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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found this online awhile back and wondered if anyone else ever experienced this. I have been troubled and "on the fence" for a couple of years, I've been through counciling and am presently in an "in-house seperation" with my wife doing a 180 on me. This pretty much describes my feelings in regards to my wife and where I have been mentally;

You can call it what you want - infidelity, extramarital affair, being unfaithful, getting some on the side - but it all ends the same. For the unsuspecting spouse its more pain than anyone who hasn't been through it can imagine. For the spouse who is cheating it is the humiliation at getting caught or finally confessing and the mountains of guilt that go along with that.

For those couples who endure and struggle through the pain to save their marriage it can be a new and stronger marriage when they've pushed past the hurt and anger. Their marriage may be stronger than when they first married. But for many hurt spouses, the emotional rollercoaster doesn't end in a few months or even two or three years; seven to ten years later the confusion of emotions can still surface and affect the life of the scarred spouse.

Although an affair could have occurred more than say, eight years ago, a mass of confusion for some people still surface. The hurt spouse may wonder why s/he stayed in the marriage. Who did s/he stay for? The kids? The marriage? Financial reasons? They may constantly question their feelings for the spouse even if it was possible to completely forgive what was done in the past. The forgiving spouse may completely trust the husband or wife who was unfaithful, but may feel dead inside toward their spouse on occasion. The hurt may be so deep that the feelings they have for the unfaithful spouse will rise and fall to the point of feeling nothing at all.

This creates a new guilt - not for the unfaithful spouse, but for the forgiving spouse. And it is because of that one word - forgiving. If you have forgiven your spouse who had the affair and it has been so many years in the past; and your spouse is now the perfect husband or wife, but you feel nothing for him or her...what do you do? The scars created by the depth of the deceit have killed off what feelings you had. You pray with all of your heart that God will bring back the feelings you once had for this person. Your spouse is a good husband or wife and wonderful parent to your children. But...you can't let it go.
You may enjoy doing the family things - camping, hiking, and swimming. But you feel horrible and lost when it comes to being intimate with your spouse. In the beginning of the healing process sex was frequent and wonderful because you were trying to rebuild and felt compelled to fill the void that may have occurred during the affair. You wanted to prove to your once unfaithful spouse that you could be spontaneous and sexy.

But as the years have passed and your spouse has gained your trust and become a full-time family man or woman, s/he says that s/he loves you more than ever and s/he calls home constantly to check in, you feel more distant than you've ever felt. A touch by your spouse may make you shy away. The thought of intimacy may make you feel anxious. How do you get past this? You are supposed to be the wonder couple; you're supposed to be the couple who can survive anything because you survived an affair. Or did you?

Don't be surprised by these late feelings, especially if the lies from the affair were beyond the usual "I have to work late" type. My husband told me he loved me, kissed me good bye, and a few hours later called me to tell me he had met someone else nearly six months earlier and wanted to leave me for her. My world was thrown into a tail spin that I couldn't control. When I convinced him to stay and that our marriage was worth saving I started asking questions about the younger woman. There are many days I wish I hadn't because I found out he lied to me so many times that every new lie cut my heart deeper and deeper. I felt like I was going completely crazy and I couldn't believe that I had fallen for it all. For nearly six months my husband was not mine. He had a secret life that I knew nothing about where he was playing house with someone else. My heart was and is so badly hurt that even when I go for months not thinking about the affair my feelings for my husband wax and wane.

The guilt is something else, too. You may feel guilty because you worked so hard to keep the marriage together and it really seemed like everything was fine for a number of years - that you had both gotten past the affair and were enjoying your life together. But now you're questioning whether you even want to be with your spouse. The hurt is back and it feels like it has wiped out all emotion for your spouse. You may want nothing more than to leave, but then you have the guilt of leaving a now innocent spouse and I haven't even mentioned what a divorce would do to the kids. I mean, you forgave him or her, right?

Get counseling for yourself now. Don't make a decision based on your current emotions. You need a third party who is unbiased to intervene and to guide you through this new wave of confusion. Your best friends are wonderful to gripe to, but they are sympathetic and will quickly tell you to start a new life for yourself. This may not be the best advice. Talk to a psychologist or marriage counselor, someone uninvolved who can listen to your new found guilt and resurfaced pain. You made it through once before and thought enough of your marriage to want to save it. Don't give up just yet. You may find that spark again.

I think I've finally given up. After rug sweeping and blame shifting for years this all finally came to the surface. The last couple of years have been so damaging to our relationship that even if we make an effort, this will always be there and I know it will always be the big elephant in the corner that we both see but don't want to talk about...It's actually quite sad.

Any thoughts?
:confused:
 

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That elephant sure gets around and very difficult, most likely impossible, to get rid off.

Though there are people who can coexist with or dont mind the elephant.
 

