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I’ve shortening a previously very long post as I didn’t get much feedback or advice and I believe it was just too long for most to read. I’m struggling and need advice.

My wife & I have been together for 25 years, married for the past 16. We have 3 young boys.

We were both faithful for the entire time we were together. Infidelity sickened both of us. The mantra “infidelity equals divorce” was a reoccurring theme, mostly because of her insecurities and jealousy. Our verbal intimacy was somewhat lacking but the sex was always outstanding. I had anger and control issues. She had a major spending problem. Our marriage was that of a parent/child relationship.

In February of 2009, she found her boyfriend from 10th grade on Facebook, whom she hadn’t seen in about 27 years. It then moved off of FB to a secret, prepaid paid phone for texting & sexting. She also began smoking pot every day, drinking 2-3 glasses of wine a day, taking diet pills, sleeping pills, anxiety pills and anti-depressants. Her job was a stressful and abusive environment, our kids were “difficult” and she felt like she was failing as a mother, and she felt unloved by me. She was basically a “run-away train”.

A year later, I suspected something and confronted her. She confessed that the OM came into town (he lives on the other coast). They met in the back seat of his loaner car. They didn’t have sex but she said she wanted to and he turned her down (they did kiss and other “physical” things).

I threatened divorce. The next morning she took a bottle of pills in a suicide attempt. After a week in a psychiatric hospital, I took her to an inpatient rehab. She spent 30 days there. While there, she and a “boy” half her age (he was 21 year old), engaged in sex.

I took her to another (all woman) inpatient rehab for 30 days. They got her straightened out. She now does not drink, smoke or take pills.

She also revealed that 4 months before her meeting with the OM, she picked up a 21 year old in a nightclub for kissing and touching.

She is tremendously remorseful, filled with guilt and shame and can’t believe she allowed herself to engage in this behavior. She has been cooperative with answering my questions but has “trickle truthed” some of the information. She says she never wants to go back to that “bad year” and engage in “that behavior”.

We have been in couples therapy since she has been home from rehab. We now communicate, have real intimacy and are happy with our “improved” marriage. We both go to separate private counseling every week as well.

My problem is that I have challenges with her infidelity. I am disgusted to think that she gave something so integral to a marriage to another man (men). I am saddened to think that the fidelity and sacred purity is now gone. I find myself wondering where she is during the day, even though she texts me where and what she is doing. I have no reason to believe she’s lying. It seems like I am now cycling. I have a good week and then a bad few days and then another good week. I am worried about her stepping out again or her having a “secret life”.

Any feedback or advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Wow tough story.

What do you want to do? Do you want to work and save this? I'm assuming yes since you're here.

I noticed what said about conversation lacking but the sex was good. Seems like you were getting your needs met and not meeting hers. What I mean is women often like regular conversation and affection (not sex). If you let that slip then I think that's where some of the problems might have started.

The other thing is she's probably going through midlife crisis
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simple advice .. divorce.

no sympathy for her. psycological illness or mental illness not for excuse.

i am very confused,, why in modern era, people tries to justificate bad habit/action with mental illlness or psyhological illness.

you know everyone in this world would do or has bad habit or action which means then they are sick. so everyone is sick.
This is a 25yr relationship! There are kids involved. Yes, your advice is so simple, so black and white. Have you ever experienced a mental breakdown? Oh, I forgot there are such perfect people out there. And in case your wondering, no I have not cheated, but have had a breakdown. Sometimes people don't think strait, or are not capable of it during some periods in their life.

