Fifteen Months In

Fifteen months into this unexpected, unwelcome hot mess thrown into my lap.  November and December were pretty rough, I have to admit, with the anniversary of the day of discovery, compolicated by some unrelated health and family issues, December, indeed, was not a graceful month for me.  I felt stuck, trapped, backslidden into a muddy, sucking rut and feeling guilty abut it.  Guilty?  Yeah, like I had no right to feel as rotten as I did and to want to inflict some misery on him, the author of mine.

My husband claims that I was not as miserable as I thought I was.  He endured my mood swings with grace and understanding, maintaining that I still had every right to feel resentment, and for as long as I struggled with it.  Sometimes this annoyed me even more, since he was being mature and I certainly didn’t feel very mature.  I felt vindictive, but, not being a vindictive person by nature, all of that evil swill simmered inside of me, like a sick, sour stomach full of vomit I refused to let pass.  Just as I had feared vomiting for most of my life, and fought it, I seemed to fear releasing my rage.  I think I was afraid if I let it go, it would be out of control and the damage would be irreparable.  I had worked very hard at keeping my reactions civil over the past year and I certainly did not want to undo all of that work with a freaked-out meltdown. I consciously set my turmoil to “Pause” the week leading up to Christmas and  actually felt some relief.  I could still make decisions about the quality of my life, even feeling impaired by anger.

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12 Responses to Fifteen Months In

  1. Jennifer says:

    Lyn – thank you for you blog, I learned of my husband’s affair in August 2011 and I still feel gutted and in shock. Your words and experience have brought me a little comfort. I hope you are well.

    Jen

    • Lyn says:

      Dear Jen,

      I’m so sorry you are going through this. I’m grateful that my experience is able to help you. I know it’s not easy.

      Things are very good with us, nearly 2 years later. We thought we were a very open couple, but have become even more vulnerable with one another. We are both very happy.

      Feel free to contact me via email, if necessary.

      Best,

      Lyn

      • Brenda says:

        I found out my husband had an affair for 14 months July 26 2015. I am still so hurt and angry. He has been doing everything right to help me heal. He is always telling me how sorry he is and how much he loves me. When will I feel better?

      • Lyn says:

        Brenda,

        My husband and I were just talking about this, the night before last. One of my friends, who had worked with married couples told me that marriages which survive affairs become better and stronger. I simply could not comprehend this and so, I basically dismissed it.

        I began to feel better about 9 or 10 months in. I still felt withdrawn and not interested in socializing, but I no longer wanted to slap his face off…at least ’til perhaps the anniversary of “Discovery Day.”

        I read from one author that it takes the betrayed roughly as long to recover as the affair lasted. At the time, this seemed too pat an answer to me, but when all was said and done, it was about the same length of time. The pressure began to let up a couple of months before the anniversary of D Day, as I mentioned, and at D-Day, it had been about a year that they had been in contact, though they had not been intimate, sexually, for about 8 months. He was trying to end it and she was hanging on.

        I hope this helps you to know that it will get easier. I had been having a problem with my heart and was doubly angry that I might die as well as for the fact I didn’t die. Bless,

        L

    • barbara says:

      Jennifer, I found out as well on the last day of August 2011 my husband had an affair and then found out in November 2011 there had been more than one. It has been a nightmare. How are you doing?

