A reader shares some of his experiences with Post Infidelity Stress Disorder (PISD).

Post Infidelity Stress Disorder

We recently received a response from a blog reader, Andy,  to one of Sarah’s Transformation Thursday emails.  The topic of the email was on Post Infidelity Stress Disorder (PISD).  

We wanted to share his email as it describes a bit of what he’s gone through and perhaps some of you might be able to relate to it.

First however, we wanted to share Sarah’s email so that you have an idea of what we’re referring to, as well as gain a little insight on how to work through personal trauma.

Here we go…

You are Not Alone If You Experience Post Infidelity Stress Disorder

By Sarah P. 

While Post Infidelity Stress Disorder is not an official diagnosis in the psychology community, many therapists are using this phrase because they have observed that infidelity often leads to traumatic feelings that sometimes develop into Complex PTSD.

If you are feeling as if you have developed Complex PTSD or Post Infidelity Stress Disorder, you are not alone. 

Today I am presenting you with advice from Perspectives Counseling on how to work through personal trauma.

Perspectives Counseling notes:

“Normalize your experience:  Perhaps one of the most important things to remember is that obsessive thinking is a normal response to trauma.  As you take the steps to deal with the new reality (with challenging previously held assumptions and integrating them with reality), you will likely have intrusive obsessive thoughts.

Writing:  An intervention that has helped when working through intense/intrusive obsessive thoughts includes writing down one’s thoughts.  It may sound cliché, but writing provides an opportunity to be uncensored in one’s thoughts and feelings, allowing for further exploration of self, often providing opportunity to gain new insights and clarification.  It can help you keep track of unanswered questions and can help you clarify your thoughts to be better prepared and in a better emotional state when communicating with your partner (if this is desired).

Schedule worry times:  Set a specific time each day (try to be consistent) and for an allotted amount of time (no longer than an hour), use that time to worry, obsess, and revisit and frustrating images.  If thoughts creep up during the day, gently remind yourself that you’re saving them for ‘worry time’.  This is to help intrusive thoughts from taking over the whole day. Over time, worry time decreases in length and in intensity.

Change the channel:  Imagine your mind as something that can be controlled by a remote control.  Whenever you’re overcome by undesired images/thoughts, change the channel to something that is more desirable (perhaps a positive memory with someone else, a hope for the future, visualizing something different).

Try to predict and prepare for flashbacks:  Try to identify ‘triggers’ to flashbacks and if possible try to preplan for them.  Try to have the betraying partner involved, validating your experiences along the way and helping rewrite the script (i.e. having a more desirable experience be associated with the trigger).

Replace raging or unhelpful thoughts with more calm and helpful thoughts: When realizing that you’re ruminating or having specific thoughts, ask yourself “How is this helping me or my situation?”  Sometimes the thoughts help keep us stuck and sometimes we feel entitled to the emotions (i.e. anger) that we feel, but try to remind yourself of the helpfulness of the thoughts behind the anger.  What is your goal?

Self-Soothing techniques:  Riding the wave (i.e. instead of fighting against the intrusive flashback, remind yourself of what it is and that the experience will pass); deep diaphragmatic breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, exercising, treating physical illness, eating balanced meals, massages, meditation, prayer are all skills that can be implemented.

One day at a time/one moment at a time:  Perhaps another cliché statement, but it is important to remind yourself that this moment is the moment you are in.  Don’t get discouraged if healing is taking too long or if you have a bad moment.  Don’t get discouraged if things seem fine for a month and you have a setback and it seems like you’re back at square one.  Take each moment/day as it comes, preparing as necessary, but also reminding yourself that you can only do what you can do.

Obtain appropriate support/do not isolate:  Oftentimes, the betrayed spouse can isolate and withdraw from others for various reasons.  Perhaps they feel shame, perhaps they don’t want to deal with being ‘retriggered’ and with others’ questions, perhaps they just simply feel disconnected from others and feel like no one will understand.  It is important to not isolate and not withdraw from the world.  If your goal is to reconcile, find individuals that will support the relationship.  Well-meaning individuals can do much damage when not taking into account where you are on the healing path.”

