Oh, the difference a day can make.
Happiness used to live here. It was the first blog I ever read on here. I don’t know that I ever read any blog before that time, but I read it. I read one post and then went all the way back to the beginning. I needed to find out what I was in for with what I have done. I read about how much she hated her husband some days but loved him all the same. How hurt she was and how hard it was to get out of bed. It read it all and it tore me apart.
Why do I bring this up? Well, all of this is from her perspective and also her thoughts and feelings. We all have been there where we have had someone do something stupid or that made you somewhat angry but you work through it without unloading on the person because you have to. It might be a boss or coworker or yes even a spouse.
I took all this anger that she was dealing with, all this hurt and I decided I did not want that for my wife. I wanted her to know how much I knew I screwed up. I wanted her to see how much it hurt me to see her in pain over this. I wanted to be there every time she cried, every time she felt down and I would do what ever I could to lift her up. All of this required me to put her first every time. Did I? I hope so. If she was having a bad day, I wouldn’t. I couldn’t, because she came first. This blog helped me understand what she might be going through and to know that I could very easily be the instrument to speed up her healing or the tool that can destroy her. Here is what I got out of it. Put her first because even if she seems okay she may not be. She may just be putting on a brave face. I also knew not to hide anything. If she wanted to know it I will tell her, but always with the reminder she can never un-know something. I also knew she may never want me again. I have changed her into a different person and she will never be the person she used to be. I have to live with my choices and they will always follow me around. So I will also never be the same. Knowing that means knowing there is a possibility that we may not be right for each other. We may have changed to much.
My wife is doing well, much better than I am. We talk in counseling and she is happy with how we are progressing and how she feels about us. At least I thought so. I guess I still think so to some degree.
Now my last post mentioned how well things have been going and they have on a lot of fronts. Yesterday and today I had counseling. Yesterday’s was with my personal counselor and we talked about how well I am doing and how we really haven’t had much to talk about these last couple of weeks. So we decided that we will not meet for another 3 weeks. As I sat there on the couch and we were talking I could literally feel myself falling. I could feel the darkness inside of me beginning to swallow me. I agreed to the 3 weeks. Why not? Why pay for something I am not getting anything out of?
As I drove home I called my wife so we could talk. She is always worried about me when I come home from counseling because she knows how hard it can be. We talked for a few minutes and then I met her at home. We talked about the session but I continued to feel the darkness getting bigger and bigger. So I laid down and my wife came in and talked. I told her how my counselor asked me where I was at in my marriage. When I asked what he meant, he said that when I came into to see him for the first time I told him that I was 95% sure I was done with my marriage. I only gave myself a 5% chance that I would stay. I could not see the point in staying with someone who was no longer in love with me and did not desire me. He then asked me what I thought today. I told him right now, today I am 100% committed to staying. We talked about what a swing it was and how much of an improvement that was for our relationship. I told her all about this. I asked her what she thought. Where would she put us in being able to make it. What percentage did she give us in succeeding. She told me that she would put it at 98%. 98%. 98%. 90 F***en 8. I still hear it echo in my head. That means 2% of her believes we will fail or that she does not want me. 2%. I did not react to the number, but I think I found the source of my darkness. I think deep down she may still not want this or me. She may have begun to recognize that I cannot be the person who makes her happy. I told her none of this. How could I? She was good with her number. It is a hell of a lot better than my starting number, but I cannot believe how hard that was to hear. She laid with me until I fell asleep. I should have known sleeping during the day was not good because sleep never seems to be my friend. When I woke I felt not better, but worse. I went off to a meeting and after my 5 hour meeting ended I started the 30 min drive home.
As I drove I could feel myself literally losing hope. I called my wife and talked to her for a few minutes. She had someone over and really couldn’t talk, plus how do I talk to her about herself? I quickly ran through my head who else I could talk to. Who is on my list that I can call and talk to that would understand and talk me off the ledge? I only had one number and it was one I can never call again, the OW. I really had the nearly irresistible urge to call her and just talk. I needed to talk to someone. But I didn’t. I couldn’t. So I just drove. I began to feel it coming. I started to panic. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t stop shaking. I pulled over just to breathe and calm down. But I could hardly do it, so I just went home.
I took the long way home, not wanting to go home and face it all. After I got home I made some food and then went to bed. I actually turned in before my normal 3:00 am slot. I also drugged up so I knew I would sleep.
Today’s session was our couples session and it wasn’t too bad. In fact I am trying to remember any of it and I cannot. I don’t even remember what we talked about. All I could think about was how alone I was sitting there in that room. After our session and we both got back from doing a couple of things we went up and talked. I told her how I was panicking but how I am trying to stay positive. I really am. She apologized for not talking to me when I called the day before and I told her it was not necessary. I understand that she had a friend over and she would not want to talk if front of her. I had a ton of work so I lost myself in it.
