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    My Story
    Jaded posted:
    I posted a short version of my story on a previous post, but I would like to tell my story. I am not necessarily looking for advice, if you have some, great, but I am looking to really express how I feel, and someone to listen more or less. My husband and I grew up together and got married young. We have known each other our whole lives and were best friends before anything. After five years of marriage, I became pregnant with our first. I was elated, we were having trouble conceiving, so to become pregnant after trying for so long was such a nice surprise. During my pregnancy, my husband got a new job with an old friend from high school (a female). He would talk to her often and about her often. I am not the jealous type by any means, I didn't even phase me, I don't know if it didn't bother me how much he mentioned because I wasn't insecure in our marriage or because I didn't feel threatened by other females, either way, I was naively unphased. Well, as my pregnancy progressed, I found sex not comfortable, sometimes painful. So our sex life went from several times a week to a couple times a month. I knew it was a big hit to my husband and I expressed my sympathies, but I had no energy, no drive and it was physically stressful on me. I tried to reassure him that I would return to my normal self when the baby came (which I did.) Towards the end of my pregnancy I noticed my husband was very down and sad. I kept asking him what was wrong and urged to talk, but he didn't. I thought it was the lack of sex between us or maybe he was stressed about being the father, but he denied both. Later, after the baby, he started to lash out at, distance himself as well. I remember when we got into arguments, he was quick to anger and called names, which was unlike him, I remember he didn't want to spend time with me either. I remember being alone, holding my sleeping baby on New's years, waiting for the ball to drop as he was in the other room sleeping. Rewind back to pregnancy, when I met this coworker of his, I didn't have any suspicions, until we met for the fourth of fifth time. I remember hugging her and this sudden, unexpected feeling of disgust and uneasiness overwhelmed me. Later the three of us went to her apartment, and when I sat on her couch I got the same feeling, which took me by complete and utter surprise. I didn't know why I felt this all of sudden and I left the thoughts as soon as they came. Fast forward a little, after she gave me some baby clothes that her daughter grew out of, my husband and I had a random conversation of fidelity ( a conversation we've had so many times before through our entire relationship) and what we would do if we were in such a situation. I remember saying leaving is what I would most likely do. And all the times that we would have these conversations, he would agree wholeheartedly with me, but this time, I remember his words so clearly " Well, you don't know if you'd really do that, you've never been in that situation." His answer caught me off guard. I knew something was different. Once again, I left it alone. It slid right off my back. But as time went on, I always had a nagging feeling in the back of my mind. I never had any concrete evidence of infidelity, so I never pursued the accusation really. I kept on having dreams or nightmares really of him cheating, over and over and over again, for three years, almost every night. One day, I was taking a shower and out of nowhere, it clicked in my head. All the times he would mention his coworker, like a little boy with a crush, even my friend asked me if I noticed how much he speaks of her, the awkward moment that I felt when I hugged her, his odd actions during my pregnancy and afterwards. He cheated on me. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I approached him like I knew for a fact that he cheated, and all I wanted was to hear it from his mouth, and he told me I was right. I fell apart. I broke in to pieces, I got tunnel vision .
    Jaded responded:
    I was completely shocked that this happened to our marriage. He said he cheated because I wasn't having sex with him and because of his anxiety of becoming a father. That it was nothing but sex and no emotions. He said it was one time and that was it. I believe none of that. I believe he was emotionally attached, the way he always spoke of her and how everytime I verbally attacked her, he defended her. I believe he had more than one sexual encounter with her, but is too afraid to tell me. The parts that get me upset the most, the most devastated and disgusted is that he did this while I was pregnant with his child and that he let me dress our daughter in HER daughters clothes and didn't feel bad or try to stop it.
    I felt like my heart was taken from my chest. He didn't tell me for years, and the only reason I got confirmation from him was because he thought he was cornered.
    I wanted to leave him so bad, and most likely for the wrong reasons I have stayed. I love him, but I know that I fell out of love with him, I love like a husband, but more like a good friend. I don't feel that sanctity with our marriage any longer, I feel it's lost an element that is forever gone and almost useless without. We get along, we don't argue much, we have a sex life and we still have date nights, but it almost feels empty. It's been a year since I found out, but it stings just as intense as it did the day he told me. There are so many other things I wanted to say or express, but I can't even remember now. Thank you for listening, so much, thanks.
    An_248371 replied to Jaded's response:

    As a side comment, you are a very good writer. You could not have expressed your feelings and emotional pain any better than what you just did.

    I'm very sorry for what you are going through and I am glad that you came here for support.

    Have you and your husband really talked about what happened? From your post it sounds like this conversation was more or less swept under the rug and kept hush hush. I'm wondering if your husband has expressed any genuine remorse for what he did? I would think that if he was really sorry he would go out of his way to prove to you that he wants to make things right again.

    How is the communication between you two?

    Are you seeking counseling? I really hope so because this event is too consuming to keep inside. You have a lot of venting to do.

