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Recovery, over 2 years on(54 Posts)
DH had a short lived affair with a work colleague. It lasted around 6 weeks. He was an utter arsehole toward me for the time, and left to move in with her. She still lived at home with her mum (early 20's)
He told me that he wanted to give us another try. I said no, he moved out of her home to his mums, and handed his notice in, with immediate effect. Found a new job within a week or so. Worked on establishing my trust. I took him back.
He has done everything 'right'. Starting of with full access to it all. Answered all questions. Got STD tests (all clear) We've been on a marriage counselling course type thing, and read Shirley Glass book.
He is where he is when he says so. I have passwords etc given to me - although I don't use them really, as I know it wouldn't make a difference, if he would do it, me having this wouldn't stop him.
Our marriage is better than it ever was, as in we are open and honest and make an effort. we do family things more often, he wasnt interested before really.
It's like he's realised what he nearly lost, and it's opened his eyes. So why do I feel like I'm forever stuck in an emotional horror? I get flashes and images in my head. I struggle with sex, and my faith in most things is gone.
Is this normal? Has anyone got past this into something better? does anyone have any words of wisdom?
Maybe you need to try counselling? It's a pretty traumatic thing to go through and the hurt doesn't just disappear because his behaviour has changed. The trauma still happened.
Perhaps Clopy . It's something to look into.
I struggle with lots of 'triggers' too. Plus going out and about locally is hard for me - I always take a glance around shops, in case. I don't want to bump into her, or even anyone who worked with DH there (they all knew, and encouraged it - nights out together etc - apart from one, who I believe asked DH to please think about what he was doing, and then stepped back)
I stay clear of any restaurants / parks(dog walking) they went to. I can't watch films or shows with affairs in them (so most things) It took me around a year to even venture back into the relationship section of MN.
Aw mate, that's not living.
Seriously, think of the emotional trauma you went through at the time. It may have become easier to live with, but the pain is very clearly still there waiting to be triggered.
If you's said 6 months i'd be saying "give it time" but 2 years is a long time for you to still be living under the shadow of his affair.
Do you ever speak about it with him?
You have control of him, but not control of your thoughts. You have imprisoned yourself. You haven't yet gained psychological freedom. There is only two thing to do. Get counselling to overcome your intrusive thoughts or leave the marriage.
The hugely hurtful facts remain that he did all that, and with a very young OW too: pathetic behaviour, and hard to forget.
Yes, I do talk to him about it - he's very receptive, and will discuss whatever. I don't always bring it up though, because otherwise I think we'd be talking most days. I think we need to have space from it, being as it has been so long.
I realise those are the choices, I just don't know how I'll ever get through it. I adored him. I took about month to pick myself back up from the floor. My first instinct was to not have any thing to do with him, other than DC access. And I didn't, for a while.
Does anyone ever really truly get through the other side of this?
You can change your mind at any point
Five years on, and pretty much stuck where you are. I can't fault DH, he's done everything I have asked of him. Not sure I can take many years of feeling like this though.
cherryblossom Not what I wanted to hear. I'm so sorry you are in this position too. Do you have any idea why you feel this way? Have you come close to getting past it at any point?
his I know I can - I just hope it doesn't come to that.
I guess I feel the way I do because I really did believe he was a decent bloke, and I trusted him. I don't trust easily, and I will probably never trust anyone again. I'm up and down all the time over it as his behaviour towards me these days is exemplary, which makes me feel it will be ok, until I hit another trigger, and there are so many.
Today I'm having a bad day as this is the time of year when it was happening, so every day is a trigger day. Talk to me mid summer and like as not I'll be ok again. It's a miserable cycle though and to be honest I think it would be fairer on us both if I just chucked in the towel and said I can't do it any more.
cherry I can relate to every word you've just said. I'm unsure on the chucking it in part, as I think what did was all the hard work for if this is the end result? Does your DH know how you feel? What does he say?
I know, it's hard to walk away when you've worked so hard, and for me everything is very complicated as we have dcs, and a business together. I'd be blowing all that apart for what? I'd not escape the demons. I'd just take my problems with me.
Yes, he knows. It's slowly killing him I think, which is why I need to either get over it or get out. He's done his time on this one.
Plenty of people get past it. Plenty don't. At the end of the day it is a very personal thing.
I've taken a few days to think this over. I just keep going around in circles though
cherryblossom How's things on your end?
I relate to your posts exactly. Word for word. I left in the end as I realised that nothing would ever be quite as good again, no matter what he did or said. The shock and crushing disappointment were forever going to be just beneath the surface. I am a few years down the line after leaving and everything is good! Looking back? Living like that was exhausting and isn't good for your health. If I was ever cheated on again I would leave them in a heartbeat. Life is short - never ending pain and reminders and triggers isn't worth it, in my opinion. Good luch OP.
I think you either have to accept the relationship is always going to be different and see if you can live with it. Or leave.
No matter what you or your dh do is going to change what happened. You will always view him differently. The relationship you had is gone and its never going to be the same.
I think you need some counselling. Even if you decide to end your marriage, you cant live your life avoiding doing things and going places just incase tou see someone.
Thank you all. It helps to see a mix of answers, although I see most of you chose to leave in the end.
The relationship you had is gone and its never going to be the same.
The shock and crushing disappointment were forever going to be just beneath the surface
This breaks my heart because it's so true.
INotGold Interesting - how did that work out? I'm curious, and wonder if you're onto something there.
Yes, makes sense.
I don't think I've done much to change myself really. I think I've actually self destructed a lot.
I haven't had a period of self blame though, not at all, which is quite surprising to me and a relief. I don't think I'm accountable for any part of him having an affair.
I also hold him fully accountable.
She wasn't an innocent OW, she knew he was married and had even told me that she was trying to make him see sense to come home to his family (when it seemed to me that he was just having marriage doubts) She was also a fucking nightmare after the fact to me.
How did you instigate situations where the OW would be in the area? How did that go?
I meant to say, that although she was fully aware, I don't hold her in esteem of 'having lured him' etc. He's a grown man that made his own choices. In fact, he instigated the 'first move'.
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