So now I am trying to figure out what to do next. I cannot go to therapy forever and just because I cannot talk to him it should not invoke this level of panic. I think the real issue is the fact that I am so alone. I work a lot and almost every free minute is spent with my family. This leaves me without anytime to “make” friends, which I am not good at anyways. What do I do when I need to talk to someone, I cannot call the OW (that’s a given) and I cannot always talk to my wife so what then do I do? All the while I am thinking 98%.
I don’t know what I expected. 100%? How could she give me that number when I cheated on her? But it does add to that level of uncertainty that builds up the pressure inside of me. It makes me want to hide. I know inside I already am beginning to hide. The darkness has settled back in and it was only 24 hours since I was doing so good. Ride that wave of positivity, right? I think a shark just came and too a big bite out of my butt as I rode the wave. I am still trying to stay positive, but it is so hard sometimes.
I cannot begin to want to understand what is driving the 2%. There is the bad news that I got yesterday that I still have not figured out how to handle and then there was the email from my parents that added to it today. They are in town for the next 3 days and would really like to meet up with us. 98%, bad news, and my parents, the day just gets better and better.
So what now? I just need to try and find the happiness that used to live here. Hell, it was here two days ago. It could not have gone far. But all I know is that it was far enough.
Say! In the dark? Here in the dark! Would you, could you, in the dark? – Dr. Seuss
The next question you ask is where she was at when she first learned of the affair. 98% may be a vast improvement to what she originally felt. 98% is a great percentage to have for hope, and just remember you were originally just 5% in. Best of luck, and keep working.
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At one point you gave your marriage a 5% chance of survival and turned it around. Think of the positives, 98% is huge! She probably still has a slight trust issue. Time will change that. Focus on positives if you can.
Hang in there and don’t let 2% pull u down. Stop over analyzing and take that 98 by the horns And drive it. Tame it. Work with it. Be glad you have your wife there loving u and still committed to the marriage .
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I think that you should pause and think about all the work your wife did with you to get you from 95-100% and you are the one who had the affair. I hope that you know I don’t mean that to sound harsh. But she stayed and worked and worked and she stayed when there was a 95% chance you would leave and you had cheated. Now all you have to do is get her from 98-100% and you don’t have to get through those 2% knowing that she had an affair. I think you should take a minute and celebrate how far you have come. I also think that if I she is anything like me, until she got you to 100%, what was the point of even considering her relative percentage because she probably thought you were both all in before and an affair came along and wiped you both back to 0% out of nowhere. It takes trust to be at 100%. I know that it will take me a minute to get all the way there and I’m certainly going to want my husband all in for quite some time before I trust enough to join him at 100% again, because it’s not a sure bet. Women are also really very smart. We know you need to have a goal, a challenge, an achievement, so she may be giving you those 2 percentage points to keep working for. She isn’t ready for you to get complacent and that 2% might just keep you appreciating her and on the track – it’s just enough to not take her for granted ever again.
Take the 2% and tell her how grateful you are. Tell her you love her and you will give her 100% and she can hold onto her 2% doubt until she is ready to give it up. That may be never, and that might be the cost of an affair. But she will still be your wife and still love you and you can be lucky enough to spend every single day making it up to her and being the man you really are – the man she deserves.
98% is reason to celebrate.
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I agree! you and she are doing the painfully hard work!
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I think when a woman is broken by betrayal of her spouse, yet chooses to stay, it’s very possible she’ll never say 100% again. Honestly, how can you ever feel 100% secure again? The 2% is most likely the thought “if he does it again”. Take the 98% as it is and don’t over analyze the 2%. I’m really sorry you’re hurting so badly and feel so alone. I don’t believe anybody deserves to live feeling not good enough for their spouse (i frel that way all the time, btw, because of how he treats me, especially after his affair). It sounds like you’ve done all the right things and you’re trying hard. Keep trying and keeping seeking your happiness. Make time for you.
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Hey, 98% is really good! You know she is no longer the same person and that missing 2% possibly represents that… but that’s not a bad thing, trust me. It may be her way of telling you she’s as sure about your future as she can be.
