Hello everyone! We hope that your week is going well.

Instead of our normal discussion today, we wanted to conduct another quick, 1 question survey.

Regardless of how far out you are from discovering your partner’s affair, the ultimate goal is healing and recovery. Basically, getting over the affair and allowing yourself to move on.

Moving on can mean different things to different people. For instance, it could mean saving your marriage and creating a new and better one or it could mean divorce and starting over. We’ll let you determine your own definition.

If for some reason the survey does not show up below, you can click here to take it.

When it comes to healing then…

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

After answering the question, feel free to make any comments that you wish about healing and recovering from an affair in the comment section below.

We’ll publish the results of the survey in the near future.

Thanks and take care!

Linda & Doug

 

See also  Notice the Signs for Healing from Infidelity

    30 replies to "Survey – Healing From Infidelity"

    • Dol

      On the point about having trouble dealing with one’s own obsessions as the BS: this is a tricky one isn’t it? It’s common for the CS to want to ‘move on’, to argue that the BS is just torturing themselves/both parties needlessly, or to decide on our behalfs that ‘there can’t possibly be any more value in going over this again’. Our counsellor has said this ‘need to know’ is a natural/inevitable part of what results from attachment injuries – and I think I can tell the difference between that need and when it crosses the line into paranoid obsession. Those two things feel different. But I could be wrong.

      As I was mentioning on the previous thread though, we BSs do perhaps have to do what we can to put those needs (or obsessions) in a box for the sake of the relationship. My partner is certainly not dealing at all well with my continued hurt, and especially how it manifests as wanting to find out more. Not that I have actually got to find out more recently, precisely because I’m keeping it in a box. But again – different needs for each party, and then different needs for the relationship itself. Tricky.

    • D

      I could easily check all of the above, but when I really think about what has helped me heal it really has little to do with her. It all comes down to focusing on myself. It’s great to be in a loving relationship, but as we all know (at least intellectually) we can’t make someone love us. That choice comes from them and they either will or won’t, do or don’t. So looking after yourself is the only real control you have to get over the pain and torment of the affair. I’ve found that when I’m able to focus on me, on my self-worth, my abilities, my strengths, my life goals, my future story, then and only then do I stop focusing on the pain, loss, and betrayal of the affair and start feeling like I’m moving forward.

      I want a loving relationship with my wife, but I’ve come to a place where I realize this is my life (my one and only life) and I can’t waste it worrying, like a school boy, if the girls like me or not.

    • B

      For me, the biggest thing associated with the healing process is rebuilding trust. It is critical to any marriage, especially one where infidelity has been involved. The problem with rebuilding trust after any type of affair, is that it is looked at with such different perspectives. The CS may know she/he was wrong, and may feel tremendous guilt. Because of this, they have little interest in talking about it, may suffer from withdrawals when it ends, and expect the BS to move forward without hurting over things that occurred in the past. They do not want to be punished, they do not want to be held to the fire, they just want things to go back to the way they were before, which we all know is a process. The BS however, has everything time and date stamped in their mind. Every discrepancy, every lie, every situation has been catalogued for self-preservation. In the mind of a BS, even if there spouse has a 25 second conversation with their affair partner after it has ended, they instantly are taken back to the place they were before and they want to talk it out again (for reassurance) which only leads to more fighting, which in turn freaks the Bs out because they feel their spouse will simply run back to the affair because this is too much work. Couples who truly stay together after an affair have some genuine love for each other, because the pain of letting go and starting over is only temporary. The pain of healing and remaining together can be triggered at any moment, no matter how much time has passed. I have reached the point after much soul searching and working on me that I now understand no one is perfect and no one will be mistake free forever. I have read many books, started getting healthy with exercise, and feel great about who I am. Just like D said, I realize now that I am in control of my life and I am no longer 16 years old. I can’t spend my time checking up on someone, monitoring them, or worrying about whether or not they want to dance with me at the next school dance. I don’t have a girlfriend, I have a wife. the same one I have had for the last 15 years. Regardless of the mistakes or the hurt, she is my wife and I will love her until she gives me reason to stop. When and if she hurts me again, I will go quietly and confidently because I will know I hld up my end of the bargain and did everything I could. It will be the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but life is full of hard choices. Today I am wearing a pair of pants I haven’t been able to wear in 2 years because I am slimmer and healthier than I have been in a while. When I look in the mirror, I am feeling good again. It doesn’t matter to me if she notices it, because I do. I want her to notice, but I don’t need it to validate me. I have four beautiful children who notice everyday. My family is more important to me than anything, and I will not let it fail. Rebuilding trust begins and ends with both partners. She has to stop being dishonest and I have to let go and assume she is where she wants to be. Like anything else, trust has to start somewhere.