To Workingitout: I'm so sorry for what you are going through. I can understand your feelings of wanting a divorce. This is tough to take. I can give you my perspective because I myself had what could be considered a mental breakdown many yrs ago. It did ultimately lead to the breakup of my marriage, not because I cheated, but because of the destructive behavior I was engaging in. Drugs, alcohol. Sneaking around to get my fix. My H having to bail me out. What it all boiled down to was I hated myself and the utter despair led me to do things I wouldn't normally have done and I paid the price. Every one I knew was in shock as to what I was doing. After I got help I 'found' myself again, but this took many yrs and it was too late. My now ex H did forgive me, so did family and friends. But my marriage was not saved, that doesn't mean your's cannot be. I was only married 3yrs, you have been with your wife a lot longer. No one would blame you if you did divorce, but it sounds like your W is trying. At this point what else can she do but try to repair what she has done. I wish you all the luck in the world.
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Sorry, I didn't want to just speak on behalf of your wife because it kind of sounds like something I went through, but I want to add that my H left me because he had to protect his heart. What I was doing just broke him and us splitting was his way of protecting himself. I respect him for that. You have to make sure to think of yourself and the damage that not being able to trust your W in the future will do to YOU. Yes, I think a relationship of 25 yrs is worth trying, but if it just causes you too much pain, then try to find a way to move on.
 

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First understand that what you are experiencing is normal. You have been through an emotional trauma. Infidelity shakes the foundation of your marriage but also your own sense of trust in your own judgement. Anxiety and doubt are normal experiences after something like this. It's going to take time and a lot of work to regain that sense of emotional safety and trust in your relationship. There is no pill or quick fix, it is steady and consistent work over time. You are doing all the right things, being in therapy both together and separately, communication and working together. Keep doing those things consistently over time and you will notice the intensity of your emotions get less and less. Remember there is hope and you can recover, I have worked with many many couples that were able to overcome affairs. It can and does happen, but it takes time. I'd like to recommend some helpful websites that have some great articles and information:
DearPeggy.com - Extramarital Affairs Resource Center
Surviving Infidelity and Recovering From Affairs - Beyondaffairs.com
AffairCare Home
I also recommend the books: Not "just friends" by Shirley Glass.
These are all great resources to provide you some information and hope as you do the work of saving your marriage.
Warm wishes,
Dana Vince
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I don't want a divorce. I see improvements in our marriage over the past 8 months (since her return from rehab). Things would be much better if I could let go and get off of the "crazy train". I bring up questions and things that upset her and it sometimes escallates into an attack by me. I'm feeling down and don't understand any of it.

I would love to know who the best therapist in the US for getting over the trauma of this infidelity. I'm willing to go anywhere for several days to get "better. Please let me know.
 

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After I cheated on my wife, our marriage counselor told us that there was a period for venting and anger but at some point, you have to start to move forward.

Can you ever forget what happened? No. But if you let it play into your mind, it will counteract your desire to keep the marriage together.

I can understand my wife's insecurity with me from time to time, but she knows it cannot control our marriage. If you let it, you won't have a marriage to control.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
After I cheated on my wife, our marriage counselor told us that there was a period for venting and anger but at some point, you have to start to move forward.

Can you ever forget what happened? No. But if you let it play into your mind, it will counteract your desire to keep the marriage together.

I can understand my wife's insecurity with me from time to time, but she knows it cannot control our marriage. If you let it, you won't have a marriage to control.
Chris, Thanks for your reply. So what did she do to not obsess? I wish I knew where we could go for an intensive weekend, one-on-one with a therapist that specializes in healing this stuff. I don't want to hang on but I'm very hurt and it just doen't go away!
 

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Dude, there are no hard and fast rules for rebuilding a marriage after infidelity. You can go to as many therapists/counselors as there are in the phonebook, but the healing has to come from you and your wife, and will take a lot of time. I'm nowhere near over my wife's affair and it lasted one time. Your wife's lasted longer so it stands to reason that it will take longer to move forward without looking back. Give yourself some time and relax more, it will come or it won't but stressing about it, won't heal it any faster.
 

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dont intervene my advice. let the OP comment on my advice.
Sorry, I guess you struck a nerve.

