Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Damaged Beyond Repair

Posted by Anonymous.

I found out about a week ago that my husband has been fooling around with a sales rep that he is doing business with. My world has been in a tailspin ever since. I feel such tremendous hurt, embarrassment, shame, and pain that I can barely breathe. We have been together for almost 20 years, and married for 10. We have 4 beautiful kids. We are in the process of buying our dream house. And then this.

I feel like I've experienced a death... the pain is so intense. As far as I can tell - and as he's told me - I discovered it before it got to the physical level, but somehow that doesn't bring me much comfort. I can believe it happened. I can't believe this is my life now. I don't know what to do. I am constantly reliving every moment every day. Every hour. Every minute. I feel like I am never going to be okay. Like I am never going to be able to recover from this pain. I can't eat or sleep. I've lost 10 lbs. in just this week alone. I feel like I've been robbed of my future, and wonder if my past has been all lies. My heart aches for my kids, for they don't deserve this, and have no idea that something is so terribly wrong. I don't know what the right thing to do is, and I am just frozen in the pain and sorrow.

Are people able to recover from such things? Can you ever really learn to trust again? I don't know how I am ever going to go on from this... I wish it never happened.


Anonymous said...

My signaficant other had an emotional affair early in our relationship and we were able to recover, but we aren't married and we don't have children. I'm not sure what made me able to get over it, maybe it was because deep down I knew our problems weren't just the "other woman" and that maybe this was a warning sign. But I felt much the same as you, sick, picturing every moment and wondering why he had hurt me so badly.

I've been cheated on before, but it was physical and I caught him nearly in the act - for some reason that wasn't as painful as having my love toyed with in the emotional sense.

It can be something that you can move on from, but its up to both of you to find a way to pick up the pieces.

Anonymous said...

I'm married with one child and my husband did the same thing two years ago when we were having problems, it's hard to say which caused which, but the problems probably caused the emotional affair. Can you learn to trust again? Well, two years in I am still leery, something he is very patient with, so no, at this point can't trust completely, but I have to trust sometimes bc I can't watch him all the time, I don't want to either. These things are usually a symptom of other problems, we are very happy now, but were not then. Find a good marriage counselor and get in there with your husband. Counseling itself does not fix things, it just helps open up the channels of communication so that you can talk about things and then fix them yourselves bc in the end it is the two of you that have to change your relationship, not the counselor. So it gets better. Does it ever go away? I don't know. But it wont be this way forever.

Sheri said...

I think you can get over it with time. As long as you are both committed it can work out. He has to understand that there will never be another time of secrets, half truths or privacy. He screwed up and if he is committed to this marriage he MUST be an open book that accounts for every minute spent without you for the rest of your life. And you have to commit to the same thing.

My husband and I have never been through this, but I lived it with my parents. He lived through it with his previous wife who cheated. We decided early on this is how we would live and it works for us. And we trust completely, knowing nothing is hidden.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for you.
My therapist once told me that this tremendous pain we feel about infidelity has much more to do with the high standards we have for our significant other, than with love itself. We have to accept that the other is human, just human. Infidelity can happen to everyone. That said, how can you give your trust again ? Perhaps like Sheri says, if your husband agrees to be an open book from now on, to help you begin to trust him again ?
I hope he can find the strenghth to change and you can find a way to let go and to forgive but I know it must be hard.

Anonymous said...

like the other people said, if you and your husband work at it, you will get to trust again but it takes time. dont assume it will be better instantly it wont. if he is committed to you and his life with you then it will all work out.

Anonymous said...

It will take time, but it will happen. You just have to be willing to put in the time necessary to make it work - as does he.

It's very hard - I'll warn you.

Lots of days, I want to give up, but we're going through the same thing right now...we're in our third year of recovery and it is still very difficult.

My faith helps me a lot.

Hang in there - it WILL get better.

Anonymous said...

Find a good couple's therapist and start the process of working through it together. Not only will it help you pick up the pieces, but it will help you determine if your marriage can survive this or not. It will also help you open the dialogue on how you both got here --and where to go from here. There's a lot of trust to be rebuilt --or not. Be nice to yourself as you move through this; it's going to be a painful process.

Anonymous said...