    • chiffchaff

      Gosh, B, I can’t agree more with your post. By focusing on my own welfare, health and issues since New Year I have felt so much less hopeless. More in control. I appreciate the analogy to the feelings of a teenager. I have also dropped 2 dress sizes, can look at myself in a mirror for the first time in 13 years, quite like the way I look, but it’s fragile. The smallest thing can put a dent in it, like finding a new tranche of images of the OW, she’s petite, very pretty, knows it, and has sent intimate photos of herself. H hadn’t deleted them but I injured my self-esteem again by checking his email accounts.
      I also have to assume that H is with me because that’s where he wants to be. If he wants to continue cheating, deceiving himself, then he won’t injure me doing it because I like myself. I hope he likes himself again eventually. I hope he likes himself just enough right now to not do it and to hold on for the bumpy ride.

    • InTrouble

      It is such a common theme on here: Does the betrayed spouse work on themselves and/or work on their cheating spouse? Can they effectively force an end to the affair, or just exactly how do they deal with it?

      One person suggested having the cheating spouse call their partner on a speaker phone and break it off. Sadly, as a cheating spouse, I would bet that in 95% of the cases the affair isn’t over until the cheater is good and ready to end it. Yes, you could have your spouse publicly denounce the affair, only to have them get to the office and fire off an email that says, “Just kidding!” Or, a year goes by, and Boom!, the affair partner makes contact and they fall right into again.

      What I’m trying to say is that a huge part of the carnage is the fact that the betrayed spouse has to somehow (and I don’t know how) accept that they can’t control the affair. They can only choose to leave or stay, and if they stay the quality of their marriage is going to hinge in large part on the desire of the cheater to fix themselves and their marriage.

      It brings up a whole other layer of trust: Can I trust my spouse to fix themselves? Can I wait for that? Will I still love them when it’s all said and done? Will they be deserving of my love?

    • Paula

      InTrouble, one of the big lessons here, for all those who missed it in their past somehow, is that we can only affect change in ourselves, we can wish and wish and wish that another person will change. I am always amazed at how many (especially women) think they can change their partners character, eg once we’re married, he won’t be allowed to do this, or that, or I will whip him into shape, what was it they liked abou the person in the first place??? I totally agree with you, phoning the AP with the spouse present won’t work unless the CS is ready for the affair to be over, fullstop. CSs who are not ready to work on the primary relationship will just get more devious at hiding contact, etc of the affair, ie it just drives it underground. Trust is a gift we give ourselves, not our partners. It makes us feel safer, not our partners. Only we can decide if someone is “worthy of our love” – it’s a very personal decision, and every person has a different expectation of what works for them. Well said.

    • Poppet

      We have been through the trust issue many times since D.Day 16 weeks ago. I am the C.S. and my wonderful wife and I are working to rebuild trust. I totally and utterly regret my stupid actions and have no desire to cause any more hurt to her but I understand that I have to let her dictate the speed that the trust is rebuilt. I tell her many times a day how amazing she is, how much I love her and how dedicated I am to making it work. She says that she appreciates my words, but that they often ‘bounce off her’.
      I won’t give up, because she IS amazing and hopefully one day will realise it.
      We have found that our progress has been helped along by talking, being patient, listening without reacting, lots of cuddles and hand holding etc.
      I have had to do a lot of soul searching to understand why I took the decisions that I did and much of that has been very painful. I have had to totally deflate my ego to find the real me, but I feel so much more real now. My eyes have been totally opened to the pot of gold I had here all along.
      You must show each other as much love as you can if you wish to move forward.

    • JS

      @InTrouble-
      I look back now and laugh at the fact that I “insisted” my H break it off with the OW in a way that I’d know he’d done it. He sent her an email with me cc:ed and broke it off. I found out months later that he texted her about an hour before that email telling her to disregard what he was about to send her. Then after I left the house sobbing that morning to see my counselor, he and the OW texted each other for about 3 straight hours. Here I was thinking he was cutting her loose and we could move forward, and he and the OW were having a nice laugh on my account.