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That elephant sure gets around and very difficult, most likely impossible, to get rid off.

Though there are people who can coexist with or dont mind the elephant.
Or become elephant trainers?
 

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In my case, decades after the initial affair and several years after the reoccurrence of the affair, I filed for divorce.

So was I living in a false R for all those years? I have no idea. I made every attempt to make it work and thought it was real up to the point that the reoccurrence surfaced.

But it's a moot point now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
In my case, 30 years after the initial affair and several years after the reoccurrence of the affair, I filed for divorce. It'll be final by summer.

So was I living in a false R for almost 30 years? I have no idea. I made every attempt to make it work and thought it was real up to the point that the reoccurrence surfaced.

But it's a moot point now.
I guess that's my biggest fear. I honestly believe that my wife has never seen this man again in over 10 years (other than the few times we ran in to each other). I have periodically searched around the house, checked her phone, email, computer, etc..and nothing. I feel and know that she loves me. My problem is, I felt and knew all these things before while she was doing my best friend on the side for who knows for sure how long. She plays it down like it wasn't that long, she was confused, she screwed up, and she doesn't ever want to be with anyone but me. Again, I really believe her, but I did before too....:( I have lived with him and this affair in my head for too long. I really feel like the person who wrote this letter.

"The scars created by the depth of the deceit have killed off what feelings you had. You pray with all of your heart that God will bring back the feelings you once had for this person. Your spouse is a good husband or wife and wonderful parent to your children. But...you can't let it go.
You may enjoy doing the family things - camping, hiking, and swimming. But you feel horrible and lost when it comes to being intimate with your spouse."


"You may feel guilty because you worked so hard to keep the marriage together and it really seemed like everything was fine for a number of years - that you had both gotten past the affair and were enjoying your life together. But now you're questioning whether you even want to be with your spouse. The hurt is back and it feels like it has wiped out all emotion for your spouse."

Unfortunately this has been my reality. I believe she's a good woman and I don't want to hurt her... I'm just staying for the wrong reasons - And there is noone else...if there was maybe I'd be motivated to move faster, but I just can't be "that guy".
 

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In my case, 30 years after the initial affair and several years after the reoccurrence of the affair, I filed for divorce. It'll be final by summer.

So was I living in a false R for almost 30 years? I have no idea. I made every attempt to make it work and thought it was real up to the point that the reoccurrence surfaced.

But it's a moot point now.
Hi OM - just about every thread & post I read on TAM cuts me in some way. I'm not perfect and have made mistakes in previous relationships and I lost focus big time in my current relationship. The longest connection of my life - 18 years just about. Three weeks ago I discovered that my partner cheated. We are reconciling and it is all hugs and kisses but I cannot shake the thought that it will end badly sometime later on. I'm on the happy pills and handling family and life quite well but still the doubts, the thoughts about the terrible betrayal persist. How the hell do I know that what has happened to you will not be my situation later on? I have to go with my gut (somewhat diminished gut I might add) and trust it will work out. What happened to you was a disgraceful act - no one deserves to be treated like that, and for so long. I hope you find peace Openminded.
 

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She plays it down like it wasn't that long, she was confused, she screwed up, and she doesn't ever want to be with anyone but me.
Two words:

Bull

Shi_

!

She wants to be with you until the next wonderlust or exciting situation comes around.

I hate those phoney excuses. They come from phoney people. If she said, "Look, what can I say, I found it exciting to screw your best friend. It was wrong, I know it was a mistake and I will do my best to never let it happen again..." I can respect it for the honesty and it gives a platform for possible reconciliation.

But those cheap lies for an excuse tell me something completely different.

Also, when someone downplays their betrayal it proves out they really don't care. Care about the betrayal or about you.

I fell badly for you. I really do. You're being lied to and you won't believe it until the next betrayal is discovered.

Sorry to be so harsh but her cheap excuses are simply inexcusable. And you deserve so much better.
 

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Two words:

Bull

Shi_

!

She wants to be with you until the next wonderlust or exciting situation comes around.

I hate those phoney excuses. They come from phoney people. If she said, "Look, what can I say, I found it exciting to screw your best friend. It was wrong, I know it was a mistake and I will do my best to never let it happen again..." I can respect it for the honesty and it gives a platform for possible reconciliation.

But those cheap lies for an excuse tell me something completely different.

Also, when someone downplays their betrayal it proves out they really don't care. Care about the betrayal or about you.

I fell badly for you. I really do. You're being lied to and you won't believe it until the next betrayal is discovered.