  2. Donna says:

    Dear Lyn,
    I found out about my husband’s affair on March 11. We had had some problems 6 years ago and actually lived apart for about a year. (his idea, not mine). I knew that he was having issues at work and was having to travel a lot. I was home dealing with 4 teenagers and just beginning to get back into the workforce again. He told me at the time that there was no one else and that he needed to get his head together. He even went to a therapist and invited me to a joint session when he decided to come back home. So fast forward to March 11…. We have moved to a new city, the last of the 4 kids has started college, he still spends a majority of his time in Cali where he works, he has been applying for jobs here but can’t leave his present job until one of us has health insurance( we are still covering three kids), our relationship is getting better every day and then while spending some time with him in Cali, while using his computer(which he gave me to use) I find bbm messages between him and the OW. He was at work, I was supposed to leave the following day. I wrote him a note “knowing what I now know I cannot stay here…”. And took a taxi to a hotel near the airport. He called when he got back from work and asked where I was and what was this about. When I confronted him he at first tried to deny the relationship and then tried to minimize it. When I actually relayed the info I had gleaned from his bbm messages he told me she was a “hold over” from when we were having problems. Wow… So we met two weeks later and have decided to work on our relationship. He says he has ended it but I cannot help but wonder if this is true. This was not a fling but a 6 year relationship. He claims that he had wanted to end it but was unsure how to do it without hurting her. He claims not to miss their relationship. Do I believe him? How can I when I still feel so betrayed… To complicate matters he was diagnosed with a brain aneurism last week and needs to keep his blood pressure under control while waiting for a surgery date (hopefully it will be this week). I cannot help but think that if something happens to him I will have to live the rest of my life in unresolved conflict. I am holding off dealing with many of my questions and issues until he is healthy but it is not easy. Thanks for having this blog and giving me the opportunity to bare my soul with someone who has been there. I love my husband. We have been together for over 40 years and my expectation was that our years after kids would be fulfilling and happy-finally able to concentrate on each other again. I want this to work and so does he. I guess I am unsure of what to do from here and in limbo until his health issues are resolved. Again, thanks for listening
    Donna

  3. Lyn says:

    Donna,

    Okay, so your husband was having a hard time at work, so, although he traveled and wasn’t home very much? he moved out and left you to deal with 4 teenagers.

    Two months ago, new city, empty nest, he is still not home much. He is applying for jobs (you know this how?) even though he can’t leave the job he has until one of you has health insurance. Things are improving, even long distance. While visiting him, you find messages between him and another woman. You went to a hotel. He called when he realized you were gone. The truth came out and he lied about it. You presented proof and he told you she was from 6 years ago when you were having problems…and now, she was a “holdover.” Which means they have maintained this relationship all of this time?

    So, now, you both have decided to work on this marriage and he says he has ended it. He anted to end it before but was unable to bring himself to do that.

    How can you believe him when you feel so betrayed? It would help if he had proof, messages, email, something or other to show you that he said goodbye. A commitment to honesty, including his reporting of any contact on her part, helps.

    The bottom line is that it is up to him to rebuild your trust in him. He should seek to do that in every way possible. Over time, you will make a decision whether or not to trust him, based on your assessment of his sincerity.

    Whether something happens to him or not, you reach a point of acceptance, unless you want to go insane. You are to be commended for your patience and self-sacrifice by putting your needs on hold while going through this crisis with him. I hope he acknowledges this, at some point. You sound like a keeper!

    Regarding what to do about “the limbo,” Donna…this is something you can’t get around. You also can’t go under or over it, you have to go through it. Talk about a dark night of the soul. You seem to have already made the decision that he is worth the fight you are going through with yourself, so my advice is to be patient with yourself and be good to yourself, most of all. Try to think of the things you have to be thankful for. Look for the good things in life and in your marriage. If you need to, get some support, read Peggy Vaughn’s books or see a therapist.

    You sound like a wonderfully kind and fair person and I hope he knows how much better you deserve and gives it to you. I am thankful you have found my blog helpful. I am praying for your husband’s surgery and for your journey, together.

    God bless,

    Lyn

  4. Virginia says:

    Whew. I found out about my husband’s affair April 18. He had been at a conference out of town and came back very cold and distant. Let me go back some though. At the end of October I took a day off just to spend with him. We have had six absolutely horrible years with two teenagers in the house. We are a blended family, his, mine and ours. His son was absolutely combative and took out most of his bad feelings on my husband and I. But since I was always the main care giver it fell on me the most. Anyway, on my special day off, after we made passionate love, he told me he wasn’t sure he loved me anymore and didn’t think we could ever make each other happy. This was right after he joined Facebook. And then he admitted to contacting girls he had gone to school with that he had crushes on but would never ask on a date. Then he called a childhood friend and asked her for coffee. It grew from there.

