crying woman_bwLast week for the Affair Recovery Group we did a session on obsessing about the other person.  I admit I am still struggling with this and am often frustrated that I can’t stop.  I was not sure why this was still an issue until therapist Jeff Murrah provided some insight that really made me think.

He said that if after a period of time following the trauma, the obsessions are still interfering with your everyday life, then there may be some other issues that are coming into play.  He mentioned that possibly I may feel that I am not worthy of having a good relationship with Doug or that I don’t feel I deserve to be happy. I really think he hit the mark on that.

When Doug told me that he didn’t love me anymore, that I wasn’t a very good wife and that he was in love with another woman, I completely abandoned myself.  I felt that I wasn’t good enough to be his wife and became vulnerable to becoming someone I wasn’t.  I changed to become the person I thought Doug wanted me to be.

The change in myself was followed by the encouragement that Doug was coming back to me.  He was telling me that he was beginning to have feelings for me again but that he was skeptical that my changes were real and that I would change back to the old person once he stopped his emotional affair.   All of these words reinforced my beliefs that I wasn’t good enough or that the affair was my fault and that I needed to possess the qualities that Doug found attractive in Tanya.

Even though much time has passed and I now have realized that I am not to blame for Doug’s emotional affair, I am still holding onto that insecurity that Doug won’t love me anymore. I am holding onto Tanya (obsessing) because I am afraid if I let her go then I will become my old self again (I will forget all of her wonderful traits) and Doug won’t want me.

This is so difficult to articulate, but I believe by constantly replaying what Doug found attractive about her guided me to be the person I thought he wanted me to be. However this belief has caused so much conflict within myself.

For one, her personality as portrayed by Doug was full of contradictions.  She was always positive, but constantly complained about her husband.  She was carefree but also controlling and jealous.  It really doesn’t make sense.  Secondly, I can’t be, nor do I desire to be like her.  So why am I trying so hard?  What am I afraid of?

Well I know what I am afraid of, and that is that I won’t be good enough to be loved by Doug. The strange part is that I believe all of this conflict is going on more in my head than in my actions and with Doug.  I feel that my true self is winning this battle and that I am being the person I always was.  However, I am constantly evaluating, questioning and measuring if this is OK.  Are we OK?  Is Doug still in love with me?

What makes it even more strange is that Doug is indeed showing me his love, both in his words and in his actions.  This makes no sense!

Sometimes I wonder what the hell is wrong with me. I used to be so sane and secure.  I understand why I occasionally have these urges to run away.  I want to be alone just to find myself again and be comfortable with me without any pressure to be a good wife, save my marriage and be someone I am not.  I just need the guts to make the leap of faith, to trust myself and be comfortable with who I am.

 

    28 replies to "Who am I?"

    • anaffairtoremember

      I’m not sure that I would call it obsessing, but I definitely struggle with dwelling on the other person, not because I want to be like her either, far from it! I know how messed up she was and I never want to be anything like her. I realize that it was my husband’s own insecurities and issues that attracted her to him, and I think that I can get past that. I realize that I did not need to change who I am, I needed to change my relationship with my husband and that seems to be going well. The one thing I cannot seem to do though is let it go and leave it in the past. You may call it obsessing, I call it struggling with forgiveness. I feel like I have forgiven my husband because I know he is sorry and wishes he could take it all back. With her, I will never know if there is any remorse there and maybe that’s why I find it so hard to release myself from letting it go. It’s hard to find the right words to describe it, but like you said it causes intense internal conflict and I just can’t seem to figure out how to stop that. I am comfortable with who I am, but like you, sometimes I just want to go away from dealing with all of this, go to a place where no one could ever hurt me like this and I don’t feel like I have to constantly work at my relationship. If anyone has found that place, please let me know!

    • michael

      Linda,
      Thank you.

    • Kathy

      Linda, I also “changed” in order to be what I thought my H wanted, although I know enough about the OW to know I’m not trying to be like her (physically), as she is not my husband’s “type”. What I changed was to take better care of myself and to care about my appearance again, but I know that’s not what my H’s EA was entirely about. The OW was “nice to him”. She said all the “right” things that he wanted/needed to hear. However, she isn’t really a nice person at all, as my H found out.

