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#906049 03/24/01 09:52 AM
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Jill Offline OP
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Jaboom:<P>Hi! I've seen your questions directed at me here on this board more than once. <P>Let me try to answer some of the questions that you asked...<P>You asked at which point did I experience the emotional roller coaster of depression, anger, guilt, shame, suicidal thoughts, etc. I experienced all of that the entire time that the affair was ongoing. Even when the affair was an online EA, I knew that what I was doing was wrong and that the guilt was making me a depressed grouch. Yet, I wasn't ready to end the relationship with the other man because he was a "soul mate" and he was saying everything that I needed to hear. You also asked if these emotions continued during the withdrawal phase and after exposure. The answer to that would be MOST DEFINITELY. The withdrawal phase was horrible for me. I was beside myself that I couldn't talk to this man and that I had to deal with my husband's lack of communication skills when I was so incredibly lonely. The withdrawal phase was also difficult because I knew that the OM had already moved on to someone else...at that point, I felt angry and like an idiot. I hated myself for risking my marriage and my very life (I felt suicidal at times) for a guy who left his own wife and children to be with me and anyone else who came along. Keep in mind that my withdrawal phase didn't last as long as some people have experienced here on this board. Within a couple of weeks, my eyes were opened to the fact that everything had been a fantasy land. Within a couple of weeks I realized that I never wanted this other guy in the first place. I wanted my husband. <P>Immediately after confession, all of the emotions that I was experiencing were at their worst. I hated what I'd done. I hated having to see the pain in my husband's eyes. I hated seeing him grieve and ache. I hated myself for taking the sparkle from his eyes. Now, I'm learning to deal with things much better. As I've mentioned before, I really believe that healing is taking place...it's just MUCH slower than I would like for it to take place. I still deal with ALL of the emotions I've mentioned, but they are starting to lessen (thank goodness).<P>You also asked how my husband found out about the affair. Well, it's quite simple...I told him.<P>Short version of confession story:<P>By the time I confessed, my affair had long been over. I think that was a definite plus. My husband came home, I took him by the hands and sat at his feet and told him everything. Until I confessed, he had been completely in the dark about the whole thing (I don't assume that he was clueless...my husband told me that he had no idea that I'd cheated on him until the very moment that I told him). I've mentioned here before that confession was one of the most terrifying times of my life. I knew that once I confessed that my life and my husband's life would forever be changed. It was strange because I had already altered both of our lives by cheating. But, by confessing my affair, I made that alteration REAL. Anyway, after confession, I respected the fact that my husband needed NOT to look at me. He kept insisting that he didn't want me to leave. So, we slept apart for a few weeks (he in the bed and I on the couch). We both cried ourselves to sleep every night.<P>I hope that some of this helped. <P>Ask questions any time.<P>I've been around to see you asking questions, but I've never seen any of your personal story. If you want to share, I'd like to hear what's going on with you and why you're here at MB.<P>Peace.<P>Jill

#906050 03/24/01 04:26 PM
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Jill,<P>Thanks for the story of what happened to you. Yes, it's very informative.<P>I don't have a lot of time now. I'll post my whole story in the next day or so.<P>Thanks for responding,<P>jaboom

#906051 03/26/01 02:33 AM
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Jill,<P>Thanks again and here goes.<P>Background:<BR>- My W and I are both 34 years old.<BR>- Two children, girl almost 10 and boy almost 8.<BR>- Married nearly 12 years.<BR>- Separated for two months Oct. 1998 to Dec. 1998.<BR>- Currently sleeping in separate rooms.<P>Timeline of Events:<BR>12/98<BR>I return to the house at the end of our separation with an agreement that we'll work on improving our lives by remodeling and selling our house. We worked on the house for the next 4 months and sold it 9/99.<P>9/99 to 12/00<BR>We spend 15 months in an apartment waiting to get into our house. This was a wait to be financially situated and for the house to be built.<P>12/00<BR>Typical holiday season for us. My w hates the holidays due to the pressures of everything. Most years she tries very hard to make it nice for the kids. A big part of the holiday problem is with my family (poor communication and expectation differences). This year she didn't even put out most of the decorations. I didn't realize it until later that she was already sinking into a depressed state prior to Christmas.