Talk About Marriage banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in a rut. I'm now smoking cigarettes, drinking nightly, staying up tossing and turning, having panic attacks, taking anti-depressants & anti-anxiety pills, and still rapidly losing weight. I'm reconciling with DH, but am struggling with what it is that I'm not really doing.

I have good days and they are wonderful! The hysterical bonding is fantastic...but then these downer days are soul sucking.

I work in mental health and know that diagnosing the self and dealing with family crisis is the hardest. I'm just appalled at how crappy my life got while I claim to be an expert in crisis. :confused:

My husband is VERY supportive. I've read posts about how a wayward spouse should react to his/her betrayed spouse and my husband is doing a satisfactory job. It took us a couple tries for him to be forthcoming and honest about his EA/PA and porn addiction.

So here's my thing: I know I'm somehow "stuffing" my problems. (Hence the eating disorder, smoking, drinking, anxiety, depression, etc.) I'm a "get to the root of the problem" kinda gal and don't like to slowly deal with issues...I just don't know what I'm battling that makes me turn to destructive life choices. How does one find the root of this issue without paying an arm and a leg in counseling (broke as a joke)? What am I missing about building me back up to be confident? I know I'm talented, smart, in shape and somewhat easy on the eyes...but what brings about happiness/peace during the down times? Any suggestions OTHER THAN: "Find something you like to do..." I want someone to be gut wrenching honest with me about what my freaking problem is that I can't seem to overcome!

The other issue I'm struggling with is my husband's coping...do I want to ask him if he thinks about her, misses her, fantasizes about their night??? F*CK NO! But I don't know what a cheater thinks during reconciliation? I have heard what all the betrayed think about...what coping mechanisms does a cheater use to get over the affair? What does a cheater think about during reconciliation? These things are killing me. I wonder about whether he's thinking about her instead of me and if he's looking at women online wanting them...instead of me. I don't really want to know his answer. I just wonder it. Blah...gunna go have a smoke and another shot. UGH!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
152 Posts
Sometimes that's the big problem, from this point on, always having to wonder if the person really changed. In my situation, it was repetitive infidelity, with apologies, it'll never happen again, etc. Only to have it occur once more, again, and again. Which is what lead me to finally picking up on the pattern, and the fact that in his case, past behaviors really are the best predictors of future behaviors.
Going the counseling route, is expensive. I tried it for over a year, we did not get far at all, i did both marital and individual counseling. He also attended individual. It didn't change a single thing about his behavior. Instead I discovered more things he had lied about the entire time. And I discovered them on my own. The wayward spouse will never confess to everything they did, they're selfish, and have to protect themselves or whatever is left of their image.
I too have the anxiety issues, with meds, panic attacks, smoking again, eating everything in site, etc. I am very familiar with the self destructive streak that comes with a situation like this. I eventually got off the anxiety meds, except for the emergency/panic meds. I left therapy, since it was not working either. I am now looking for a psychologist, to work on myself, not him or the marriage.
It's as if we are punishing ourselves with this behavior, as if we did something wrong. Pretty backwards in my opinion.
I have learned that I am more than just a bad marriage, and years of betrayal. I did let a backstabber infiltrate my life, but you know what? It's not going to be this way forever. I have the option to take care of myself and slowly move on.
One thing that has honestly worked wonders for me have been Bach's remedies. I started with the rescue remedy, which is for anxiety and you can get just about anywhere, cvs/amazon, etc. And then started trying the one for confidence and for indecision,etc. Unlike the rx drugs, I don't experience any side effects.
The root of the issue, the reason for our self destruction is the betrayal that occurred, and different people just have different ways of dealing with things. Some people explode in a fit of rage, some attack others, and we self destruct because it hurts. What was done to us hurt greatly, and most likely came out of nowhere. It's not much different from experiencing the sudden death of someone we know. I am in the funeral business, and I am telling you, this is grief and it is simply going to take time to get over this.
The happiness and peace you are looking for will come when you have come to terms with what has happened.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
The other issue I'm struggling with is my husband's coping...do I want to ask him if he thinks about her, misses her, fantasizes about their night??? F*CK NO! But I don't know what a cheater thinks during reconciliation? I have heard what all the betrayed think about...what coping mechanisms does a cheater use to get over the affair? What does a cheater think about during reconciliation? These things are killing me. I wonder about whether he's thinking about her instead of me and if he's looking at women online wanting them...instead of me. I don't really want to know his answer. I just wonder it. Blah...gunna go have a smoke and another shot. UGH!!!!
I was the WS. For the first several months, I can only describe it as a bizarre feeling with my mind racing all of the time. Going from thoughs of regret, shame, guilt and relief. All day and every day. Regret for ever getting myself into that mess. Shame for becoming a person that I despised. Guilt for destroying two women. And then relief for no longer having to lie anymore.