      In fact, her real personality is so different than the affair face she showed my H, that was part of the reason he continued contact with her after D-Day; he just couldn’t believe she could be so mean and so psycho! But she is, and he knows it now.

      I love the contradictions you wrote about; it actually made me chuckle a little bit, because the CS’s distorted view of the OP really is a contradiction to what the OP is REALLY like.

      You wrote that you are afraid you won’t be good enough to be loved by Doug. I know that feeling! But here is what I thought of when I read that. Why do I have to be “good enough” to be loved by my H? Why do I put him on such a pedestal that I have to look up to him like some “god” that I’m trying to be worthy of? I am who I am, and trying to be something/someone I’m not will not make him love ME. I can only be the best ME I can be. When I was a teenager my mom used to tell me, “be yourself, but be your best self”. That’s the best I can do!

    • helena

      I can see how it helps talking about the EA but 2 years later I find that I’ m thinking less and less about it. However when visiting similar sites it all resurfaces. Have you ever thought of trying to not analyse everything so much? Doug says it’s over. I believe him. I mean I believe her husband because he put an end to everything just before it became a PA. Aren’t we lucky?
      He believes her when she tells him that there was no PC between her and my H. I chose not to believe them but I have to believe him because he opened his soul to me just as my husband opened his soul to her. SO We are EVEN!!! And this is a tremendous relief for me. I feel she is soooo lucky to have married such a wonderful guy. I even told her on the phone over 5 hours of talking about what had happened. She was scared of losing everything and causing pain to her family. She only realised when I revealed everything to him. She apologised to me and thanked me for helping her get out of that situation. I told her I thought we could have been best friends.
      That’s how obsessed I was with her.
      They still work together. If they have feelings for each other I guess that is the best revenge.

      • Doug

        helena, that’s what Doug says, just try not to think about it, unfortunately that is not my nature. You are right, I still would like to help everyone but I also need to look at it from the outside and not take everything so personally. It is over, we are great, I know he loves me but it just takes a little comment to make it all come back. When I see the similarities, (which is often the case) I feel I need to think about it all over again and question, did I miss something, did Doug not tell me something etc. and my mind takes off. I have to keep reminding myself that I am fine, he wants to be with me and we are successfully conquering this mess. Linda

    • Melvin

      Linda, Kathy,

      I do still have “comparison attacks”, I call them. Her OM was her fiancé once and they were just months away from being married before he dropped her like a hot potato. There must be some characteristics that she sees in him that I don’t have. Why else would they have rekindled their relationship ? Behind my back ?

      When I have these attacks, I try to revert back to the post-EA moment (maybe 1 month after D-day) when we both sat down and talked about what changes we wanted to see in each other. Most of them we’ve been able to meet, a few we may never achieve. But here’s the key – marriage is really about compromise and whatever we can do to get closer to the middle of the road, the stronger we will be. She will never be the perfect wife for me. And I will never be the perfect husband for her. I am convinced there is no such thing as a perfect wife. With that said, I do believe that DW comes the closest to meeting what I desire in a mate. And I want to work at being more of what she needs in me. To the best of my abilities.

      So, I know who I am and what I can be for her. If that is not enough, then I guess I will have to find the courage to “turn over the keys” and let her find another. Hopefully, that day will never come.

      Best always.

      • Doug

        Melvin, thanks for the comment. I know deep down that I am the perfect woman for Doug and for a short time he lost his way. He has told me that it wasn’t that there was something wrong with me but rather in our relationship, and the way we treated each other. Most of our changes have centered around those issues rather than how we are personally. I believe the problem for me has been that I am still hearing the voice of Doug while he was in the affair fog, the comparisons that he made, how he felt about me at the time rather than listening what he has told me after the fog has lifted. I know that I can be very stubborn, and I also know it is much more difficult to undo a negative thought than a positive one. It is certainly a work in progress.

