Overcoming the demons of an affair

My husband and I had a fight yesterday.  Typically we avoid disagreements at all costs since the affair because things tend to escalate quickly and off-topic.  However, this time we stayed on topic.  I would say that’s a step forward that the affair wasn’t brought up in anger between us.  I guess I should really say “brought up by me”.  I’m trying to overcome my new mindset that he had an affair, therefore he has no other rights.  That is not easy.

When we were in the car last weekend with the kids he and one of them were talking about trust and he actually said once trust is broken you have to earn it back.  I could tell by the fact he stopped short that he was contradicting himself.  He has long believed that I should just move on from this and automatically trust him despite him having an affair and lying every single day about some aspect of said affair.  I wanted to punch him.  I did.  I wanted to look over at him and just laugh in his face and tell him he’s a piece of work.  I didn’t of course.  Healing.  We are concentrating on healing.

And the man is having a difficult enough time dealing with his own indiscretions.  His personal guilt has really been getting him down.  In his own words, he lost the most important thing to him, his integrity and honor.  I find it sad really.  Well, as sad as someone in my position can feel about it.  I want to say you knew her for 10 years and you knew exactly what she was.  I mean, the office is small and I heard more gossip on her in those 10 years than anyone else.  We all knew she slept around…all of us.  He even had the names of those she slept with.  We had talked about it many times.  I want to ask him if joining that “club” was worth it.  I also want to ask him what he thought when someone from  another firm told us that it was common knowledge that she slept with clients.

I don’t ask though.  As much as I want to ask, I never do.  At least not now.  We have many conversations about this.  But, I avoid the ones that would make him seem like an idiot or “I told you so” ones.  I do question why he would get involved with someone like her knowing the likely outcome, but as I said before, that was her job to market herself to people.   I think he was sucked in by someone who knew the game well.

My own struggles are wishing I could wake up one day and not think about her, to not visit her blog, to not ask my cousin about her.  But, sometimes I feel like a gravitational pull stronger than that of the moon is drawing me to her.  And I go through phases.  I can go days or weeks and control that, but then something breaks me and I give in.  I’m not sure what to do about it.

There are so many things to overcome that I don’t know which thing to start with.  But, I suppose I have already overcome a lot.  I see the light at the end of the tunnel.

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8 thoughts on “Overcoming the demons of an affair

  1. Does your husband really think that you should just believe him? In his own words – he regrets losing his honour and integrity. So does he plan to regaining that? Does he even know what those are? Honor and integrity is something that is not only understood (Eg. know what’s right and wrong), but needs to be shown through your actions time and time again. To take your relationship for granted that you should trust him just because he says he’s learned his lesson… that’s too easy isn’t it? Like he explained to your sons, trust needs to be earned – through action, and also through time. For him to have a good marriage for so many years, and be so easily tempted and betrayed your vows, the trust built over all those years have been broken. Does he really think a magnitude of trust broken can be restored in such a relatively short amount of time? Not to mention the circumstances of rebuilding that trust is now marred with the betrayal of infidelity and multiple broken promises of ending the affair? Regaining that trust will take a lot of time so that each year you can say – ok, he’s still doing good, I trust him a little more now. He believed he would never cheat but somehow, he would was seduced. He gave up his moral code so easily – he rejected her once, why didn’t he reject her again EVEN if he got emotionally close to her? At some point, he would have weighed the consequences and he chose to betray you and himself for her. All honour and integrity goes out the window when it’s convenient doesn’t it. So it’s too easy for him to say now “I won’t cheat because i’ve learned by lesson”. He needs to prove that through his actions, and only time will tell if he will stay true to the lessons he learned or if he will just give up. And in doing that, he will be regaining his honour and integrity – to admit his mistake and to take the necessary action to reconcile it no matter how hard or long that road is. Surely he can understand that. Healing doesn’t mean pretending it never happened or taking the path of least resistance to avoid guilt/shame – healing is accepting what has happened, the consequences from the event (hurt/loss of trust from you, and guilt/shame from him), and taking steps to reconcile what was broken so that both of you can move forward together. It involves healing individually and as a family. Am i way off track here?

    1. I think he does understand all of it. And him pretending things don’t happen is a huge problem for him. He has admitted his mistakes. As for pretending it didn’t happen, I think that’s what got us here. His mom was killed in a car accident, his dad was the driver, at Christmas a few years before this affair happened. He moved on like nothing happened. To anyone else. But, I knew he was suffering terribly, and then his dad died six months later. He never did deal with his grief because he believed he could just carry on as if nothing ever happened. I believe this was the catalyst to everything else. This man doesn’t cheat. Yes, I know he did. But, I do believe that the other issues he was “not” dealing with led to circumstances that led to the affair. He is dealing with a lot of internal pain right now. Not that I’m not. I am. We are working on both items of grief, but at the moment we are concentrating on the loss of parents. I know we will get to the affair, and we do have many conversations about it. He knows what I am expecting and what I need. But, at the same time, I know what he needs. Does that make sense?

  2. Any advice for how to keep future arguments on track? Because he is afraid to express any negative emotion toward me because he knows that nearly every minute is consumed by this process for me. But he avoids expressing those emotions which inhibits actual communication.
    And I am trying to get better about it and biting my tongue but if he forgets to take out the trash, I instantly think, “I already have to settle for an unfaithful husband, now I can’t have one who remembers to take out the trash.” I mean, this is nonsense and I can see that while I’m doing it but I can’t stop it. To his credit he just takes my anger and fixes the issue, but I can’t keep this up. Even though one has nothing to do with the other, I explained to him once that even if he can’t understand it, for me, for now, EVERYTHING is about THAT. I hope one day it’s not. But today it still is. Advice is welcome…ha.

    1. We both just tell ourselves not to bring the affair up in our arguments. That’s not easy, but we commit to that. We have specific times just for that. There are plenty of times I think “you cheated you owe me” though. lol

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