    Jaded replied to An_248371's response:
    Thank you. I actually write as a hobby.
    We've talked about this subject quite a bit. We've beat this dead horse, you could say. I don't seem to take any comfort from talking to him about it, it just relives the pain over and over, almost like a silent movie playing in head. My husband is more than willing to talk about it with me, he doesn't hesitate. When I ask him questions about it, even the embarrassing ones (for him) I see the shame on his face, but he continues anyways, and it makes me appreciative that he doesn't become defensive or irritated at my interrogation. He has said " I don't think asking these questions over again are going to help, but if think they are, I don't mind talking about it."
    I think I've chosen to almost abandon this situation and sweep it under the rug, because I almost saw myself on the edge of obsession over it and I didn't want to embark on an unhealthy relationship with this.
    I would love to go to counseling about this, to talk to a neutral stranger about how I feel, the effects it has had on me emotionally, but honestly, money has been a deciding factor. We are a family of four with one income and every counselor that I have searched in my area is completely out of our range. My husband is reluctant to go to a counselor, but said he is willing if that is what I want.
    This unfaithfulness in our relationship has made me insecure, and I've never been insecure. It has made me think that this woman has something that I don't and something my husband needs or wants. I have almost put this woman on a pedestal, thinking she is something I should aspire to. Crazy, right? I am not going to lie, I've hated this woman, I was angry at her. Mostly because we met and talked on several occasions before this happened, so I felt betrayal from her too, almost like she broke the 'woman's code' ( she was married, and then divorced right before the affair). But I think now, I feel sorry for her. I don't know if that is the correct emotion, but it makes me feel better regardless.
    Some of the biggest hurdles I am having a difficult time overcoming are feeling my fairy tale love was a masquerade and that I was naive to the point of foolishness, that this couldn't happen to me, "we had a different type of love". HAH. I think that is why I was so trusting, and not jealous at all, almost like we were immune common to relationship maladies.
    Now I am at the point to where I cannot stand to get mad at him, even the simplest things. If I get mad at him, I almost want to go all out, scream and shout. I want to get over this, I want to move on, but when I think of what was sacrificed and that it will never be recovered again, it makes me think if repair is worth it. He is the father to my beautiful, irreplaceable children, and I am immensely grateful to him for them, he is my best friend, regardless of this catastrophe, but this feeling of pain,shame and anger almost trumps the positive emotions. I am stuck.
    dfromspencer replied to Jaded's response:
    Your story is sooooo sad, it reminds me of mine. I too, was cheated on, by my wife. I understand, what you say about screaming and shouting. That only helped a little. I had to let it go, before i could get passed it. You need to let it go. If you are going to stay with him, you will have to get past this. Forgive him. Then never bring it up again. No, sorry, you will never forget it, but you must get past it. If you do not, it will drive you crazy. It did me. I forgave my wife, but i could not get past it, and that eventually led to our divorce. I could not forget it, we never really talked about it, and it festered inside.

    Please don't let that happen to you. If you love this man, get it out of your mind. If it starts to creep in, think of something good he has done for you, or the family. As you have stated, you have talked about it, now let it go. Never bring it up again. In order for you to forget it, you MUST TRUELY forgive him.

    Good luck, Dennis
    Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD replied to Jaded's response:
    To keep this from completely eating you up and destroying your marriage, you need to find a way to forgive. This does not mean to forget. When people try to ignore how they feel, they are usually hit harder by the feeling at a later time, or the feeling affects them in ways they don't realize it. Forgiveness means to accept what happened (you can't change the past) by gaining some understanding of what caused it to occur, stop reliving your initial response to the infidelity, and find a way together to move forward. It requires not just conversation, but working together to feel that you are again really there for each other (including being open to and compassionate toward each other's feelings).

    I can totally understand the financial strain that therapy can place on you, but it is still your best chance of recovering from this. You might try googling or calling around to find a low cost or sliding scale clinic near you. You can call hospitals, your state psychological association, schools near you that train psychologists or social workers, and social services for help in locating such places.

    I wish you well in finding a way through this and onto a better path for you and your marriage.
    Jaded replied to Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD's response:
    I've been searching for so many ways to forgive. I know I'm a forgiving person, it's not hard for me. But for whatever reason, it's like my subconscious cannot let me, let this go. I am tired of holding on to this, because I know it's not beneficial to anyone involved. I've tried to reason his actions, I've tried to understand how such a mistake can be made, but every time I put myself in his proverbial shoes, I cannot see how those mistakes were made when he had so many chances to stop, to realize right from wrong or to simply go to his wife with his troubles. It's hard for me to relate I guess, simply because I could never see myself being unfaithful in our marriage, even en light of his infidelities. So I guess what I've been saying is, since I cannot understand his actions, it's hard for me to forgive. I really appreciate all of your replies. Thank you.
    Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD replied to Jaded's response:
    As I said, therapy is one way that many people are able to finally forgive. You might also try reading on the subject. One good book is Forgiveness is a Choice; you can find others (that I cannot recommend because I've never read them) on Amazon .

    Good luck.

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