It never ceases to amaze me how much things can change in a blink of an eye. Last week was great. Everything was going well. We were doing well working on us. We were getting praised for being such a model couple of recovery. We were flying high and then I derailed us.
I don’t need to go into it again, but I should have just snuggled her. I cannot believe how hard things have been because of that one decision. She got upset, I was flabbergasted but quickly understood my error but there is no going back in time. Then she left the next morning. Two long days for me, I am sure her as well. She comes home on Sunday. I make sure we get a few moments to connect before we get the kids to bed and get ready for the coming week.
Things were still strained, we were both on edge and we cannot come down. She knows I am not sleeping. I am supposed to take Xanax to sleep but she keeps telling me that she thinks that is why I am having lows. She thinks it happens after each time I take it, unfortunately it also lines up with some event that also sets me falling. She doesn’t want me to take it anymore. So I have given up on sleep. At least for now. And then yesterday happened…
I posted twice, all of which I had already talked to my wife about. As I mentioned she thought it would be helpful that I write the letter. I got a few comments, none of which I minded. I like to see the differing opinions. If everyone felt the exact same way then this would be much easier, but because everyone will look at what I wrote differently based on their own life experiences they will have different feelings about what I wrote. And I think one of my therapists has told me everyone is entitled to their own feelings. So comment away, it doesn’t hurt my feelings, not that I have many left anyways. Instead it gives me perspective, it lets me see other views that she may have that I haven’t considered.
Well after we put the kids to bed I helped my wife with somethings and then we talked for a bit. She was upset and she kept getting angrier and more hurt. She told me how she cannot believe that in one year I have destroyed her whole life. Nothing she believed in she can hold onto anymore. She talked about the kids and some of the choices they are making and how she wished she could have taught them better or held better standards. She was referring to a couple of little things, things that most households do and never think twice about it. Then she absolutely blew up…
I knew it would come sometime. I let her go. I let her vent and yell at me. I let her tell me how I ruined all of their lives. I just sat and listened as she told me that all she ever wanted was these things and now I have taken them away from her. It took us over 20 years to build and I destroyed it in less than a year. She told me she wished she could go home, but she can’t because she can’t even imagine the look on her parents face. She cried and cried. I accepted everything she said regardless of whether I believed in what she said or not. I know this will be the topic of conversation tomorrow at therapy. This has been one of our differences since we had kids.
Almost everything she talked about last night hovered around religion. I don’t remember if I mentioned but we have differing views on it. This is a very touchy subject and one I tread lightly on because I see it as a lose, lose if we were to fight about it. So most of the time I just avoid it all together. As she goes off about it last night I wanted to scream and yell right back. I didn’t, it was her time.
After we got engaged we sat down and talked about religion and how we would raise our kids once we had them. We both grew up in the same religion, my family was very rigid in following, almost to fanatical. I never wanted my kids to have to go through what I went through with it. She also did not have the best experience with the religion. So we both agreed that while we liked the values and morals that the religion taught we did not like the guilt and the pressure the religion used. As well as their view of people not of their faith and a “I am better than you attitude.” We both agreed that we know a lot of people who are good people with good values that are not part of the church. We agreed to not raise our kids in the religion but we would teach them how to be a good person because that is who we are, not because we will burn in hell if we aren’t. I told her that there is no way I can go back there. I cannot do it and it would be a deal breaker for me. She had no problems with this, until we had kids. About the same time her family became much more involved and then the pressure was on even though we lived thousands of miles away.
The short of it is I allowed her to take them, but I was having no part in it. I also was smart enough to support what they did (show up for talks and programs…) and also not talk down about it. I wanted them to make their own decisions about the religion and if they did not want to be a part of it I would not make them go.
So, I mentioned that she said she could not imagine the look on her parents face when she told them. What did I think she was talking about? Her telling her parents about the affair. Nope, that wasn’t it. She was talking about her telling them that her kids don’t want to be part of the religion anymore. I couldn’t say anything. I don’t even know how to go about this. She changed on me on a point that she knew I had extremely strong feelings against. She has made changes and stopped going to church about a month before DDay. She decided she did not want to be part of it anymore. I never said anything to her about it. She said she would let my daughter go if she wanted but she wanted out. My daughter goes every now and again but mainly for social reasons. So now she has taken a complete 180.
I am lost on this one. While it is separate from the affair it is also a big part of it or at least the recovery. We are not using faith based counselors and did not even consider them an option. I really don’t know what to do or even how to proceed. If that is truly what she wants then I will have to let her go. I have tried and tried to be as supportive as I can, but I will not go back to that. I can’t go back to that.
Last night I told her I would leave at any point if she asked me to go. And she was free to leave at any point if that is what she wanted to do. She did not say anything to these statements, which was fine. I do not need the answer right now.
So now I am avoiding going home. I did not sleep at all last night. I stayed up and watched her sleep, once I got her calmed down enough to fall asleep, and read a couple of books. I have my counseling tonight and I really don’t know what is going to happen. Last time I saw him things were shitty. Now I am seeing him again and things are shitty. We ran way over last time and had to stop because I had to work. Today I have cleared my schedule and am hoping for a bloody miracle.
