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Joined: Nov 2000
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Well, I ended up going away for the weekend (part of it anyway). Was HOPING that WS would come and find me. Saw Unbreakable, ate at my fave college restaurants - had forgotten how cheap draft beer is on campuses!, walked around some of our old "haunts", worked out and moped around. Amazing how free time, enjoyed and revered for as rare as it is in a busy "perfect" marriage with kids, is down-right nasty and lonely when you're extremely depressed. Anyway, I felt SO dirty and filthy after having been with my WS after she had had relations with that sicko, that at 4pm Saturday, I took my wedding band off and proceeded to do something really stupid - shaved EVERY hair on my entire body, save for my head of course. I just felt like OM was on every cell of my body and flesh and I had to "get rid" of him. WS ended up calling me at 8:30 pm and what did I do? Drive home to be with her, of course. I'm frustrated at myself because the entire weekend, I felt so empowered and "in control" for the first time since d-day (26 days and counting). But then I go and get so damn WEAK; I asked WS point-blank if she realized what she does to me. And how much I must love her. Because, let's face it fellow MB'ers, most betrayers don't give their WS a second chance after the revelation of an A. I don't have the stats, but most of the A's that I have seen occur IMMEDIATELY terminate the marriage. I think about that fact and the fact that "I" am supposed to Plan A HER and I just want to say "screw the Harleys", throw my arms up in the air and say let's get the divorce. Pre-discovery, how many of you though that you would give your spouse a "second chance" if he/she betrayed you? I know I NEVER thought I would give mine a second chance. I look at myself and can't believe I'm still with her. And having relations to boot; it blows my mind and makes me feel EXTREMELY weak. I also just can't get those images of her and sicko out of my mind. WS gets frustrated at me and acts like I'm ENJOYING this misery. Like I can control driving down the street and BOOM! the thought of them in a hotel room appears in mind or I'm on the verge of sleep and BOOM! the thought of his tongue in her mouth. Yeah, those thoughts are really enjoyable. And they occur 1000s of times an HOUR. As I said Friday, I am so "affaired-out". The day alone didn't really help. The campus was empty and depressing; I just got further confused as to my future plans. I have said from d-day that the only way I can get over her betrayal is by somehow forgiving her or falling in love with someone else. Pre-affair, I also NEVER thought that I could fall in love with someone else again, but I think now that I could. It would never be the same as with WS, but I'm confident that it could and would happen eventually, if I tried. I still go through three phases with WS - anger, self-pity and totally maddening love. As I told her last night, if we could stay in bed 24/7, I would have no problem forgiving and forgetting. It's when real-life starts that my mind and heart start getting me thinking about separation and divorce. When I'm away from her, I don't trust her, I fear she's sneaking around with him and my mind just keeps playing constant tricks on me. I shouldn't say tricks, as my instincts have been RIGHT on the money throughout this ordeal. She continually asks me "what can she do to earn back my trust", she'll "do anything", etc. I wish that I had the answer, but I have no idea what it takes. NONE. Her dishonesty throughout the discovery phase has just crushed her legitimacy with me. For example, it's been 7 days since the taping incident and she insists that she hasn't talked to him yet. Now they go from talking 10-15 times per day and all of a sudden they don't communicate for an entire week? Word is starting to get around town as well. Now I know that this is a decision that I need to make on my own and what other people say/think shouldn't matter. But it IS a severe blow to my ego/self-esteem that townsfolk know that she betrayed me for such a loser. I find myself constantly comparing myself to him and wondering how she could be attracted to both of us. I'm small, he's big. I'm intelligent, he's a rock. I'm white-collar, he's blue-collar. I've a good reputation (pre-affair, that is), his, well you get the picture. I hate to even go to the store as I fear people are thinking "god, how is he still with her after that", etc. This is just the hardest experience of my life and isn't getting ANY easier. 12th day of the anti-d's. No difference yet. Can focus a little better at work, but not that great. Am eating better. Sleeping through Xanax. Therapy is okay. It's like Mike from Mass and I talked about though, it's kind of a rip-off. I pay HER to listen to me spill my guts out for 50 minutes and then leave. No quick fixes, advice, training exercises, etc. It's like my family physician told me - therapists are like chiropractors - they make you feel better for an hour after visting them, but then it's right back to square one. The therapist wants my wife and I both tomorrow. There's something i never envisioned - marriage counseling on my 31st birthday. Therapist has a theory that my wife has ADD. I hope that neither her or WS tries to rationalize the A with this "excuse". I will go ballistic. I'm currently of the frame of mind that A's are simply selfish excesses, unable to be contained due to lack of self-discipline, self-control and STUPIDITY. If a WS is unhappy in a marriage, he/she should speak with their spouse first. If spouse doesn't listen, try counseling. If that doesn't work, try separation. If that doesn't work, get divorced. THEN you can pursue your selfish desires. Sorry if you betrayers disagree, but that's where I am right now. Anyway, that's my update.<P><BR>Trying to get to 2001,<BR>Brad<P>bmarkins@hotmail.com

