Second post of the day. I try not to do multiple posts as it can get tiresome to read the same people hundreds of times a day and I don’t want to be that person. But after my day today, I just need to unload.
Today was the first day of the rest of my life. I did not have much to do during the day so I cleaned and moved stuff around. Took my wife the kind of muffin she likes at work. Things were going well, but I guess not really.
I have been saying how well my wife has been taking all of this and she seems to be the strong one in all this. Well, I think that is starting to change. Which means if I cannot pull my shit together quickly I am in for a long hurtful time. She has not been very hard on me and pretty supportive of me trying to get help through therapy, and I her. We have identified issues that we had been having before the affair and are making strides to correct those.
Well, the last two days I could tell she was off a little. I am not sure if she picked up on it but I did but was hoping it was because her time off from surgery came to an end and she had to go back to work today. After work she had her follow-up with her surgeon to make sure everything was going well. I went with her and the appointment went very well. As we were driving home I suggested that we drive thru somewhere and get some lunch. She agreed and we headed to a close restaurant.
As I we were getting close she asked me if I thought the last 5 years of our marriage had been the worst. I said I do think that they were, but why was she asking. She was wondering if maybe that was the same time she started taking her antidepressant regularly. She then asked if the first 5 were the best and again I agreed. Then she said so then you have not been happy for the last 15 years. Ughh.. Not exactly. I said that (and we have had this conversation before but I don’t mind doing it again) about 15 years ago is when things began to go down hill. It was slowly at first but by the last 2 or 3 there were more bad times than good. So I was not unhappy for 15 years but I also was not happy either.
I told her that I thought we both have been struggling to make the other person happy and forgetting about ourselves in the process. We need to concentrate on ourselves so we can be strong enough to make the other person happy.
Then shit got real….
She told me that she does not think that she can ever live up to what I want. She will never be able to give me the highs I experienced with the OW. She told me that she knew that if you never tasted a red popsicle and then one day you did and liked it, it may be all you want after that. And no matter how many green popsicles you eat they will never be as good as the red. She thinks that I may need to leave in order for me to truly be happy. To get what it is that I am searching for. And then she kicked me in the balls. Okay, not really but it felt the same.
I just sat there for a moment and then told her that I was not looking for what I had with the OW. And to be perfectly honest I have had the same highs I had with the OW with her (my wife) since I broke it off with the OW. I said I am not looking for all the sex and things like that, I just want the attention, to feel like someone cares for me and desires me. When my wife gives me this I feel special and that is the high I am looking for. Is there different emotions while having an affair? Yes, because you have the excitement/fear of being caught that heightens everything, but that is not what I want because with it comes the lies, denial, and deceit. I do not want those things again. I want my wife to desire me and show me that she does.
I told her that yes, some of what I want from her is sex, but it is also feeling desired. When she initiates and does little things for me during the day that let me know she is thinking of me then I get those feelings. She told me she wants to do those things and she just waits for me to call or text or come home. This is when I said that is the problem, you are waiting on me and I want you to do it if you want to.
She then told me that she does not know if she can do it. She does not think she can ever let me in again. That she can never be vulnerable and open her heart to me. She had tears streaming down her face, as did I, as we sat in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant. She told me that this whole time it has felt like she is outside her body and that all this is happening to someone else and she is just watching. She is not feeling any of it.
To me this explains why she was able to move past it so quickly, because she is not past it she has blocked it and herself off. I understood. I have been in a place where I have needed to do that, but hearing that I did that too her hurt me so deeply. I was the one responsible for all this destruction and heart ache.
I told her that I did understand and that I thought she had not let it out yet. She has hardly got upset about this and shown little anger so now I know why. I am sure it is coming and I told her it was going to. She should not hold it in, instead she needs to vent it at me. She needs to yell and scream, cry and want to crawl into a ball and let the emotions run free.
She still does not think she can ever be what I want. I told her that I need to show her that she is what I want and as bad as I feel about myself from the years in our marriage, I obviously was not much better. I did not make her feel important, loved, desired, wanted, or needed. If I would have then she may have felt more confident about herself and been more apt to return the feelings to me.