I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living. ― Dr. Seuss
Here’s my two cents: This is just another day in post affair hell. Seriously. These days happen. Your wife is trying to be strong. But she has limits. And she broke. While she is trying to cope with the realization that her husband betrayed her (no easy task), other details and tasks become such a burden. She may shut down in some areas and become hyper vigilant in others. Its a way of trying to feel some control over her life. I also think she may be projecting her emotions about the affair and the shame she’s feeling and making it about religion. Its easier for us to not deal with the pain and tragedy of an affair, so we make the emotions about something else. Its the same as one person blowing up over the dishes not being done or taking the trash out. We aren’t really mad about that stupid shit. Its a bigger underlying issue. I’m not in her head or a therapist. But it seems that there is more than meets the eye here. Definitely a good thing to talk through during therapy.
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I hope so. I can handle the anger if I know where it is coming from but this was from out in left field. I will let her vent and just push through and hopefully we can eventually get to the real issues.
I agree. That first year it was literally a rollercoaster ride from hell. One minute sobbing full of sorrow and 5 minutes later so angry and full of rage. And like you my husband was there with me through it all, completely supportive and understanding that his actions had caused my pain.
You are taking way too much onto your shoulders at one time. I think it’s wonderful that you are remorseful and ashamed that you hurt her but you are going to have to forgive yourself. You can be there for your wife as you are without internalizing so much every time she hurts. She needs to be able to yell, scream, cry, etc to process and heal. But it almost seems like you are shooting yourself again after you have just been shot in the same place, if that makes any sense? It’s increasing your torment, pain, depression, guilt and probably hindering the work you are doing to fix your marriage. Trust your wife to tell you when she’s angry and in pain. Forgive yourself. We cannot change the past only the future. You seem like a good man who truly loves his wife. Hang in there 🙂
Ugh. I wish I had something to give you here, man. I do think you need to talk to your doctor about your meds. Start documenting times/dates you take your meds as well as times/dates of mood swings. It’ll help you identify a pattern if it exists. Sleep problems are often part of the deal when you have depression. But no sleep is only going to exasperate things for both of you.
As for the kids… Ultimately they’re going to make their own choices in regards to religion. Both you and your wife did, after all. I think on some level she knows that? Some people reach out to religion like a lifeline when things go wrong. This may be more about her than about you or the kids.
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Thanks I will start a log and see if it makes sense. As for it being about her, I am sure it is and being left out of her family since they are all deep into it.
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Politics and religion are a tough subject. I really can’t talk for your wife nor do I know your history. But as a woman I sometimes blow up on my husband when I’m mad at him for x or z reason, and I throw out old topics that I used to recent him for. I want to hurt him, or I just want to fight over other stuff aside from the issue at hand. We get emotional and every memory and little detail of hurt comes rushing over us and we just need to hurl it all out.
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As long as I know that is what it is then I can deal with it. This just really surprised me. I understand her being upset and I want her to vent and she can take it out on me. I just hope I don’t get blindsided like that again.
The anger always comes. I have seen the most saintly betrayed women explode. And it is never a one-time-only event. You have altered her forever. You robbed her of her future, the one where you were exclusive lifetime soulmates. One partner only, for life. That was my story. It is gone. And I have grieved HARD for it every day since. This is the reality of life after an affair.
I agree emphatically about getting your meds sorted. I also banned myself from alcohol the first six months. I craved it. I wanted to take the edge off, get shit-faced sometimes, but it is a depressant and not a good tool when dealing with trauma. (Bonus weight loss, lol.) No matter what, your children will be affected by this. Not all bad. But affected nonetheless. I thought I had processed my own parents’ divorce (after a very good marriage) well. But I can see how I was shaped by it. I can see mine are too. Just tweaks here and there. I hate that their good father is forever in some small way, tarnished. But I can only talk with them and he does too. Not a lot. But we are honest and loving when we do talk relationships. But we always were.
Wishing you both strength and tenderness to ride this current wave x
I am good with the anger when I see it coming. I knew she would blow at some point I just expected it to be about me and the affair not an issue we have had our whole marriage. But from some of the other comments it may be an indirect approach to venting her anger without attacking the real subject yet. I will just wait and do what I can for her.
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I think that her real anger isn’t about religion. I know that I often do that too. When I am feeling anger, it comes out in a topic that feels safer than what I am really angry about. For example, when I was feeling frustrated with B, it would come out as me being crabby that I had a bad day at work or a bad day with DD. It was a safer way for me to be angry until I was able to express my true feelings. It’s not necessarily healthy, but I have a really hard time being confrontational. The anger would leak out one way or another.
As far as the sleep thing, you need to get that under control. Not sleeping will not make things better. I take xanax too occasionally. I used to take Ambien, but that made me do crazy things. What works for me now is trazadone and benadryl. Talk with your doctor. You need sleep or things will not improve.
Anger is natural. She needs to be heard. Let her be angry, but don’t avoid her.
I was just cheated on and there’s no one way to get over it. I commend you for owning up to your mistakes and to your wife for being willing to work on the marriage. It’s not an easy thing to get past. Be patient with her.
Du hast hier wirklich einige gute Punkte genannt! Sehr informativ, vielen Dank für diesen Beitrag! 🙂