I wish I could tell you there is an easy way to get over this but there just isn't. I can give you some of my ex-H feelings after our divorce. During the time we were going through this I was unwilling to get any help, especially in the form of counseling. He later told me that if I had taken some initiative to get better, he of course would of stayed with me. Even though I didn't 'cheat' in the usual manner of speaking, I still lied, had deceitful behavior, and snuck around, all the things a 'cheater' would do, so in that sense I cheated on him. I cheated our marriage. He later told me that how he was able to go on with his life was that he realized my behavior was just that, MY behavior. He did not force me to act the way I did, I chose to, depression or not, I made those choices knowing it was wrong. He was able to forgive me because he knew the person I was before, I was able to eventually forgive myself for the person I had become after this. I am nothing like I was during that time, it took a lot of work, but I overcame it and will NEVER behave in that way again. I owned my behavior, realized (finally) that I needed to get help.

What I am getting at in a rather wordy way, is that you are not at fault for her actions. But, it seems she is making a real attempt at getting better. As long as she is willing to be transparent with you, I think it can be worked out. Depression is a horrible thing to go through. The self destructive behavior sometimes is because of searching for SOMETHING, ANYTHING to make yourself feel better. It does not justify what she or I have done, it just may be why it happened.

I'm sorry if this is of absolutely no help, I don't know the best therapist in the US to help you get through this, but a 25 yr relationship with children, I would bet you wouldn't be happy if you didn't feel you gave it a shot at repair. If you find you just cannot get over it, or if she starts that spiral downward again, protect yourself and your children and let her go. A person can only take so much.
 

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I was concerned about her straying agian, so I asked her why she picked them,what did they do to charm your pants of, out of all the guys in the bar what attracted the one you went home with. Know that I have those answers, I can know act the same way and white my teeth and work out. Her #1 answer was the attentition she got. I have raised my game when it come to flirting with her.

This is just one aspect that I need to heal. She doesn't like to talk about it, but its better then me going back to the way I was. With that understnding from her she would rather suck it up and answer the questions.


Another aspect is tougher. The act it self. I still needed to know. Both me and my W were not big fans of this subject. Well I'm average in size. I take my time more theen most, and My fallachio( going down on her) is the best. One more thing I will never get a penis pircing, that didn't work hor her.

My point is now matter how hard it is for the both of you, both of you need to learn in order to repair. Knowing what really went on helped me. its been 10 months since I confronted her and granted the 1st 3 were a b*tch.


The who, the why, the where, and the how have been answered. So now I deal with the only fact of it happened. For me to forgive I also have to believe she won't do it again. For me its easier just dealing with my feelings with regard to her as a person and WHAT she did. All the other crap involving her affairs have been answered.


I hope this helps.
My $0.02 , your wife needs to open up and it sounds like finding a Pro to get it out of her is best. Good luck.
 

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In your previous long post, if you remember I asked you: "From what you've written, it sounds like you're basically saying that it seems things are better and at least 'on the road to repair' but that pre-affair you had a sacred feeling that was just between you two...and now she's gone and shattered that and shared with others what was supposed to be only for you. So now you wonder 'How do I get over that?' and maybe 'It almost feels like I have affair PTSD. How do I stop triggering or deal with the trauma?' Is that what you'd like to have us address?" You indicated: "I would like to get off of the 'crazy train'. I have a week of mostly clear-headedness and then a few days of obsessiveness. It seems cycular. Yes to "how to get over that, yes to PTSD, yes to dealing w/ the trauma."

I'll be honest, my experience with this kind of situation is not via specialized training or due to a degree--my experience here is purely my own PERSONAL experience backed with some personal study that has made it an informed opinion. I've also worked with several female survivors of abusive partners in a support-group kind of setting, so I have some observation experience but I want to be very clear. So bear in mind that I'm not telling you this as a professional therapist or psych anything (-ologist or -iatrist). LOL!