When I found out about my husband’s infidelity, I felt that everything we had was broken forever and at that time I would have given us a 50% chance of actually making it, despite deciding to stay and work things through. I will never feel the same way I used to about AP – for one, I don’t know recognise the man who had the affair – but that’s ok, because I had to re-examine myself at the same time and make some changes… this new me is so much better than the old me – and it’s this new me that is moving forward with him. As part of that, I have also learned not to take anything for granted and that we cannot make promises we do not know we will be able to keep; the best we can do is state our intentions. I have every intention of making my marriage work BUT I will never promise 100%. So I think I would still give us a ‘measly’ 50% chance to be honest but that’s more about factoring in uncertainty about the future (I could die tomorrow!) and certainly doesn’t change my intention. So stop focusing on percentages – people are complex in their reasoning and you can’t predict what will happen from a number 🙂
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I don’t understand this…
These percentages are apples and oranges, really. You went from being 95% AGAINST remaining in the marriage to 0% against it. Your wife wasn’t against it in the first place, before she found out… and after all the betrayal she’s felt, her optimism about the marriage lasting only dropped 2% and that’s “only” because you gored out her heart and shattered her ability to trust anyone ever again??
Dude- you are one.lucky.guy. That’s a COMPLIMENT.
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It’s s journey man, not a sprint but a marathon. These swings in mood and the confusion will take time to sort out. It’ll all work out, one way or another, in time. Just keep talking to her, be honest, ask her to be honest with you. Stay on the clock. Whatever happens, you’ll know you did your part. Sending karma your way. Hang in there!
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I’m a member of the 2% club, too. It’s an insurance policy for my heart. I agree with all these ladies. You need to become the glass is half full thinker.
As Cher said in Moonstruck, “Snap out of it!”
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I don’t even feel at 98% most days lately! U have to realize that it’s 2 friggin %! Please stop blowing this out of proportion. But yes u do need to cultivate some guy friendships. It will help.
2% is nothing….I would bet if you took a poll of married people the odds would be way worse in more than half…..that’s a great number….trust is one of those things that takes time to restore, your doing great…she is still there,, she obviously loves you, and take a deep breath, your on the right track….that is for sure…and I agree you can’t go to therapy forever, well you could, but why would you want to….your still experiencing the trauma from almost loosing her, your not loosing her anymore…I agree…snap out of it, put a smile on your face and give in to the notion its all gonna be okay….stop thinking gloom and doom thoughts….banish them whenever they creep in…have you ever thought renewing your wedding vows, just a thought, sometimes it adds strength to the a couple and there marriage…just a thought…
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You need to understand that in marriage women have relatives and friends to unload on. Men only have their wives. Studies have shown this. You are lucky that you have a therapist. Most men do not. The reason she is at 98% is that the person she trusted lied to her. In almost all the posts that I read the lies and deceit are what put bs in the pits. If she has seen text or emails where you professed love for the other woman, or you admitted to that, then how can you expect 100%? It is not reality. Still, she is willing to talk to you and to be open with you. I give her a great deal of credit for that. I still think a complete physical for both of you should take place ASAP. Why is she not interested in sex with you? If she was and is not now then what is the cause? It truly might be physical but it could be emotional. Panic attacks are usually because we feel so out of control. Here’s the thing, you cannot control everything. You can control your behavior. You can control, and did control, not calling the other woman. What an insult to your wife that that is who you want to talk to. Talk to your wife. Keep talking to her. Most women I know yearn for theie husbands to be more open. All relationships take work. All relationships are conditional. Your wife’s conditions are that you’re not cheat again. Your conditions are that she find you more attractive and show it. Keep talking, keep talking, keep talking.
Hey Bac – let me get this straight: the darkness started when you and your therapist agreed not to see each other 3 weeks because things were getting better? But overall, your marriage, and yourself has been improving, and you’re in a much better place today than before. Dude… no offence, but I think you’re blowing things out of proportion and your mind is just pulling at things to feed the negativity once you’re in the downward spiral. I think this is pattern of yours, once triggered, you just keep going down. But looking at things in perspective… things are getting better! So pull it together man! I understand the anxiety and feeling alone…. and maybe the therapist is more helpful in your journey than you thought… but the training wheels gotta come off sometime and maybe since things are going well, now is the time to do it!
Depression is a lonely place to be. It helps to have support to listen and help you through your thoughts, but in the end, it’s lonely because only you truly understand whats going on, and only you can pull yourself out of it. On the positive side – you have so many bloggers here that “listen” and give advice. Bac, you can do this. Stay strong.
As for the 100% and 98% … it must hurt to hear that. But honestly, these scales are so arbitrary… what is it based on?! Lets look at your question again: chances of succeeding – not percentage of giving up/walking away. 98% of success to me is a very realistic answer, especially you and her have experienced the devastation of depression and infidelity. What if she goes into a deep depression again, against her choice… would you be strong enough to stay and look after her again? Look at her actions, and her choices – she believes in you and this marriage – she has made the choice to stay and weather this storm. More than that, she is treating you with kindness – she WANTS to make it through with you. Whether you both make it or not depends not only on her, but also on you. Perhaps she is just recognizing there are things in life beyond her own control, and she is acknowledging that. But as for commitment – Bac, your wife is committed and commitment is something where its either 0% or 100%. I think most importantly is that you don’t assume what that 2% means and blowing things out of proportion in your mind – but to ask her and talk it out. You may find her answer much more assuring that you think. In the end, you were 95% ready to walk and she stuck it out with you. Stay hopeful Bac, and don’t let this drag you down. 98% is a great place to be right now…. the last 2% is always hardest.
