How Would You Answer?

red-diary

I was reading a post today on another blog, The Affair Diary, and it was her six month anniversary of devastation.  You can read it here.  In this blog she asked herself some questions about where she is now.  I did not really find her answers too surprising but I wondered how I would answer the same set of questions from my perspective.  So I decided to do just that.

Do you still cry over the infidelity?  No.  But I think this is more to do with my personality.  I still have an overwhelming sense of grief and pain associated with what I did and the effects it had on my wife and family.  I know that by crying and being in that state does not help my wife, so I avoid it.  However, it is not as consuming as it once was.

Do you forgive yourself?  Nope.  I am still really looking for answers from myself to really understand how I changed into that person who did all of this.  It is hard to forgive what you don’t understand.  I also know that I made a choice.  I made a choice to hurt my wife, put her in danger, put my relationship in the trash, and make my kids miss a year with their parents because we were so consumed with this we really could not focus on anything else.  Because this was a choice, it is really hard to say “Oops!  My bad, but its okay because it will be fine in the end.  So all is forgiven.”  Nothing will ever be the same especially the two of us which makes it nearly impossible to forgive myself.

Do you trust your wife/self?  No and no.  Many of you many not understand this but my marriage was in a bad place before this all started and one of the areas that was eroded was the trust I had in my wife with my feelings, wishes, desires, and needs.  I am sure it could not have been much better on her end, but I know I am still closed up.  I am still not capable of opening those things back up right now.  We are working on it in counseling but this has been years in the making so it will be a long process of recovery.  As for myself, that is easy.  If I really cannot understand how I let it get that far, it is hard to trust that I can recognize it and fix it before it gets that bad again and take the easy road out.  However, the lack of trust in myself makes me very perceptive of what her needs are and how I can meet them.  Then I keep the focus on what I am giving her instead of what I am not getting.  I don’t need to trust myself to focus on her.

Does it hurt as bad now as it did then?   Yes and no.  I could answer the same as she did in that the pain is no longer all encompassing but part of me.  I also have taught myself better ways to cope with the pain and keep it from affecting my daily life too much.  The worst the pain gets is when I see it in her.  Seeing her hurting over what I did is the worst thing I go through because I cannot really do anything to “fix” it.  Instead I just have to help her get through that moment and let her know I am there for her.

Is your marriage better now?  Yes and no.   Our marriage is different.  We are very conscious of what the needs of the other person are and how we can meet them.  We still have communication issues.  I think more on my end because I still struggle expressing what I want and thinking that I deserve anything after all of this is difficult.  The reason it is not better is there is no longer the carefree almost stress free points in our marriage.  I also know we used to be the model family/couple compared to most of the people we know and it seemed effortless to do.  Now everything seems stressful and very draining to complete.  And we are far from the model couple anymore.  Some would say more real, but we both miss those stress free days.

Have you changed? Your wife?  Yes.  I am a shell of the person I used to be both in some good and bad ways.  I used to be able to be the life of a party in a good way.  Now I dread even being with people, not that I really enjoyed it before, but at least before I could fake it if I needed to.  Now it doesn’t seem worth the effort.  I also am very conscious of what I am doing for my wife on a daily basis.  Am I saying anything that may make her feel guilty?  Am I making her stress out over things?  Am I helping her so she can be relaxed at home?  All things I constantly think about.  As for my wife, she is really trying to help mend some of the relational issues we had prior to all this, we both are, but I can really see her putting in the effort.  This does make me feel more valued than the last few years in our marriage.

Do you regret your decision to fix your marriage?  Yes and no.  Surprised?  Me too, but probably not the way you think.  I am happy to still be with my wife.  More than I can adequately describe.  But I still wonder if she would be better off without me.  I wonder if she would heal faster, find happiness faster, learn how strong of a person she really is, and show herself that she does not need me.  I want to be here and I want to be with her, but I also want her to be happy and if I cannot provide that and all I am is a constant reminder of the pain that I caused, then I want her to be able to move on and be happy.  Maybe regret is not the right word, as much as questioning whether this was the “right” choice for her.

