Well, since this area is kind of dead, and I FINALLY have some time between work, classes and home, I will post my story.
My H and I have been together for 5 years now, married for 3. We have to beautiful boys, ages 2 and 4. I am 36 and my H is 30. We met, fell in love, moved 600 miles away from where we both grew up, and thats where we are now.
My H grew up in an environment in which his mom was verbally and physically abusive and neglectful, and his Dad was out working all of the time. Both parents also had a history of cheating on each other, in front of their children no less. The family in general has severe boundary issues. My H is the youngest son, and once he grew up, his Mom did nothing but stroke his ego; in her eyes nothing he could ever do was wrong; perhaps this was her way of trying to make up for abandoning him when he was 12 (an event which he has said was the most pivotal event in his childhood).
Early in our relationship we both had a hard time adjusting; he has issues of feeling like he was controlled, and I had issues with him not being supportive and very emotionally distant when it came to problems. Underneath it all, there was and IS love, but it's been an uphill battle in a lot of respects.
He cheated on me when I was pregnant with our second son, and while we began to work on it, we got preoccupied with the birth of our son, buying our place and moving,and me going back to work from maternity leave. We pushed our problems under the rug, and they came back to bite us with a vengence at the beginning of this year.
My H began an affair with a girl 13 years younger than me that continued for several months. No, I was NOT clueless. In my heart I KNEW what was going on, and even with who, but I had no proof. During all of this, he was also in a deep depression, and suffered from bouts of suicidal ideation. I did EVERYTHING in my power to hold us together, no matter what he said (the ILYB scenario) and no matter how far he distanced himself from me. I don't need to lay out the details of the affair, or of the confrontation we had when I found out. He had just started taking a medication to get his depression under control, and we went thru a period where he was irrational, suicidal and practically homocidal. One day came where I had nothing I could do other than get him as mad as I could at ME..so that he could focus on THAT and not thoughts of killing himself. Looking back, it was the turning point for him, and thankfully, for us.
My H never really understood that he was recreating the exact patterns in his life that tore him apart as a child. He never saw it before this. He never understood that his past was literally destroying his future. I literally felt like I was watching a train wreck for the first several months of 2009. All he felt was hurt, pain, and utter worthlessness. I did not know him, he turned into a bitter, hateful person. The medication he was on began to stabalize his emotions, and he also started individual therapy. I did the only thing I knew to do, I reminded him that my love for him was real, it was true and it was patient. I would wait for the man I KNEW was in there to come out, and I would stand beside him. He told our best friend one day that he FINALLY understood what love was, and that there would never be anything that could replace our relationship. He asked me to let him work thru things at his own pace, and I did. It was very hard to hold back my affection, but I HAD to. Over the course of a 2 week or so period, he began to reach out to me, to talk to me, to WANT to be with me. He told me that he had never known a woman as strong as I am, that I held our family together when he was lost, and that he will never forget it.
Today, its been about 5 months since it all hit the fan. A lot has changed, and ALL in a positive way. He cut ties with his mom and most of his siblings because not only did they enable his behavior, but they love any sort of drama, and we have both had enough of that. He has reconciled his issues with his dad, and they talk about his behavior, and my H understands more now how what he saw growing up shaped his ideas. We learned along the way how to really function as a team, and I no longer have feelings of insecurity about our relationship. I learned to listen to him before jumping in with a solution, and I make sure to let him know I think his points are valid, even if its not the best soultion.
He appreciates and loves me and lets me know it every day. Where he was not supportive, he now goes out of his way to be so. We tackle issues together, we give each other personal down time,and we make SURE that we have time for each other at the end of the day. Ours is a household full of love and laughter now. Yes, he gets on my nerves and I get on his..but we are both more aware of our moods and work through it. Our sex life (which was always good) is amazing now, and i credit part of that to him now being as completely invested in US as I was before. He told me the other night that he was so grateful to me for keeping our ship afloat at a time when not only could he not do it, but was hell bent on trying to make sure I would fail at it.
Do I wish the affairs had never happened? Of course!! But, I don't focus on that, because I CANNOT change it. I won't let it control how I look at my marriage. It happened, but something wonderful came of it. In place of the broken, bitter, hate filled little boy that I had before, I now have a strong, loving, appreciative man to share my life with. He continues to do the work inside of him to make sure that he does not make the same mistakes he has made before, and he reminds me EVERY day how thankful he is for me, our sons, and my love. And, I remind him of how proud I am of HIM because he hit a crossroads in his life: he could run away or he could stay and fight. He always ran away before; this time he fought, and we are ALL winners.
Thanks everyone. He's the love of my life, I could not give up. If he had come thru this and STILL wanted to call it quits, then I would have at least known that it was HIM saying it, not the shell of a man he had become. But, deep down, I knew that would not happen. I think I love him MORE now then I ever did before, and I KNOW he loves me, if not more, than with a totally different depth.
