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#418837 11/18/02 02:55 PM
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In an attempt to get physical healing it was suggested that possibly I needed some emotional healing as well so that physical healing could take place. (My husband and I are both involved in a healing ministry at our church.)So after nearly 31 years of marriage I asked my husband if he *had* had an affair and he said yes. On several occassional in recent years I had made reference to my suspecions hoping that he would acknowladge the truth and ask for my forgivness. He never did. I had married him outside my religion and without my father's blessing. He was divorced with 3 children. There was a lot of pain in his past as well as the children. I am a *helper person* and have to come to understand how that can and did get me in trouble. I did not ask for the details of the affair but think it may have happened at a particularlly hard time in our life. There were enough problems from every direction to sink our marriage but the shame I felt at the time ( and still struggle with) and my pride kept me from sharing this secret with anyone. I lived a life of forgivness as best I could and never dishonored him in any way. To anyone else close to us, exposing this truth would be almost as devistating as it has been to me. He had 3 children and we had two. Protecting them was also a powerful motivation. (The 3 older childern all eventually came to live with us.)

About 4 years ago we attended a church retreat weekend and it was very apparent to me that *something* had happened to him. The men and women functioned saparetly in the individual sessions but were together at other times. In my heart of hearts I felt he probably had come to
some place of self-knowledge. But this would have been shared with at least 3 other men and I was pretty sure I was right from their behavior
toward me...very kind and warm and anxious to tell me how highly my husband had spoken of me. When we returned his behavior toward me continued to be very, very loving. He is by nature a very outward person, loves people and people love him. He has been very involved with church work. So again I choked back my pain and responded in kind to his attention hoping that at some time we could do some really deep healing work. But he was content as he had been for years to let sleeping dogs lie. So my pain...althougth not a daily thought, had no place to go.

We have not made love at all since 1987 and very sposmatically for some years before that due to(I thought)his problems with erectile disfunction. I had tried to get him to discuss the available resources for help but he would not talk with me. I bought a book for him to read and he would not do that either. he did not include me in his decision not to seek help with the ER...he "just accepted it* He has said we discussed it but that is not so. I was not ready to give up the intimace of our marriage.
During this time I was working full time and also had many family care taking demands on my time and energy beyond the normal and at times just gave up. You can imagine all the self doubt, self hatred I would have struggled with. At one time I got the courage to bring up the subject with my GYN, his responce was..."How much weight have you gained since you got married?" He never asked anything about my husband.

There are many other details as I am sure you would ralize. I am very anxious to be truthful and not portray my husband as a monster for he is not. I have always loved him and survived to this point believing I could love him into loving me. I do believe he loves me now but have lived with doubting his love and believing he regreted marrying me in the first placefor so long. He is a serious conflict avoider and took every attempt on my part to establish a dialog about our need to communicate better as a personal attack .When I was diagnosed with breast cancer and he said something about...realizing he loved me...instead of hearing that as a declaration of his love I thougth...well and I had to be threatened with death for you to get there. I so wanted his love that I made no comment at the time but have since told him how my *injured self* felt a the time. All during my surgery recovery and treatment I could not have asked for a more loving husband.

So........he cannot figure why I have to "bring all this up again. I put it away a long time ago and you have to put me through this again. What is wrong with you that you cannot let go of *it*?" Well *he* delt with *it* his way and did not include me. The fact that I have felt these feeling seems impossible to him. He said some very hurting things to me such as blaming me for the ER when he had told me early in our marriage that he had had this problem before and by shouting at me that the afair "hadn't worked"
so "it shouldn'd matter and you should get over it". It is remarks like this and others that make me feel that he has not really "delt with it" but just pushed it under the rug to avoid conflict.

I guess my questions are...if he has shown the love toward me that he has shown in the last 4 years and says "haven't I made it up to you in these last years?"it is wrong of me to want to dig deeper...have honesty from him...let him know how I have felt all these years and to acknowledge that I have a right to these feelings...want to deepen our relationship even thougth to him we had it great and I should not be making him so miserable?

Although we have has some really tense times in
the last 8 weeks he has not stormed away from me as he did in the past. I have purchased and read about 4 books dealing with our issues and have asked him to consider reading them as well. Each one sheds a little different light and I think all should be read although I fear he will not. But even if he read one of them it would mean so much to me. His Needs Her Needs is one of the books I have but not he one I think he took. I will pray that he will be willing to read that one.

Thank you for your time

#418838 11/23/02 01:55 PM
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I'd make the recommendation that you repost this (you can copy/paste it) to the Emotional Needs section...

...even though is may seem like a 'physical' need... the two someimes blur together.

Jim/NSR

#418839 11/23/02 04:24 PM
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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial"> So........he cannot figure why I have to "bring all this up again. I put it away a long time ago and you have to put me through this again. What is wrong with you that you cannot let go of *it*?" Well *he* delt with *it* his way and did not include me. The fact that I have felt these feeling seems impossible to him. </font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Get Torn Asunder, by Carder. Read through it together. Take your time, do the exercises. By the time you are done, you will both understand the answers to both your questions.

#418840 11/24/02 05:57 PM
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I read you post and may have missed it, but I would suggest personal therapy w a competent ( emphasize competent) therapist.

I would also recommend Janis Springs' "After the Affair", and Harriet Lerners'"Dance of Connection".


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