I'll start by saying that it is my personal opinion that when there is a trauma that really shakes you to your core (such as physical abuse does...and such as infidelity after a long-term marriage), that the result can be pretty similar to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I think they look and act a lot alike, but PTSD occurs when the trauma is longer and ongoing, and eventually the stress is too much and it become a mental health disorder. In the case of the trauma associated with infidelity, I would venture a guess that disloyals who have not been betrayed themselves do not understand the level to which everything is damaged. The trauma of discovery alone usually shakes everything the loyal spouse believes, including the way they think, everything they've ever believed in, everything they've ever trusted, every sensory perception, moral code...all of it is affected. Upon discovery, the loyal spouse's sense of personal safety (in the marriage) is shattered. Then beyond the discovery, if the affair and "foggy treatment" goes on and on for quite a while (let's say a year) why then the cracks become bigger and bigger and eventually are demolished...and after the affair either ends or divorce ends the marriage, then it has to be rebuilt!

After a trauma, there are certain things that "remind" the traumatized person of the traumatic event. I call those things "triggers" because they are the things that stimulate the memory and reliving of the trauma. It's my experience that "triggers" tend to be related to the five senses--so for example, certain sounds, smells, colors may trigger the reliving--and regarding infidelity specifically, it can be certain songs that were playing when you found out, or certain lyrics that say out loud the heartache you feel; it may be being touched in a certain place, or a touching your spouse the way you did the night they told you; it may be certain clothes you wear or she wears that remind you of that day or what you envision they wore with the OP, etc. You get the drift, right?

Some people wonder if it's really possible to recover from PTSD, and if your definition of recovery is "be cured and never, ever have it happen again" then the answer is no. The affair HAPPENED, and from this point forward it will never, ever be "the way it was" again--it will be different. But if you definition of recovery is "alleviate the triggers to the point that it happens rarely and when it does I can handle it " then the answer is a resounding YES! Yes, the affair did happen, but you can learn to not be triggered into reliving every single time you trip on a trigger, and you can also learn how to have a new, happy, loving marriage. It will not be "the way it was" but that's a good thing, because "the way it was" lead to the marriage being vulnerable! So here's what I personally suggest:

The first thing I suggest is to be reasonably sure you are safe. It would be rough to begin to to do the work to recover and then part way through discover you were unsafe and have to start again! Now, in your case the safety is in regard to your marriage, and according to your own post, you wrote: "She [your wife] is tremendously remorseful, filled with guilt and shame and can’t believe she allowed herself to engage in this behavior. She has been cooperative with answering my questions ...We have been in couples therapy since she has been home from rehab. We now communicate, have real intimacy and are happy with our “improved” marriage. We both go to separate private counseling every week as well." Thus it seems to me that although we can never REALLY prove that a spouse is "telling the truth" that it is at least reasonable to say that it sounds as if she is saying and doing the things that seem to indicate openness and being honest. I'd conclude that it seems the marriage is at least safe from ending right now, and that you may be at minimum somewhat safe in sharing your true thoughts and feelings within your marriage. So what do you think? It seems fairly safe to me.

Next, I suggest continuing therapy with someone who will help you challenge your trauma thinking. What does this mean in common language? Well, as a trauma victim, sometimes we think thinks like "I'm unloveable! No one can love me not even my spouse, who's supposed to love me!" Or "If I had done this or that it wouldn't have happened! It's my fault!" or "She never did those kinds of things with me, and instead she gave it away to some guy she didn't even love!" --you get the idea right? So go over some of those kinds of thoughts with your individual therapist and challenge your trauma-thinking. By "challenge" I mean that as you might guess, a lot of trauma thinking is normal--anyone would think that as a way to cope--but it's not based in rational, reasonable thought. It more based out of the shock and trying to give yourself a way to have some control or some way to explain it.