I was strong because I HAD to be, for him, for me, but mostly for our two boys, who love their daddy with all of their hearts. Any strength I have, is because of who I became when I had those kids.
V~ The answer is YES....just hang in there in your situation. I honestly believe you will be posting in this area sometime in the NEAR future. Don't lose faith!
And, M22, thanks for the compliment. I'm just me, but sometimes I surprise even myself.
So nice to hear about love and happiness. I wish I could pull my family back together and that my H would see how important it is and how much he is loved and appreciated by not only the kids but by me.
Wishing you and your family the very best!
I have a few good friends, but they only knew as much as I let them know. I have always been the type to try to figure things out on my own, and though the people I did tell were supportive, nobody could really relate to what was going on. He had pushed his true friends so far away, nobody really knew who he was anymore. He's lucky because they stood by him to, once it all came out.
I kept myself together by caring for my boys. I'd come home from work, he'd leave, and the boys and I would have our life. They ntocied more than I wish they had, but in the end, they know they have happy parents, who love them and each other very much.
I think one thing that helped tremendously, is that I have a pretty extensive psychology background from my undergrad days. I was able to look at the situation with a different perspective and realize that what he was doing had NOTHING to do with me, I just bore the brunt of the fall out. He says that is prolly what saved us, in the end, my ability to analyize it from a different perspective. It did not make it hurt any less, it was the single hardest thing I have ever gone thru. It tested everything in me, and I probably cried more than I ever have in my life. You see, my H really IS my best friend, and I honestly felt like I lost everything I had, except for my boys.
I have never considered myself as strong, I always thought I just did what I had to do as I went thru life. Looking back now, I realize I AM strong, and its a realization that has made me a more confident person. My H told me last night that he looks at me and watches me become more beautiful as our bond grows stronger. The only thing I can think of is that its the strength and confidence shining thru now, as well as finally loving someone who REALLY understands what love means now, and has given himself to it completely.
Thank you for sharing your story. I can relate to so much of what you write about.
I don't post here very often (I think I only have about 50 posts since I joined a year ago) but every so often I come here and read. If I get the time and the emotional energy, I will post my story - which has some similarities to yours.
In a nutshell, I am nearly 10 months past d-day. My husband confessed his affair to me after 4 months of he!! as he slowly imploded our marriage and himself. This started last year around this time-so I am having trouble with some one-year triggers. It was a short-term shallow affair on his part-I feel lucky in some ways that his affair wasn't more involved but it was bad enough as it was.
Like you mention MB, my husband became a complete emotional wreck while he was in his affair. I think for some people-they are simply not 'wired' to have an affair and when they do have one for whatever reason, it causes a lot of havoc inside them internally. Looking back, I think my husband was a ticking time bomb with some of his internal issues. My husband also had 'mommy issues' which sound sort of like your husband's, MB...except that my H was literally abandoned by his mother by the time he was 7...he never had much of a relationship with her after that. I always was impressed at how well he had handled that abandonment...but after everything, we realized that he had just pushed it deep and avoided it.
MC/IC helped my H realize the impact early events in his life had on our marriage. In some ways, he will carry deep scars forever. But, I think he has faced the reality of some of his inner demons.
I was also able to detach a bit at that time and see what was happening from a bit of an outside perspective. Not quite sure how I did this but I did. I also realized I have a strength I never thought I had.
But not all of it was from my husband's issues, some of it was problems in our marriage.
After my husband confessed his A, he really went off the deep end for a little while and I worried about his mental health. However, he was able to pull through it and came back to me a changed and humbled person. I believe he had to implode internally somehow and face some dark things inside him.
We have now been reconciled and are building a new marriage for 9+ months and still going strong. It is the hardest thing I have ever done but I do admire my husband for doing the right thing-confessing what he had done and doing the work on himself to be a better husband and a better person.
I really get a lot of what you're saying Mommybean. I can understand a lot...I think your journey is like mine. It isn't simply about continuing in a marriage after infidelity or even forgiving your spouse who betrayed you. It is something deeper...it's about loving someone unconditionally, it's about being there for someone even though they don't deserve it and they put you through the worst type of agony, it's about looking at your spouse and not seeing someone who betrayed YOU but seeing your spouse as a human being...with faults and screw-ups but good traits, too.
Tell me, how do you do this, when you both are not living together. I want that turn around, but with my husband who walked out, and lives in an apt 1 hour away, how can you work on that?????????
Wow! This type of story gives me a little hope as I'm going through a similar but yet different situation. I will not deny that I've done much to add a lot of tension to my relationship with my wife, but something tells me so strongly that I should not give up. I know that stories like this don't happen very often, but the fact that it does happen gives me something to hang on to, at least for a little while. There may come a time when I have to pick myself up and say "move on" but what's wrong with having hope? Some tell me I'm crazy and others say I'm an inspiration. Right now, I don't know what I believe. Only time will tell which one is accurate....