<P>1/5/01<BR>I notice my W's increasing distance from me. She begins to make negative statements to others about the value of marriage and even said to a good friend of mine "you would be stupid to get married." <P>1/9/01<BR>I find an e-mail from our home joint address that she sent to a friend talking about how she didn't think she was going to be in the area much longer. I got curious and started poking around. I find her secret e-mail account and break into it. In it I find that she has been e-mailing back and forth with an old boyfriend from high school about 5 to 10 times a day. Many of the e-mails refer to how bad her marriage is and how she looking to get out. At the time, I had no idea who the guy was.<P>This was the beginning of what has been the most difficult time of my life. Here is a summary of what has happened since that fateful day.<P>- I lost 20 pounds, had no appetite, difficulty sleeping and constant shaking and chills. This lasted for about a month. I'm much better now, especially during the last few weeks since I've been in individual counseling.<BR>- Found out that she dated him for 3 years during high school.<BR>- He is 3 years older than us.<BR>- I don't think they were intimate in high school.<BR>- He is divorced and has been for 5 years. Two needy souls coming together to meet each others needs.<BR>- I tried to change anything and everything I could about myself and send her notes to convince her I was changing for the better.<BR>- I continued to monitor her e-mail until 2/20 when she switched to a new account.<BR>- I asked my W to enter counseling and she agreed. We have now been to the couples counselor 4 times and I have been to an individual counselor 3 times.<BR>- I called the OM to ask for his support during this difficult time in our lives. He was very suprised when I called and had some questions for my W becasue she had been lying to him in her e-mails about my understanding of the R and my approach to counseling and many other things. She blew a fuse after I called him. <BR>- I've never let either of them know about my real knowledge of the e-mail.<BR>- Their e-mail includes all of the typical "I don't know what I'd do without your e-mails" and "I know that God and fate have brought us together" and "whatever happens we will always be friends" and "I can hardly wait to be there when you get off the plane" and "I don't know if I'll be able to stop kissing you if I start." Of course, I could go on.<BR>- I found further evidence with phone records. I believe she was calling him every day for a while. She switched to phone cards after a while.<BR>- She sends him pictures of our new house, her new bed (a $1000 purchase), our kids, etc.<BR>- Counseling progress. She won't take any steps to take care of her own depression. She and the couples counselor have decided that she is clinically depressed but she sees no reason to do anything about it. She's thinks it's great that I'm getting myself taken care of and is willing to continue the couples counseling.<BR>- W continues to defend her R with the OM as just a friendship and keeps referring to my difficulty in understanding that it is possible that a man and a woman can be friends without it getting sexual or too close. She defends these statements without knowing that I know she's done exactly what she says that I say will happen (that's twisted but I think you know what I mean). I keep telling her that I believe that you can have friends (which she has had many guy friends) with the opposite sex but you can't have them be ones that you share you innermost secrets, dreams and marital problems. She won't admit there is a difference.<BR>- Couples counselor knows about the EA she has and agrees with me that if I confront her with it that she'll run away and hide. <P>My individual counselor has basically given me the challenge of either let it all go or put it all on the table. He said if I continue to obsess and track her every step, I'll never be able to truly love her and allow her to feel that love. The other thing that really hit me this week was he said that she has it a lot worse than I do. I gave him a double take and said "yeah right, she has all the cards." He explained that her pain and struggle is more difficult. She has two awkward relationships that she has to lie about, she's lying to the counselor, she's battling her own emotions and she's trying to make the decision of her life and the life of her children. That's a very heavy burden on her. <P>My counselor has helped a lot. He encourages me to focus on what I can control. He gives me methods to control my mind and focus on things. I started taking St. Johns Wort this week and I think it's at least working as a placebo for now. <BR>Sorry to ramble on and on. I have been journalling since day one and when I get going I just don't know how to stop. Each and every point above was something that I probably put a page or two about in my journal. <P>I think that much of what you said, felt and did is exactly what my W is or will be going through. The question will be is will it happen to her soon enough for me to be around to see it. I am tring to stay above her current emotional situation and not allow my efforts be affected by her. But this is also the ultimate test of my love for her. Is it strong enough to wait for her to pass over to the other side of this situation?<P>I would love to get into further dialog with you re: other facets of your feelings and stages of the process. <P>I'll stop here. I could go on all night and I have to get up early. I look forward to reading more of your thoughts about things.<P>Thanks,<P>jaboom