What is your advice to new members of the “Club”?  For the BS’s – Be open to what it is you need to heal.  Tell your partner, make them understand because we are often so clueless in this area.  our mind reading skill are absolute crap.   Also remember that your healing is done on your terms and on your timeline.  Only you know what you need, what you want, and how long you need those things.  The trick is sharing this with the one person you no longer trust, but that is what it takes to heal.  Also recognize that there were problems with your marriage before the affair.   Get help to find and work on those problems with your partner. Only then can you be able to heal as a couple.

For the AS’s – WTF were you thinking?  At least you need to know that is the thought that is going through your partners head 100’s of times a day.  You need to be able to show that you are truly sorry for your actions and that you are committed to it never happening again.  Be an open book, even though it feels intrusive but it helps build trust, both ways.  Show your are sorry for your actions constantly.  Don’t be a whiny mopey person about it.  It could be as simple as reminding the other person that you are glad they are still with you or it could be the 100th full blown apology.  You just need to recognize what your partner needs and give it to them.  Look for set backs and be patient.  Your partner will be doing well one week and then a wreck the next, all because she saw something that brought everything back to the surface.  Be patient, understanding, and empathetic and know that this is a long process.  You may wish it was over in months but in reality it takes years and years and you will never have what you had again.  But you do have the chance to mold your new relationship with your partner into something you both want.

When you step back and take a larger perspective of everything you should see that the journey the two of you are now on will be nothing like you have ever experienced before, but that does not mean it cannot be something you both will love.  And yes, depending on where your marriage was before, it can bring the two of you closer.  Just don’t expect the person you married to come back because that person is dead and gone, as is your past relationship.  So forge ahead, making the most out of all your experiences with your partner while building a new closer relationship.

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About bac4sccr

I am just a run of the mill, ever day father/husband who is just trying to navigate my way back to where I want to be. Unfortunately there isn't an "Easy" button or a "Reset" button or I would be hitting them repeatedly. This is just my journey from my perspective.
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11 Responses to How Would You Answer?

  1. foreverchanged2014 says:

    Thank you for this. I may have my husband read it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. woundedraven says:

    I never even thought of having my husband answer these questions when I posed them to myself. Brilliant idea! Throughout the past six months I keep wondering…. “how will I feel in a year, in two years and so on?” I think it’s a good idea to check in with yourself at these benchmarks and compare previous assessments. It’s the only tangible barometer to gauge the improvement…… especially on those days when you think you are back to square one. Thank you so much for your insight and honesty from the other side of infidelity.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. ElectricTulip says:

    ‘Many of you may not understand this..’

    I think we do understand this.

    I wouldn’t stay with someone who didn’t realise that it wasn’t the marriage that was the problem.. Your marriage was in a bad place, you didn’t trust your wife because… I’d tell her to run if you don’t pull your head out of this one. Seriously.

    http://www.chumplady.com/2015/11/the-myth-of-the-50-50-marriage/

    Like

    • bac4sccr says:

      Thanks for your comment. I would like to explain just a couple of things so you might understand what I meant by both statements you seem to have an issue with.

      The first where I say many on you may not understand this… As I read blogs from mostly BS (and I have read a lot of them) there are a number of spouses who never thought there marriage was in a bad place. They may have thought it was stagnant or just going through the normal ebbs and flows of a relationship. They really did not think anything was wrong. I do agree that there are a number of others who did know something was wrong and may or may not have been working toward fixing it. In my case my wife thought we were just in the low end of the natural flow of our relationship. She just figured once the kids left then we could go back and focus on us. Our issues were much bigger and still are with the main one not knowing how to really communicate with each other but we are working on it.

      As for the other statement, unless you read all of the rest of my blog to get a background on me then you will not understand what I meant. I probably should have worded it as I did’t fully trust my wife. I still don’t, but I also know that I do not trust anyone completely. She is at the top of the list of people I trust the most, but not fully. My issues with trust and her are not related to me thinking she will be unfaithful. There are a lot of other levels of trust.

