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Discussion Starter #1
So I do not want to start this by it making seem as though I am completely innocent in that the EA actually took place so as not to simply raise this question out of sympathy.

But what I can say is that I am completely innocent in that I have never cheated, been on the verge of cheating or even ever entertained the idea in the 27+ years we have been together.

I am guilty of not being as supportive as I could have been, or not as financially responsible and I will even go as far as to say that I didn't satisify his sexual needs over the years for various reasons throughout our marriage. But I always remained faithful.

There has been a lot of hurt over the years, mainly in the last 7 - 8 years. With two children one in college and the other about to graduate HS, I have within the last 2 months found out that my husband had at least one affair that lasted around 8 months but is now over and had been for several months before I knew for sure it was happening.

I had suspected for more than a year, but he did admit to it once the OW had contacted me directly.

I have always loved him, but not liked him much over the past 7 - 8 years. I had thrown out the D word during this time because I wanted to beat him to the punch as a defense mechanism (not a good one but it was what I knew), but I never truly wanted it or I would have left.

So here is my question... I realize my part in this, he says he does too, but with there still being so much hurt, I don't really how to start communicating with him again about non-general things, not just work, or the kids... but how do I start to get to know him again?

At what point do I or should I reach out and start down the road to recovery intimately? By first a hug, or a hand hold, or snuggling in bed? I still hurt so much, but I believe without this or without us talking (getting to know each other again) there is no way we can work this out.

I am so confused and hurt but I don't want to end this marriage without first fighting for it, I just don't where to begin.
 

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You start by asking each other and yourselves if you want to be in this marriage. If you do, then you move a baby step up and start holding hands. Start snuggling. Start sending each other cute messages during the day. LISTEN to each other. Start doing things outside of the house together. Take up a new hobby together. But take it slow and let yourselves rediscover.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
As it is now, he says he wants to work on it, and I know I do. But we are both finding it very difficult to get over the past hurts. Me with his infidelity and Him over the not being there for him.

We have awkward moments where the only common conversations we have are always involving our children or work or the safe topics.

I don't know how I need to about getting to know him again and he with I.

We don't have a lot of outside activities or relationships due to many circumstances. I have spent the last 20 years focussed on taking care of my children and getting them set up an prepared for life after they leave home. I work almost 50 hours a week, I have a terminally ill younger sister that I spend most of my 'extra' time visiting and helping out my elderly mother take care of.

We have been together since high school and I don't know the best way to get us re-acquainted...

I want to hug him or hold his hand, but I always tend to draw back because of the hurt and for fear of rejection or even that if he does reciprocate that it is not genuine.

I know this is still very early after having found out he had an EA only two months ago but I don't want to continue having such anger and hurt that I can't move forward, I just don't know how.

NO ONE knows I am going through this, my best girlfriends, our children, no one in my family. I mean literally no one and I don't feel I have any where or any one to turn to.
 

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... but how do I start to get to know him again?
Here is what I did: Based on a recommendations on this forum, I got a copy of The Five Love Languages by Chapman. Here I realized that my wife's love language is quite different than mine. She had an EA with a person who was fully in line with her language (I discovered this by finding out how the relationship had started). The hurt will be there especially if you get into a situation that brings on bad memories. But it should pass once you get over that moment perhaps by replacing the thought with a good memory that you had with your mate. Check the book out.

M.
 

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I would start with the hugs once a day.....something about touching and holding someone that can turns things around....do it with meaning even if he doesn't hold you back, one person can turn things around.....
try going for a walk every day, talk about little things and throw in the occasional memory a happy one....
start there, get some books, watch the movie Fireproof.....
It's not over until it's over....
 

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Dawn and jess are right on, along with this; the expectation that things will be as they were. Do not have this expectation and you will avoid diappointment.
In my case I just see my wife as a new person that has had a bad past and we both need to move to a new..... a new way of figuring out each other.
So the only expectation I have right know is that she will be by my side and I will be by her side. Which for us, this is all new.
 

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"As it is now, he says he wants to work on it, and I know I do. But we are both finding it very difficult to get over the past hurts. Me with his infidelity and Him over the not being there for him."

I'm going through this too. I'm trying to take it one day at a time. Some days I don't want to be bothered, but then I remember that's what made him feel like I didn't care about him in the first place. So a small touch, or gesture seems to be helping me in the right direction. You can start there.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you all for sharing your thoughts, it helps knowing that I am not the only one that has these issues when trying to cope...

I have been trying to reach out to him and I know in the big picture it has not been that long I mean 8 weeks since I found out and we've been together 27 years, but what I find myself immediately thinking when we have that moment together is always about him holding her hand, or hugging her or giving her a passionate kiss. Or sudden flashbacks of things he told me about where he was and who he was with immediately start me second guessing everything or my feeling get hurt because I just don't know the whole truth.