I would try not to think about the OW, but was triggered constantly. These were not warm happy thoughts, but guilt ridden painful feelings. Even now after over a year and a half of R, I still have moments where a memory of the A will pop up. There are no good feeling associated with these memories. They are all tainted by the pain inflicted on everyone involved.

As for intimacy/sex with my wife after the A, My wife asked many times if I thought of OW while being intimate with my wife. The answer in NO. To do so would bring nothing but pain to me. Even during the A, I did not think of OW while with my wife nor W while with OW. This was compartmentalization and it helped me after the A too.
The bottom line is this. I was not ripped away from the affair while kicking and screaming. I made a decision to end the A and told my wife everything. From that moment on, I made the choice to focus on rebuilding the intimacy with her. And I'll be damned if I'm gonna let any thoughts/memories of the OW interfere with that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you backontrack. I want to know what my husband thinks from a 3rd person perspective. I don't want to know as his wife. I just hope he doesn't think about her fondly or regret staying with me. I do appreciate your insight. It's a little difficult to hear that you feel bad for hurting two women, but I get it.
Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Is it going any better for you ItsGonnaBeAlright? I've found I keep limbo-ing between smoking, drinking and not eating. I am so stressed out I can hardly breathe. But have been thinking about you since you report feeling similar.
Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,598 Posts
Not to be a downer, but my betrayer still wanted her lover for months and sent him letter after letter. When I moderated another betrayal message board I found this to be pretty common. Now, that isn't saying your betraying husband does, to a guy it's about the conquest.

That said, in reading your post I got very concerned for your emotional well being. My advice is to separate for a while, get some therapy for you and heal yourself first and think about your marriage second. You have a husband who is an addict and you need to take care of yourself. When you feel strong enough (or ready to, if ever) to reconcile, then return together and work on it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
251 Posts
Quit drinking now. Seriously using alcohol as a crutch? You need to just deal with this the best you can and do everything possible to do it without aid from addictive substances. I know that feeling, I wanted to drink initially after I got betrayed by my wife. I drank a few times heavy with friends out, but it just made me even sadder that was who I would be.

You got to just sort this out one day at a time in your own mind and work on callousing those feelings up and letting it hurt. I hated it but it's the only way to really get past any of it is to just let it soak in and feel. Sometimes feeling it is really the fix.

For me, I started doing a lot of weight lifting, more than before and decided I would channel my aggression and hurt into something productive.

Don't do it through self-damaging behavior. You'll regret that a lot later, whether or not you and your WS make it.

Stay safe and hope you find some peace in this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
281 Posts
I'm in a rut. I'm now smoking cigarettes, drinking nightly, staying up tossing and turning, having panic attacks, taking anti-depressants & anti-anxiety pills, and still rapidly losing weight. I'm reconciling with DH, but am struggling with what it is that I'm not really doing.

I have good days and they are wonderful! The hysterical bonding is fantastic...but then these downer days are soul sucking.

I work in mental health and know that diagnosing the self and dealing with family crisis is the hardest. I'm just appalled at how crappy my life got while I claim to be an expert in crisis. :confused:

My husband is VERY supportive. I've read posts about how a wayward spouse should react to his/her betrayed spouse and my husband is doing a satisfactory job. It took us a couple tries for him to be forthcoming and honest about his EA/PA and porn addiction.

