My Pain – His Second Chance

heal from my husband’s affairIt’s always nice when we receive emails from readers. It’s certainly uplifting when we get one from someone who has had success in recovering and healing.

We wanted to share this particular one with you as she shares a little about her experience in getting past her hurt and the lessons she learned from the trauma.

Here it is…

I used to think that the affair hurt me much more than it hurt my husband. It wasn’t that he didn’t outwardly hurt or show me his pain, it was just that it seemed he lost nothing, compared to how I was feeling and that was that I had lost my whole world, past, present and future. I no longer even knew who the heck I was.

I never imagined a person could hurt so physically from emotional pain. I was taken aback by the depths of my unhappiness. There were days that I was incapable of doing anything but sitting in a corner and crying with hopelessness.

On the other hand, my husband was getting a second chance to right his terrible wrong. A wrong I might add, that hurt me, in my mind, way more than it hurt him. It took me a long time to allow myself to see the depths of his pain and that he too triggered and suffered on a daily basis.

It took me even longer to not say at that realization, “Good, you should hurt, but it is by your own choice.” The fact that he made the choice, somehow made it OK for me to diminish his pain.

I fought for the ability to love my husband again and in time that love gave me compassion for my husband’s suffering. I no longer wanted him to hurt, even though he had earned his pain rightfully by his own deeds.

What have I learned from the trauma of my husband’s affair?

1. That intimacy is the most precious of commodities. That once it is stolen from you there is a hole so deep it seems impossible to fill. Amazingly, this hole can be filled again with determination and hard work.

2. That past the initial attraction, love is something you have to earn and actively work to maintain. It doesn’t just happen, like the fairy tales say.

3. That there is life, love, happiness, after severe trauma and emotional pain. That we as human beings, have a remarkable ability to recover when we set our minds to it.

4. That my marital history cannot be erased because of the selfish acts of two insecure people. Even though it seems in the beginning like it all means nothing, miraculously it can come back. It is more precious to me now. I took it for granted. I know longer do.

5. That forgiveness is on ongoing gift I give myself, that has the side effect of being a gift to my spouse or anyone else that I choose to work to forgive.

6. The ability to heal my past hurts. Infidelity trauma opens the door to past hurts. The new pain of betrayal is so closely tied to how we reacted to the earlier traumas in our life, now we have the opportunity, if we dare, to face them and heal from them.

7. I was able to learn how to go inside and grow as a person. Personal growth was a huge thing for me.

At one time I seriously doubted that I would ever get there – to recover and heal from my husband’s affair. It seemed for such a long time like I was spinning my wheels. But when I look back to where I was at the beginning, I realize how things have changed so much and I am measurably better – and our relationship is as well.

Thank you both for all that you do and God bless!

AH

 

We would love to hear your thoughts on what “AH” wrote.  Can you relate to her experiences?  What have you learned from the trauma of the affair?

Please let us know in the comment section below.

 

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16 Responses to My Pain – His Second Chance

  1. Strengthrequired May 5, 2014 at 6:29 pm #

    I definitely relate to ah, I never ever thought that my h would hurt me, and didn’t think I would ever face him cheating, or ever hear him tell me that he didn’t love me. Then he did, it was like a pain that ripped me apart from the inside. I do believe some day I will heal the whole that is still there in my heart, yet I also know that my h is healing too. I haven’t told him, that you deserve to feel it, because I don’t want him to feel that type of pain. I saw how much he suffered at the beginning, I saw how much he was hurting, so I helped him until he was capable of helping me.
    I look back now, and although there are triggers that rear it’s ugly head every now and then, compared to when dday 1 started, I know that we have come far with our healing and recovery. I don’t doubt trust will return completely once my h is able to prove himself to me, and once I get past myself holding back that trust. I believe I keep that much trust held back, because of the pain associated with hiving that complete trust before, and don’t want to feel it again, but also I don’t trust myself in giving that trust completely, because I know how he makes me feel, and I am like butter melting around him, so just being that little bit more firmer on the inside keeps me from giving everything to my h, for now.

    • Strengthrequired May 5, 2014 at 6:31 pm #

      It’s good to know though that I can look back and measure how far we have come, and be thankful for everyday that arrives and leaves, because we get further away from dday and that much closer to complete healing, and together.

      • lea May 9, 2014 at 6:28 am #

        SR,

        have you noticed that when you help your husband to heal, as a side effect it heals you too?

        I have been there, and realized that during initial period when he was more mess than me. At that time I somehow thought by helping him reach a point where he would see the consequences clearer, then he would be able to help me.

        • Strengthrequired May 9, 2014 at 7:00 am #

          Exactly, lea. My h was a huge mess, he needed me more than ever to help him which ever way I could, until he was able to see clearer, then after that he needed to help me.