    I found out in April after going into his email. Plenty of love notes and risqué chats. He swears they never had intercourse but there were references to plenty of “touching”. I kept it to myself that I knew for sure and gave him many opportunities to confess. We even started counseling before he knew that I knew. After the third session when he angrily told the counselor that I had no reason to assume his “friendship” was inappropriate, I blew up! He confessed then. But so far he has only apologized. There is a difference between apologizing and being sorry.

    Their plan was to go through the next 10 years, yep 10 years, until the youngest kids were grown to divorce their respective spouses and go forward together. I still don’t trust him. He swears they have had no contact but I know they had a secret email account and he bought a prepaid cell phone. He also still has pictures of her in his computer and their songs are still on his music player.

    Before this I thought he was the most honest, courageous man I ever met. Now he is a lying, cheating coward. I feel stupid because, after all of this, I love him and don’t want to be without him.

  5. Lyn says:

    Virginia,

    I am so sorry you have to go through this. Secondly, you are not stupid. This is all news to you and a shock. You can’t turn love on and off like a light switch.

    I hope you will keep me posted. Ten years is a long time to wait for kids to be grown and gone. A lot can happen. I assume her husband knows?

    Lyn

  6. Virginia says:

    Her husband does not know. My husband begged me not to contact the OW or her husband. Our problems started before her so I didn’t plan to contact her anyway. Her husband had an affair a few years ago but they decided to stay together….for now. Not my problem.

    I am still very suspicious because my husband seemed to switch gears so fast from progressing in their plan to staying with me. I think I may have made them more secretive.

    But on the other hand, he’s here with me. My kids are still loved and supported. He seems to be working on our relationship. So, even if he still contacts her, it’s more difficult. I can’t help but think that us working on us may change his heart. It will take time. Unfortunately I am impatient. And angry that the future we planned is no longer a “given”. I feel torn because on one side I am trying to improve our relationship but on the other side I must make financial and living plans in case he leaves. I also feel like I’ve been through a war and held up more than my end of the situation but I am not given credit for hanging in there. Meanwhile he bailed emotionally and made plans to physically leave.