I tried and tried to reassure her that I am going to try to do what I can to restore what I can between us. I know that I have killed who you are and the marriage we had. I destroyed all self-confidence that she may have had and all because I was weak. I had tears steaming down my face because of the hurt I could see in her. The changes that she is required to make because of my actions. I was not sobbing or ever crying so much as just letting them roll down my face as the realization that I may have lost her forever.
So now what? I don’t know. I am sure this will be a topic for both counseling sessions this week. But I am terrified that I am going to lose her. I am even more terrified that I already have lost her.
We were out of time and so we drove home.
I am lost and I can see the dark cloud coming. I need an umbrella to keep it away just long enough for me to help her. If I cannot, then I know what I have to do. I will destroy these feelings. I will bury them so deep that they will never surface again and then hopefully I can help her.
It is probably too late, but I will still try. I am sure I will know in the next few days. But I am dying inside, better yet I am throwing up walls faster than anyone can break them down. I am going to create a fortress around my soul so no one sees who or what I am. Then I do what I do best, I give them what they all are looking for while staying disconnected.
This post is longer than expected and I can only imagine how I am going to sleep tonight. It sucks because I am out of alcohol. I really need a drink and maybe 10. And back I go… into the deep dark Dungeon where I can hide all the I want from all this mess.
Last thing, I am pretty sure my wife in now reading my blog regularly. I told her she could and that still stands between us. So if you are reading honey, welcome aboard. I hope it does not hurt you reading it from this perspectives. It all seems pretty hopless
And this mess is so big and so deep and so tall, we cannot pick it up. there is no way at all! – Dr. Seuss
A recurring theme is that she says she can’t be who you want her to be… but the important question is who does SHE want to be? Because she will never be satisfied she is ‘enough’ for you, if she isn’t loveable to her inner self .
And I bet you would love her the most if she were her true, authentic, ‘knows she is amazing’ self.
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I agree. I told her that she needed to be happy herself, and I myself, before we could be happy together.
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Its true. I hope your counselling sessions are good this week. I remember my husband thought I didn’t care about his affair(s) because I didn’t rage. It wasn’t my style. I internalised it and worked it through myself. Not necessarily healthy, but we all handle it differently. Rage isn’t a prerequisite for everyone…. she may let the tears fall away from you too. It may get ugly before it gets better, but you can both do this and come out the other side healed and whole.
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Man, I so get this. Just try hard to be there for each other, she might well crash and burn now, but that doesn’t mean you have to hold her up all alone. You can support each other. My ex is a bit like you, he is absolutely gutted at what he did, and I tried so damn hard to be okay, to heal. For both of us, to not lose the fabulous twenty-seven years we had together because he had a slow-burning brain explosion and fucked my “friend” right under my nose for fifteen months. But I couldn’t get there, I couldn’t let the walls down and be vulnerable like I had been before. I don’t recall seeing him weep. I know he is truly devastated and hurt, and there were some quiet sobs as we held each other from time to time, but the only time he let the full force out was alone, when I kicked him out. I SOOO want you guys to make it. But if you can’t, I hope you can heal individually. It is the worst journey imaginable. I STILL don’t understand – despite degrees of understanding of how messed up you have to be to do this if you are one of the “good guys” like you and he really are – how fucked up you have to be to not be able to predict the utter devastation after an affair, to ever enter into one. I’m so sorry.
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I am really just so lost at this moment. I want to help, but I know she won’t accept it and I don’t know if she even knows what she needs. And now all the progress I thought we made feels like dust in the wind. It was there until it wasn’t. And now what…
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Maybe she just it’s ready. Sounds as if she’s not ready to give you what you want.
No words, just xoxo…
My heart hurts for your wife. It is such a long road for a betrayed to go through the stages of grief. Truthfully she is probably quietly having a nervous breakdown. She really needs you to be patient and let her take each stage at the pace that works for her. However, you throwing up walls will not help. She needs you to stay emotionally connected. If you don’t then it will be one more thing you were willing to give the OW that you aren’t willing to give her. She is worth the risk. Hang in there, both of you.
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There’s something I’ve been noticing in your writing for a while now, and that is the desire for attention and wanting to feel special around your wife. I truly do get that. I think when marriages run into trouble, people often talk about feeling like nothing more than roommates. It’s that something special that makes a couple “a couple” that often goes missing. I think most couples would be well served to take additional time with their partner and just be present with each other.