        In addition, I don’t believe that he has some characteristics that you don’t have, speaking from a woman’s view I think she just wanted to believe that he still had feelings for her. Not because she was still in love with him, but to feel that she was ok, that there was nothing wrong with her personally. Woman are very complicated and many times we do things that make little sense. But then again I can say that Doug was guilty of doing the same thing so maybe it isn’t just women. Linda

        • Melvin

          Linda,
          Thanks for the prompt reply. I never thought of her EA as you put it: “… Not because she was still in love with him, but to feel that she was ok, that there was nothing wrong with her personally”. That does seem to make sense, given more thought. And like you, I tend to dwell on the negative too long. It’s not that I am an unhappy person, but in my sports days I was drilled to improve this fault or that one. Focus on the negative. That’s how you became a better player. I am learning to let go of the bad stuff more quickly. As you say, a work in progress.

          Best Regards.

    • mil

      This is a bit worrying but many of us seem to be trying to convince ourselves that the OP wasn’t all they appeared to be to our CS. Do you think this is what we are trying to believe and because our CS want us to ‘lay off’ they are happy to let us think that?
      I mean, how do we know, with our (in my case) limited knowledge of their actual conversations, texts, emails etc? Our CS would now like us to believe they were in the ‘affair fog’ and didn’t see the OP for what they really were but how can we believe that when we’ve been lied to and deceived??
      How do we know that the OP wasn’t their ideal partner but our CS are so sh*t scared of the consequences that they’re happy to ‘cut their losses’ and let us believe what makes life easier for them??

      • Kathy

        mil, in my case, my H was literally days from moving out; he was just waiting for his paycheck so he would have the funds to get a place with the OW. He was planning to leave me on Friday. On Wednesday, however, he was sick and he called in to work (they work for the same company). Suddenly she started texting him like crazy saying stuff like “sick or not, we need to talk”, “you better answer your damn phone”, and “there will be trouble”. I was there when all the texts were coming through, like every 5 to 10 minutes. It was crazy.

        This was entirely different from the “nice” person she was showing him during the EA. What made it really strange is that, prior to the EA, he used to tell me what a mouthy, vulgar person she was. But when he was in the EA with her, he didn’t see that side of her anymore, until she started to lose “control” of him; then what he really knew to be true of her came roaring to the front.

        Long story short, my H did not move out and instead decided he was much better off staying in the marriage with me. He told me he didn’t know what he was thinking, and that getting involved with her was very stupid.

        Unfortunately I recently discovered that she still pursued him after d-day and he responded for 2 reasons: he couldn’t believe she could really have two such different “faces”, although he now sees that she does. She truly does have mental issues. He was also afraid to end it with her because he didn’t know how she would react (she had previously threatened suicide if he ever broke up with her) and he didn’t want to hurt her.

        Frankly I don’t care if he hurts her. In fact, I told him that maybe that’s exactly what he’s going to have to do if she hasn’t got the message by now that he does not want to continue their relationship. As for whether or not she hurts herself, that’s more proof to him of how manipulative and controlling she is. If she were going to hurt herself, she would have done it by now.

        After this last discovery that they were still “sexting” as recently as February 28, I told my husband I would call or email her and tell her to leave him alone, and he said “would you please”! Apparently she won’t hear it from him.

        So I emailed her and told her to leave him alone, and so far I haven’t had any response. My H says she hasn’t tried contacting him at all, so maybe she finally got the message.

        Oh, and he finally gave me access to all of his emails and both of his cellphones, and I told her this, and that there’s no way she can contact him now that I won’t know about.

        If I find out that he has made other email accounts to circumvent me, then it will be over. But I pray it won’t come to that. I don’t trust him yet, but I do believe him when he says she is NOT a nice person, in fact he says she is mean. I know she was that way before the EA; he told me so before the EA. She is still the same mean person now.

        (sorry this turned out to be so long!)

        • Melvin

          Hi Kathy,

          Sorry to be a butt-insky here, however, have you thought of having her cell phone number blocked ? This would prevent textx and calls to/from that number. Some phone companies allow this. And for e-mail, you might be able to set your mail reader to automatically delete her messages. Just a thought.

          • Kathy

            Hi Melvin,
            I don’t mind your input at all! It’s appreciated. 🙂
            My H says he has blocked her emails/messages. Here’s where it gets tricky. They both work for the local phone/internet company. He can’t block her on his work cell, although he could on his personal cell. Whether or not he actually does block her is entirely up to him; I can’t do it for him. Add to that the fact that he works with computer systems/networks etc., and he is very good at hiding things on the computer. He wouldn’t have much trouble hiding new email or chat programs from me. As it was, I only discovered his more recent involvement with her by accident. And none of that begins to cover whether or not they “talk” at work via their work email and/or work IM. Unfortunately that is something I have no way of finding out about.

