all the pain and anger without guilt. To give yourself permission to NOT forgive at this time. Forgiveness is a process that simply can’t be forced.

      Our trust was broken and that does not come back easily. I am also married to a “good man” and have much to be grateful for. But….he broke my heart and broke my trust. He was my best friend. During that time he became someone I did not recognize.

      Even though we had built a good life together I didn’t put the idea of divorce completely off the table. I told myself I didn’t have to have that answer at that time but I also knew that if I didn’t try to help us recover, I would always regret it.

      Here are a few things I did that were helpful to me:
      1. I read everything I could get my hands on regarding infidelity
      2. I journaled my feelings…..just for me
      3. I went for personal counseling….unfortunately my husband refused to go
      4. I had a few close friends I confided in
      5. I came to this site and found hearing other people’s stories and sharing mine to be very therapeutic.
      6. I gave myself permission to feel what I was feeling
      7. I gave myself time….no pressure

      I know I have been rather long winded here but your story just tugs at my heart strings. This is an incredibly difficult journey. It’s a roller coaster ride of emotions. It’s often one step forward and two steps back.

      Take care

    • Sue

      Wow, Shifting, you sound just like me! He was my best friend, and I think the pressure I put on myself is that I know HE is waiting for my forgiveness and being close again. I’m just not there yet, and don’t know if I’ll ever be there. You’re right, something deep inside me is broken, and it feels like it’s me, not him. He still hurts and has lost confidence in himself that he “could do such a thing,” but for the most part I think he’s ok. Me not so much. I did all the things you did, reading, journaling, counseling, and continue to do that. Good luck to you, and thank you for replying.

    • Shifting Impressions

      Sue
      Have your read HOW CAN I FORGIVE YOU The Courage to Forgive, the Freedom Not to by Janis A Spring? I just read that recently and found it really helpful. It’s been over seven years since d-day for me and I found the book really helpful. She has a different take on forgiveness that I found very helpful.

    • tryingtogetover

      Agree about that book. It gives up on the whole “forgiveness is a gift you give yourself” stuff that I got tired of reading. Yet it does focus on you – not the person who hurt you – and is super helpful.

    • Sue

      Thank you both, Shifting and Trying. I will check out that book. I wonder about something we’ve experienced. Even after all this time since D-Day, about 20 months, I still keep myself at arm’s length from him, can’t stand the thought of him even massaging my shoulders or something, like we used to do. Don’t want to hold his hand, etc. Yet there have been a couple of occasions where something emotional came up and we hugged and it was like old times. So I believe I still have love for him, but am simply afraid to trust again. This of course comes from childhood hurts and abuse, as my therapist tells me….old wounds re-opened. But I wonder if I’ll ever get to the point of being able to just melt into him again like we always did. Pretty sure sex isn’t coming back but sometimes I feel very alone and like I’m cutting my own self off from any love at all. Don’t even know if this is about forgiveness, more about my own fear I think. At 72, I keep telling myself that life is fragile and I need to “get over this” and move back toward him, and I just can’t. Now with the coronavirus, it feels even more necessary to forgive and forget, or some semblance of that idea. I’m still angry down deep that he put us into such a situation at such an old age that it’s kind of too late to do much about it. I can own my own pieces of our puzzle too but even so, can’t seem to move back toward him, even though I desperately want to. It’s so nice to come here to read posts and find people like you! Thank you again!

      • Shifting Impressions

        Sue
        It’s a long hard journey….no doubt about it. You are so welcome. Coming here was a huge help to me as well.

    • Doug

      I received an email today from a member whose wife is having an emotional affair with another woman. Was wondering if anyone else out there is experiencing the same thing. If so, would perhaps be willing to be introduced to one another via email for support purposes.

      You can contact me here is interested: https://www.emotionalaffair.org/contact-us/

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