Source: https://perspectivesoftroy.com/post-infidelit-stress-disorder/

While recovering from trauma is a process of its own, there are others who have walked this path before you. There is help available and techniques that can concretely move you forward.

Today I leave you with a TED Talk by Dr. Joan Rosenburg about The Gifted Wisdom of Unpleasant Moments:

Now Here is the Email Response from Andy…

PISD  (Post Infidelity Stress Disorder) is very real and I think a very appropriate acronym because at a very minimum we are PISseD! 

From my standpoint it’s different than traditional PTSD as well. 

I was diagnosed with PTSD after a rather disturbing and emotionally traumatic period I went through years ago.  Just to clarify,  I was not in the military and was not involved in a war.  Also I want to state that I am not comparing any of my symptoms or situations to anything our brave men and women in the military or law enforcement deal with either. 

It’s different. I understand that and I want you to understand that.  There are similarities though because it works the same in our brains and entire nervous systems. 

Okay, now I’ll get back to my point…PTSD is your central nervous system acting as If you are constantly under attack and in danger.  At the height of mine I could not sleep, eat or even relax.  I hate to admit it but I spent most of my time holed up somewhere I felt safe, or driving around in my car for endless hours.  I drank more than I should.  I smoked cigarettes and personally I believe even one is more than I should (I have lung issues so I should not ever have smoked, just saying).  I ate little and when I did it was horrible. 

I tried to confront the situation, places and feelings to try to make myself ‘get over it’ to no avail. 

Finally, my boss of all people, pulled me aside and told me to go talk to someone who might be able to help me.  I was limited on benefits and money but I went and did what I could.  It helped tremendously. 

I am still triggered by some things but I do not live in fear for my life.  Well, I guess that’s not entirely true since I did an interview for a documentary about the situation and insisted in my image being blacked out to conceal my identity.  I don’t fear for my life walking down the street or being in a place that is near to the situation though. 

As for PISD though, I don’t know that I’ll ever be completely free of the triggers. 

You see, I still live with the triggers because I still live with my wife and she is still involved with her affair partner.  She even throws it in my face from time to time.  Then she can’t understand why I would want to leave or why I’m even upset. 

When Your Spouse Is Still in Contact with the Affair Partner – Become Your First Priority

It has gotten better but I can tell you the mix of PTSD and PISD is a hard one to navigate.  I find myself blindly doing what I have to do to get through each day with some semblance of sanity intact. 

What my wife wants and what I want are drastically different but I can’t seem to get away.  Not because of her so much but because of the kids (my step-kids) that I am so completely involved with and love so much.  We have pets, we have a house, we have cars and a ton of other ‘stuff’.  I will miss the kids and the pets but nothing else.  The rest is just ‘stuff’ and I’m not that much of a stuff person. 

I’m pretty simple…which brings me to another point…I’m trying to simplify my life and in doing so I’m finding freedom from some of the triggers.  Freedom from some of the stress.  Freedom from some of the notions of what others think of me and what I ‘should’ do.  I’ve started finally doing what I’ve been reading about for the past two years…listening and looking at myself…working on me and what I need and want.  Eventually I’ll get there. 

Will I ever be the same?  Of course not…but then again that’s probably a good thing because I’m starting to find myself again and I’m liking what I see. 

Good luck and God bless…if I can help – reach out!

****************

Thank you Andy!  

Please feel free to respond to Andy and/or share your experiences with PISD – or any other related matter.

 

 

 

    20 replies to "You are Not Alone If You Experience Post Infidelity Stress Disorder"

    • Andy

      and don’t forget to breathe…just sitting and concentrating on my breathing sometimes is a great stress reliever! It helps to slow down and get centered!

    • Nearly Normal

      Hey Andy. As a fellow PISD with a lot (but not all) in common with you, I so sympathize. There are phases. For long periods I can’t relax. Recently got through one of those. I’m trying to not dwell on the past which is best for me right now. Sometimes you have to dwell on the past and sometimes you have to let it go. Hard to let go when she’s still there doing what she does. Hope it gets better for you.