      I agree with everyone who has said the best way to heal is to stop blaming yourself for your partner’s indiscretions and to take care of yourself, but I SO understand how incredibly difficult that is to do. Looking back, I wasted a lot of time thinking I was able to stop the EA. I never was. He had to stop it when he was ready, and in the meantime, I should have been taking care of myself and preparing for a life with out him instead of thinking I could fix anything he was doing or trying to improve a marriage he was checked out of. Things are better now and I am now independent instead of co-dependent, but my self-esteem took a big hit for a year because I didn’t take the advice so many, including my counselor, gave which was to take care of myself and stop letting the affair dictate how I was going to run my life.

      I agree with what you said about the whole other layer of trust. I’ll never trust him the same way I did before. I love him but the love is different. Like Poppet said, the “I love you”s and “your beautiful” bounce now. They used to make my stomach flutter but now the words don’t resonate in the same way. The love has lost the “magic” it had and I no longer look at him with the same kind of awe that I used to. In some ways that makes me sad, because I used to feel we had that “it” that other couples didn’t have. I used to call it a “sparkly” marriage – it seemed to me like we sparkled, smiled, laughed together, had more fun and were just more in love than other couples – and I was really trying to get him to see the reality that I saw when I tried to get him to break it off with her so we could move on. I’m much more of a realist now and I know Prince Charming never existed and never will, and the sparkly love was only an illusion. I’m happier with myself than I was before and I know who I am now. That has made all that pain worth the experience because I feel I came out better in the end, regardless of what will ever happen to my marriage. 🙂 It was a hard lesson but one I’m glad I had at 41 instead of 71.

    • StrongerForWear

      Ugh, healing is circular and herky jerky over here. Looking back, the biggest things were, first, him telling me the whole truth which took forever and meant a lot of continued lying right in my face, which damaged our ability to rebuild trust. He had a mostly e-mail thing that I found out about with a girl he collaborates with. Ugh. It took him a solid four months to admit there was an attraction and another one to admit there was a kiss and romantic -ish.

      Then, healing requires his deep commitment to repeatedly tell me he loves me, remind me how / why this happened, explore and learn about himself, talking, talking, talking, loving, loving, loving, meditation and intentional practices of letting go for me (which is helpful but doesn’t solve everything), and him being really nice to me. I feel how much he is working and loves me and 6 or 7 months have passed, but it is still hard. Something stupid triggers me and I am down the rabbit hole again. But time and consistency helps. We go from 7 bad days a week to 6 and then two bad ones. It sucks more now when a bad day happens because they are rarer and often follow wonderful days. So disappointing. Time. Knowing it takes time and work helps.

      Oh boy, thanks to all the other posters. I hear you all. Helpful.

    • Anita

      JS,
      I agree with you. When you said ” I am happier with myself then I was before and I know who I am now.” Your right also when you said the
      “pain worth the experience”. I can identify with this, I also say this the best thing that ever happened to me also, because it changed my
      whole outlook on life, I finally got it. I am a strong confident woman now, I no longer get my value from another person, instead I get it from God.
      It doesn’t matter what other people do or say, if they hurt me my job is to forgive them. By forgiving the other person/persons it takes
      the power away, and gives it back to me. Once I actually got this, it has changed my life.

    • Hopeful

      Such great comments.

      D, I especially liked your point that “we can’t make someone love us. That choice comes from them and they either will or won’t, do or don’t. . . . I’ve come to a place where I realize this is my life (my one and only life) and I can’t waste it worrying, like a school boy, if the girls like me or not.” Well said!! For me, the passage of time is helping met to internalize these truths. That is, while I knew these statements to be true (intellectually) 3 months ago, I feel more able to live and believe these statements as time goes on.

      Poppet,
      I applaud your efforts to assist your spouse get past the EA. I sure wish my CS would tell me many times a day how amazing I am, how much he loves me and how dedicated he is to making it work. I think that if he were to do those things, along with” talking, being patient, listening without reacting, cuddling, hand holding, etc.”, I could get past his EA more easily. Instead, he does not want to talk about the EA and says that I am being destructive when I want to talk about it. I think he feels guilty, embarrassed, etc., but his actions aren’t helping. In fact, I am getting more and more okay with the idea of separating from him. Someday, I think his eyes too will be opened to the pot of gold that he had here all along. I hope for his sake that it’s not too late.

      So I continue to work on me. I think that makes the most sense for now.