I should mention here that some will recommend drugs, and there are some who are licensed to determine and prescribe (usually a psychiatrist or a medical doctor, not a LSW or pastoral counselor for example) if that is the best course of treatment. I, however, almost alway catch a little slack for this, but I want to remind you to not jump too quickly on the "give me a pill to make me feel better" bandwagon. Here's why. It is natural for you to feel pretty sad or hurt on the occasion right now. Thus some degree of sadness is occuring due to the situation (aka, Situational). Here in the USA, though, we tend to have a microwave mentality of "I want a pill that will fix it for me so I feel happy now" not stopping to realize that if we get through the situation...we will feel better. Furthermore, taking the pill doesn't change the situation and then if we were to stop the pill and the situation was the same...we'd feel worse, not better. My point here is this: do not RUSH to a pill. Give some thought to some natural options such as exercising, yoga or meditating... or foods that are rich in folic acid and the nutrients required to produce serotonin. And naturally, if a doctor or licensed person prescribes them for you after spending considerable time with you and knowing you and your circumstance...that's different.

Another thing I STRONGLY suggest that you can probably do on your own is to learn some coping skills. I'll give you a great, easy example. As I mentioned, many of the "triggers" of PTSD are related to the senses, and what happens is that the sense is stimulated and it "remembers" the traumatic event...but in remembering it, it feels as if the trauma is relived. Thus on the outside, you can be going along perfectly well for a few days in a row, even a week, and suddenly you smell the perfume your wife was wearing the night she confessed... and BAM without meaning to you are reliving that feeling of the bottom falling out from under you. So the first thing you need to really get to know pretty well is what your triggers ARE. Make a list, if you have to, of the things that trigger you and if you can't put your finger on it, list what was happening right before an event where you plummetted. You may begin to see patterns as you identify what your triggers are--for example, some of mine were songs, hearing certain phrases, a pattern on the couch and in our curtains, a lampstand, and touches. So once you have those pretty identified, the trick is to try to catch yourself just as the trigger is starting and then BRING YOURSELF back here to the present with that same sense. So for the songs, I waited a few months and would not listen to them at all. Then one night, I had the whole night to myself, and I played the song over and over and over about 50 times--at first BALLING like crying from the soul but then gradually less and less until I was listening to the instruments, then the tune, then humming along, then listening to the words, then singing...and then it was in the present. When the song comes on now, I take the time to enjoy the vibrations on my eardrums, and hear the different instruments...now. As another example, for touches...if someone does touch me on my back by surprise, my gut instinct is like an internal primal scream. But outside I whirl and pick one thing on the person who touched me to focus on--the eye color or hair color or the pattern of their shirt--so that I can see it is them...here...now... and then self-soothe (breathe)... and then say "Whew you sure surprised me!" and laugh to break the tension. If it's someone I like (such as Dear Hubby) and I want him to continue touching me, I might wince at first but then self-soothe (breathe) and say "will you move your fingers a little so I can feel how good your touch feels?" So see what I mean? Find a thing HERE IN THE PRESENT that involves the scared sense, and as you go back and begin to relive, bring it back here to the present by some sensation.

Okay those tips help you cope with the PTSD/triggery effect, but how about recovering the marriage? Well part of that will come as she is personally responsible for her side, and as you are personally responsible for your part. As she goes along being open and sharing herself with you transparently, and as you do likewise, you will rebuild new trust and nope--it will never be the way it was, but it will be a NEW thing, completely built in a NEW way.

Hope this helps!!
 

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I’ve shortening a previously very long post as I didn’t get much feedback or advice and I believe it was just too long for most to read. I’m struggling and need advice.

My wife & I have been together for 25 years, married for the past 16. We have 3 young boys.

We were both faithful for the entire time we were together. Infidelity sickened both of us. The mantra “infidelity equals divorce” was a reoccurring theme, mostly because of her insecurities and jealousy. Our verbal intimacy was somewhat lacking but the sex was always outstanding. I had anger and control issues. She had a major spending problem. Our marriage was that of a parent/child relationship.