So here's my thing: I know I'm somehow "stuffing" my problems. (Hence the eating disorder, smoking, drinking, anxiety, depression, etc.) I'm a "get to the root of the problem" kinda gal and don't like to slowly deal with issues...I just don't know what I'm battling that makes me turn to destructive life choices. How does one find the root of this issue without paying an arm and a leg in counseling (broke as a joke)? What am I missing about building me back up to be confident? I know I'm talented, smart, in shape and somewhat easy on the eyes...but what brings about happiness/peace during the down times? Any suggestions OTHER THAN: "Find something you like to do..." I want someone to be gut wrenching honest with me about what my freaking problem is that I can't seem to overcome!

The other issue I'm struggling with is my husband's coping...do I want to ask him if he thinks about her, misses her, fantasizes about their night??? F*CK NO! But I don't know what a cheater thinks during reconciliation? I have heard what all the betrayed think about...what coping mechanisms does a cheater use to get over the affair? What does a cheater think about during reconciliation? These things are killing me. I wonder about whether he's thinking about her instead of me and if he's looking at women online wanting them...instead of me. I don't really want to know his answer. I just wonder it. Blah...gunna go have a smoke and another shot. UGH!!!!
I don't know, its hard to believe what they tell you, let alone think. Its very disturbing though, I can appreciate what you're saying. Sex may be the most disturbing time, I don't know about you but I find myself thinking more about her and him than her and me. This isn't going to be fun. You are not alone though, try to take it easy though with the drinking for your own good, the zanax helps though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
I'm in a rut. I'm now smoking cigarettes, drinking nightly, staying up tossing and turning, having panic attacks, taking anti-depressants & anti-anxiety pills, and still rapidly losing weight. I'm reconciling with DH, but am struggling with what it is that I'm not really doing.

I have good days and they are wonderful! The hysterical bonding is fantastic...but then these downer days are soul sucking.

I work in mental health and know that diagnosing the self and dealing with family crisis is the hardest. I'm just appalled at how crappy my life got while I claim to be an expert in crisis. :confused:

My husband is VERY supportive. I've read posts about how a wayward spouse should react to his/her betrayed spouse and my husband is doing a satisfactory job. It took us a couple tries for him to be forthcoming and honest about his EA/PA and porn addiction.

So here's my thing: I know I'm somehow "stuffing" my problems. (Hence the eating disorder, smoking, drinking, anxiety, depression, etc.) I'm a "get to the root of the problem" kinda gal and don't like to slowly deal with issues...I just don't know what I'm battling that makes me turn to destructive life choices. How does one find the root of this issue without paying an arm and a leg in counseling (broke as a joke)? What am I missing about building me back up to be confident? I know I'm talented, smart, in shape and somewhat easy on the eyes...but what brings about happiness/peace during the down times? Any suggestions OTHER THAN: "Find something you like to do..." I want someone to be gut wrenching honest with me about what my freaking problem is that I can't seem to overcome!

The other issue I'm struggling with is my husband's coping...do I want to ask him if he thinks about her, misses her, fantasizes about their night??? F*CK NO! But I don't know what a cheater thinks during reconciliation? I have heard what all the betrayed think about...what coping mechanisms does a cheater use to get over the affair? What does a cheater think about during reconciliation? These things are killing me. I wonder about whether he's thinking about her instead of me and if he's looking at women online wanting them...instead of me. I don't really want to know his answer. I just wonder it. Blah...gunna go have a smoke and another shot. UGH!!!!
I can relate to all of this. I measure all his actions on his thoughts of her. If he's in a good mood I wonder if he's in contact with her and if something she said made him happy. If he's in a bad mood I assume he's thinking about how he misses her and is stuck with me. My self esteem is absolutely shot. I knew I had my faults, but overall thought I wasn't too bad. Now I can't think anything but horrible thoughts of myself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,427 Posts
I wish I knew what goes on in his head too. I do ask. But don't believe. But then, he is an accomplished liar and given me barely any of the brutal truth. At least that is what I believe anyway.