    • Sad

      JS and InTrouble, totally agree with you about the whole new layer of trust. At this stage, I feel that I’ll never trust my H the same way I did. Now 2+years post DDay, we have researched and worked very hard to understand the past and rebuild our relationship to being happier and more intimate than before. But for me, the BS, love feels good but is different now, and “I love you”s have lost the “magic” and do not resonate in the same way, bounce now, like Poppet said. This makes me very very sad. Sad that I am not able to fully enjoy the relationship we worked so hard to rebuild. We hope there will be another, even better, stage beyond this one; and want to reach there soon. We too do not want to waste our lives away.

      Like B said, I also found that, the pain of healing and remaining together can be triggered at any moment, no matter how much time has passed. I guess this pain is what makes “I love you”s bounce, this pain is what makes me sad. Reading Linda and Doug’s recent posts, made me realize that my problem may come from: I cannot put the past behind. I dare say, we have adequately and thoroughly dealt with the past to heal, but it still haunts me every day.

      Reading D and everyone else here, transpired that I need to focus and work more on myself. I too have already dropped 2 dress sizes since 2 years ago. I can appreciate the analogy to the feeling of a teenager too. I am also seriously thinking about getting a copy of The Presence Process by Michael Brown, which Linda and Doug mentioned in their last post. I want to stop the past from disturbing and haunting me, be able to focus in the present and be able to enjoy what we have rebuild.

      Dear Linda and Doug, and everyone, My H and I are forever grateful for the generous sharing and support, information and inspiration on this site.

    • E

      Great comments and healing is tricky!!! It’s a catch 22. The thing that I need is to see remorse in my H. But the more that I focus on the affair, the more beaten and depressed he becomes. The more beaten and depressed he feels (so he tells me), the more he feels like he can’t win and that nothing he does will help me recover.

    • Paula

      Sad, I agree. I also don’t think we will ever get the magic back that we had. I understand that I can’t have the old relationship back, we have to build a new one, it just doesn’t feel as good. So many say they feel they have better marriages now than before, that isn’t us, unfortunately. I am understanding, I think pretty nearly fully forgiving, just haunted by my fears, my OH is truly gutted at what his actions caused, he tries really hard to re-assure, work on himself, push himself out of his comfort zones with counselling, etc, there is still intense love, but the trust is very different, and I work hard not to dwell on it, but our magical connection, the exclusiveness of us is broken, and our mend, or weld, doesn’t feel as strong. We are over 2 and a half years out. I lost 18 kg, but after about 18 months ended up on anti-d meds, and put about 10 back on, which really annoyed me, especially when all the meds and changed dose rates didn’t help.

    • D

      Paula, what a great description of the loss I feel, “the exclusiveness of us.” The affair is more and more in the rearview mirror for us. We’ve stopped talking about “him” and now focus on “us.” Unfortunately, that protective bubble I felt we had before, the us against the world partnership inherent in every healthy relationship, has deflated. I see our partnership as more business than pleasure, for the kids, finances, companionship. There is still love, but it’s reserved, cautious, and ready to be rescinded at the slightest provocation. This is one of those things the CS never takes into consideration, that we just can’t love them as easily as we did before. Love is conditional, guarded, strained, and far more easier to let go. It sort of like that feeling I had with past girlfriends, where I’m constantly wondering, “Is this gonna work out? Is there a future with her? Is she always going to say ‘I could care less’ instead of ‘I couldn’t care less’? Because that’s just annoying.”

    • Alone

      InTrouble,

      I couldn’t agree more with your post. You can’t force a cheater to do anything. Even forcing no contact by checking emails and texts, who wants that kind of relationship? The cheater needs to choose to truly end the affair, in their heart. It can’t be a forced choice and I think that’s what happens a lot of times in these situations.

      I’ve been asking myself questions that you posted here. And I’m scared of the answers… maybe in the end I don’t deserved to be loved. Maybe I can’t fix myself. Maybe my husband can’t wait for me.

      As you know, it’s a dark place.