      • Andy

        Thanks NN, I appreciate it! I hope that your situation eases soon as well. Personally I’ve found that when I find myself rehashing the past and I’m getting anxious it’s best to sit quietly, close my eyes and concentrate on breathing for a few minutes. I’ve found dwelling does no good if all it does is upset me, so I try to break out of it as soon as I can. Good luck!

    • Tom

      Hi Andy. Thank you for sharing. And I am sorry that you are having to deal with a situation that is not conducive to healing. I am the wayward spouse in my situation. For two years I had an emotional affair at work. Now I have decided that my mission is to get help and be there for my wife as she works through her feelings of betrayal. In your opinion, what would be the 1st and 2nd most important things your spouse could do help you in healing?

      • Andy

        Hi Tom! First off I commend you in waking up/clearing the fog, facing your situation and wanting to help your wife heal. In my situation, the first thing my wife would have to do is end the affair. It continues to this day and is not only emotional but physical as well. Second would be to sincerely apologize. She has not apologized sincerely and still tells me it’s my fault it happened in the first place. So, I’m in a different boat than you are.
        If you’ve ended the affair and sincerely apologized then I would say seeking help is a good thing. I would also suggest encouraging your wife to get help on her own as well, when she’s ready. There is a good list on here somewhere of things the wayward spouse is suggested to do to help their partner heal. I would suggest finding it and working through as many of those things as possible. Just make sure you’re sincere about it, otherwise it’s meaningless. I think the most important would be to show your wife in some way every day that you are sincerely grateful for her. Good luck and I hope this helps.

    • Stuck Sara

      Andy, Thank you very much!!! I was beginning to think I was the only one trying to live with a spouse who still carries on with an affair. It is so very hard. For various reasons I also stay, but it is a daily struggle. Everyone I know or talk to says to leave. Well its not that easy when you have 42 years together. So many things hold you, yet you are made to feel its wrong. For me it has been 5 years, and although my spouse and his girlfriend are past the first in love stage, they are still meeting and talking. So many things trigger me, but you are right when you say focus on you. Take it one day at a time. For me it helps to do physical exercise, burns off some of the anger, because I am so angry at him. We can never discuss anything about what he is doing. It all must be swept under the rug. Luckily i am a healthcare worker and in this time of stress I try to focus on helping other people survive. Thank you for all your advice!!!! Stuck Sara

    • Andy

      Hi Sara! It is nice to know you’re not alone, me too! I’m glad you’ve found some ways to cope with the stress and the anger. For me it’s walking the dogs. That is my daily stress relief. If I can’t walk my dogs I go nuts, so rain or shine or snow (I don’t go if it’s hailing) we’re out there. Besides that I meditate when I can and find things to do around the house.
      I understand what you mean about not being able to discuss what the WS is doing. Funny thing is she tells me she wishes I would but then if I bring something up then I must have been spying on her.
      (To be honest I have done some spying in the beginning, post d-day, but I’m over that now.) So I just keep it under the rug and when I decide it’s time to go I’ll pull the rug back and we can discuss all at once, along with a settlement.
      Keep your chin up, exercise and focus on you and your work! Keep up the good work! Good luck…if I can help further let me know!

    • Stuck Sara

      Andy, Thank you for your reply. It does sound like you have made up your mind to leave at sometime. I cant seem to make that decision. Nothing really seems to help. I also have resorted to spying to see if they are in a physical affair and found no evidence of that. It is just a highly charged emotional affair where he cant give her up. I feel like I am so weak to not stand up to this and leave. I am pretty sure he uses me to stay comfortable while he continues the affair. He loves two people and I am sure its hard for him too. I have had two therapists but they dont help either. No one has an answer. This was his first love, his high school girlfriend and I hear this is a very strong bond.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Sara
        I am so sorry you are in this situation. You deserve so much more. When you say it’s JUST an emotional affair I believe you are minimizing your husband’s betrayal.. And why must it all be swept under the rug? Why are you willing to make his life “comfortable” while your heart is broken?

        I do understand how hard it is after so many years together. I discovered my husband’s Emotional Affair just two weeks before our fortieth wedding anniversary. I can’t imagine the pain you are in and the anger you must feel in the fact that he continues this affair. My husband did end the EA upon discovery and even with him doing that It has been a number of extremely difficult years to get back to where we are today.

