Hello all. First post after lurking for a while.
I found out about 6 months ago my wife of almost 30 years had (what she swears is) a one time physical encounter with co-worker. I am mostly sure she is telling the truth and we have worked hard to get past what happened. We are both committed to saving our marriage. We are working the through the reasons why she did it and those sorts of things but I am having a tough time with a few things.
My problems are:
1. I am having a really tough time forgiving her fully. What she did seems so selfish to me and I just can't quite bring myself to FULLY forgive. I am not sure how to get over that hump. I feel like I am angry all of the time and mostly manage to keep it in check but if I can't figure out a way to forgive her I won't be able get past this.
2. I can't get the images of her with the OM out of my head. We have never discussed the act itself in any detail so my imagination runs wild. She has said she thought it would be easier to get past if we don't discuss the details. I am not so sure. Is it better to know the gory details or not?
3. The last issue is that we live in a small town so there is no one for me to really talk to about this without word getting out and affecting our daily lives and hence our ability to possibly work through this. We move in the same basic circles and telling one person would be like telling a lot of people. So I am trying to deal with it on my own and that is really tough. I sometimes feel if I could just vent to someone I would be able to move forward. I need some way to release all of the pent up stuff I am carrying around. I guess that is why I came to TAM.
I am not convinced we can get past this if I can't figure out how to deal with it. What have others done? Any and all advice would be appreciated.
Its unlikely that it was her first after 30 years of marriage.
Do not blame yourself; that only plays into her need to justify.
I am sorry she did this to you.
For your mental health sake please try journaling (or even writing here!). Small town therapists are just like big city therapists and they gossip. It is just that in the small town it is more readily recognized. Confidentiality is for them a lofty notion they all make claim to but human nature needs to talk and enough detail will get out and you'll be recognized.
Kick her out while you're thinking. At least it will let you feel like a man for now after what she took from you. There is a lot of mourning to do, including the loss of holidays, memories and the worst:
never trusting her ever again.
I am a new poster here, but a lurker and I noticed that there are more honest men here than in another forums. The ones dominated by women often say "forgiveness and staying together" are the same thing. They are not.
Also therapists who make money off of your pain often come from broken homes themselves, so their advice is what it is.
Let them men here help you talk things through. The first responder said that this was not likely her first time.
Also, it is WAY worse using imagination: make her tell you everything: full disclosure, if she wants you back...it must be on your terms.
The devil you know is easier to deal with than the devil you don't know.
Hang in, man, you did not deserve this after 30 years.