Emotions

One of the most difficult things I’m learning about recovering from my husband’s affair and dealing with his addiction is how necessary it is to separate my emotions from it. Emotions are not fact and if I don’t get a handle on them quickly they will spin me in a million, painful directions. There is still so much hurt and anger bubbling inside of me from the affair, that when my husband does anything at all that brings it to mind, I loose it. I convince myself that my pain is meaningless to him.  I convince myself that he doesn’t care about our family. I convince myself that he enjoyed the affair and misses it. None of those things are good and I will lash out at my husband from a place of deep pain when I feel those things. When that happens, both of us feel like it’s Dday all over again. The hurt and pain are unbearable for me and the guilt and shame unbearable for him.

This is how I found myself feeling this past Sunday. Tears were constantly falling, or my eyes were hurting as I tried hard not to let them fall because I was with my children. When I talked to my husband it soon became screaming and cursing and barely contained rage. It’s like my own mind had   turned on me, and was now dredging up every possible painful memory from the affair. The very sight of my husband would sicken me and I found  myself thinking all sorts of awful things about him. The word hate would spin through my mind over and over again.

Today, thankfully, my mind remembered that it’s actually sane and got off the insanity lane that it had been speeding down uncontrollably on. My mind slowed down and took some deep breaths and pushed away the feelings with facts. The fact is that my husband did an awful, heartbreaking thing when he chose to start an affair but he regrets it deeply and has worked hard to undo it. The fact is that he has ingrained awful coping habits of pornography and masturbation to deal with a host of uncomfortable feelings, and  it will take time and so much hard work to learn to undo those habits- but he is working hard to that. He is working hard to be honest and transparent, when lying was so easy before. He regrets the affair. He hates the devastation he has caused.  He isn’t proud of it and derives no joy from it. He works hard to make me feel safe to show my kids and I that he loves us and to show my parents and siblings and their families as well because he knows that is important to me. What he wants more than anything is to feel accepted, loved and known- and he’s still very scared that he wont be, but he’s hoping to get there.  Those are the facts and the emotions that come with the facts are good, honest, and true.

So today I’m working hard to live here and to be anchored in the truth instead of getting swept up by the false feelings. Those feelings were nessecary  and justified on Dday and for a long time after, but they don’t belong here now. This is a difficult journey -but him and I are going to walk throug this together in faith and love and truth.

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todays day of post affair heartbreak brought to you by Instagram!

Good old social media- I can count on it to upset my day.

It’s already been a hard day for me.  I had a huge trigger from the affair this morning and I’m so angry and hurt by all this pain that I don’t even want to talk to my husband today!   So this day really already sucked!

Months earlier, I had gotten rid of the Instagram app on my phone and had deactivated my fb page.  I found that I was constantly on n.e.’s profile on both sites, and it wasn’t healthy! Recently though, I figured enough time had passed and perhaps I could at least go back to using Instagram. I downloaded the app once again onto my phone. I wasn’t concerned at all  about it upsetting me, because I had no intention of looking up n.e’s profile.  Instagram, though, had other ideas it seems! I was using the search tab on the ig app this evening, and maybe it ‘s because I had searched n.e.’s page so often after Dday, but no sooner had I typed in the letter N to search someone else,  than  boom – n.e’s profile pops up.

And what do I get to see, but a picture of her standing beside her husband and children, and she’s pregnant!!! Her recent ig pictures show her having a beautiful baby shower. She looks happy, and as much as I hate typing it, she also looks very pretty with that pregnancy glow and shockingly she’s dressed  nice and not at all like her usual skank self!

So 18 months later I’m standing in my bathroom with tears falling from my eyes, trying to compose myself before my children see me, all because of her and my husband’s selfishness and slutiness. Meanwhile, shes being celebrated and fussed over at her shower by her husband  who she cheated on!!! I know it’s only because he’s doesn’t know about the affair, but I hate that her life seems to be thriving while mine has been devastated so much by her!

so I went from feeling shitty to even shittier today! Thanks Instagram!

 

Choosing

Last night, right before I went to sleep, I read about the terror attack in France. At that time there were 80 confirmed dead. The article stated that children were among the dead and that many were injured. Today that number continued to climb. As I read the eyewitness accounts, I could feel the terror these people experienced as they ran, tried to find safety, and saw bodies laying around them. The panic, dread, and heartache was tangible as they described what happened.

I went to sleep heartbroken and crying. My husband asked me what was wrong and I told him that I was thinking of all these people. They had gathered to celebrate, I could imagine them taking in the fireworks and the next moment their lives are destroyed by evil, violence and hatred! Here I was in bed with my family safe, meanwhile there were so many lives lost, injured, and so many family and friends left reeling from the loss!