            I try not to think about how easy it would be for him to find ways around me having access to his phones and emails. I want to trust him again, but right now it’s very hard.

            • Melvin

              Hi Kathy,

              I share your pain. With DW’s permission, her phone is blocked from him. However, there are so many other ways for them to contact each other without my knowledge. Especially at work. It’s a trust thing I know, something I struggle with daily. I wonder when she will have a relapse and re-connect. Last week was his birthday – I wonder if she contacted him to return the favor as he called her on her birthday during the EA.

    • stillbrokenhearted

      Well I have never posted here before but this topic struck a nerve. Just this morning I was poking around the OW’s FB page . I don’t know why I care what she is doing since my husband ended his relationship with her as soon as I found him out. He said she is dead to him but unfortunately she is not dead to me. She also works for the same company as him and they have some contact but very infrequently and she has never said anything of a personal nature to him except once. It has been 2.5 years since d-day and I still think about it every day. Not as much now as in the beginning but still every day. At the beginnning I did try very hard to do the things my H says he liked about her but I did get over that because I think all he really wanted from her was attention and admiration. But it makes me angry that she has caused me to suffer all this time and I have never gotten a chance to tell her how I feel . I want her to feel bad about what she did and to apologize to me (she did ask me husband to tell me she was sorry that she was selfish…hah as if that just stopped the pain that she caused)I recently found out that she got married and it makes me mad that maybe she is happy.

    • Girasol

      Linda,

      You are right on every word on this particular blog.
      It has been a year since my H broke off his EA, and I still ruminate about the OW. It’s like a disease, I have good days and I have bad days. My H has said that he doesn’t think about her, and I believe him. I am the one who brings up the subject and keeps the OW alive.

      Unlike most situations, my H was not cruel with his words nor his actions toward me while he was in EA. I am the one who has accussed him of not being happy, not wanting to be with me anymore, I go into really dark spaces. Even though it has been a year since he ended the EA, I realize how much that situation shook me.

      The world did change for me; something very fundamental just shifted since the EA. I have no interest in doing anything to impress my H. There are plenty of times when I just want to be alone, and I wonder if it isn’t me the one who is not happy. At the same time, I could not imagine my world without my partner. 90% of the time, I keep to myself my thoughts about the OW, and those instances are fewer and farther in between.

      Maybe it’s true that time does heal all wounds.

      Thank you for this post.

      Girasol

    • christina

      I totally understand, Linda, about the checking in with Doug to see if you two are still ok!! I do that also, it is getting better, but I still have those feelings. My bf questions those times by saying, “If I wasn’t ok, you would know it.” But then I start thinking, you weren’t ok when you were seeing the OW and I didn’t know it then! It is hard for me to focus my thoughts on us and on me and not on her, but I feel like if I focus on her then she will be living in this relationship with us. Almost living it with us like a ghost in the background and I DO NOT want that feeling or want that to happen! So, I check my feelings and my thoughts when I sense they are heading in that direction.
      Also, the checking in with my bf is viewed by him as a form of my low self-esteem. I don’t necessarily agree or disagree. I feel like this situation we are in has caused A LOT of my esteem issues. How could it not? I know I need to work on not being so co-dependent on him for my life. That is something that I will have to work on with him and every partner I may have in life. Co-dependency has been something that I have learned from my parents and now realize that it is in me to have those tendencies.
      None of this is easy stuff, but I hope we can move forward and be the couple that made it!