    • Alone

      InTrouble, Thanks for your post to me the other day…

    • Paula

      D, I agree, we don’t talk about her anymore, either, she was a pretty boring topic anyway, lol! And, yes, my love is now guarded, given fully, but quickly snapped “away” when things are horrible, I’m more reserved, cautious, less outgoing and probably less outwardly bouncey than I was previously. Ours is definitely more of a business arrangement (but not entirely) in my head, too, he kind of knows that, and desperately wants more (so do I, but I’m still far too fearful to let myself give it.) Our counsellor emailed me the other day, after I had confirmed another appointment with the question, what if I can’t get to a much better place, is this it, and is it worth going through all of this (again!) to get the same result I have with previous counsellors. He said that there was still much to do, he had predicted that I would be where I am now, at the start of our therapy (he did) but that if either one of us was just too hurt to be able to overcome this hurdle, there was little he could do. It gave me much food for thought, I may be one of those people who is too hurt. I know I feel much, much closer to true forgiveness than I have throughout this whole journey, I might even be there. I don’t hate my OH for what he did, I don’t hate the OW either, I understand the hurt they were both feeling to act in the manner they did, they shouldn’t have, OH knows that (she doesn’t, she feels quite justified in her actions, I deserved it, and she deserved to be happy, in her thinking.) However, maybe I AM just too hurt to keep going with this relationship, keep soldiering on, and CAN forgive and WILL need to move on. Not doing that just yet, still some more juicy stuff to come with therapy, lol. Starting to feel a little bit more acceptance of the whole thing, and that I will move on, quite possibly on my own, just a little wounded and guarded. I think this occurence was possibly just the straw that broke this camel’s back. Several life hurts had been deflected/I’d “coped” but this one may have been too big, who knows…

    • Sad

      Paula and D, you have made the most vivid description of how I feel now. The “exclusiveness of us is not here any more”, yet we are happier than before and more intimate. I feel very un-comfortable (actually I cannot find a word to describe the confusion in me) and sad. Wonderful how I should play this out and how this will end?

    • Sad

      Paula and D, I meant I wonder how I should play this out and how this will end?

    • Notoverit

      Paula, I hit the same wall as you and am currently beating my head against it. You are right about the exclusiveness is gone; love is guarded; and fragile trust is easily destroyed. I talked to my counselor about it and she told me to make a list (I do a lot of lists since this mess started). She told me to list the pros and cons of staying and the pros and cons of leaving. Then wait a bit and look at the list – don’t sit and obsess, just look at it. Well, I did. There were the usuals of money and security as pros of staying etc but the one pro I listed was I don’t think I will feel any differently if I leave. What I mean was, I do love my H and this mess has truly destroyed a lot about me but I (just for myself) don’t think I would be less hurt if I leave. I am in my fifties and starting over is just not appealing. I chose to stay and honestly try to make myself happy – I still have a H who loves me and who is trying (all I can ask is for him to try which is more than he did pre-EA). Just a thought.

    • Paula

      Notoverit, thanks for the suggestion, been there, done that. I felt the same as you, I’m starting to feel that maybe I’m selling myself short, maybe I can be happier on my own, sure beats this feeling I’ve arrived at now. For two years I was sure I was happier in the relationship than out of it, after all, isn’t it madness to leave the person you love, and who loves you back, he says he loves me more now than ever, and wants me more now than ever? Not sure now, living in a place that doesn’t really improve, not because of his actions now, he has done, and is doing all he can, it’s very sad, seems to suck the life out of me, little by little. Sad, sadly, we are not happier, or closer, he feels he is, and sees a lot of potential for it to be even more amazing than it was, I wish I could share his enthusiasm, I guess I was very, very happy with our relationship before, and I can’t get within cooee of that now. But all that aside, I feel ok about it now, sort of flattened out a bit, not so desperate to make it work. Previously, I have been like the classic swan, gliding along on the surface, but madly paddling my legs underneath!

    • csb

      I’m only 3 months since dday so this is still pretty raw, but I see that almost everyone feels the same way as I do – the “sparkly, special” relationship is gone, leaving me guarded, and not able to reclaim the “pure joy” I once had. My CS and I have open lines of communication, and I do believe he is honestly vested in rebuilding us. Now that I’ve moved beyond the “sloppy mess” and constant questions as to what went on, I see my existance as getting by. My question is – is this feeling of living day by day, just getting by with no real joy in my life just a stage, or am I doomed to live this out as long as I stay with my CS? I just feel that life as I know it was ripped away and this is all there is now, so am I making a decision to live the rest of my life settling for what we have become.

    • csb

      I should add, my CS approach to this entire thing is let’s just go back to “normal” and behave like we did before….no real efforts to romance me or make me feel that I’m the only one.