#906052 03/26/01 03:06 AM
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Jill,<P>I just re-read your post and realized I didn't address a couple things.<P>BTW, I believe that my W is still in full contact with the OM. But, I haven't done anything since last Monday to try to keep track of her in any way. Just before I went to my counseling session on Monday I found and broke into her new e-mail. Then, the counselor let me have it about deciding to poop or get off the pot and I haven't snooped or checked on her since.<P>How did I get to MB?<P>I was spending time on another website that is very similar since early Feb. It is divorcebusting.com and I followed a link to this site. I've read Harley's "His Needs, Her Needs" and now I've switched over here as my primary lurking site. I think you know why I'm here based on my story. I've read many books:<P>Love Must be Tough - Dobson<BR>The Case Against Divorce - Medved<BR>Loving Solutions - Chapman<BR>The Solo Partner - Deluca<BR>Rebuild Your Life - Galloway<BR>Getting Back Together - Bilicki & Goetz<BR>Divorce Busting - Weiner-Davis<BR>The Book for Couples - Prather<P>Each of these has helped in it's own way; but, the messageboards and counseling have an immediate and direct response that is different and addictive. They confirm the things I read about when I see how others have applied the principles for success or fallen into traps or patterns of failure. Part of reducing my tendency to obsess about my R is to spend less time on the boards. Especially when I should be doing something else, like sleeping or working. I obviously have given up some sleep tonight but I didn't spend time on here all weekend.<P>Here are some questions for you.<P>What caused your relationship with the OM to end? <P>Why did you wait so long to confess it to your H?<P>Did you ever seek counseling? Individual? Couples?<P>Did you or your husband ever go on meds?<P>Jaboom

#906053 03/26/01 05:55 AM
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Hope it's OK to jump in here..I am the BS. But I think I can answer one of your questions, at least for what I did.<BR>H's EA went on for about 3 months prior to going PA for about 3 weeks. During the 3 weeks, he was so horrible to me, I left him. He said he was that way because he knew if we talked rationally, I would figure it out...and he was in the throes of all the same emtional crap these WSs tell themselves. But he says he never didn't love me and never wanted to end the marriage. I had no idea about he A,at all,until 2 weeks into the separation. After some snooping, he told me he had "strong feelings" for her,didn't know quite what they were and that she had no idea of his feelings. All lies but I beleived him. He admitted this to me on Tues Aug 15.<BR>On Aug 20, The following Sunday, I woke up angry about the fact that MY life was being decided out of my control. I have too much pride, not necessarily a good thing, to allow myself to wait like a doormat, with my little hands in my lap,and be oh so grateful,should I be chosen. I felt he was behaving like a coward,with no help from anyone but some woman he met on the "Net. I told him all this in a letter and that I was taking off my wedding ring, that someone had asked me out(true!) and that while that was not what I was seeking, I would go. That I wasn't waiting and that I was moving on with my own life, after 27 years of marriage.<BR>He read the letter,said he wanted to cry. I said You sure don't care about my tears, I've been crying for weeks,. I also lost 20 pounds in 3 weeks! the ONLY blessing in this mess. So, I told him to just leave...(by this time I had moved back into our home and made him leave,long story). He says he knew,at that point, that he would lose me. He was very worried about the OW telling me because he really believed our M would be over, if I found out.So, based on what was in the letter, he told me the truth that very day and I let him come home, to both of our surprise.<BR>Could go on,but this is probably too long already. Just wanted to tell you what worked for me.We didn't stary C until he came home so all that I did, I did without any professional help.Totally could have backfired but you know what, I WAS DONE!! I would have been devastated to divorce but I don't think it would ahve come to that ultimately. I will say if I had found out any other way or If it had gone on one second longer, I would be divorced today.<BR>My H has posted here under the name "unbelievable" and has detailed the way this began, really very well. Check it out, It may help you.<BR>So sorry for your pain...wish I could say I have no idea how you feel. Best to you<BR>