  2. gracefortoday May 6, 2014 at 1:33 pm #

    I have learned that I need to find my sense of self inside of me, and stop defining myself by my husband. He chose to cheat, but that does not make me a bad wife, a bad person, or any other negative thing. Similarly, I have worked hard to see he is the good, kind man I loved and married. He made a mistake and that mistake does not make HIM. Yes, it will always be there in the background. We (meaning husband and I) would be fools not to learn the hard lessons from this. We would be more foolish yet if we didn’t apply those lessons in ways that make us stronger individuals better equipped to protect this marriage we both want so much. Recovery is a long road, and it is strewn with many choices. Recovery doesn’t “just happen” if you give it enough “time”. Like the affair itself, it is a choice. Sometimes a choice you must get up each and every day and make all over again.

  3. Deni May 9, 2014 at 12:41 pm #

    Empathy is a powerful healing tool. To feel for another bridges the gap of a hurting soul. I am in a place where I understand why my H cheated. I am kind and caring now. My H is still in denial about his EA, I have walked away from our marriage but am a friend to him.

  4. betrayedchump May 9, 2014 at 5:24 pm #

    I admire all of you that are able to HELP your CS deal with their pain? All of you have to be a lot farther along in your healing process than I am! I am confused today after reading about the CS’s pain, triggers & their suffering on a daily basis? I just do not know how to grasp how the BS must help the CS with their pain that they caused? It seems to me to be a REWARD from the BS to the CS? The BS is suppossed to REWARD the CS?What is the BS’s REWARD for the MISTAKE/BAD CHOICE that their CS made? I am REALLY STRUGGLING to understand this rational, or is it that I am just not healed enough myself to relate to this issue?

  5. Strengthrequired May 9, 2014 at 6:54 pm #

    Betrayed chump, when I found out about my h ea, I could see he was a mess, he was not himself and was quite depressed. I felt in order for my h to see me, the person he had married, I had to help him. Him felt I did not love him, I had to prove him wrong. The man that stood before me was not a well man, I just could not turn my back on him.
    So I fought for my h and my marriage. Once he was able to see that yes he loved he and wanted our family, that was when he needed to start proving it to me.
    I look at it as not a reward, but helping someone you love turn themselves around.

  6. Rachel May 9, 2014 at 7:42 pm #

    Betrayed chump,
    When my ex husband admitted to his affair, he wasn’t a mess. Very confident. He wanted an open marriage with the g.friend . I fought and fought for our marriagenand he didn’t want me. Every story is different.
    He wanted me on divorce day, but I think that was a few tears because of all of the money that he lost.
    Good luck !!

    • CBb May 27, 2014 at 9:09 am #

      Rachel, it sounds to me like your H only wants what he cannot have. LOSER!

      You deserve better. And I hope you find a better life. B/c when this “woman” he is currently with leaves him (and she will) he will finally get what he has done.

      I have seen too many guys like this. Always looking for the next best thing. I dated a few of them. And when “Miss Wonderful” (who they dumped me for) dumped these guys, they came back to me full of apologies. I was smart enough to not give them a second chance.

      When reality sets in with your ex, it will be your revenge.

  7. Oceangirl May 14, 2014 at 6:16 am #

    Still can’t reach trust and forgiveness because my H doesn’t think what he did was really wrong. He just “talked and texted too much”. Second time with the same coworker. Our counselor said that the attachment will always be there, sort if like it is with your first high school boyfriend or girlfriend, and if I am to be with him, I have to open myself up to the knowledge that he could do it again and that I might have to go through the pain all over again. He won’t tell me anything except that he talked and texted too much. I know of a date they went on, he got on a deer lease with her— and lied about both. Why would I want to go through this pain again? I am so scared to open up my heart again and be hurt. Since no real remorse has been shown, I think relapse is inevitable.

    • Doug May 14, 2014 at 11:33 am #

      OG, I can’t say that I blame you for feeling that way. Your husband’s remorse and acknowledgment are essential and you shouldn’t have to live through this again. Does he at least acknowledge that you are in pain?

    • CBb May 27, 2014 at 8:57 am #

      OG
      Been there. My CH came home last summer and told me about his EA and that he had kissed her. He felt bad for what he did(kiss her).

      He continued to email and speak with her and ended it 3 weeks later but used the rest of the summer to tell me every reason under the sun why he was justified in turning to the OW.

      1. He felt disconnected. Really!? He has trouble communicating not me. So he shuts down for 25 years and that is my fault?
      2. He doesn’t know if he still wants to be married. Yes I would like the single life too,free from kids, house, work etc. Sign me up too!
      3. I don’t support him. I’m not there for him emotionally. Really? I ask you about your life, work, friends, family. I get answers that are 10 seconds long and I don’t support you emotionally? Interesting spin on reality here.

      Why am I telling you this? Because he was “in love” with the OW and despite ending it, he resumed the relationship one month later. Throughout that period of 6 weeks or so, he told me everything that was wrong with me and our marriage. He was cruel and hurtful. And selfish and self-absorbed.