    • Notoverit

      csb, there will never be “normal” again. The past marriage is just that THE PAST. Yes, eventually you will start to feel better and find joy in things if you continue to make yourself better. Your CS’s approach to just go back to normal will not work. There are issues that he needs to address. I told my CS that if he wants me back he has to date me – like he did 34 years ago – and win me back. Otherwise…

    • SparkyGal

      I’ve been coming here off and on since my D-day in May 2011 and my question is can you really ever heal from it? I mean having the person you love most in life turns your life off and everything that was yours is now been given to someone else. And most of the time the “others” know about you, know what your inadequacies are, know that you think you may have the dream life and worst of all THEY know the truth, while many of us are blinded. We went to marriage counseling with our pastor and things got better. DH isn’t doing anything that screams he’s doing anything I should be worried about. But still I doubt, fear that he is. I’ve given up snooping because all that does is make me crazy and asking him is useless he wasn’t honest about it in the first place. So here I am so many months later, things have been going good for us. And doubt lingers, fear sets in and I find myself not liking him. I deal with him, the other night he told me he feels like I don’t love him anymore…and I couldn’t answer him because right now his feelings are valid. My head keeps going into protection mode and I shut down. Does it get better? Will I ever really heal? Or will I just have “deal with it”?

    • Paula

      SparkyGal, all you have said here resonates strongly with me, perhaps with the exception of the love part, I know I love my OH, have always, I’ve often wished I could turn the love off! The short answer is, it does get better, but in order to enable this to happen, you have to change your thinking, somehow. I’ve struggled desperately with this. Getting better may not mean your marriage survives, or else it will mean it changes shape, the old is dead, do you want to build a new one with your H? I am slowly coming to the realisation that even with all the work in the world, and all the love in the world, there are some of us who are just too hurt to continue to share our lives with our CSs, no matter what changes they have made, no matter how good a person they are now. As you so rightly point out, the person you trust with your emotional well-being has treated you worse than probably anyone else ever in your life, how does that feel like love, how do you ever trust anyone again? It sucks that the OP knows all about you, all the dirty little secrets, etc, and we know little about their “stuff” – it nearly drove me nuts, our OP was a long-term (32 years) friend of mine who integrated herself into our lives in such a way that I trusted her, too, and man, did that mess me up! Just thinking about her laughing at my naivety whilst I looked out for her, waited on her and supplied her with lovely wine, gourmet food, lovingly prepared by me, and luxury settings for free holidays, looked after her son, had her holidaying with our family, on multiple occasions, makes my skin crawl to think about it, even now, all these years later, boy, did they play me for a fool! I just feel my life now, with all of the knowledge, all of the hard work of trying to re-establish a truthful and honest, loving relationship being done, has lost it’s sparkle. Instead of enjoying my life, a lot of it is an endurance test, I tolerate it, the sparkle and the frosting has gone. Recently, I have started to accept that this may not improve if I stay with OH, and maybe we will both be happier and more complete people if we separate. I’m just so pleased we did the work, and tried really hard (we still are, we are in the midst of a new round of relationship counselling, not quite given up yet, but getting close) and that I have been able to regain some respect for my OH, the father of my three children, and the only man I have ever loved with anywhere near this intensity, as I certainly lost all respect for him in the immediate aftermath of Dday, on gradually learning the extent of the affair, and the lack of safe sex practices (I was/am so disgusted by that alone!) he has worked hard to try to repair the damage, and I really admire that, it would have been much easier for him to leave, for many reasons, not the least of which was OW still wanted/wants him.

      I hope you will heal, I feel confident we all will, but I’m learning that healing doesn’t mean the scar is gone, or that it won’t continue to ache from time to time, for the rest of our lives. This has changed the shape of who I am, and how I conduct myself, in many ways for the better, I have more empathy, I was already a pretty tolerant and liberal person before this, but I am much more careful about what I say, and how my actions and words can hurt if not well-chosen, but some of that change, while mostly positive, has taken a lot of the shine off my personality, my spontaneity, my sparkle and bounce. I’m much more guarded, I have fewer friends, however they are well-chosen, and so much more worthwhile than the many acquaintances I spent too much time worrying about previously. It’s opened my eyes to the fact that I was probably not reaching my full potential, I was just trying to get through every day, worrying about the kids, my work, my OH, the bills, the invoicing for our business that I hadn’t got to at home because I was too busy at my paid work, the minutiae of life. I had no time to plan for my future, I was busy trying to plan everyone else’s, lol! I thought my time would come when the youngest left for university, I’ve had to speed the plan up, try to sort my future out sooner than I expected. I wish you healing and happiness