    • tringtoowife

      I now only concentrate on the other woman, because I am still trying to understand and make him understand too, how he let himself be involved by OW in the first place, and to use it as a learning process and as boundaries for the future. Off course I still think of her and it hurts, as I only have a vague idea how she looks like and would really like to see her in person. A ghost has some power over peoples imagination! But I don’t compare myself to her.
      I was crushed, and humiliated and felt the rejection at first, but I moved on from that, once I had more details of what happened
      As for my husband, I came to understand that, he was and is a VERY lucky man. I WAS a wife that loved him unconditionally, trusted him blindly, supported him, and had the most pure and free flowing love I could have ever offered him, not just to anyone but him. I am not in any way denying my faults, in our relationship and as a person, but If I had been made aware of the threats to our marriage, I would have done ANYTHING to help us! He is a very lucky man because I did not kick him out from our lives the day I found out.
      His last words to the OW was ‘I hate you’ so she should be out of our lives, really. I have never and would never try to be like her, because I am what I am. I am a honest picture of myself and thanks God so different from her. The difference on us was part of the fascination I think, until he start to dislike it! My husband has to prove to me that HE IS worth of having me! I, might still love him, but I will only fully love him when he shows me that he is worth of me. Then trust might also come back! I did not hurt him by having an affair, but I am here with him, picking up our pieces!

    • Kathy

      Melvin
      Hi Kathy,
      I share your pain. With DW’s permission, her phone is blocked from him. However, there are so many other ways for them to contact each other without my knowledge. Especially at work. It’s a trust thing I know, something I struggle with daily. I wonder when she will have a relapse and re-connect. Last week was his birthday – I wonder if she contacted him to return the favor as he called her on her birthday during the EA.

      Melvin, I know what you mean. It is totally a trust thing, and I struggle with it now more than before after finding out the EA didn’t stop when Ithought it had.

    • suziesuffers

      I’m learning so much from this website and blog. It’s been 2 years since D day…. My H has not only had this most recent SA, but has had a number of pursuits for affairs by either trying to connect to woman on craigslist, facebook, rock concerts, drug parties, the gym, old high school friend, AA woman…..He’s been sober for 4 years after 40 years of alcohol and marijuana use….which was also very well hidden…..His life is full of lies and deceit. He blames alot of his “troubles” on his drug and alcohol use, except most of his pursuits I found out about were after his sober date….although in reality he was still an immature 17 year old….(they say drugs and alcohol use arrests your maturity at the year you started using)…..I know you are all saying how could this be so secretive…well, I guess his self employment helped alot….having alot of free time in the construction business which goes up and down alot, so slow income was “accepted” , and I became more preoccupied raising our 3 children and working a management level position to keep things together kept me very busy.

      We are now recovering from his last major encounter with a woman in AA…that was a newcomer and was never really sober, but they found each other to use…it’s those connections with someone to find common interests…AA, music, business….or just using each other. Making a connection with someone.

      Linda and Doug, you have really given me some insight into possibilities…..even though this situation couldn’t be more devastating and my life sounds like a train wreck…..I still see all the symptoms in my life and marriage that everyone else has……….it gives me comfort. Thank you Linda and Doug for this wonderful site and your openness….I have actually related to Linda in all her struggles, but truly appreciate hearing the honesty that Doug is finally revealing……giving us all hope that our husbands might also find it in their hearts to be honest and transparent in our journey to heal. question for Linda…..Has creating this website and blog created more pain for you since on the days you might not keep the affair in the forefront of your life, it’s there because you are supporting the website…? ?

      I saw the other woman, she was very pretty….just like most of the woman my husband found…and I guess the most confusing is all the wonderful attributes she had that I’m trying to live up to….even though I seem to negate she was an alcoholic, twice divorced, gambling addict, with no money, no car, 2 DWI’s and wanting to borrow money from my H, and living with her parents……….but somehow in my mind the “Love” my H had for her overrides her defects…..somehow he still “loved” her more than me….Self esteem couldn’t be lower….factually because I know I am not as pretty or thin as her….and I don’t think I can ever be as exciting to him as all of his “first” time love attractions.

    • Lorraine

      Linda, I can relate to the feelings and the struggling. I think the therapists’ advice should be taken by all of us. Even the CS!
      It may be true that all of us come into our relationships with feelings of unworthiness and our romance blossomed because this person created feelings of worthiness. ( The “in love” feeling is really just seeing the reflection of yourself in another’s eyes ). It is also true that in a long term relationship those feelings change as we both learn each other’s shortcomings. That wonderful feeling of being “perfect” in another’s eyes is euphoric! We feel bullet proof. But if we stick it out, we learn what “true love” is… seeing that we are not really ever perfect, our partner is not perfect, and then loving them even more in their imperfections.

      An exercise I was led to do in the midst of the affair was to make 2 lists. Who am I? and What do I want for the rest of my life? I took my spouse out of the equation. What I learned was eye opening, and helped me make better decisions in the midst of a tumultuous time.