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Brad - 12 days on anti-deps isn't long enough to get the full benefit. Your doc may also ramp you up on the dosage. Give'em some more time.<P>You're right about the selfishness. There is no comparison between you and the OM. He's a tiny man and you're huge - don't get sucked down that path. Hang with us, you can do it!<P>WAT

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Let me respond to one part of your post:<P>Brad, you think you are WEAK because you cannot resist your WS. You're wrong. You are STRONG. Yes, most people would give up on a marriage after an affair. THEY are the weak ones. The ones who go rushing to divorce court at the first hint of infidelity are spineless wimps. You are one of the very, very few who have chosen to take a stand and say that you are unwilling to throw your marriage away.<P>There's an old blues song called "Don't Mistake Kindness for Weakness." That's you, buddy. You have taken the high road...stay on it!

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Brad,<P>I never thought I would give my H a chance if he an A but here I am 18 mths later still trying to salvage something out of the mess of our lives. Give it more time, you are still shell shocked.<P> While I didn't have a tape to listen to I read e-mails, & even after all this time pharses pop into my mind. I finally threw them all away except the one where the OW admits going after my H, I kept that if I ever have to use it.<P>Maybe keep a date in your head that if you are still not handeling things well, that you will start doing something different then.

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Brad,<P>IMHO, and don't get me wrong, I have been here, is that you don't have to have the answers today. So this weekend didn't turn out like you had hoped, but you did make progress. You spent some time with yourself...good bad or indifferent. You have done the physical ritual of cleansing. I would get a journal or make a deal with yourself to block the bad thoughts. I read the Dali Lama books (what a devout Catholic I am [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com] ) and I enjoyed them. But after you have read all the books, posted here, really it's about taking the pressure off yourself. I promise you that these things do not fix themselves over night. Those of us who thought our WS come clean speech and eternal love for us was the turning point had no idea that 3 mnths, 6mnths, 1 yr we would still be here...more skeptical of the speeches were here. But things do change (I am an almost 1 yr survivor of d-day)it has changed for me as soon as I told myself it was OK if I didn't have the answer today. That I would take baby steps (ever see What about Bob? ) feel comfortable in my own skin, start doing things I like to do, that I either stopped doing or did less of because of the marriage. <BR>Brad, I know it is hard, everyone here knows how hard it is. It doesn't matter if he is the richest man in the world or the poorest if he is a pillar of supposed morality or not, it isn't about him, this is your ego that is hurt. I know...my H likes long curly hair (when we met I had this) but with time, travel (not time travel [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com] ) and age I now have straight short hair (you don't want to do a lot of work at 4 am every morning) and she I imagine has long curly hair. I could go on and on...but the bottom line is she is insignificant. It is about our WS and their ability to make it back or not. <BR>It is still early for you. Keep coming here, keep venting here. You are not weak, what you are doing requires incredible strength of character. Let yourself grieve for the death of the relationship you once had or thought you had...and then you can look to the new relationship you and your wife can build, if that is the right thing to do.<BR>Take Care...