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Wow bad timing on the folks showing up. At least it’s only for the weekend.
The fact that you are 100% committed is all that matters, your therapy is all about you. Stick with it, if you are sincere, she’ll come around.
I also feel like I don’t have anyone to talk to but I am glad that I can come here and share our stories and our troubles. There aren’t a lot of us men out here like us who are aware of our short comings and make an effort to deal with them and make things right again. It takes a lot of courage to confront that darkness. A lot of marriages end because people would rather run away from their problems. So I want to thank you, for being here and representing the good guys, who make mistakes.
That said I am glad that we have a community like this that we can use as a sounding board, but it’s hard to replace a good fire side chat with a couple of beers. I’m actually planning a vacation to go and see one of my old high school buddies.
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Just sending love, happiness and my best wishes on your continuing journey. 🙂
Hi, could you post about your sex life before the affair? Was your wife slim and sweet? Was she eager to have sex with you? Was she keeping her vow “to have and to hold”?
I agree that the 2% is an insurance policy for the heart. Before my husband’s betrayal, I would have bet my life on 100% fidelity and commitment from both of us. Since the betrayal, I’ve come to look at our marriage from a more realistic perspective. Stuff happens; as humans we are prone to succumb to weakness and we do make some very damaging choices and mistakes. That 2% is a way to account for the unknown of the future. In my mind, it in no way diminishes the 98% positive, hopeful outlook
Background: I’ve been married over 30 years. My wife sometimes has insecurity/panic attacks because I go out dancing solo on the weekends. (She chooses to stay home.) I’m working on a book about social dancing and relationships, so going out dancing is part of my work.
Anyway, my wife often has an attack after I get home. Sometimes she has an attack when we get back from dancing. The key is to understand how to deal with it. Usually a woman needs comfort, but this must be done carefully, like it is when first getting to know a woman. The kinaesthetic touch must be gradually increased as chatting goes on until eventuallty she is comfortable being held. Most of the chatting may be just letting her cry and saying “There, there. Go ahead and cry–it’s good for you.” Once she has enough comfort you need to start flirting with her so that she is reassured that you find her attractive. Then she will need sex as validation for the health of the relationship.
Don’t assume that you are most of the problem. Emotionally, women often behave like children and must be managed as if they were children.
Glad I could give you some insight into your wife, and thank you for giving me some insight into my husbands mind/heart. I have always said I would never ever trade with him. I would rather be the cheated on than the cheater because at least I don’t have to deal with the guilt. I don’t have to watch someone I love go through the pain of knowing they had their lives torn apart by the one person who swore to protect them. I have found forgiveness for my husband, and empathy for his situation…yet? I guess if asked 98% would be a fair answer at almost 3 years later, he might not ever get that 2% of me again. He is on his second chance, his last chance, his only chance in our marriage, and how sad and scary that must be every single day 😦 I wish I could change it for him, but I can’t. He chose this path in our marriage and all either of us can do is walk down it, luckily for him I am walking with him. She is walking with you too, which shows her commitment, and love for you.
Just do me and all betrayed spouses out there a favor? If you ever do make that call to the OW? Leave your wife first, she deserves to be left alone if you make that choice, so she can move on.
I give you props for trying, and realizing what you did, and almost lost. I also give you prayers for your future happiness, don’t we all wish we could have back the happiness that used to live here.
Thank you and I do want you to know that even though I briefly thought about calling her it was never really an option. It was just the thought that flew into my head because I felt like I had no one to talk to. I still don’t to some extent, however, she is not who I thought she was nor would I ever want to go that route again. While leaving my marriage would be hard, be assured that I know it could only pale to compare to the hurt I am feeling and have caused through the path I chose. So if I need to find someone else it will be through a more appropriate path.
I honestly hope it does not go that way. As I have wrote, I have always loved my wife and just hope I can live up to what she deserves so we can be together until the end of our time.
Thanks again for commenting. Your blog was unbelievably helpful and hurtful at the same time. As it should be for someone in my situation. I hope thing continue to work out for you.
The 98 would hurt me because I’d have never stopped punishing myself for making the mistake. That coupled with the immense effort I was putting in to fix it would leave me drained and unable to appreciate that she couldn’t see how much of myself I’d already given up. I would only hear, she needs more.
She may honestly need more, but what price do you pay to try and provide it?