If he was more forthcoming with his feelings I would have more to believe in. But he is not. So I have nothing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Regga:

I'm not the WS, but I went through something substantially similar to you ... http://talkaboutmarriage.com/1618976-post5.html

There is a poem by Rumi called the Fountain of Fire. The closing lines read:

if you desire healing
let yourself fall ill
let yourself fall ill

I, like you, was aware of what I was going through but could not shake it. Merely doing something I enjoyed, affirmations, positive thinking and all that BS wouldn't help. When I read this poem, I decided that I had to let myself be broken before I could get back up and move forward.

It sounds like you're looking for answers in the wrong place. You're self esteem has been shattered. You're conflicted about your H and yourself. Knowing whether he thinks of you or her will not stymie the self destruction.

My advice to you is to find a person to talk to. Yes you can't afford a counselor, but you cannot afford not to seek some form of counseling. I thought to do it myself, and to be honest, I don't think I would be around today if I hadn't forced myself to have an initial conversation with Lynda.

If you need to vent or ask questions, please PM me and I can give you the path that I took to rebuild myself.

Please don't think you will heal because you know what H is thinking ... you may find yourself digging a deeper and deeper hole.

Good luck - I'm rooting for you.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Paladin

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks all. Your comments and suggestions help.
I don't want to be a smoker, alcoholic, or skeleton. But the thoughts of WH with OW just make me sick and focusing on positive thoughts seems like a joke. Smoking relieves my need to fidget, drinking calms me and not eating gives me a sense of control. I know these are destructive thoughts and actions...I'm just torn up. I felt really secure with my relationship b4 the affair. Now I'm not secure with anything but my career and raising my daughter.
PastOM: thank you for sharing. Your post "avoiding it" was hard to read. My H told me how bad he felt for leading the OW on...I was furious with him and had no pity for her, until I read your post. I know you are human too.
I was the OW once in college. I remember the feeling of betrayal after I discovered my boyfriend was married. However, I was on to the next guy months later.
I wish you some peace.
Counseling keeps sounding better. I just want a good counselor immediately!
Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,132 Posts
Regga, I was the wayward. I feel a lot of shame, guilt, and self-loathing on a daily basis. Gratitude to my GF for not completely turning her back on me (though we're working on things, we're still separated). Fear. Grief. I'm so afraid that this limbo we're in is going to disintegrate into loss. I just wish I knew whether I was on my way to the guillotine or not. Sometimes I'm almost paralyzed by the insecurity and despair. I am trying so hard, doing all I can.

I do not miss any of the OWs, and actively hate and feel disgust towards two of them. I regret everything, and it was NOT worth it. The person I really wanted the attention and affection from was my GF.

I'm in therapy trying to fix what's broken in me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Soulpotato, you wrote that you are trying hard. What is it that you are trying hard to do? I ask you sincerely and want to know examples.
Seems you are remorseful and I'm curious what steps make you believe you are on the right road.
Is not looking to/at other women hard? Is being faithful to one person hard? Is proving you want monogamy hard? I'm truly interested.
Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,132 Posts
Soulpotato, you wrote that you are trying hard. What is it that you are trying hard to do? I ask you sincerely and want to know examples.
Seems you are remorseful and I'm curious what steps make you believe you are on the right road.
Is not looking to/at other women hard? Is being faithful to one person hard? Is proving you want monogamy hard? I'm truly interested.
Posted via Mobile Device
I am trying hard to repair myself, address all the destruction I caused and the wrongs I've done, and build a future that GF would want to be part of.

I'm in therapy (was actually seeing two therapists for a while) to address my own personal issues that made cheating an option at all, and to also see what needs to be addressed and changed in my continuing interaction with GF. (She's not ready for us to go to therapy as a couple, but she comes in on certain sessions for status updates.)

