This is the thing I struggle with the most and I am told by counselors that because I am a a woman I am more likely to struggle with this longer then men do. How do you take these thoughts captive? I must add though that in 6 years of my husband having the affair there were times when I would be free of the thoughts and all of the sudden they come up again and they would be dead on because he started seeing her again. I have been told by pastors and counselors that this is a woman's intuition and is usually dead on. How do I now know thew difference in the moment. It soo much
Not knowing all the details of your current situation with your husband, I can't know for sure how to compare your situation to mine. But for me, I can say that if I had found out that my wife was seeing the other man again after the initial discovery, it would have been a different outcome. What made it possible for me was that she stopped seeing him immediately and became very accountable with her time and whereabouts. It sounds like that has not been the case in your situation?
You are completely right. In my situation my husbands addiction was the main issue and his actions secondary. The pain was immense for me. What struck me as similar was the remorse you described your wife as having as well as the manipulation from the other party. It was very much the same for him only their affair produced children that she both made and used to keep things going in spite of his addiction. I watched him struggle to do the right thing by everyone involved and still end up wrong. I was willing to stay because I loved him in a way it seemed no one else ever had and he loved me in a way he never knew he could not loving himself. I stayed in order to get to the sober stable point we are at now and to give his kids a chance at life. I was naive though in the belief that faith would keep me sane.
We have all been tempted and done things that are sins against God. But, if we trust Him and rely on His strength and not just our own, we can overcome many of the temptations of life. "Be strong in the Lord". This is always the best course of action when temptation comes our way. Let's pray for that strength from God when we are tempted. He can overcome anything.
John Galt PPL, Sales Consultant Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
we have all been tempted and done things that are sins against god. But, if we trust him and rely on his strength and not just our own, we can overcome many of the temptations of life. "be strong in the lord". This is always the best course of action when temptation comes our way. Let's pray for that strength from god when we are tempted. He can overcome anything.
I just thought I would stop in here again. It's been awhile. I haven't really needed to discuss our situation as much as I did.
But I wanted to post an update and say that things have progressed to a "better" normal than before. By better I mean our relationship is the strongest it has ever been. We are nicer to each other than we have ever been in our marriage and we enjoy each other's company more than we ever have.
I still have the images once in a while but it is much easier now. It's as if the woman I see in those mental pictures is not the same one I am married to now.
A couple months ago I had a minor setback. I had a dream that she was cheating on me again. It stirred up some of those old painful feelings for sure. I got over it though.
Every night when we settle in to go to sleep, she lays her head on my chest, tells me she loves me, I tell her that I love her, and we usually fall asleep in that position. May seem like a little thing but she has told me many times that it is her favorite time of the day. I feel the same way.
I am very careful not to bring up the past events any more also. I feel like it would not be fair to her because she has told me so many times how sorry she is that I want to make sure not to do or say anything to make her feel like I haven't forgiven her.
We still talk about it once in a while but more in terms of how much we have gone through and how much better things are now.
I forgave my wife within about 2 hours of her confession.I forgave her because I could see that she was truly sorry for what she had done. I told her that I forgave her. Did I still hurt? Was I still angry? Was I still devastated? Absolutely!
But somehow, I knew that there had to be a starting point for us to recover. I knew that nothing that either of us said or did could change what happened. And I knew that I still loved her and wanted her.
Once I verbally forgave her, she told me later, she felt something inside of her change. Remember, she had been concealing this for 12 years and it was tormenting her.
I also told her in our talks later, that I could not and would not put myself through this kind of pain again. She understood very well, that if it ever happened again I probably would be gone (although I didn't say it in exactly those terms).
I then (through the advice of my counselor) told her that I reserved the right to ask questions at any time. I never asked her specific graphic questions about the sexual activity that took place. My imagination could pretty much answer these painful questions for me. What was the point of creating more pain for both of us?
But I asked her about times, locations, thoughts that were going through her head when she was involved with this guy, etc. She has answered some very hard questions. Some of those questions she could have answered falsely and I would have never known. But because she was willing to hold nothing back, I knew that she wanted to change. It took about 2 months for me to get the majority of the hard questions out.
But as we talked and discussed these things, I began to get a picture of what I had done or not done to make her feel like she had to go somewhere else to get her emotional needs met.
Here is a huge thing that I was able to do. I came to the conclusion that the wife I knew and loved was gone. It was as if she had died, left me or just didn't exist anymore. The relationship I thought we had, was a thing of the past. I was now married to a different woman. That thought created a strong sense of loss in my mind and heart. But the flip side of that way of processing things is that, I now have a new, better relationship with a new woman.
I don't have a crystal ball and I have no guarantees that life will always be as good as it seems with her now. But then, love is about trusting and being vulnerable. It's a choice I have had to make.
I have to tell you also that all of this is only possible for me because she has made an incredible effort to make me know that she wants me and not him. If she were still seeing him and talking to him, I can't say that I would be as secure and trusting as I am now.
For 12 long years she shared herself with another man and she's truly sorry? I give you props but I'm afraid once you come out of the "fog" and back into reality, you are in for a surprise! I hope I'm wrong, but this sounds a lot like how I was! From day 1, I was on a mission to prove we were even better than before because of this...and then the "triggers" started! I'm glad your getting therapy, stay with it!!! Our therapist said I needed to take ownership in the affair and take some of the blame, she said don't bring it up or it will kill her self-esteem, I had to remember that she was manipulated...so everytime a memory came back or anger creeped in, I had to go through a "thought process" to realize all of this.... I'm not saying you are doing the wrong thing and i'm sure she is sorry....but it still happened and just please remember to deal with it...I buried it and it came back 11 years later with a vengeance...
Seriously, with all due respect...Good luck!