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Hi BradtheDad,<P>God, your post brought back so much for me. I've been here for over a year now, but unfortunately I'm usually on the Divorced site now. His choice not mine.<P>One thing I would like to say to you is this.<BR>BAD MOVIE BAD MOVIE BAD MOVIE.<P>Now I'll explain.<P>I also couldn't get the images of my h with her out of my mind. They used to just about kill me. As they are doing to you, and probably have done to all of us here.<P>Then I read something by Anthony Robbins in one of his books. He likens a bad situation, any bad situation, to a bad movie. If we saw a terrible movie, we wouldn't pay more money to go and see it again would we? No, we wouldn't. He says that replaying things in your head that are hurting you is the same as paying money to go see a bad movie time and time again. We just wouldn't do it.<BR>I thought about it, and thought about it, and he's right. But how do I do it. It's so hard, when this is just all-consuming.<BR>But it bacame like a mantra to me. Everytime those thoughts and images came into my mind, I just kept saying Bad movie, bad movie, bad movie over and over again.<BR>It really did help after a while.<BR>It also helped me to sing (in my own head!!) the song from the Sound of Music "My Favourite Things". My children had been watching that movie a lot, and that song sort of stuck with me.<P>Everytime I had bad thoughts, or painful ones, that is what I did. Now, whenever images pop into my head, I can control my thought processes.<P>I have the feeling that this is still too new, raw and painful for you to be able to do this. But, if you start now, I promise you it will help.<P>I also have something else that I would like to say. If your W is sorry about what has happened, and is willing to stay and work on your marriage, please give it a go.<BR>I desparately wanted my marriage, and him, but he chose to walk away. He couldn't deal with what he had done, or didnt want to deal with it. The reason for our divorce is so that I can get on with MY life. His words believe it or not.<P>You sound like you want to work this out. If it's not too soon for you, go to the recovery site. Some of the posts there are so inspirational and will let you see that this mess CAN be sorted out. Lots more heartache, and damn hard work, but it can happen. If you both want it. And from what I read, those marriages are 100x better than they ever were. I'm only sorry my H didn't want it.<P>my thoughts and prayers are with you<P>Jo<P>ps on a lighter note, are you itching like mad now the hair is growing back......<BR>tee hee

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Brad,<P>Oh Boy, does it hurt, My wife and WS had an A with a dysfunctional guy just 400 yards down the road, I drive past his house each day and the whole village knows about the A.<P>Do they judge, sure, but my real friends have accepted my decision to rebuild my marriage, no one ever thought my wife would ever have an A they felt we were the perfect loving couple, but this scum had been chasing her for over 2 years and hit her when she was very down about her job insecurity, her mum being very ill and me taking her for granted as you tend to do after 28 years of being together since school!<P>I will tell you now 6 months down the road, I still get pain, and there are so many triggers around my village where they “did it”. But I will also tell you that I now have a new wife. A very loving, beautiful, wife who realises that she made the biggest mistake in her life – she’s human. We all are.<P>I have forgiven, cannot forget, but the memories do fade and most hurt no longer. Sit down with your wife talk openly and honestly with her, do not punish her, listen and listen hard to what she has to say – two ears one mouth use them in that context. She wants to work on your marriage; she needs your help support and love now more than anytime in your life together, don’t fail her.<P>I think if you open your heart to her you will she a human being who has made a big mistake, realises that and now wants to put it right. Give her that chance.<P>I did, it wasn’t easy, if I had not she would of left with the OM, not what she really wanted but felt that she would have had no choice. I gave her that choice and I will tell you now for my sake I’m so glad I did. <P>We are not out of the woods yet and not a day goes by when one of us doesn’t mention the A but we talk about it honestly and openly, I know I had a big part to play in her decision to have an A, I was taking her for granted and did not make it safe for her to talk to me, but then again I’m also human, I have learnt and grown from this and if you give it a chance you will too and can have a much stronger, loving and more satisfying marriage from it.<P>You are NOT weak, I know that, it takes courage to hold up your hand and say, yeah ok so my wife had an affair, but I’m now going to make sure that we have the best marriage ever. Good luck.<P>PS If she is willing make love as much as possible, that special connection it give really helps the healing process.<BR>