        You say it’s hard for your husband as well….is it really? He has what he wants and doesn’t even have to talk about it because you let him sweep it under the rug. I hope that doesn’t sound too harsh. We don’t have the power to change our partner.s behavior but we always have choices. The answers probably lie deep within. I encourage you to ask yourself some of the hard questions. Ask yourself why you are willing to put up with such poor treatment?

        I hope the very best for you.

        • Stuck Sara

          Yes you are right on all accounts, I have tried to examine why I stay. At 63 I am fearful of living alone, and inforcing the consequences I need to. Sad really I can’t make the break. I am angry at him for what he is doing and angry at myself for living this way. He always hets what he wants at my expense. It will take me being brave enough to break away. But it sure breaks my heart.

          • Shifting Impressions

            Sara
            Very Heartbreaking!! You say you gave up on two therapist….was that for couples counseling or individual therapy? My husband refused to go for counseling but I went just for me. It really helped to validate some of my feelings. What kind of support do you have going through this?

            I know the topic is Post Infidelity Distress Disorder but when your partner refuses to end the affair there is nothing POST about the situation. You are still in crisis and therefore continually being traumatized. You are continually living with anger and pain…how do you move forward?

            How does your living situation work? Do you live separate lives in the same house? Or do you continue to cook, clean, do laundry and have sex (see how I snuck that in there)?? I know I’m asking difficult questions and feel free to tell me to mind my own business. It’s just that my heart goes out to you. I was 60 when I discovered my husband’s EA so I do understand some of your fears.

            It really shook my husband up when I told him that I loved him and it would break my heart should we not be able to work things out but that I WOULD SURVIVE WITHOUT HIM. I’ll never forget the look on his face when he replied he wasn’t sure that he would survive.

            Do you have children….if so do they know and how are they handling things??

            • Stuck Sara

              After five years I have tried all that and more. I have told him it breaks my heart and I want him to stop, he can’t seem to give her up or me either. We continue to live together, but sleep separately. We get along domestically, I do most household chores and work fulltime. He runs his own business and is extremely busy. I have gone to a therapist individually but we have not gone as a couple. He refuses to. We have one grown son who is aware of the situation, he doesnt think much of what his father is doing, but doesn’t want to take sides. Their relationship is strained anyway even without the girlfriend problem but we are close. It is truely a perplexing situation for us. I am sure he wants to stay married but to continue his relationship with her. Anytime I bring up anything I am told its all in my head, but i do know what is going on, he has a separate phone he hides from me. It is hard to fight the battle of staying vs leaving. I have to fight my upbringing of divorce is a bad thing. That marriage is forever no matter what. I want out, but yet again I don’t. And for that reason here I am, stuck.

          • Shifting Impressions

            Sara
            You say you get along domestically but you do most the household chores and work full time…..Isn’t that making things rather easy for him??? You must feel some kind of crazy anger as you do the laundry and clean up after someone who continues to betray you. It might shake him up if you no longer cook and clean for him.

            I understand that kind of upbringing….I believe in the commitment of marriage as well. But I also believe that infidelity is grounds for divorce. After almost forty years of marriage I no longer “felt” married after d-day.

            Is it possible that you are just making things way too easy for him to have his cake and eat it too??? Also, is it possible that because you are a caring and giving person that he actually expects you to do nothing and just go along with his wishes?

            Perhaps you could just take care of you….and let him fend for himself??

            • Stuck Sara

              I could do that and actually have tried most of your suggestions at some point. Therapy was just for me, and i liked my therapist. Since Covid I don’t see her. My husband has refused to see anyone. His girlfriend discourages that because she thinks they don’t do anything for you. She is a religious person and has brainwashed him. I am kind and appreciative but i refrain from too much affection. Nothing seems to bother him and he won’t talk to me. We are friendly roommates at this point.

          • Shifting Impressions

            Sara
            Only you and you alone can decide when you have had enough. When you finally reach that point the answers will become clear. I know it’s difficult at our age but in someways I found it easier. My children are raised and financially we can afford to separate…..so I set the bar higher than if we were still in the middle of raising kids.