But depending on what you are looking for, I can also appreciate where your wife appears to be coming from.
Some people need attention, and need “the highs” of a relationship. And in long term relationships (especially ones with kids), that’s just not sustainable. Even with your relationship with the OW, you saw that you were already starting to come down from those highs. I can’t recall your timelines, but the highs in a relationship never last more than 6 months – 2 years. That’s biology, and has little to do with the people involved.
Those highs are exciting, and are part of the reason some people have affairs, while others never really commit and instead jump from relationship to relationship. And although sex usually comes with that excitement and attention, it’s really the attention people are looking for. But it’s not sustainable.
All couples need to do a better job of adding some passion to their lives, and we will probably always with there was more. But it’s also important to be able to appreciate the little moments, and take enjoyment in the small things you are able to do together.
Highs are unsustainable, and people who are looking for them and needing them are often never happy.
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Hard to know how your situation will end up, but I can say DO NOT retreat into yourself and deny your feelings, emotions, wants, and needs. You are of no help to your wife if you do that. All it does is create a façade or a mirage with nothing true or authentic about it. You need to love and accept each other’s genuine self if your marriage is going to survive, and be better and stronger than ever.
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This is the next step her being strong forever was never real. Maybe now she feels strong enough to be sad. Its a process. Back and forth
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So was anything before this real?
First to Mrs. Bac, hi and welcome. If you are like my husband, you find this whole blogging thing a little strange and uncomfortable lol. But he loves me and sees that it has helped, so he’s okay but doesn’t want to read it. Now if that was me, I wouldn’t be able to NOT read it lol. As someone who has been both a betrayed spouse and had an affair, please know that the affair highs are great but nowhere near as great as the highs he has had and hopes to have again WITH YOU. You are the red and green pops all on your own. I know this might seem strange but his affair was not really about you, it was about him. She is not prettier than you, sexier than you, in any way more than you. She was a devastating mistake. With my husband’s affair, he and I both realized he needs and craves my love and attention. And like in a mirage, in the absence of water, he drank the sand. My meds for depression have given me my life back, and I don’t think they have any bearing on his happiness. You and your children are without a doubt the most important things in his life and you bring him the MOST JOY AND HAPPINESS. But you need to be happy too.
It’s insane, you BOTH think you are not what the other wants or needs, yet it seems clear to a complete stranger you are. You are both so hurt and scared of being hurt that you aren’t opening your heart. Healing takes time and there are ups and downs.. If you can get through this TOGETHER, you have a chance to be happier than you have been in years. But Bac you have to come clean with EVERYTHING in your past to your therapist and then your wife. It’s time and it is necessary. And don’t let family, friends or church say anything negative about the other. It is destructive and extremely detrimental, no matter how well meaning.
Just don’t make any rash decisions until you talk to your therapist and one another. Maybe you can take a few days away together in the next few weeks. I know it’s not convenient with jobs and kids but it’s important. Think about it.
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Grief takes its own time. Since the holidays stink why not get the kids involved in saving so that next year instead of the hoopla of T’giving and Christmas you are on a cruise, or at Disney World, or hiking. You both need to take control instead of waiting for “something”.
There were two very sad statements in you blog. The first is that your poor wife asked if your lover was going with you and the second is when you said the OW could visit. That broke my heart for your wife. I cannot imagine sitting at home wondering whether my husband preferred another woman to take a trip with. Just so very sad.
Its all real & hard right now…. I was thinking tonite how much I would love a mini trip with my boyfriend right now just us.. Enjoying each other. Maybe you should both get away… Forgot for a day or two ???? Eye in the storm
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Go immediately to Atlantic Monthly and find THE REAL ROOT OF MIDLIFE CRISIS. it describes you
Hi again reading this post I think your wife might have been thinking about when you went away and for work. She asked you if you were going to meet her. I know you didn’t plan to but you ended up spending the time with her. And I am sure maybe she was thinking that. Also because you meet her that you will always go back to her at any given opportunity. Hope I made sense.
It does a little. There was no trust between us so it would not matter what I said because I had shattered all hope at that point.
We were just lucky to have a good therapist.