Sorry to be so harsh but her cheap excuses are simply inexcusable. And you deserve so much better.
:iagree:
This

they did it because it was exciting, illicit almost taboo within the scope of the relationship the three of you had..but the one common denominator is they both cheated on YOU. No matter how you dress it up it's terrible..from his side was it lust, desire or contempt to have what you had
from her side was it lust, desire or the fact she didn't care enough for you to stop it.
OP basically encapsulated it as a good woman who made a mistake...except it wasn't a mistake, it happened multiple times.
 

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I try to ignore the elephant even when he sits on my chest (often) but I am really tired of cleaning up his ****.
 
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I guess that's my biggest fear. I honestly believe that my wife has never seen this man again in over 10 years (other than the few times we ran in to each other). I have periodically searched around the house, checked her phone, email, computer, etc..and nothing. I feel and know that she loves me. My problem is, I felt and knew all these things before while she was doing my best friend on the side for who knows for sure how long. She plays it down like it wasn't that long, she was confused, she screwed up, and she doesn't ever want to be with anyone but me. Again, I really believe her, but I did before too....:( I have lived with him and this affair in my head for too long. I really feel like the person who wrote this letter.

"The scars created by the depth of the deceit have killed off what feelings you had. You pray with all of your heart that God will bring back the feelings you once had for this person. Your spouse is a good husband or wife and wonderful parent to your children. But...you can't let it go.
You may enjoy doing the family things - camping, hiking, and swimming. But you feel horrible and lost when it comes to being intimate with your spouse."


"You may feel guilty because you worked so hard to keep the marriage together and it really seemed like everything was fine for a number of years - that you had both gotten past the affair and were enjoying your life together. But now you're questioning whether you even want to be with your spouse. The hurt is back and it feels like it has wiped out all emotion for your spouse."

Unfortunately this has been my reality. I believe she's a good woman and I don't want to hurt her... I'm just staying for the wrong reasons - And there is noone else...if there was maybe I'd be motivated to move faster, but I just can't be "that guy".
I feel pretty similar... today is our 16th anniversary. It has been about 17 months since dday- well, that would be the REAL dday when I found everything. There was also the day he asked for the divorce (while deployed, because he has slept with a co-worker)- that day was 2 years and 2 months ago.

There are days I am completely numb of any feelings for him- which makes me even more sad because who wants to live like that. He has done all of the heavy lifting, talked me out of divorce about 5 times and been the husband I deserve (and how he should have been all along). But I find my mind wandering- back to those very hurtful days and on to what my life could be, if I moved on. Not that I don't love him, but it just feels different. Like I will never be in love with him the same because I have lost some respect for him. That is huge for me.

I don't believe couples should be quick to give up and divorce, some marriages can be saved (not just those affected by infidelity)~ but there are also those that maybe should not be. I don't want to live with this elephant. Sometimes my husband has the nerve to say- "so there you go, using your trump card." WTF~ you gave me the damn card I did not ask for! This is a hand I did not want to play and my life is no game. I am trying to deal with and wade through something I never imagined affecting our life. I don't want to be an expert at this.

I want to trust, fully and not have to hold back. We do have kids, but I am not here because of them. Really, if it were about them, I would have left the day I found out. I am not here for the financial reasons, we have always been responsible and that is no issue. Our only problem is this A. I am not sure if I can come through this, still working on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
But I find my mind wandering- back to those very hurtful days and on to what my life could be, if I moved on. Not that I don't love him, but it just feels different. Like I will never be in love with him the same because I have lost some respect for him. That is huge for me.
I don't want to live with this elephant. Sometimes my husband has the nerve to say- "so there you go, using your trump card." WTF~ you gave me the damn card I did not ask for! This is a hand I did not want to play and my life is no game. I am trying to deal with and wade through something I never imagined affecting our life. I don't want to be an expert at this. Our only problem is this A. I am not sure if I can come through this, still working on it.
I can relate to all of this on so many levels... I wish I had left at 40 when this happened to me...now I'm 53 and feel guilt...she has made an effort, she has for the most part been a great wife since then, and friends tell me I'll probably never find better? But something died...things are and always will be different and it's not a "good different". I asked her last week to open up and let me know what she's feeling. She said I know you need your space and I don't want you to make a decision based on feeling bad for me, I said just tell me! She started crying and said I just want things to go back to how they were before. Then she said..no not how they were before, but how I thought they were before (meaning before I was honest with her about how this has been eating at me all these years)..my thought was - I wish I could go back to the time before you decided to sleep with my best friend and have an ongoing affair...As long as my mind is conditioned to go there... things can never change for me... I think we both deserve better, but maybe this is it? We have 30 + years and family... Maybe this is my destiny and I just nned to make the best of it? And then again...maybe not :confused::(
 

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S4E, understand what you are going through, a part of you died that day and you put forth the effort to try and rebuild and kept moving forward, though in the back of your mind there was that nagging feeling.