I can understand why you would say that. If it had never happened to me and someone else had told me it happened to them, I would have thought that guy was a fool for forgiving her.
In my situation, I love my wife so much that I am willing to give her another chance. If you read one of my previous posts, you will remember how violently ill she became (she vomited several times) when she was confessing to me. She begged me not to leave her.
The more important aspect to me is the fact that I "emotionally mistreated" her for many years. I felt a certain amount of responsibility for pushing her "into his arms". I know this guy and I know now that he is an incredible manipulator. He knew exactly what to say to her to get her to give in to his advances. He said all the things that I never would (until now...better late than never). He made her feel appreciated more than I ever did. She told me these things without blaming me, but just to explain to me how it happened.
I treat her like a woman who has been forgiven and her "evil past" erased. That's all I know to do and so far it seems to be working pretty well. As long as she does what I need her to do to help me trust her again, I am willing to stay with her and rebuild.
This could have been my words! You need to slow down and be real about all of this! I'm not saying it can't work but there is no you taking blame or resentment will follow! (in my opinion) This has to be all on her...she had the choice to get counciling, talk to you, get a divorce, whatever...she chose to drop her pants (or lift her skirt) and allow another man to enter her repeatedly... I'm sorry but you need to realize that, accept that it happened and it wasn't ok, then you can try to move forward! This doesn't happen in 2 hours. Slow down, love your wife, let her take the blame, and in time you may heal... Trust me, I've been right where you are, and the anger and resentment will grow after you are through with the "hypersex honeymoon phase" you are in...I went through that too!
Thanks for the comments. Truly. It helps me to keep things in perspective.
Having said that, I'm on the inside of this and you are just reading postings on this forum that can not really demonstrate the depth of what is taking place in our communication and relationship.
Consider this: After what I've been through, I have no doubt that if any thing ever happened again I would know. I watch, listen and investigate. I also know that I would end our relationship for good if something happened. She knows it too, without me having to voice it.
By the way, if you think the graphic descriptions you painted about her might shock me into reality, you have not stopped to consider what kind of graphic images I have already dealt with (and it sounds like you went through some of that yourself). I understand the reality of what happened perfectly well. No need for you to talk about my wife like that.
You said to slow down. I understand. But understand this. I no longer base my self worth on her faithfulness to me. My self worth goes much deeper than that now. It has to or I wouldn't have made it this far.
Also, it's important to mention that I didn't just stay and work things out for me. I did it for her, for our kids (who do know what happened by the way) and our grand kids. I understand the ramifications that a divorce can have on extended family, and as much as is possible within me, I am determined for our marriage to be an example of overcoming adversity. I believe she feels the same way.
I'm not sure what you have personally been through but I sincerely hope you recover from it. I wish you the best.
I'm so appreciative of your willingness to share, your ability to be articulate, your enduring love and steadfast commitment. My husband and I will celebrate 15 years married -17 years together - on Tuesday. About 6 years ago we had a rough patch that included online virtual sex... we got past it and are stronger and closer than before. It took a lot of work on both our parts.
I'm often disheartened by how fast people on these forums cry, "ditch 'em!" to most any problem. I guess it's understandable, given how few good role models there are in the media. Part of why my husband and I succeeded is because we're both willing to look at our own shortcomings.
Sometimes a good shaking up wakes us up. In my religion, there's a phrase: Turning poison into medicine. In my case, our bad time helped get us very clear on why it went bad and how not to do it again.
Thanks for taking the significant time, patience and wherewithal to write it down and share it with us!
My last post was actually more in response to "Struggling4ever"
I was just going to mention that when i saw your post! I'm sorry and I don't mean to speak bad of your wife, Unlike Strikethree, I believe she probably is faithful now and has "seen the light". I'm only pointing things out from experience. My wife had a ongoing (less than a year or 1 year too long) affair with my supposed best friend 11 years ago. I did exactly what you are doing. Everything you've written could have come from me. Over time because I took blame, and blamed our "friend" for manipulating her (and thereby making her a "victim" that this bad thing happened to) she felt less ownership in what happened than me.
Years later I developed a friendship with a female coworker and she not only accused me of an EA, she said it was every bit as painful to her as what I went through with her ongoing PA with my BF! This obviously caused resentment and anger. I was faithful and I knew my boundaries and had never even held another woman's hand in 30+ years and she took so little blame in what happened that she really believed what she was saying. There never was an EA, but...because of how she behaved, I am not allowed to have female friends. She says she trust me but she doesn't trust them? In reality, if she really trusted me it wouldn't matter. I gave her trust after the affair, and yet years later, she can't trust me.
I had feelings bottled up (just like you). You say you have triggers and don't talk about them because you don't feel the need to hurt her... Just a warning, those feelings can turn into anger and resentment just because you don't like the way she looks at or talks to someone. I'm just being honest, stay with the therapy and hopefully your long term outcome is better than mine. We had a pretty good 11 years since the affair, but now that I released all the bottled up pain, anger, resentment, and frustration, it is like it happened yesterday! I cry when I talk about it and I am in therapy. I wasn't trying to be mean....and I'm sorry if you took it that way!
Struggling, your wife has been rug sweeping her hardcore PA with your former friend and is now trying to blame shift with your light EA or any minor communication you have with any woman to gain the upper hand. That is not the sign of a remorseful wife worthy of a second chance. Now compare bestblu1's wife with yours and you can see a world of difference between the two former cheating wives. His was, and still is, remorseful while yours is not despite her claims that she is.
Thanks for the clarification. I feel for you and your situation and I understand where you are coming from. It sounds like you and I have experienced many of the same feelings and thoughts. Keep your head up. You're a good man. Nothing that has happened to you is bigger than you.