I've also been doing tons of reading on TAM and read Not Just Friends (Glass) and Beyond Boundaries (Townsend). I'm going to CODA meetings (my therapist says I have codependency issues). Doing a lot of soul-searching and self-analysis, facing the things that are hard to deal with in myself. I'm addressing my weaknesses (poor boundaries, poor communication, excessive reactivity, not being present, invalidation). I'm answering any and all questions about the affairs that GF wants to ask - we regularly discuss them and I apologize often for emotionally abandoning her and for betraying her so deeply. I let her see my feelings when we have these discussions (I rarely used to let her see me cry), and I am vulnerable and open with her instead of always trying to protect myself (as I used to do). I have done NC and given GF my passwords for everything.

I'm also doing the things that GF used to complain I didn't do. For instance, cooking or helping with cooking. She used to do most of it and I'd be in the dining room or living room doing my own thing, but now I'm always in the kitchen with her, whether we're at my place or hers. (I cook for her when she's at my place.) When she's the one doing the cooking, I am right there with her and offering my assistance. Her love language seems to be acts of service, so I try to do things for her in that way. The other biggie was playing on my phone when she was in the same room and not giving all my attention to her (she hated that with a passion). Now, I rarely touch the phone when I'm with her, and if I do it's only briefly to check that my family isn't trying to get a hold of me.

GF seems to be responding to all of these things and our interaction is getting better, so I think I'm on the right track. But the rest depends on her. Whether or not she wants to take that chance on me. I wouldn't blame her for walking away, I just wish I could know if she wanted to R or if she was going to walk away. Some days the signals are very mixed and I become certain that she has changed her mind about there being a possibility of an "us" in the future. But I keep going.

It's not that it's hard not looking for others or being monogamous. It was initially hard not running for the admiration/positive reflection fix when I was in distress or feeling bad about myself. When I first started working on myself and talking about reconciliation with GF, disapproval or negative responses from her would strike up that urge in me to go find sources of validation and positive feedback. I have practically no distress tolerance, and a lot of my coping mechanisms are unhealthy/dysfunctional. I rely too much on external validation. But since I had become aware that that's how I responded to negativity, I was able to resist it, even though it hurt a lot to live with those feelings and not be able to distract myself.

I also have a lot of fear, paranoia, and trust issues. So it was hard for me to completely commit to GF because it felt dangerous and threatening. I guess I ended up having other people around as back-up plans/generators in case of emergency. It was way too scary to have all of my eggs in one basket. But now, GF is the only basket there is for me (by my choice), and it scares the hell out of me. Especially when I don't "have" her at all. There are times when I'm with her and we're having a good time, just sharing some little moment, and I tear up and hate myself all over again for what I've done and how I've been. She means so much to me, and I almost destroyed everything. Maybe I already did and just don't know it yet.

Is proving that I want monogamy hard? Yes, initially it was, and I'm not sure if she's convinced yet.

Is being faithful to one person hard? Yes and no. I've had to fight with my self-preservation instinct that screams to me that I'm in a corner when I'm so reliant upon one person, that I'm at risk for being destroyed. So that's what's hard about it. But on the other hand, ever since I met GF, I knew she was the person I wanted to stay with, the one who was right for me. When I chose her, it was the first time I wasn't just settling. We had problems and will still have problems if we get back together (there are things that will have to be worked on), but there's nobody else I'd rather be with and nobody else I'd protect to my last breath. Even when we separated, I ran to her side when she had to go to the hospital, and never left until she was discharged. Just the other morning, I jumped into my car and drove the 30 mins to her place when I was supposed to be going to work because I got a call from her in the middle of the night that I missed and then was worried sick when I couldn't get her, so off I went. (Yeah, ironically enough, I never realized back then that I was the biggest threat to her emotionally/psychologically and was only thinking about external and physical threats to her well-being.)