The person that you had given your heart and all the trust to had betrayed you and disrespected you. Now you have taken this from others and left them out of your life but with your spouse you have tried to rebuild and basically ate your pain because you knew if you did not it would destroy this "New" marriage but this "New" marriage is not what you want and no matter what has been done it does not satisfy you internally.

Take your time, find a confident or couselor you can talk to about the + and -, maybe even write them out so you can actually see what your issues are this may help.

You sound like the "Nice" guy who always put others needs before yourself and all that paying out is now catching up to you.

Take care and good luck in whatever you decide.
 

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I can relate to all of this on so many levels... I wish I had left at 40 when this happened to me...now I'm 53 and feel guilt...she has made an effort, she has for the most part been a great wife since then, and friends tell me I'll probably never find better? But something died...things are and always will be different and it's not a "good different". I asked her last week to open up and let me know what she's feeling. She said I know you need your space and I don't want you to make a decision based on feeling bad for me, I said just tell me! She started crying and said I just want things to go back to how they were before. Then she said..no not how they were before, but how I thought they were before (meaning before I was honest with her about how this has been eating at me all these years)..my thought was - I wish I could go back to the time before you decided to sleep with my best friend and have an ongoing affair...As long as my mind is conditioned to go there... things can never change for me... I think we both deserve better, but maybe this is it? We have 30 + years and family... Maybe this is my destiny and I just nned to make the best of it? And then again...maybe not :confused::(
She did a double betrayal - cheating and with your best friend. That's especially cruel.

You're 53, it has been years, and yet the pain is still there. If after all these years the pain remains, it's not likely to ever go away.

Better to get that separation or divorce now than wait another 10 years. You'll have lost another 10 years. Better to separate or divorce at 53 than at 63 with even more regrets built up with the passing time.
 

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Hi OM - just about every thread & post I read on TAM cuts me in some way. I'm not perfect and have made mistakes in previous relationships and I lost focus big time in my current relationship. The longest connection of my life - 18 years just about. Three weeks ago I discovered that my partner cheated. We are reconciling and it is all hugs and kisses but I cannot shake the thought that it will end badly sometime later on. I'm on the happy pills and handling family and life quite well but still the doubts, the thoughts about the terrible betrayal persist. How the hell do I know that what has happened to you will not be my situation later on? I have to go with my gut (somewhat diminished gut I might add) and trust it will work out. What happened to you was a disgraceful act - no one deserves to be treated like that, and for so long. I hope you find peace Openminded.
Yes, you have to trust it will work out. Otherwise, you will drive yourself crazy.

Thanks for the good wishes. I am currently separated while my divorce is pending and happier than I have been in decades. Smiling. There is life on the other side. It just sometimes takes a few unexpected detours to find it.
 

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SE4, did you just steal my login and started typing what was on my mind? I kid, but that is exactly the feelings I had for my WW and why the divorce will be finalized this summer.

After going through the emotional roller coaster of being embarrassed and emasculated, then having to pick up the pieces and try to forgive while at the same time try to keep a smile on your face for the kids, it just gets to the point where you're just numb. She is none the wiser; she comes to give you a kiss you really don't want. She wants to spend time with you and you want nothing to do with her. Even when having sex with her, deep down you know that the sex you're having with her isn't even on the same scale with what she had with the OM and WILL NEVER BE. You go to the love bank and find that there are insufficient funds in the account.

It's not that you're have some sort of revenge affair or anything. It comes to a point where you just stop caring; apathy. If she told you that she was leaving, you don't care. If she told you that you need to leave, you don't care. As long as the kids were being provided for, you simply DO NOT CARE.

I tried counselors and the like. I read the books and the articles on forgiveness. It may well have worked with others but NOT WITH ME; and that's all that counts in my book.

When you reach this point of numbness like I have, you simply have to suck it up and put the dog down like they did Ole Yeller. For each passing year comes more regret and time lost that could've been better spent improving one's life and perhaps even running into someone who would put more value into your life than the ex took away.

To me, staying in a marriage after an affair, while feeling this way, is just as destructive as the affair the wayward spouse had in the first place. You start off with low self-value and after time it simply morphs into self-hatred. You get to the point of hating the very person you see in the mirror every day. You start thinking of how defective I must be if she not only slept with another guy but no one finds you the least bit attractive to want to do the same. And even if someone did, because of you not wanting to break your vows, you kept to yourself.

What did you get from her deciding to 'settle' with you, besides a stay of execution from family court? I hated myself for years for not leaving because I didn't have the finances to afford the whopping amount of child support and alimony it would cost, let alone having to start over again in terms of staying with relatives until I could get back on my feet. Sometimes, it would be so much to bear that I'd take days off just to wallow in my sorrows.

If you don't want this feeling, you have to be the bad guy and get the divorce done. There will be days of regret and reflection of what once was and could've been. But life goes on and waits for no one...
 
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