  7. Angela says:

    I am really uncertain about what to do. My husband and I have been married for over 19 years but I’m not sure what to do next.
    About 8-9 years ago when our oldest child was going through the teenage years, we argued a lot and disagreed about his discipline resulting in him giving up and letting me deal with his behavior. My husband would go hang out with friends and get drunk, often leaving on Friday night not to return until Sunday. At first, I was angry because we have more children but eventually welcomed that he would be gone and we wouldn’t fight. After about a year of this, my husband and I had a huge argument and he told me he didn’t love me anymore. I was devastated. We decided we would separate after the holidays and other things. He moved out four months later and moved in with his drinking buddy. I cried terribly when he left and really wanted our lives to be together. After a couple of weeks after he moved out, I asked to have sex with him because I missed him so much and our sex life was always great. He agreed and we met on lunch hours and times when the children wouldn’t notice to have sex. Due to financial reasons, I asked him to move back in six months later and he did, into a separate room in our home but he made frequent visits to my bed during the night. He was still going out on the weekends and staying away but I didn’t feel I had a say since we were separated. We were talking about getting back together during this time but no definite plans. I noticed he mentioned a girl a few times while he was living away and I started to get suspicious and asked him if they were seeing one another. He said no, just that he liked her. I asked many times even after he moved back in. We went out one night with friends and I noticed him talking to this girl and I knew by the way he was touching her, something was going on. I left and when he found me, I kept asking over and over but he stated nothing was going on. A couple days later, I was almost having a breakdown from this and he finally admitted they were seeing one another and had started sleeping together 2 weeks after he moved out. He had started talking to her months before he said he didn’t love me. I confronted her and told her what was happening with us and she ended it with him. He was angry and admitted he loved her. I kicked him out and said that’s it. After I started getting out of the fog of this betrayal a couple weeks later, he begged me for another chance and apologized. I agreed to give it another chance and we talked about it. After a couple of weeks and me still asking questions and trying to come to terms with it, he angrily told me to stop and that I was either getting over it or not. About a month later, we both realized it couldn’t work so we again talked about breaking up. Months went by and we lived as friends with benefits in the same bed for our kids and then he got his own place.
    Around this time, I received a job offer in another city and we decided I would move with the kids and he would stay. He only spent a few nights in his own place because he was with us and then after we made the move, he came every weekend to spend with us. After only a couple months of living apart, I wrote him a letter stating I didn’t love him and it’s over. I gave it to him and he was angry and devastated. Seeing the hurt in his face, I said I’m sorry and we decided to give it another try. After a year of travel, he found a job in our city and moved in permanently. We didn’t discuss our struggles over the years ahead, we just survived. We didn’t discuss a future together and we didn’t share our lives really as a couple on social media. It appeared we were both single. I worried over the past 5 years that he might be pulling further away but kept thinking it was in my head. Last spring, I really felt it and noticed some odd behaviors such as keeping his facebook closed on his phone, texting early in the morning before I was awake and after I was asleep and being constantly on his phone. I started playing more games on my phone when we were together because I was lonely. Some days I thought we were doing great and he was so kind and the other days he was critical and mean. I even joined a dating site in the hopes of companionship but as soon as I got a hit, I cancelled my profile because I couldn’t be that person. We decided last July we would separate and he quickly found a spot in the middle of August and moved out. We still saw each often because of our kids but we didn’t know where he was living. After a couple of weeks after he left, I slept with him again. I missed him and have always loved him and sex together. We continued to have sex every few days and he moved back in middle of October. We agreed to go to counselling which he wouldn’t do before and he had changed so I was hopeful. We attended counselling and the counsellor said we were doing great and didn’t need any more sessions. I mentioned during counselling that I really felt that he was seeing someone else but he kept disagreeing. I was hopeful we were going to be fine. Then, in February I received a message on Facebook from a woman that said she had been seeing my husband since last April and moved in with him in August. She knew he was married and knew that he wasn’t happy. She stated they couldn’t get along and he asked to be roommates at the first of October but she couldn’t do it after a week or so. She said he moved out and told her it was to a friend’s place. She was suspicious of some things he said in the new year and how he had her blocked on facebook so she decided to contact me. When I asked him, he admitted it. I am now devastated again.
    I found this out 10 weeks ago and I am trying to come to terms with it but really struggling. He said we were living as roommates for the past 7 years and never discussed the issues we had so we never recovered. He says he wants a future with me and is being completely transparent about his phone, email and social media sites. He has apologized many times and answers any questions I have but I am completely heartbroken. I know our marriage wasn’t good and I planned to leave after our children graduated before we separated last year. Now, he wants a life together and he is doing things that he hasn’t since we were first married. I love him but I am having such a hard time deciding if I should believe him. He kept lying to my face each time when I questioned him about cheating and only revealed it when he saw I was losing it or I had proof. I’m not sure if there have been more women and how many. He says no but how do I believe him. I have been reading so much and some research says that our marriage is over and we could start a new life together based on now and the future. He says he has changed and now realizes how much he loves me and how great I make his life. What do I do? Can he really change?

    • Lyn says:

      Angela,

      There’s a lot of anguish in your letter, an awful lot of back and forth and plenty of emotional upheaval. Perhaps the lack of structure in your “relationship agreement” helped things run amuck, but they don’t say “hindsight is 20/20,” for nothing.

      Can he change? Why not? Will he actually do it? From your closing comments, you say that he already has. Regarding what you should do, do what you want to do.

      I think what you are asking for are guarantees, something that doesn’t exist except for that new Cuisinart waffle iron which came on Mother’s Day. There are no guarantees and sometimes there is no trust, having been broken. At that point comes time to make a decision…whether to live in the hurt or move forward into the future. It’s just that simple. If you both want things to work, then, they will. Do you risk being hurt, again? Of course.

      To cultivate a climate of trust, certain things must occur. There must be no secrets. The offender’s phones must be open to being checked and their social media accounts must be closed. They must submit to this for the sake of rebuilding the relationship. If one feels an attraction to someone, it should be discussed, because attractions are normal. Acting on them is what causes problems.

      Bless,

      Lyn

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