As I was laying in bed, I was thinking about how quickly life could change. I don’t know what I would do if the anyone that I loved was killed. I hate even thinking about it but I do know that I don’t want to spend the days I do have with the ones I love wasting it by being anything less than my best- life is too short and unpredictable for that.

My life and marriage obviously didn’t go as I hoped but something my brother would tell me repeatedly when I was in the early days of trying to heal from all this brokenness, was that I had a life- even if it wasn’t the life I had intended for myself. I believe he was quoting from the Serial podcast. Today those words and the truth behind it are really hitting me. I want to choose grace, love, and forgiveness and do that every day.

I want to live this life well and love my family, friends, and all people well. I don’t want any regrets- I especially don’t want to regret how I chose to live out my life. Because we do get to choose- we have no control of the circumstances but always, always we have the choice of how we respond to them. My heart is heavy today but it’s also reminded of what really matters. For me love matters and that’s what I’m choosing.

Option B

I read this today and really appreciated what Sheryl Sandberg had to share. Considering that it was a commencement address, it is a bit lengthy but what she has shared is worth reading, pondering and applying- especially for all of us, who are undoubtedly living out option B

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook chief, speaks from the heart at Commencement 2016

stuck

One of the hardest parts about catching my husband looking at porn last week and listening to him lie about it initially is that it pushes us so far back in our recovery.  I still struggle with triggers and have to execute all sorts of mental gymnastics not to get hung up on all the despicable, selfish things he has done. The night I caught him,  I was screaming at him and telling him how hard I fight for him. I went through the week and day by day I went over all the triggers I experienced and fight through for him and our family!

I told him how I pushed past the hurt at my son’s picnic, trying not to think about how two years earlier, when my daughter had the same teacher and we were at the same picnic, that he had been having an affair! How I could still picture us- all four sitting together, eating the lunch I had packed,  laughing and having fun, and the whole time he had been cheating on us. I told him how hard it was, when we broke into little groups to do activities, to realize that we were in the same group as one of my son’s classmates, who has the same first name as the other woman.  Ughhhh!!!

when we went to the state  park , I  told him how my stomach hurt when I looked up just as we were passing one of the other locations, for a restaurant he took her out to. Seeing the name of that restaurant made me feel so sick- but I pushed it aside for us to move forward.

Even the store where we brought our daughter her Kindle that evening had been difficult, because my husband had brought the ow something from there. I had not been inside that store for over a year but my husband said my daughter had wanted me there too when she got her Kindle.  He talked about creating new memories, so I took a deep breath and  went inside and worked hard to stay focused on my beautiful little girl and not what a sleeze bag my husband had been!

i went over a few more things that night trying desperately to make him get how hard this journey is. How riddled  it is with landmines that he had put down!  And now he has added more hurt, betrayal and lies. I find myself now not being able to to get unstuck from thoughts and being overwhelmed by them instead. I find myself thinking- what’s the point, really what’s the fucking point?

I know what the point- it’s three humans that I love desperately! More than anything else in this world, I love them. Im just so tired though. I’m so drained by my thoughts and fears. I want to move on but i feel shackled down. I have told my husband  over and over again through this process how much I just want to feel safe again.  And when I’m like this- it’s so easy to believe that the only way to be safe is to be detached from him.

i see him trying to pick himself up though. I see him trying to be there  even more for the kids because I’m not really there. Im fine when he’s not around but when he is- I check out. I don’t want to be around him. He keeps trying though. He keep trying and I keep seeing it. I will try again too. I just need to get these shackles loose.

focus

Last Wednesday, did not turn out to be another great day as I had anticipated. I published my last post. I met my husband and children. We continued celebrating the last week of school. We ran some errands, including purchasing our daughter a kindle- We had promised to get her one when the school year was done. Then we came home, and shortly after that things began falling apart.

Prior to that, two things stand out in my mind. The first – is my son sitting with me on the couch. We were saying how much we enjoyed the movie, and I made a comment that we were going have a great summer together. My son then made a remark that I couldn’t yell anymore. I first took it, as him referring to me yelling at him and his sister when they misbehaved, but he clarified and said no. He said “remember when you used to cry a lot and yell at Daddy, you can’t do that anymore.” And silly me, still basking in the joy of the great week we were having and how hard my husband was working, told my son I would not be yelling at his dad.

The second thing that sticks out- is my husband telling our daughter, that while we knew she wanted the Kindle to download books, that because it could also access the internet, him and I would be placing parental controls on it before handing it over to her. So as soon as we got home that’s what we did.