#906054 03/26/01 09:49 AM
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Wounded,<P>Thanks for the comments.<P>What you did is the Tough Love approach suggested by Dr. Dobson in "Love Must Be Tough." I'm happy for you that it worked. I tried a version of it at one point early on in my crisis; but I wasn't prepared to follow through with the separation threat (I wanted her to leave this time). With two kids in the house, I think she should be the one to leave if someone has to. She's the one trying to upset the current family situation and she should be the first one to feel what it's like without it. She is also still in denial that her EA is the real cause of her depression, my depression or has anything to do with her deciding to pull away from me.<P>I don't want to sound cold or controlling but I've allowed her to live the lie of her OM/EA with the calculated risk that confronting it would only serve to force her closer to him and justify her actions in her mind.<P>Thanks for the comments,<P>Jaboom

#906055 03/26/01 01:33 PM
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Jaboom,<P>Thanks for sharing your story. It sounds like you have gone through a horrible time. It's still difficult for me to read posts written by betrayed spouses because I see the pain that I inflicted upon my own husband. Yet, I want to read the posts and respond because I want to try to help.<P>I'll try to answer your questions in the best way that I am able.<P>You asked what caused my relationship with the OM to end. The short answer to that question would be, "Reality." But, really I think it was a combination of things that caused the relationship to come to an end. One thing that contributed to the realtionship ending was the fact that I did meet him in person. Once I met him in person, the fantasy world that had been created online began to crumble. I was hit by the reality that this was the very same man who had abandoned his wife and two daughters (before he got involved with me). This was a man who wanted to live like a wayward teenager -- he wanted money, but he didn't want to work. This man didn't have any interest in learning new things. He wasn't good-looking and he wasn't sophisticated. My husband was everything that this man was not. It took a face-to-face meeting with the OM over a weekend for my eyes to begin to open. Also during this weekend with the OM, I was hit with the ugliness of all of the lies that I'd told my husband up until that point. The reality of what it meant to cheat on my spouse really hit me. When I looked in the mirror, I did so knowing that I was a liar and that I'd slept with a man who was not my husband. I've mentioned before that I cried a lot during that weekend. But, that didn't stop the relationship from turning physical because I was so incredibly needy. Yuck. Also, I realized how stupid I had been to get on an airplane to meet a strange man in a strange town. This man could've been a rapist and a murderer...thank God that he wasn't.<P>When we returned to our homes after the weekend was over, the guilt overwhelmed me. I vomited nearly every day. I could hardly look at my husband. I acted like a jerk towards him to cover-up my own guilt and lies. I made him feel like everything was his fault. On top of that, I was getting e-mails and phone calls from the OM about how he'd gone out with his buddies and had drinks with lots of different girls. Within a week or so after our weekend together, the OM had already started sleeping with a girl he's met in a bar. The girl was 17 (he was 27 at the time). At that point I felt like an idiot. I felt like satan had fixed a trap for me and I walked right into it. I destroyed myself and my husband (though he didn't know it yet) for this jerk up in Ohio. I sent the OM a letter telling him I wanted my husband -- not him. I told him never to contact me again (I hadn't even read the Harley books yet and I was already following MB principles and didn't know it). I cut-off all contact. Yes, I suffered through a brief withdrawal period. It was difficult not to contact the only other person on earth who knew what I'd done. It was difficult not to contact the person who'd met my emotional needs for so long. Yet, within a couple of weeks, I didn't care if I ever heard from him again. My eyes had been completely opened. But, in my heart, I'd already made the decision NEVER to tell my husband or anyone else what I'd done. Which brings me to your next question...