      During this time he was not sad, remorseful or contrite. He did not feel bad for what he did.

      Fast forward 3 months to November and he ended our marriage. His exact words were “I cannot give you what you deserve”. In reality he was ending it to be with the OW. She was pressuring him to “choose” (obviously her).

      Lesson here: if they are not upset or remorseful, they do not care about you or your feelings.

      The result of our situation was my CH and I reconciled after he told me he wanted to end it, and then 7 days later he ended it with me again. I finally knew something was up b/c he was acting crazy. Not like himself. And I am trying to shield two teens from the circus act. Anyway my gut instinct got the better of me and I called the OW and asked her to please be honest and tell me what was going on. And she did. They had been seeing each other the past 3 months while my CH was lying to me and telling me how great our marriage was and how in love with me he was and how he was “so happy”.

      So I told him to leave. Get out. In the middle of all this w/ two teens we had an very unexpected death in the family. So my family is upset over this death and my life is exploding around me. So I threw him out. We are done. It is over. Please go and be with her. I did not care anymore.

      We have since reconciled and NOW he is finally remorseful and understands the magnitude of what he did. Completely changed and I have been able to forgive him.

      However it is hard to know what is real sometimes. But I am strong enough to have learned alot about myself and I have said if there is even a hint or suspicion of anything, even a text message that I deem inappropriate, no questions asked, we are through. And he knows I mean it. I have seen the proof.

      My advice, be wary if there is no remorse or guilt. Not by words but true emotion and guilt. He should be trying to make it up to you in every way possible. I have seen the past 6 months what my H is/was capable of doing to turn this around. He was not doing ANY of this the first time b/c he did not feel the guilt or remorse.

  8. Gizfield May 27, 2014 at 9:20 am #

    Rachel, he wasn’t dating this woman while you were marred, was he? I thought they broke up. If so, she has nothing that is involved with you. she doesn’t matter. I understand how you feel though, especially with people bringing it up to you.

  9. Free January 26, 2018 at 1:36 pm #

    In my mind, the parasite will not win! To me, she is nothing but a leach feeding off the weakness that evolved through 27 years of marriage. My husbands inability to talk to me about how he felt about failing me and his feelings of being unwanted. He lost his job, failed at a new business. Was not appreciated and was undermind at his new job, when the leech latched on. She was a coworker. An opportunist that thrives on sewing chaos into otherwise happy families. Will I let that puss win? Hell no! My H has shown remorse. Cried many times whikle holding me and apologizing. Got down on his knees and grabbed my legs. Told me he never loved her, he is relieved that it’s finally over, that he is happy he never has to talk to her again and he regrets ever meeting her. He has exclaimed that I am the Queen of his heart and always will be. That he was weak and regrets all of it. And he told her he felt wrong in what they were doing many times, that he loves me and will always love me. He ended it by calling her, putting her on speaker phone with me so I could witness him telling her not to ever contact him again. Our kids are grown, married and raising families of their own. There is no reason for him to stay if he truly wanted to be consumed by the parasite. He holds me tight every night, so much so I can’t move. He calls me every 2 hours all day long while at work and on his way to work. He tells me how guilty he feels when he himself gets triggered and how he sees my pain and it kills him. Will I allow the parasite to latch onto me, and hold us in her parasitic nightmare? No more! I say, it’s time for me to mark what is mine! Take control of what I know is and always has been mine! It’s time for us to love each other, rediscover each other, heal and forgive. I have decided to stay. My decision. And in doing so, I will be who I am!! His “Queen”! Life is to short to wallow in pain. If I were to embraced pain, then I will end our relationship and get over it all at once. I choose to forgive and understand. It could have been me who had the affair. I too was in an unhealthy place for our relationship but did not act on it. We both have chosen to remain. For now, we are rediscovering our love and bonding. It is exciting to embrace each other anew. To start over with profound love, respect and a brand new attraction for each other. I choose NOT to give one ounce of my blood to that parasitic sickness by dwelling on any more questions that would give her power over me. I give up pain. Life is to short. I choose healing! For myself, and my husband.

  10. Stephanie January 26, 2018 at 8:12 pm #

    We are a year an half after D day . I still have triggers . I am still trying to rebuild my self esteem. Sex has gotten a little better but i am having triuble with forgiveness. While my H was having his affair he asked his mother to open a bank account for him so he could start hiding money and she did . He stashed 150k but i found it . She refused to apologize to me for her role . I dont want this woman in my house and its my daughters sweet 16 soon and she will be at our house and it triggers me . It makes me want to leave my husband and his messed up family. it makes me so angry that this woman did this and has said to my face , that she feels she did nothing wrong and refuses to apologize! I know i need to forgive her even though she will never give me the apology i need to hear. I feel the affair and our recovery is all so much for me and this ontop of it just throws me over the edge. my husband and i didnt talk all day today because if this . i get major anxiety thinking if her coming to my house . It makes me want to run away from it all!

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