      I needed to remind myself of who I was. What are your talents, character traits, personality? What makes you happy, fulfilled and satisfied with your life? I decided, for example, that I was the type of person that could not be content alone. I wanted a partner, family and a career purpose. Then I thought about what kind of partner did I want. I made the list of qualities. Surprise! I was describing my husband. The other conclusion: Surprise! I am worthy. I deserve someone who loves me and respects me. I have lots to offer.
      I think for me it was essential that I decide whether I wanted this relationship, or not. And then to have the confidence, that if he does not….then I will be OK.

      In regards to the OW, I did compare. And some of what I saw was the woman I used to be in many ways. The words, and actions that I had stopped saying and doing. I learned a lot from her. It reminded me of who I “used to be”. I also saw her issues and problems, and knew that she did not have the maturity, nor the wisdom that I had. I saw that I was MORE worthy of success. ( After all, I have 25 years experience. I have the practical knowledge of seeing problems and forging a plan to resolve ).

      I have not changed who I am. I have used this knowledge to be MORE of who I am; To be a better woman. To be what I have been in the past, but now with so much more direction, and purpose in my actions.

      And of course, this other woman never stood a chance! They never got much past the euphoric stage. That seems to be where it starts falling apart. When the OP expresses disappointment, has expectations,….when the PERFECT starts fading.

      The hardest part is letting it run its course, and praying the damage is not beyond repair!

      • Doug

        Lorraine, that was a great post and I hope that many who are in the beginning stages of this recovery learn from your wisdom. I think that making a list is a very good idea because it gives you something concrete to refer back to when you are feeling down. I can really relate to the comparisons made of the OP, I also believe that in many ways she reminded Doug of me, however I know that I was much more loyal, committed and mature than she ever was. I understood what it meant to have a mature love compared to the feelings of infatuation. I had a vision of what I wanted our relationship to be and I feel in many ways we were on the right path, we just had some road blocks along the way. I knew that we had grown beyond that ego based love and had achieved the kind of love that accepts each other as we are. I was truly ok with that, I believe that Doug was swept away from the feelings of being perfect and the high you get when you first meet someone and believe you have fallen in love. I know that she would never be able to replace everything that we had and she definitely wouldn’t had been able to replace me. Linda

    • suziesuffers

      Lorraine….I TRULY appreciate your post. What wonderful insight!! I’m going to copy it and save it to review again and again…..in those very sad moments when I feel I need to reach out for guidance.

      I really appreciate the list idea…excluding him out of my list…finding myself. That might be the hardest part of this exercise…who am I without him….or my kids. Is there someone in there? I think there was ALONG time ago..but she was lost in the constant chaos and survival.

      Although I guess I had assumed that knowing I needed someone in my life then made me codependent or needy, but I love sharing adventures and life with someone.

      Linda, yours and Dougs inputs are invaluable in “seeing” from the inside and honest discussion of the issues we are all facing.

      • Lorraine

        Want you to know that the exercise was quite difficult for me to go through, but I knew God was leading me to examine these things. The hardest part was removing the emotions of the current situation. It would have been very easy to be reactive and just assume I want the opposite of what I have, because of the pain. But that would not be the truth.
        Watched the movie ” EAT, LOVE, PRAY” last week. I had girlfriends that were offended by the movie, but I decided to give it a chance. What I took away from it was this: It is a smart and necessary process to examine our motives, who we are, what we want, who we want to share our lives with.
        I saw the character, Julia Roberts, learn to “live more in the moment”, stir up her passion for the everyday life experiences. Finding out what had meaning and value. Laying down her expectations of what it HAD to look like, to have value.
        I don’t need to abandon everything that currently has value to do that. Don’t have to travel to India and hang out with gurus. Don’t have to have shallow flings with another man. I’ve found sitting in a park , writing in my journals, writing poetry, praying, talking with supportive friends, to be just as meaningful. Find your place to be YOU and find YOU! We do so many things to please our spouses and our children that we stop being this awesome woman this man of ours met so many years ago. ( best of intentions, but we adapted too much! ) Balance, balance, balance! Still trying to get there! Some days it’s very difficult to banish the extreme thinking…the “always” and “never” thoughts! To allow myself to feel the bad, so I can also feel the good!