I, in my heart want to reach out to him but I find that random things make me start to think about the two of them together. He says they never actually had intercourse many other things but never penetration... but I get more confused everyday, I truly feel that if I don't show him that I am working on my insecurities he will not have enough patience to work through this. He has made a comment or two already that he doesn't like being viewed under a microscope with everything he does, he doesn't need a babysitter to check up on him and to keep him busy for 'my' own security/comfort level in knowing he is not doing anything.

He stated he had never done anything like this before and when he did try it, he wasn't good at it, that is why he broke it off before I officially knew.

I get more confused everyday... A part of me feels if I don't remain guarded then it will come across as I am over it and it is forgotten... I am not over it, I am only over the anger that it happened not that it happened.

Thoughts on where to go from here?
:scratchhead:
 

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I know what you mean in that last part, about thinking if you just carry on business as usual it makes you feel like you are saying you are over it. I felt the same way. There are two ways you have to look at it. Your way and his way. In his mind, he doesn't want to have to hear about what he did every day. I can understand that to a point. You did say it has only been 8 weeks, so I can understand it is still really fresh for you.

I think you need to have the discussion and be open with him about your feelings of going on business as usual.Tell him that you feel it would be you approving of his actions, and that you need to know that he deeply regrets what he did. Tell him about the thoughts always wondering back to him and her. But also tell him that you want your thoughts to be about the two of you together instead and that you need help.

He is grown, yes. But he is at a point where he needs to prove to you he can be trusted again. He needs to accept that HIS ACTIONS got him to a point where you now do need to check up on him and know where he is and who he is with. It will subside as long as he does his part in repairing the damage. It might not completely go away, but it will get less and less often as the time passes.

I will be honest with you, the one thing that I asked my H to do after his affair was to write me a letter explaining to me these things:

How much he loved me
If he knew how much he hurt me
If he will do what it takes to fix us
why he loves me
how he knows he won't do it again

and a couple others I can't rememeber right now. its a letter, I can read it whenever I want!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
A lot of what you say makes sense... however, he shared with me the other day, that he is emotionally void. He said the hurt he endured over the years... long story (won't go into it right now), I was not perfect, but it never resulted in any kind of or even close to any infidelity. Money issues, not being supportive etc. However, he has been angry with me for years but never shared how deeply or what specifically, but instead held it all in. He said that was the only way he could cope so for him to speak to anything that involved emotions, getting in touch with or conveying them at this point is close to impossible.

He is a good man, a good father, a mentor to many, counselor to quite a few but his attention to others has been at the cost of his family (mainly me). He has been able to repair his relationship with his children. He has forgiven many close to him and puts a lot of energy to keeping those relationships but finds it so hard to let me in.

He says he loves me, always has and always will and doesn't want to revisit the past and neither do I. But I don't see any strides in him trying to move forward.

I understand my role in where I went wrong and why he felt he needed to go elsewhere, but over all the decision to go outside of the marriage was all on him. I too had many years of hurt but never once wanted to betray him in the one area I have always felt I would not be able to recover from.

He knew this, I have shared this with him over the years how I don't think I could ever forgive and that is where he chose to go.

I do really love him, for the most part I love who he is, I am still in love with him but can't see how I am going to be able to move forward.
 

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Cheater lie out of necessity. They will at all cost try to minimize their actions. If anything I have learned after being fooled for 6 years, (yes it took me 6 years) to figure out. Cheaters are not honest. Cheater will lie to their own mother. Cheaters are not the person you married. They Lie.

The faithful spouse doesn't want to believe the worst. This is natural defense zone. How could someone we trust, be so bad.
:iagree::iagree:

My wife lied so long and so successfully deceived me that once I discovered the scope of her infidelity I had to question whether or not there was air surrounding her because I could not even trust that inhaled and exhaled like normal people.

A cheater rips out the reality of your life and makes you question everything.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The betrayal and dishonesty is the hardest part for me. I don't know how much I should know about what actually happened between the two of them.

I know how hard it is to deal with I do know already and I don't know if knowing the intimate details is going to help me get through it or put more of a wall between us.

RWB, where are you two now in your relationship? Have you worked everything out? How long did it take?
 

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.. but I get more confused everyday, I truly feel that if I don't show him that I am working on my insecurities he will not have enough patience to work through this. He has made a comment or two already that he doesn't like being viewed under a microscope with everything he does, he doesn't need a babysitter to check up on him and to keep him busy for 'my' own security/comfort level in knowing he is not doing anything.