      Now the chumplady. I like what she writes. I actually follow her blog. I completely understand what she writes. Maybe have a look at this post I posed a few months back.

      https://affairwithcoffee.wordpress.com/2015/09/16/stop-telling-such-outlandish-tales-stop-turning-minnows-into-whales-stop-letting-my-mind-inside-my-head/

      Liked by 1 person

    • annasnow says:

      I’ve read your entire Blog and I have to agree with Electric. You say quite clearly that the affair was your fault over and over, BUT, there’s always a BUT, your marriage was in a bad place. A marriage being in a bad place is no reason for an affair. It’s a reason for working to make it better or divorce, not taking a knife to your wife’s heart…..Just curious, do you not think it twist that knife that you know the whore has a new tattoo and a new boyfriend….since it means you’re keeping up with her life? It goes without saying that because of your childhood you entered this marriage with not just baggage but steamer trunks, and that’s sad, but you have no clue how damaged a wife is when her husband turns to another woman and you never will and that’s also sad. Best thoughts for your wife during her healing process.

      Like

      • bac4sccr says:

        I don’t think I have tried to say that my marriage was the reason I had an affair. Did my relationship issues contribute to how I felt about myself and my wife? Yes, but I am not dumb enough to say that our problems were the CAUSE, because they were not. I know this because there were other avenues I should have explored instead of the route I went. And I have said this a number of times in my blog, having an affair is a choice and so the affair is 100% my fault. I had to choose to do it.

        I know I have written that a lot in the comments of my blog from people who ask questions similar to yours. My issues in my marriage did contribute to my overall unhappiness (and here is your but) but so did a lot of other things in my life. At the time I know I had major stress issues coming from 3 different direction plus all the minor stresses of daily life. Did I make poor decisions during this time? You bet and they were not just centered around my relationship. I made a few other bad decisions besides the affair but I am choosing to only write about the affair for a number of reasons. None of which I plan on sharing. What I do know is the safety net of my relationship that I could once rely on to get me through the other rough patches in my life was no longer there and that combined with the other stresses contributed to poor decision making, however, it never did CAUSE it.

        As for me keeping up with the OW, all I can say is that I often got the information about what she was doing from my wife as she followed her more closely than I did. She still does. I don’t look her up anymore and I could really careless about what she is doing. I did look her up a few times and I wrote about those and each time I told my wife what was going on. I did not follow her out of the need to be in her life, more I think it was like watching a wreck happening right in front of you. You feel powerless to stop it and want to look away but you cannot. I am not saying I was powerless, but I also did not try and do it with secret thoughts of getting back with her. It never was a thought for me.

        I guess to possibly sum up this book: I know that my marital issues did not CAUSE my affair but to say that the issues in my marriage did not contribute to my poor decision making would not be accurate either. Marriages do not live in a vacuum, however, the affair was a choice. Every affair is and I have never shied away from owning that choice and I will get to regret it for the rest of my life.

        Thanks for your comment and I am glad you read my entire blog as you probably know just how crazy I really am now.

        Liked by 1 person

        • ameliascreams says:

          You had an affair, because you are/were needy & duplicitous. Adults negotiate their needs; Children tantrum, rage, leave, hide, and, well, act like children. I remind myself of these things and more, Years after D Day… the agony of, the specifics OF, I would prefer to have not lived through. There is context for everything… a Backdrop that lends one permission… the marriage no longer serves my needs as “I define them!” …”I work SO Hard”… “You have the children’s ear”… “you were sick, and unavailable”… the list of excuses is endless. I carry shame, that my husband more or less, clenched his invisible pee-pee in public, at Our Children’s Schools, bearing a high pitched whine, that apparently only Homewreckers can hear (and like zombies, they came out of the wood work overnight, once he struck his decision…. The decision to cheat that is). He picked up Herpes from his dental hygienist, and gave it to me. And just as you have done, he has written so eloquently about my pain, and how he would take it in a second. I listen, knowing, that 12 surgeries on his watch, and the well of childlike hurt and neediness he carried into our Marriage, was too much for Him; let alone our handicapped child, and that I was raped. I carry the strength for the two of US, as I always have had to do. I wish I did not know How Weak, my husband was. I wish I could see Him again as My Hero… rather my potential Hero… as in 27 years I WAITED. And 24 year in, with two kids… he pulled the rug out from underneath me, for forever… by disclosing everything. Our Marriage is REAL Now… and the forgiveness will always be ongoing.

          Like

  4. RUCHI says:

    I always come back to this blog when I want some answers and it really helps. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  5. RUCHI says:

    Sorry I meant your blogs as a whole .. not this particular blog

    Liked by 1 person

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