    • Saddenned

      Lorraine,

      Very insightful post. I often forget who I am. It has been 7 weeks since D-Day. I struggle daily. I am lucky because my H told me everything. His EA lasted 12 days and the OW lives in another state. Still a shot to the self esteem. I am a dedicated over achiever, and a mom with two kids, so you can see where I got lost. I was always trying to achieve at work. In the midst of that, I lost connection with my H. He reconnected with an old friend and for 12 days talked to her via phone, text and facebook. He came to the realization when the OW started talking about leaving her H that he was making a big mistake. He told me what was going on and got off of facebook and changed all of his contact information. It is painful when your mind wanders. We are see a marriage counselor and I am seeing an individual counselor. I don’t think anyone could ever understand the devastation of being betrayed unless you are in the situation itself. He has changed a lot since it has happenned. He is more affectionate and more attentive, but the emotional wound is still open. Some days it feels better than others.

      Saddenned.

    • Kathy

      Lorraine,

      Your posts really struck a chord with me and I appreciate them very much. I, too, am going to copy and save them to reread. You have such wisdom!

      I realized, after d-day, that I had lost myself in trying to please my H and our children, and that it is time to find myself again.

      • Doug

        Kathy, Paula, I believe this will be my final journey in healing from the affair. I feel that I have conquered many of the traumas associated with the affair, trust, forgiveness, repairing our marriage and understanding the affair. What I am trying to find now is myself. I feel that has been my greatest loss. I abandoned that person believing that Doug wanted someone different or better. I now realize that wasn’t the case at all. The challenge is having the security and confidence to bring her back. Sometimes I feel that if I removed myself from everyone I could find her again, but I know that is something I really don’t want to do.

        In many ways I have forgotten what used to bring my pleasure and what I used to think about. I feel like a person who has lost her memory and is trying to figure who she is. Recently Doug and I had a conversation where I asked him to tell me what I used to think about before the affair. He looked at me strangely but honestly I couldn’t remember what used to occupy my mind. It was like the past was wiped away and I was afraid to bring it back.

        I imagine this “amnesia” is probably a coping behavior when dealt with a trauma and realizing it is the first step to combat the behavior. I find that I am making steps in the right direction but it is a process. I would love to hear how you are finding yourselves again. Linda

    • suziesuffers

      Linda….you are speaking to my heart. Who am I? Boy that is a loaded question. My husband told me, I love you for who you are, but be yourself!! Wait…..can you tell me who that is? What I’m like? Because I don’t know anymore. I was a chameleon before the affair, I could be whatever I had to be to be a good worker, a good mom, a good wife, a good friend, a good daughter………Now there was a new role….try to be like the OW…so whatever he had seen in her and “loved”…he would see in me and then love me. ~~~~Just be me……..who is that? I can’t even remember who I was back when we were dating…I know MY values and morals haven’t changed over the years….but maybe my preoccupation with living….sometimes just surviving may have. Of course, the additional caveat is that my husband was and alcoholic so I took on all the responsibilies too…..so who had time to be ME. It’s hard to find what I like, because I know I’ve given that up for so long, that my brain automatically wants to please someone else first. So the struggle to find ME is going to be a long one. I stumbled upon something that I ENJOYED doing and I couldn’t believe how wonderful it made me feel. There was a volunteer campaign I signed up for to get some free tickets for my family. My volunteer donation was to do some sewing, something I do remember loving at one time. And I FOUND that I loved it!! I loved the feeling of the accomplishment and creativity. I had forgotten the excitement of doing something you love to do. I got the tickets, but have continued the volunteer sewing, because I LOVE doing it. I had forgotten what it felt like to do something because I LOVE DOING IT. Not for anything else but the pleasure of doing something I love. I also indulge myself for a manicure and pedicure…something I had NEVER done before…something for ME.

    • Recovered

      As ever, this speaks to me.
      Two years after husband’s EA, trying to be like her, and self esteem struggles later, I am finally a different person now. More confident, more self sensitive and comfortable with who I am. But the downside is that I now have an armor around me and emotionally cautious.
      For those who have an EA, I hope you remember that by your thoughtlessness, you completely change another person’s personality.

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