I'm broken and she could do better, but I want to become someone safe and good for her, someone she can trust and want to spend her life with. I love her with all my heart, and despite the fact that I betrayed her, all I ever wanted was to be close and loving with her and for us to have a good relationship. It sounds so simple, yet is anything but.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,132 Posts
It was a hell of a post soulpotato. If you keep the fight for yourself you are going to be OK regardless the outcome with GF.
Thank you, Acabado. I really appreciate that. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
229 Posts
what my husband thinks from a 3rd person perspective. I don't want to know as his wife. I just hope he doesn't think about her fondly or regret staying with me.
Posted via Mobile Device
Regga, I can speak to your question. When I betrayed someone I cared about I felt great anguish. Anguish that I couldn't un-do what I had done. Anguish that I had made that person unhappy/miserable. Seeing them in pain simply amplified my pain. All I could think about is how could I get the pain to stop. I became paranoid and hyper-sensitive to anything that might upset her. I just wanted her to get back to normal ... to the person I fell for in the first place.

The "other person" was the farthest thing from my mind. In fact, any "feelings" I may have had for that person seemed trivial compared to the ones I had for the person I had betrayed. I was certainly not daydreaming about that "other person".

This may seem irrational to some, but it is how I felt.

PS: The crazy thing is as a cheater, my biggest fear became getting cheated on by the person I betrayed! Go figure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
I'm broken and she could do better, but I want to become someone safe and good for her, someone she can trust and want to spend her life with. I love her with all my heart, and despite the fact that I betrayed her, all I ever wanted was to be close and loving with her and for us to have a good relationship. It sounds so simple, yet is anything but.

SoulPotato nails it right here....

I am a WS who won't get the opportunity to R. I still do anything she asks of me, just to help her heal.

My belief is a WS who is truely resentful and really wants R, will do anything for their BS. ANYTHING. With that the WS has to stop being selfish and put the BS & family before themselves or anything else. When a BS takes control and doesn't allow a WS to manipulate them anymore, when a WS comes out of the fog of the affair, that affair becomes disgusting to them, the AP becomes a disgusting figure.

The WS truely knows what they have done and it makes them sick. Also, affairs easily can happen, no one is above them, it can happen to anybody. A lot of posters here who have successfully "R" have said their marriage is stronger from it. But for that to happen you need the WS to "do the heavy lifting" in repaining the marriage.... just my two cents of it all
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
545 Posts
The advice you got about just letting yourself be "ill" for a while was the best advice you could get at the moment. While I agree to some degree with the people cautioning you against coping with drugs/alcohol/cigs/sex/icecream/boxing/kitty cats and whatever else anyone might have an issue with at the moment, I also totally understand your sentiment about feeling like you are in control of something, anything, when you use, and honestly that's ok for now. If things get bad for you, there's always rehab, but for now, do what you feel helps. The first few months for me were brutal, I don't even think I processed my fWS affair fully until about month three after d-day. Then came the real feelings of loss. In a very real sense, your old relationship is dead, and you are grieving its passing. It will take time. Counseling is very helpful, and most states have low cost mental health services for people in difficult financial situations. I also absolutely feel that medication is a must. Sertraline(zoloft) and bupropion<sp?>(wellbutrin) were a very good combo for me. The zoloft was especially useful as it helps with self confidence and decision making. I doubt I would have made it through the first few months of R without mood stabilizing meds.

I know you want to get over it and feel strong, but honestly, there just is no rhyme or reason for how long this is going to take. There is no magic calendar, things are either trending positively or negatively, but there is no "fell ok date."

Some have claimed that the WS is never fully truthful and honest because they want to "self preserve" and I say thats a pretty big generalization. It is possible to have a WS that comes out of the fog, lays it all out there, and does his/her best to fix what they broke. The level of delusion/fogginess that they are in will largely dictate what they think about. Very early on, while my fWS was still in the fog, she reflected positively on certain aspects of the A. After she came out of the fog, all she could feel was sorrow, regret, and self loathing. This is why R is so damn difficult. The BS is tasked with double duty. Not only must you work on healing yourself and lettingthings go, but you must also help your fWS not slip into a downward spiral of self hatred and disgust. If you fail in either of those tasks, R fails too.

Im close to the two year mark of R with my wife, it was a struggle early on, but things have steadily been getting better. R is way harder than D. It takes two very willing hard working people to really pull off. I don't think R can truly start until you are done grieving for what you lost. Toss out the clock, have that second nightcap if you need it, and try and get yourself to some type of counseling and medication.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top