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Relate .... Is it supposed to be this painful?

(38 Posts)
mrscraig Mon 24-Jun-13 12:42:20

To cut a long story short I found my dh was having an affair six weeks ago.
I was utterly devastated and heart broken, still am but seem used to living with it.
We have decided to try again, he's just moved back in.
We went to relate and it was excruciating, painful and it was like I was living the moment all over again. A few days later it still feels raw. Is this normal? Is it worth sticking to it? We've got another session lined up in a couple of weeks but am so unsure this is way forward. I felt better before.
I wish this pain would go away. I'm a shadow of myself.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Mon 24-Jun-13 12:48:14

it still feels raw. Is this normal? Is it worth sticking to it?

Yes and yes. Unless your pain is dealt with, it will remain (and fester), ready to explode later. Burying it and carrying on does not make the pain of betrayal go away, it only saves it for later.

Those awful feelings are going to need to be experienced at some point or another. Best to do it now, in a professional environment - one which is geared to giving you closure.

mrscraig Mon 24-Jun-13 12:51:51

You speak as if from experience. Did you find the same as me? Thanks for responding.

Leavenheath Mon 24-Jun-13 13:14:11

Why are you going to couples counselling?

Is your husband claiming that your relationship was at fault and that's why he had the affair?

Or is it to build a new relationship after he ruined it by cheating?

Either way, I'd say it's too soon to do this.

GiveItYourBestShot Mon 24-Jun-13 14:23:32

I hated going to Relate, but I think all counselling is painful. You are being asked to look at things that you would rather hide.

MadAboutHotChoc Mon 24-Jun-13 15:04:57

I agree its far too soon for couples counselling. You need time to process your initial emotions and unscramble your thoughts and decide if you want to continue to be married to him.

He should go to counselling on his own though to work out what issues and personality flaws caused his cheating behaviour.

Have you got Shirley Glass's Not Just Friends? I would also recommend Julia MacDonald's How to Help your Spouse Heal for him to read.

MollyMollyMolly Mon 24-Jun-13 15:17:52

Couples counselling.........in my opinion if your husband is truly sorry and wants to make it work then he will do everything in his power to make it right. Its always going to be a difficult time but if he is really over the affair (which is doubtful at 6 weeks on) then you will just know that you and your husband can try again by his actions. Is he showing you that he is in love with you? Is he so happy to be with you that its like being in a new relationship? Is he open about his phone and tells you who rings and who texts without you having to even ask? Is he happy? If hes still glum and odd and seeming a bit depressed then I would say hes still in lust with the other woman. Relate might have their place further down the line when you are both happy to be back together and enjoying each other and then only if you feel you cant just forgive and move on. Some people cant forgive. Not the same as forgetting mind.

mrscraig Mon 24-Jun-13 17:57:19

Am surprised at saying its too soon. When is a good time. I feel so lost, thought relate would give us both direction.

MadBusLady Mon 24-Jun-13 18:00:47

I'm not sure how you decide what a good length of time is. But I think at 6 weeks you're still experiencing the shock first time round, surely. It's not a case of the wound being reopened - it hasn't had time to close.

I think Molly's questions are important ones. I take it you are definitely sure the affair is over?

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 24-Jun-13 18:10:15

Mrscraig the pain that you are feeling comes from the pain of your betrayal. The counseling is bringing this betrayal to the fore.

That pain has been caused, counseling seeks to acknowledge this and deal with it, rather than repress it. I am so sorry that you are going through this.sad.

YouMakeMeWannaLaLa Mon 24-Jun-13 18:18:22

Me and H did Relate about 3 months after his affair.

Absolute waste of time and money. You have to spend ages recounting details so the counsellor understands the situation thoroughly and I just found that so humiliating and painful. Spelling it all out to a third party did shame H (good!) but this just made him clam up and stop sharing to defend himself.

And the counsellor seemed to be enjoying the 'gossip' a bit too much.

Awful experience.

I would definitely recommend you have individual counselling, though. You can get it with Relate too. Sorry you are going through this. Why the hell do people hurt the ones they are supposed to love sad

Vivacia Mon 24-Jun-13 19:36:36

Hi MrsC I remember an earlier thread by you. Am I right in thinking that he wanted to come back then? Who else have you told about his affair?

mrscraig Mon 24-Jun-13 20:31:43

He moved out (I asked him to) on the day I found out and has been wanting to start again ever since. He properly moved back in yesterday but away on business tonight so I feel physically sick about that.

I am having a bit of a wobble today. I said to him yesterday, the bottom line is he just didn't love me enough so how do I know he does now? I still cant quite believe it happened. I really thought he valued our marriage and life together more than that.

In response to an earlier post, yes he does look glum and a little terrified frankly. He slept on sofa bed last night. I wouldn't say he was exactly jumping for joy with being back. But then it would be weird if he was. We have had a few lovely moments, a dinner date, sharing a bottle of wine in the garden. But its mostly like walking on egg shells around each other. We are more natural when girls are present. Probably because we can play the mum and dad role.

I just don't know if I'm handling this well. I am incapable of playing games and have my heart on my sleeve most of time.