In February of 2009, she found her boyfriend from 10th grade on Facebook, whom she hadn’t seen in about 27 years. It then moved off of FB to a secret, prepaid paid phone for texting & sexting. She also began smoking pot every day, drinking 2-3 glasses of wine a day, taking diet pills, sleeping pills, anxiety pills and anti-depressants. Her job was a stressful and abusive environment, our kids were “difficult” and she felt like she was failing as a mother, and she felt unloved by me. She was basically a “run-away train”.

A year later, I suspected something and confronted her. She confessed that the OM came into town (he lives on the other coast). They met in the back seat of his loaner car. They didn’t have sex but she said she wanted to and he turned her down (they did kiss and other “physical” things).

I threatened divorce. The next morning she took a bottle of pills in a suicide attempt. After a week in a psychiatric hospital, I took her to an inpatient rehab. She spent 30 days there. While there, she and a “boy” half her age (he was 21 year old), engaged in sex.

I took her to another (all woman) inpatient rehab for 30 days. They got her straightened out. She now does not drink, smoke or take pills.

She also revealed that 4 months before her meeting with the OM, she picked up a 21 year old in a nightclub for kissing and touching.

She is tremendously remorseful, filled with guilt and shame and can’t believe she allowed herself to engage in this behavior. She has been cooperative with answering my questions but has “trickle truthed” some of the information. She says she never wants to go back to that “bad year” and engage in “that behavior”.

We have been in couples therapy since she has been home from rehab. We now communicate, have real intimacy and are happy with our “improved” marriage. We both go to separate private counseling every week as well.

My problem is that I have challenges with her infidelity. I am disgusted to think that she gave something so integral to a marriage to another man (men). I am saddened to think that the fidelity and sacred purity is now gone. I find myself wondering where she is during the day, even though she texts me where and what she is doing. I have no reason to believe she’s lying. It seems like I am now cycling. I have a good week and then a bad few days and then another good week. I am worried about her stepping out again or her having a “secret life”.

Any feedback or advice would be greatly appreciated.
WOW, I am amazed after every thing your wife has put you through that your even still with her?? As for your worries I can't see how you could not be concerned, as she has cheated on you repeatedly. I think for your own self preservation you need to continue to monitor your wife until such a time that you feel completely safe. Your heart can only take so much, hang in there. Foxyroxy.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thinking to myself: "He liked it so much he reposted it!" LOL :lol:
I deleted my repost (not because I didn't really appreciate the advise), but because I got one of those new, super fancy phones and don't know how to post yet. I just quotes and that's all.:lol::lol:
 

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Any feedback or advice would be greatly appreciated.[/QUOTE]

I read your post and found it very interesting. Ive had a similar experience. I had a couple questions Im curious about and maybe i can give some feedback. You say you were together almost 10 years before marriage, there were absolutely no incidents of unfaithfulness before marriage, is that right?

What were the anger and control issues about?

Why do you think she had been abusing substances, was there a history of this?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
We started dating in 1986. No incidents of unfaithfulness either while we were dating or while we were married, up until October 2009.

My anger issues were that I would get mad if I ordered water without lemon and the server would bring a glass of water with lemon. Or if I asked for foam pillows in a hotel room and we would check in and there would be feather pillows. Or I would get mad at the incompetance of people I had to work with.

My control issues were mostly because my wife and I behaved in a parent/child relationship with her spending every penny she could and me complaining and subsequently paying the bill. That sort of stuff.
 

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Your anger issues dont sound like any big deal, I was thinking maybe it had something to do with the cheating (as was such in my case) but doesnt sound like that with you. You guys must have been very young when you met, is there a possibility that played a roll at all? It sounds like shes acting somewhat immature with some of the issues you mention. Does the counselor have any feedback as to why she thinks this happened?
also, I know antidepressants/drinking are a bad combo so that probablly had a lot to do with it.
 
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