Then, with my daughter sitting beside me looking at books she wanted to purchase, I started to fold laundry and turned on the tv. I saw that my husband had been watching a show while he was home, and that it was still in progress. Thinking that it was an episode of Law and Order, I was about to change the channel when I noticed the images playing on the small box on the righthand corner. I then read the synopsis of the show he had been watching and I was shocked. He had been watching an on demand channel that was showing porn.

I was so angry. I asked my daughter to join my son in the playroom and then I asked my husband what the hell he was doing! He had no explanation. He first tried to lie about it,  and say that he had just put it on to see if our tv had parental controls but I knew it was bs. The show was paid for and in progress! The lying only upset me further.

Within an hour of making my promise to my son, I broke it. I cried and yelled. I was so heartbroken and so angry. Everything he had been saying that week, and since Dday, suddenly became empty and meaningless. Every bit of respect I had gained for him was now gone. His car was in the shop, otherwise I would have made him leave (he was having 2 dents I had put on it post Dday fixed). I told my husband that our children did not need protection from their Kindle, as much as they needed protection from him. He was the one bringing all the filth into our home! Eventually I went to bed and had an awful night.

I barely slept. I cried a lot. My husband came into the bedroom in the morning. He asked me how I was. I told him I was exhausted and that I was so angry and hurt by him. I told him that I would never be the kind of wife that would look the other way or pretend I hadn’t seen something for fear of rocking the boat and keeping things status quo. I know that I deserve better, our children deserve better and despite everything I still believed he deserved better.

I always tell my husband that I never look at him and see all the shit he did and see it as the whole of who he is. There is far too much good in him that he has shown me and others for me to ever make it that simple. But I hate that this is even a part of him. He hates it too- I do believe that, but I am also beyond tired of hurting from his crap.

I said somethings then that hurt him and he was about to leave and right before he walked out of the room, I asked him what he wanted? He told me he wanted to kill himself because he’s so messed up. He told me he lay in bed last night thinking about what would be the least messiest way for him to end his life. I know my husband enough to say I don’t think he’ll ever kill himself, but I also know him enough to believe he really thought about it.

I told him to come back and lay down with me. I told him that killing himself isn’t the answer, that it would just add another overwhelming layer of pain and loss for the kids and I.

He told me again that he was sorry. He told me that I had no idea how messed up he was. He had shared in counseling previously how he used porn and masturbation not just for comfort and stress relief but also as a reward. He said that vacation was part of that reward, that he would do it often whenever we were on vacation or he was at a conference. That he had ingrained these terrible habits into his life and wanted to break them but didn’t know how.

I told him that he had plenty of resources now and he wasn’t utilizing a single one when he needed it! There’s so much insecurity and stupidity in some of my husband’s reasonings that it completely frustrates me. I told him the purpose of his groups and the friendships he has made through them wasn’t to impress them by how well he is doing but to be honest, vulnerable and admit he needs help.

I told him that I didn’t expect him not to struggle against these issues that have been such a strong force in his life for years, but I did expect him not to give in to them. I expect him to open his mouth and say – honey, I’m having a great week with you and the kids but I’m also having a hard time because in the past this is what I did when I was on vacation.

I never knew vacations were hard for him because he never said anything to me. He also told me that he didn’t want to say anything because he saw that I was doing well and didn’t way to make me worry or become upset. I told him that in a marriage there’s no such thing as struggling separately-that whatever affected him also affected me. If I was holding things in- it would affect my thoughts, moods, and behavior and that would play out in our family somehow. I told him I want him to share and be honest and that if it upset or worried me- that it’s okay. It’s okay to feel hard emotions.

So, since last Wednesday, I’ve been feeling the hard stuff. Thursday through Monday I’ve been mostly okay during the day but I’ve cried every night since. Since Tuesday I’ve closed off a bit from him during the day and yesterday morning I let some more anger out.

Regardless of how screwed up his line of thinking was and that I can see how much he hates what happened it doesn’t change that it happened! It doesn’t excuse that he was willing to lie to me when I first saw the tv. I know his addiction is a serious issue for him to work through and im not expecting it to be easy or quick. I do have expectations though! And I have made these expectations clear and he dismissed them when he chose to look at porn last Wednesday. I’m not okay with that.

I will always love and support my husband and as long as he’s willing to fight I will be fighting too. But you don’t hurt me deeply and get to be stupid about it. You don’t get to say you want to change and you need this, this, this, and this in order to change and then have those things in place and screw them up!

Groups aren’t there to validate you only when you’re strong and doing well but also to validate you when you’re feeling utterly helpless and defeated! We have so much work to do – it’s daunting at times, but our marriage and our family are worth it.

This has been a hard, painful, disappointing, frustrating ten days. But it’s also been informative, gracious, open, and allowed more growth in understanding my husband. Life is ultimately about what you focus on – this was a setback. It’s not our whole story, that’s what I’m choosing to focus on.