I have not had any contact from the OW to this day. I know her phone number and e-mail address so I could contact her. Sometimes I feel this could give me answers or it could destroy the shred of pride and dignity I have left. Don't know what to do about that one.
Anyway, sorry for ramble. It's hard to stop once you start.

mrscraig Mon 24-Jun-13 20:34:16

Oh and only my mum and sisters know. They have from beginning. I honestly don't know what I would have done without them.
Our friends and his family don't. His dad knows something's up - he's been staying at his house whilst he's abroad - but does not know reasons.

Snugglepiggy Mon 24-Jun-13 21:47:37

Exactly 3 years ago since discovery of relationship DH had kept secret for several months.I was devestated and at his suggestion we found ourselves in Relate just 3 weeks after ,and also after much hysterically bonding sex.TBH it was in hindsight way too soon ,and it messed with my head.I was still too much in shock and remember the counsellor saying in the first session can I just ask before we proceed do you both want to stay in the marriage,and DH was yes,yes absolutely and I replied yes but felt anything but.Again in hindsight I should have taken timeout on my own to process things first.
But that's the way it was for us,and we are now very together and happy -although it stays with you and I would rather have got to this level of closeness by any other means than through the experience of betrayal.
I wear my heart on my sleeve too.And when I had a bad day and wobbled DH just had to bear it.And he did and more.The only reason we had the strength to see it through.
Wishing you all the best.

Leavenheath Mon 24-Jun-13 22:01:09

But why are you going for relationship counselling?

Is it just a knee jerk thing because you feel you should?

Is he saying your relationship was to blame for why he did this?

Or do you think counselling can fix the damage?

I think you need to know why you're there to get the best out of it.

Why have you agreed to try again incidentally?

mrscraig Mon 24-Jun-13 22:01:43

So did you keep up with the sessions snugglepiggy (love your name by the way)?
The next one isn't booked for nearly three weeks (just rechecked date). Think I will leave it until 48 hours before if I cancel it to see how things are. I don't want to give up too soon or leave it too late.

mrscraig Mon 24-Jun-13 22:06:29

I suppose I want to give us the best possible chance and thought counselling would offer direction.
I have agreed to try again because if I strip back all this hurt and the torrent of emotions, I love him. Very very much. I know that sounds weak but it's the truth. If I don't at least try I will always wonder. I owe it to myself.

Leavenheath Mon 24-Jun-13 22:12:40

Will you see the same counsellor you saw just now, or someone different?

Loving him is actually a very good reason reason to want to try again and I know people who've got past something like this very successfully. It's not weak either. I'd have thought you'd need the strength of an ox to come back from this and the couple I'm thinking of, did.

But as you probably know, most of that work's got to come from him and the changes he makes to himself. Is he up to the job? Only if you think he can make those changes, is it ever worth trying again.

Why does he say he did this?

mrscraig Mon 24-Jun-13 22:25:02

Thank you for your words of encouragement.
He said it was like a snowball effect. He doesn't excuse his behaviour but, if I'm honest, our relationship hadn't been right for a while.
I will give him a chance to prove himself but the blinkers are off. He knows its going to be tough. Time will tell.

mrscraig Mon 24-Jun-13 22:29:25

Will be same counsellor as well btw

Leavenheath Mon 24-Jun-13 22:41:37

I don't suppose your relationship was alright for a while if he'd been having an affair. Was she a work colleague? If so, there's a great expression I used to see on here about affairs starting in the head long before they reach the bed, so do you know when he first knew this woman? Is there a match between then and when things started to get difficult in your marriage?

What's he done since, incidentally? Has he read anything? How did he end the affair? If she's at work, is he still seeing her there?

MadAboutHotChoc Tue 25-Jun-13 07:05:26

As Leavenheath says, things will not have been great - and that's because he will have felt the need to create distance between you both in order to justify having the affair, so he will have become distant, critical etc and provoke petty arguments.

I really would get this book as it explains so well how affairs begin and it has helped many of us on here.

Dilidali Tue 25-Jun-13 07:13:00

I would keep at it. It's horrible and I have been through hell and back with those sessions. Every week for about a year.
I found it a very personal experience, I am not sure if posting on an online forum would help, you two know best. If you need to talk, I would get a diary and write. And then burn the blasted thing.
It is painful and raw, it goes against our instincts, to keep bringing stuff up, but we worked very hard at it. We learnt a lot and it made us very close and protective towards each other, having been through it.
I went into it thinking this would be the final test, I might not like what I learn, but it would help making up my mind. It did, we're together and very happy.
Good luck.

Snugglepiggy Tue 25-Jun-13 07:42:34

Briefly yes MrsC we did continue with the sessions and I don't regret it ,in the grand scheme of things counselling was good - just 3 weeks in a bit took early and probably why it was so painful.Just trying to say I know how you feel.Our counsellor was lovely looking back, but she was very 'fair' - as they should be - getting us to weigh up almost 50/50 our marriage and at such an early stage I was just too raw and angry for that if that makes sense.
But I would say persist now you have started.On reflection we learnt a lot,and my DH in particular is far more keen to open up and talk as a result.In fact he actively seeks opportunities to touch base with each other and check we are OK even when things are chugging along fine.And previously it was his bottling up things that partly lead to the relationship with OW - that and opportunity and her agenda.
Dilidali idea of writing things down is good too.Get those feelings out.

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