Thoughts on where to go from here?
:scratchhead:
I think you need to go through the full process of healing without skipping steps to avoid confrontation. If you two really want the relationship to heal, then you have to go through the process of recovery. You have not even completed the first step, full disclosure, if you think that he did not have sex with the woman he was involved with for 8 months well I don't know, I think he is lying to you. You cannot instantly for give him with out both you and him acknowledging the part you both played in the problems and how you are going to fix it. You seem to be headed in that direction but he does not from what you describe so it's no surprise that you can't reach out to him, he has not been honest and not working to make things better.

There are many sites advising both parties on how to proceed. It won't work if you are quick to sweep things under a rug and you do all of the work. You will eventually resent him and not be able to connect and you will be where you were before the affair. Better to decide now if you are both ready to go through the stages of recovery. Have you considered getting work it out.

Truly, you can not do this without someone to talk to, this forum is a wonderful place but you need someone to go to who loves and cares about you and I think you need outside help. The very best to you and your husband.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
"If he is unwilling to truthfully tell you the details that he deceived you with, he is still being unfaithful. It is just another form of betrayal. "
^
^
^
This is a valid point and I have not thought about it that way. However, I don't really know if I am strong enough right now to hear all of the details although these are things I constantly have running through my mind.

I am looking for a counselor for me right now to see if that will help but at this juncture he has already stated he is not ready... he used to counsel others and doesn't want anyone all up in his business. He says he is not ready to re-live everything as it is too depressing. This has all happened on the heels of the death of father with whom he was not necessarily estranged from but they had a very difficult relationship. His father was the last remaining close blood relative he had living, so for him the past is very painful.

As read/write the above statement I know it sounds like I am defending him. Although our marriage is very important, I don't want to push to hard which will then make it more difficult in the long run.

Does any of this make sense or does it sound like I am trying to justify things away?
 

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Discussing the details is not an end in itself. The motivation for exploring the details of the affair as well as constructive counseling gives you and your husband a "safe" way to express the anger, fears, guilt, hurt, and neglet that have invaded your marriage. This level of honesty and openness is the prime safeguard against this behavior happening again. I can understand your reservations. It is difficult for either spouse, just in different ways. I do know that delaying action will not make it go away.
 

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I think you are going to have to be honest with yourself, and decide what you need to know and how in depth you want to know. That is a personal decision. I had to know everything to be able to get over it, but I can certainly respect the fact that not everyone can operate that way.

It sounds like he thinks that a counselor is going to sit around and pounce all over him for his affair. That is not the case. Most of the time, they want to talk about things that went on between the two of you and to teach you how to not get there again. Maybe talk about what you hope to gain from counseling and let him know it isn't simply a bashing session for you ( or for him).

I don't think you are trying to justify his behavior, but I do think that you are still in a bit of shock. Honestly honey, unless there are reasons I don't know about, try not to rush anything. Take your time to think things through. Post here and read the different insights, think about what you want from things, think about what you need to know to move on. Don't rush yourself, give yourself time to process everything.
 

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Wow, I am in the very shoes you are in.
I have been married for 30 years. He told me he wasn't happy a week after our anniversary. I have know him since I was 12
I sort of initiated having not quite sex with him almost right away thinking I would replace the memories of her with me.
He has said it has been awkward when we sit together or travel in the car together.
Well, I told him that it would be weird if it wasn't uncomfortable after what we just went through.
We hold hands but he is not being overly demonstrative. I try to think that it is his depression but I feel terrible and lonely.
I still have a feeling he is comparing me to her every time he is with me. Thinking she talks to him non-stop and there is hardly any conversation unless it is about the affair and what we want to change in our marriage.
Except mine did have sex and it is with someone he still works with. Every day he comes home, I feel he is more and more feeling sorry for her for breaking up (supposedly) and a distance between us. He gives me a hug but no kisses when he gets home - only one in the a.m. when he leaves and sometimes I have to remind him of it.
When he calls me in the day, he doesn't use his work phone and when I say I miss you or I love you, he never repeats the same back.
When I first caught him, he said he would do anything. Actually, he had moved out a week before but had left messages saying he needs help and he will do anything I want. Then why keep on with the affair when he says that to me a few days before I caught him.
He was just put on meds for depression. He says he has been feeling bad for a year.
I just don't understand why he said he wants to do anything and now it is things are going too fast. There is no guarantee. He said he has a feeling in his gut that it could go 50-50 now. So what is he doing to my head?
We have been just pleasing ourselves in front of each other. I think I want him to have some memories of me take over memories of her in bed.
He has temporarily moved back but it looks like he says he needs to take this slow and wants us to decide if he should move out.
I told him I don't see how that will work with him there and me here.
He seems to feel that we should be moving forward and not dwelling about the affair.
But that is what it is about. If he moves out, how will I know what he is doing when he doesn't have to account for anything?
I think making new memories together might help. Get out and go for walks and try something new together. Hold hands. Touch his face. Look into his eyes.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Dear Help Me,

Wow, you are right in that your situation and mine parallel each other a great deal.