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Brad,(this got long - guess I had a lot to say)<P>One piece of advice I can give you. My H had an affair 5 years ago - started up a romance when he got re-acquainted with an old friend from high school at his reunion. He confessed, we put things back together, I forgave and could not forget.<P>5 years down the road, we are now separated as of August and filed as of November. He's been out on few "just friend" dates.<P>I really believe a huge part of why we are back here again is because once we were back together after his A, it became a topic we didn't talk about. I didn't bring it up because it didn't seem fair to continually bring up a HUGE mistake he'd made that I had forgiven him for, and he didn't bring it up because he was so ashamed. <P>For 4 years, that worked. Then this year, he had to go cross country on a business trip with a woman from his office. A woman he went to high school with. A woman he was old friends with. All those old fears, doubts, paranoia came swimming to the surface. I pretty much stalked the two of them, trying to catch them in the act. Still we didn't talk about IT. I became a control freak, grilling him on his whereabouts, checking his wallet, his briefcase, the Caller ID, email. Fishing for information in every conversation. Living in suspician. I never did find one shred of evidence or even a shred of anything questionable...just left little parts of my dignity and sanity wherever I looked.<P>Needless to say, he began to withdraw from me, was unhappy, but couldn't quite figure out why. He knew something was up, knew I didn't like him going on the trip, but just thought I was jealous that he got to go to Florida for a week. The more controlling of his behavior I became, the more he consciously and unconsciously resisted it by purposely coming home later than he'd say, going other places than where he said he was going, etc. It was a very negative and unhealthy cycle for both of us for months after his trip, culminating with him moving out.<P>I really believe now, that to have truly healed from the A 5 years ago, we needed to be able to talk it to death. Talk about it so much that we desensitized to it. Him desensitizing from his guilt and me from the betrayal. Instead it became a giant elephant in the room that neither of us ever acknowledged was there still.<P>If you get back with your wife, Brad, you need to talk about IT with her - until both of you lose your extreme sensitivity to the issue. And continue to talk about it years later if you need to. Sort of like you talk about other bad times in your lives (I remember when Uncle Bill got the DUI or Aunt Betty had cancer...get the idea?). These were sad/bad times but because they aren't required to be "forgotten" by society's rules, we are able to discuss them until they hold no emotional power over us.<P>I wish I'd learned this a long time ago...I would still have my bestfriend/husband if I had.<P>As for the sex with a WS - we all have been through that too. And the images. I can honestly say, those do go away after awhile. First you'll get a day off, then a week, then a month or more. I'm not sure they ever go away completely - but the few times they jab you can be compensated for with a quick hug/kiss of your newly devoted/faithful spouse.<P>Sex is the natural way H and W's try to connect emotionally. You're drawn to it even though you're hurting because deep down you still care and you want to connect at that level. Though my husband and I are separated, we've slept together a few times too once I was over the initial 6 weeks of rollercoaster love 'em/hate 'em hell. It meets an emotional need for us both and gives us a few moments of just being together without the baggage of our current marriage status. I told him as long as we were still married, I didn't mind trying to reconnect this way. BUT, I also told him if he takes any of his "casual non-exclusive - just-for-some-company-dates" to a sexual level, I couldn't sleep with him any more - I don't want to be put at risk. He said that seemed reasonable and he was in no way ready to be involved with someone else like that. Funny thing is, since we've gotten "together" these few times, he hasn't been on any dates with anyone. Goes out in groups "with the guys" and goes to his house early. Even calls to check in with me and the kids - almost like he's letting me know he's home and not out with anyone else. So don't beat yourself up - you love your wife, why wouldn't you want to connect with her on the most instinctive level posssible?<P>Good Luck and (((((hugs)))))) to you.<P>Lisa<P>------------------<BR>-----Lisa----<BR>To err is human, to forgive divine.


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