            I hope for your sake that you don’t spend another five or more years waiting for change only to find yourself in the same situation and just another five or more years older. I have a close friend who just reached that point of being “DONE”……her fiftieth wedding anniversary is next month…..try untangling fifty years. I have watched her struggle and hope for change for years…..it never happened.

            Funny that the OW’s religious beliefs has her doubting therapy but doesn’t stop her from infidelity. How delusional!!!

            I encourage you to keep getting some counseling…..therapist are doing appointments over the phone etc. You have a lot of years ahead of you yet…..you deserve better.

            • Stuck Sara

              Yes i know I deserve better. When I look back over our marriage I have always made all the sacrifices. This will just be one more. On the subject of her religious beliefs it is all gods plan for them. Perhaps it is and they deserve each other. Somehow if I know my husband he wont be happy with her either. Thank you for your advise.

      • Andy

        Sara,
        it may be a strong bond between the two, but stronger and more important that with his wife? I think not. I think he’s got his head up his, er, uh, “in the fog.” I have been to a couple of therapists as well and they both told me the same thing, they’re not going to tell me to stay or to go, that’s my decision to make. it’s frustrating but only you can decide when you’ve had enough. For me I know I have had enough. My wife is a vindictive manipulator but I’ve been able to see through the gaslighting and lies to know that’s all it is. She wants me to keep doing what your husband wants you to keep doing…stick around and do everything you do so they’re comfortable. It doesn’t work that way, or at least it shouldn’t. I’ve finally gotten to the point where I believe again that I’m worth more, I’m worth being treated better and I’m not going to take it anymore.
        I wish you peace and clarity. If I can help let me know.

    • Fighting4love

      First post. I have received much comfort from reading the articles and especially the comments of survivors, either with or without their spouse. Thank you!!!
      A little over 4 months since original dday but only a couple weeks since last disclosure. After 23 years of military life where i followed him, supported him, and made our whole life about him and what he wanted and he decided to have an EA.

      Through the years I was not a priority because the military came first. I thought i was committing to the “mission” and could wait for the betterment of the country. That was foolish now i see but i wanted my family more than anything. I grew up without a real family and had been betrayed before meeting my H, where my ex left and married her. But i truly trusted my H now. I still feel the shock.

      Long story but he joined the military with nothing. Had 2 children from previous marriage and his mother was raising them because ex is a true mental case. I had 2 children from precious marriage. We married, moved to Germany and he immediately left for mission for 5 months. I only had my 2. When we moved to another duty station we started legal battle for his kids. Years i would drive 10 hours every other weekend to get his boys Years later we won The battle against my in-laws. It was ugly. I raised all 4 of our kids while he was in every sand box on the planet and went from lower enlisted to officer. We spent more time apart than together. All the time i am raising our children with no family support (my family puts the fun in disFUNtional and have never watched my children). I worked crappy jobs so i could hone with our kids and make sure they were raised properly and loved. I wasn’t perfect but i look at it now and damn I was a rockstar. They all had sports and activities ie football, wrestling, competitive gymnastics, band, acting, tennis, etc. They made good grades and helped other wives when their spouses were deployed by shoveling snow in Alaska to mowing grass to babysitting. It’s amazing that our 4 children are absolutely wonderful human beings and all of them joined the military too. Don’t get me wrong, my husband was a good husband and father. He tried to call everyday and check in. But 15-20 minutes a day doesn’t help much with 3 teenage boys, all within one year of each other, in HS and girls, hormones, learning to drive, future plans etc. He was always a visitor in our home and because we moved without him many times, he didn’t even know where the plates and silverware were.

      Those years were hard. For all of us. I mention the details of the years because they contribute to my anger that i don’t know how to resolve. He was forced to retire because of downsizing. This was very difficult for him and he was hurt because he thought he meant more to the military. He mentions it a couple times but life moved on. He searched for his next big thing. Went to police academy but discovered he was too old. We moved to another state to be close to our children and grandchildren. He discovered he could be officer there. Goes thru another academy. I’m still his biggest cheerleader and supporter. Life seems to always be about him and always him first. After second academy he joins a PD but he is such an ass and thinks he knows everything and all others are stupid. It’s a small town and i actually work there as an admin and grant writer. Everyone is stopping by and telling me all the ways he is being an ass and annoying the hell out of them. They are all passive and won’t say anything to him because he would get all butthurt, get loud and defend himself. I tried to help and talk to him about what everyone was telling me and offer to help him learn some things because i has been there for almost 2 years before he got there. This was a huge mistake apparently.