The night it was confirmed that he had an EA, he said he would do anything to make it work. He was very sorry and that it had ended months before. I packed my bags, booked a room and was ready to leave. It was around 2 a.m., raining a true downpour, everything seemed to happen in slow motion and from what I remember it was almost like an out of body experience. I was shocked even though I had suspected for more than a year, I had no proof and I started to think I was just insecure in our marriage as we hit an all time low. I cried, he cried. He begged me to stay as he felt that as upset as I was and the weather conditions were a perfect recipe for a disaster. I chose to stay that night. For the next week or so, he sleep in the spare bedroom, however, for the first time in years (at least), before he left for work he would give me a kiss goodbye. He started sending texts telling me he loved me. He would have dinner prepared when I got home from work (he gets off at least an hour before I). He was truly making an effort.

During this time, there were so many questions I had and I felt I couldn't 'talk' to him so I wrote him a letter via email. He responded, answered some questions, shared his hurt over the years etc. After a few days of writing back and forth, I felt it was time to actually sit down and talk and I told him that I didn't believe I should be the one to initiate the convo. That night, he came home, sat down and started to talk, however, what it turned out to be was a justification session. He started with you hurt me back in 2006 and I have never forgiven you. You abandoned me for years and I had no where to go. It basically came down to how bad of a person I was and am and that is why he went outside of the marriage. I was shocked, hurt and stunned all over again. I found I couldn't breathe, didn't want to. During all of this, his father had taken ill (terminal) as well as I have a younger sister who also is terminal. After only having had a couple of weeks to digest everything that had happened, he left for a week to go back home out of state where his father was. The day I dropped him off at the airport, he hugged me, gave me a kiss goodbye and told me he loved me. He said he was going to take this time to reflect and figure things out. (We had been given some His Needs/Her Needs questionnaires to work on and he promised he would work on them.)

A week later, he came home, we didn't talk much while he was gone, but I was ok with that as I had so much to figure out and to filter through. After the first couple of days after his return, things seemed to be getting better. We would go to lunch, but everything was very awkward. We wouldn't talk about anything that wasn't safe. The EA was not a topic that he wanted to discuss as he said he doesn't want to keep re-living it. Finally, I asked him how the worksheets were going and he admitted it was a painful exercise but necessary. I let weeks go by as we both continued working on the worksheets, so I thought.

There would be days, I would be so depressed I couldn't function, I wouldn't go to work, I wouldn't leave the house, I wouldn't talk to anyone. We would on occasion sleep in the same room but rarely. There was never anything sexual, as a matter of fact, when we were both in the same bed we both hugged our side of the bed for fear of even touching the other one.

Fast forward to more recent events, unfortunately, his father passed away a couple of weeks ago, he again left for a week to go home to take care of things, I was unable to make the trip due to some other family obligations. His relationship with his father was not a good one, but he was the last living blood relative of my husband so not only was he saying goodbye to his father but to something bigger. When he returned, he seemed very distant. When he would talk to me it would be about very random things. He would bring up a certain scene from a cable TV show he had watched while he was with the OW. He would make comments about a restaurant they had gone to and talk about the food, places we never went to. So I once again turned to writing a letter very brief about a week and a half after he returned home letting him know that I know he is hurting and want to be there for him but find it hard because everything is still sitting out there unresolved and just because we don't talk about it doesn't mean that it is forgotten.

He quickly replied with he doesn't know if it was going to work out between us and that he was going to start putting things in place for him to leave after our youngest graduates HS in May of 2011. He was going to permanently move into the guest room but in his mind it was over. He was sorry but he doesn't feel he can over the hurt and he doesn't feel I can either. He said he still loved me, always has and always will.

This hit me even harder than the finding out about the actual EA. I immediately left work, went to his job, sat down with him and said no. That we haven't really even tried to work on it. That we have been together for 27 years and I was not just going to give up that quick. I admit what my part is and how things I have done in past pushed him away, but until we have tried, I wasn't going to give up just yet. That doesn't mean that I agree with what he did nor does it mean that I am over it.

I told him that we both have to come to a place where whatever happened before that date (the date of when we were talking face-to-face) is no longer going to be used against the other one. That we needed to forgive each other but not forget, because if we forget we could find ourselves back at the place we once were. We needed to remember how painful our mistakes were to the other one and change and not go back there.

He agreed and said he would work on it. He admitted that he found the worksheets to be too depressing and that they were not helping him move forward but holding him. So we agreed to take a step backward and not re-live the past hurts but communicate about how to move forward. What I can do to make him happy and vice versa.

It hasn't even been a week so to say things are better would be premature but I can see where he is trying which in turn makes me want to as well.

We will see!
 
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