    • SparkyGal

      Thank you Paula. I honestly do love my DH with all my heart and even the thought of us not being together anymore hurt’s my heart. But right now in this moment I’m feeling more guarded and resentful. I fought to keep him but little things trigger my panic button. Someone with the same name as the OW, if he puts his phone in a different place when we go to bed, if he doesn’t come to bed at the same time I do, or if he can’t sleep and get’s up and goes into the other room. A normal person would think he’s being respectful of my rest but my panic mode goes into…who’s he talking to? What’s he doing? Why is he hiding his phone? mode. Part of me thinks that part of this is because we started good with fixing things but then we had to get back to “real life” and I feel like a band aid has just been put on my wound. That it hasn’t even had time to really heal. Part of it is the time of year, this time last year was pretty traumatic and then got better. And we were swimming happily along and BAM!!! And the event that led to the meeting of the OW is something were still part of and it is coming up again this year and I almost feel like I’m preparing for part two. Not that there’s even going to be one but in my mind I feel it coming, the hurt, the anger, the fear it’s all starting to bubble up and I find myself withdrawing from him physically and mentally. His physical advances turn my stomach right now, this wasn’t the case a month ago even two months ago. How do you tell your DH he repulses you when he’s feeling upset that he’s being denied. I started going to the gym and working out to get healthy and he think’s I’m using it as a tool to leave him. He’s reflecting on his own actions from last year. He lost 60 lbs and she stroked his ego better than I did. I’m not like him, I would NEVER do anything like this back to him but I know he’s worried because he’s starting to feel a little clingy to me. And he’s always telling me how great I look. I have no physical changes made yet and instead of thanking him for paying attention to me, I’m finding it a bit annoying. I am just so afraid to let it down and just be happy with the attention. I just wish this feeling would go away again and let us continue to build our relationship, but I’m just so scared. And I think that’s the part I don’t feel will ever get better.

    • Paula

      SparkyGal, it may not help you at the moment, but all of what you describe is very normal, the triggers (maybe you need to tell him that leaving the bed at night is triggering panic for you, etc) We also started really well, REALLY well, so close, so loving, the sex was out of this world, for at least six months, I still had some down days, but I got back up again quickly. Then I experienced everything you have described, my OH was also suspicious I would have an affair, to even the score (it just isn’t in me, I’m really sure of that.) I, too have found I cannot bear to be touched by him anymore, it’s breaking my heart all over again. In my case there are a couple of things behind this, I believe. One is that they gave me an STI because they didn’t use any protection, and two is that I was raped whilst I was at uni, which was all dealt with at the time, and I didn’t think there were any lasting effects, except I was cautious about overly long hugs, or touch by men, in general. Unfortunately, my screwed up psyche has somehow linked the two hurts and every single night for the last two and a half years, I have had to endure violent and sick nightmares about the two of them raping, torturing and disfiguring me. It’s exhausting, and it makes me wake every day having to “get myself up” just to start the day. I visualise awful things when he tries to be intimate with me now, often to do with the filthy disease they shared with me. The fear you speak of is just you, very naturally, trying to protect yourself from further pain, and this, like me, has made you put up physical and mental walls. I urge you to read, seek counselling, etc. I am doing the same, have been since day one, I want to come out of this experience intact, and if the relationship doesn’t survive, I want to be as whole as I can possibly be. I want to choose to be happy and live my life with integrity.

    • Bear

      Thankfully I’m not married to my CS, but we’ve enjoyed 3 years of pretty blissful happiness before the EA occurred. And a level of trust that I believed in very strongly. Then a co-worker, whom I already had a bad gut feeling about, would call and text him regularly. He never tried to hide it, seemed to think that there was nothing wrong with him spending 20 minutes on the phone with her while we were spending our one day off together. I think that is one of the hardest things in our situation….I see an emotional affair, he sees himself as just “trying to be there” for a co-worker.

      We both work 6 days a week. I work 8-7, he works night at a restaurant(with her). With our different schedules and the inability to put communications with her completely, I am struggling to regain the trust we lost. I can tell he is frustrated that I am not moving on, but I just am so hurt and betrayed and so distrustful of the OW. I feel she has no respect or regard for our relationship and know that he will have to fight to keep the relationship strictly work, and as he barely felt that anything was wrong, I worry he will not make the required effort.

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