      Shortly after becoming police officer he starts online FB affair with an ex girlfriend from 28 years ago who had disappeared one day out of the blue and he never knew why. She suddenly became a perfect person and “knew” him and “understood” him. She was impressed with all his accomplishments. She was smart and seemed money savvy. She had dreams like him and liked the same songs. She was “always” happy and supportive. This was after just 2 months!!! He starts fantasizing about a life with her and near her. She of course is married also. She proclaims that she is leaving her husband. He looks for jobs, places to live, googles about dreams and astrology. Really stupid childish stuff. The more perfect she becomes the more awful i am. For about 2 years prior i had started to beg for time and attention because he wasn’t in the military anymore but i was met with a couple days of effort and then lost interest. I didn’t know he had become FB friends with her about a year into that. He accepted her friend request during the most difficult time of our life prior to this betrayal. My granddaughter was born with half a heart and only lived 18 days. He decided to start deceiving me during this. When I’m going to sit at the hospital to hold her hand and support my son and His wife and watch my grandson so they could have time with her. How can a man be so self absorbed?? I think i know the answer,, because i let him be that way, but my word!! Where is his conscience?

      He was making plans to leave me. He was wanting me to leave him so he wasn’t the bad guy so he kept pushing me away. I had been suspicious for a while because the phone was glued to him so i finally checked a work computer and there it all was hidden in messenger. Lasted for about 6 months. Honestly it was more his pursuit than hers. She toyed with him. She never had any intention of leaving her husband. She could never be satisfied with the amount of money my H makes. Her H is very well off and she has had every plastic surgery, lift, tuck, implant, injection you can think of. She was just bored And has no respect for marriage.

      He is doing the right things and has humbled more than I’ve ever seen but he gets annoyed if i need to talk about it because he feels like I’m punishing him. I have never once faltered in my desire to keep my family and remain married to my husband. It has taken months for me to get my act together. I haven’t been able to sleep, eat, or concentrate The world lost color. I am angry now. I’m not entirely sure how to process the anger. How could he plan to leave with a woman he doesn’t know and hasn’t done shit for him? He said he forgot about all the love and support i gave. How? How could he sit for years comparing me to another woman and her life on FB and become disappointed in me? Of course there was porn too. Does anyone else deal with porn?

      How do i let go of the anger? Right now I’m dealing with the demise of my father with Parkinson’s. He left our family for the secretary 35 yrs ago and completely destroyed my 4 siblings lives. He will die within a couple weeks. This is all a lot of betrayal to deal with again. I have lived my life and felt i had forgiven him but the stuff with my H has brought all those bad feelings to surface again

    • Andy

      Personally I would try to reconcile with your father and forgive before he is gone. If you can’t then I would do my best to forgive and forget as much as possible after he is gone. In my opinion (for what it’s worth) there is no point in hanging onto hard feelings once someone is no longer with us.
      Now as far as your husband goes…it sounds like you need some boundaries for what is acceptable and unacceptable as well as transparency. If you can’t trust what he’s looking at or who he’s talking to/chatting with then you’re not going to be able to make progress.
      One thing I’ve done is pull back on the support I give. I’ll give you an example. In the beginning (post d-day) I would listen when my wife wanted to talk about problems arising from her boyfriend. Stupid, I realize, but I wanted her to know that at some level at least that I still cared and I available to talk to. Now I was honest with her and told her it was her problem that she created and I told her what I found out about the scumbag and what I thought about him, but I would try to help her reconcile her feelings, hoping in vain that it might turn the tide. On Thanksgiving morning the kids were gone and she was crying so I asked what was wrong. She and the boyfriend had “broken up” and she was distraught. I flat out told her that it’s her problem that she created and I was not going to tell her everything was going to be okay. Again I told her, in so many words, that I was going to be okay whether I was with her or not but that I hoped we could work things out. As it turns out the very next day I saw a text between the two of them and they were “giving it another shot”. I didn’t buy it to begin with (been down this road many times now) but it still hurts. Long story short (I know, too late) take care of you. Let him take care of himself. If he doesn’t realize what he’s got then it might be time to move on. it certainly is for me. I’m just hoping the pandemic eases at some point so I can.