<P>You asked why I waited so long to confess to my husband. Well, in some strange way, I thought I was protecting him from pain. I thought I was protecting him from knowing how crummy I really was. I thought that it would be my punishment to live with the secret until I died. I thought that I was doing the "noble" thing by keeping the secret. I thought that I could pretend. I thought that I could just rebuild the marriage without confessing. I was wrong. The guilt and pain continued to eat at me. My marriage was not getting better, it was getting worse. I waited a year and 7 months before I confessed. I only confessed then because I had been coming to MB and reading the posts and sharing my story. I kept running scared when it came to the idea of confessing. I went to a pastor on a Friday. I confessed what I'd done. He was kind. He didn't act shocked. He counseled me in a very loving way. He encouraged me to confess and he told me that I would know when the time was right. He prayed with me and told me that I had to trust God regardless of what I feared that the outcome might be (best thing anyone has ever said to me). I went home that very night and confessed. It was the most terrifying moment of my life. Looking back, I waited so long to confess because it wasn't time yet. Over the months that I kept the secret, I would pray and ask God to give me courage to confess, yet I never felt His leading to confess right THEN. I didn't feel that leading until the day that I met with the pastor. My husband even told me that had I confessed even a couple of months sooner, he would've asked me to leave. At the time of my confession, God had flooded his heart with an overwhelming love for me. My husband told me that at the time of my confession, he loved me more than he ever had. God's timing is perfect. Over the months that I prayed and continued to keep the secret, God was quietly preparing my heart and mind for what was ahead. He was also preparing my husband, though we didn't know it at the time. I'm glad that I moved in God's timing instead of my own.<P>As far as seeking counseling, I had gone to my church pastor a few times. He had told me NOT to confess (which was exactly what I wanted to hear early on). I also had a few counseling sessions via phone with Steve Harley. He told me to confess immediately. I was NOT ready to hear that at the time. Finally, I was in such pain that I sought out a reputable pastor here in town...he didn't know me or my husband. He's the one that lead me in the right direction without pressuring me. Also, the day after I confessed, my husband went for counseling and prayer with this same pastor. But, since that time (back in October), neither of us have been to counseling. Yes, we desperately need counseling right now and we're looking into it.<P>As far as meds go...<P>No, my husband never got on meds and neither did I. We just haven't made that decision. My husband thinks that I should definitely be on some form of anti-depressant. I'm just not ready to take that step yet.<P>Jaboom, I hope that this helped. I hope that I answered your questions. <P>I look forward to corresponding with you as well.<P>Jill

#906056 03/26/01 01:58 PM
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Jill,<P>Thanks for the answers.<P>A couple quick thoughts. <P>I think I have it quite a bit different than you in that the guy my w is having her EA with isn't a bad guy. In fact, he's not much different than me other than he's unemployed, lives with his parents and has all day to think of ways to send little notes to my wife. My w also knows his parents and they are very nice people according to her. The OM is religious and they refer to God did this or God wants that all the time in their e-mails. I don't think God wants someone to leave a family without an honest attempt at saving the marriage, family and commitment that was made.<P>I haven't gone into the issues that caused my w to be in a position to get her needs met outside the marriage. Like you, spending too much time reading or dwelling in the past events or others problems doesn't move me towards solutions for myself to work on what allowed the relationship get steered in the wrong direction. That is why I am reducing the frequency and amount of time I spend here. This is also something that I'm getting from individual counseling. I would recommend doing some counseling for yourself and as a couple is possible. I just called up my insurance and for a $10 co-pay I see a LCSW (liscensed social worker) once a week.<P>One of your comments about support is very important and I think is exactly where my w is at. You mentioned that the OM was the only one you could talk to. My w has no one to be completely honest with. Like you, the majority of her sharing was in the covert r with the OM. For me, I have info I exchange on the messageboards, two counselors and three different friends that know the entire story (my best man, my youth pastor who was in our wedding and a secretary in my department). All three have a different twist on what I should do and I use a combination of their advise. <P>Should I push/encourage her to get totally honest with someone?<P>All for now. I've got to go.<P>Jaboom


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