      • Fighting4love

        Thank you Andy. I’m sorry this is a long reply. I guess I’m not talking enough to get my words out. 😉

        I have reconciled my hurt with my father. I can’t change what was and it has motivated me to be the type parent I am and also the faithful spouse that I have been. We have had a tumultuous relationship since my parents split and I didn’t speak to him for about 4 years when he left. He has remained married to the OW for 35 years but has also been having an affair with someone else for 13 years. There were many others also. Karma I guess. But it shows a sickness, mental issue or disease that I will never understand. A sense of entitlement that has no conscience or morality. He even had my brother call his mistress to break things off. He couldn’t even say goodbye to her. He just wanted her to go away. She has vowed to be at the funeral and to also make claim to some of his estate to pay for hotel fees and car rentals for their meetings. Can’t make this shit up. And of course my mother didn’t remarry until 3 years ago because she still loved my father. To this day, she asks me about my father every single phone call! At least 3 times a week! My family puts the FUN in dyFUNctional!! I had to make peace with it all or it would eat me alive. Very selfish people. Very dysfunctional people.

        Anywho, I am so sorry to hear that your wife is treating you with such disrespect. No one, no matter what, ever deserves to be treated that way. I don’t understand what happens to people? That has to be extremely difficult for you to deal with. Do you have children? How long have you been married?

        I am grateful that my H broke things off the first day of discovery. He wasn’t sure he wanted to stay but he did break it off with her and has since decided to stay and be present in our marriage. He accompanied me to the visit with my father. I don’t understand the mind of a narcissist but in almost 24 years now of marriage, he just figured out how screwed up my family is and now understands why our family means so much to me. I never had a real family and always wanted to be loved. He was very supportive during it all and remained “present” for me and even for my brothers. He is off social media entirely. I don’t know if he will go back. It is still on his phone because we have our youngest son still in the Army in Korea and he calls thru FB messenger. He does not open it otherwise and has been sticking to it since dday 5 months ago. We also installed porn monitoring software to electronic devices. He can still get to the sites if he so chooses but I will know from a daily report. He hasn’t viewed it since dday and says he has lost desire. We’re keeping the software regardless because I have learned the “craving” can come back. We thought about a 90 day reset but it was actually me that didn’t want to. I guess they call it hysterical bonding but I am still feeling that I want to feel as close to him as possible. All the time! If it is some stage of grief I hope it never ends because it is what I’ve always wanted and waited for. I think those are “boundaries”? Everyone also says to establish boundaries but I’m not exactly sure what that means?

        He has been less angry also. I sent him several Affair Recovery videos and he is starting to see the level of his self absorption. I think he is probably a narcissist but I’m not sure it would help to try to bring that into the mix at this point. Especially if his humbling is real. It’s only been a few weeks but I have seen drastic changes in mood, behavior, attentiveness, anger, and being present in real time.

        Do you feel anger? Rage? With her and yourself? I feel so angry with myself. Why did I allow myself to be so unimportant in my marriage? Why did I accept so much less than what I deserved? Why didn’t I leave when I knew I had to wait until he was out of the Army? Why didn’t I walk out the day of discovery? I’ve had some time to think about a lot of it and being with my broken family helped me also to discover that I was desperate for my family. I never felt real love until my children were born. I had failed at marriage before and I didn’t want to lose the family I worked so hard to build. I guess I accepted less because I would do anything to keep my family.

        You are a strong person to be able to live with the circumstances you are dealing with. I hope you are following your own advice and taking care of you. You deserve more. You deserve better. I’ve put a lot of pressure for 2021 to be better than this 2020 shitstorm and I hope it doesn’t disappoint. Be kind to yourself and I am believing great things are going to happen in your future!

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