Find a good couple's therapist and start the process of working through it together. Not only will it help you pick up the pieces, but it will help you determine if your marriage can survive this or not. It will also help you open the dialogue on how you both got here --and where to go from here. There's a lot of trust to be rebuilt --or not. Be nice to yourself as you move through this; it's going to be a painful process.

Anonymous said...

My husband left me for another woman over 5 years ago. We decided to work on our marriage 3 months after we separated. It took me a good while to be ok. You have to decide if you really want to make it work. You can't torture him or keep bringing it up. Set aside a time to ask all the questions you want, and then no more questions. If you keep asking, you'll never start to heal. you will have to forgive him eventually to move forward.
I thought about his affair constantly for a year and eventually I found myself saying I didn't think about that yesterday. I would say 3 years past the affair is when I really stopped thinking about it. People think I'm crazy but I asked myself what part I played in our marriage crumbling. No I didn't cause the affair, but I didn't do anything to make him feel loved, appreciated, wanted, all of the human emotions one needs to be happy with their mate.
His affair made our marriage stronger. It broke my heart but made us realize what we have in each other. We work on our marriage every day so it can be all it should and can be. I'm more in love with him now then ever before.
The worst thing you can do for him, yourself, and your marriage is to keep bringing it up after your Q & A session. It will only break your heart each time. Too often people dwell on the infidelity that they forget they want their marriage to work. Basically shit or get off the pot. ;-)
The Proper Care and Feeding of husbands by Dr. Laura saved my marriage. It's backward and 1950 housewife but it works. Changing your attitude towards things helps others change by example. Everyone that I have suggested that book to can testify that it helped. I'm very much a f-you I can do it, I am woman hear me roar kind of girl. Following Dr. Laura's advice made me rethink being that way with my husband. It made me realize I needed to take care of him. Once I started to take care of him he started to take care of me. Sometimes you have to throw pride and he's being an ass so why can't I? out the window. My hubby and I had a viscous cycle of being crappy to each other. I thank God that we figured out how to break it.
And don't listen to the negative people that tell you to leave. They won't be the ones living with the "what if I would have tried to work it out?". You can't live with what ifs because it'll drive you crazy.

Sorry if I rambled. Good luck and God bless.

Anonymous said...

8 months after finding out and I'm still sick and have pretty much lost all respect for him

Anonymous said...

Honey, you can and will survive this. I'd like to share a link for you and others to an online support community for both the betrayed spouse (BS) and wayward spouse (WS):


It's a place to heal yourself, and in many cases your marriage.

I'm anonymous here right now, but you can find me there as Threnody.

Warmest hugs to you -- all of you.

Anonymous said...

I hope, that after 20 years together, this will not push you to leave him. I'd suggest even before therapy to take a step back and look at your relationship with him. Discuss the relationship with him. Even though you might not think so, there might be things missing from it. (In no way am I excusing infidelity, just saying it's a big sign of some deeper problem or issue)

My husband (and father of my baby), packed up and left 2 weeks ago. Initially, I refused to let him back into our life because aside from his reasons for leaving, I found out he got close to some female (talking extensively; divulging private information about myself and my daughter; etc) It took a week or two of horrendous fuming, unfortunate weight gain, and a few well meaning phone calls from "almost" strangers that made me reconsider taking him back. We are talking now, and coming to terms on which he will be allowed to move back in. (the open book life is one important term)
I can't say how this will work in the long term, but we have a daughter and we need to figure this out (or at least give it our ALL to try) I had a Q&A with him, where I asked all the questions I deemed needed about him leaving, and about that girl. I will not ask anymore questions on either topic. We decided to almost start fresh - like back when we were going out...
I really hope you and your husband can work through this, because it will be a shame to throw out a 20 year relationship.

Unknown said...

A few years ago I was in the EXACT same spot minus the new house. 4 kids, married 13 years, lost 9 pounds the first week after I discovered what was going on...

It was hard. Really hard. It took a long time but now things are good. Really good. It was definitely worth the work. I'd say the first thing you need to figure out is if he's willing to do the work. Are you? If you both are, find a good marriage counselor. Then work your asses off. We're happier than we've ever been. It seemed impossible for more than a year that things could ever get this good. But they did. Take care of yourself and the kids. Just focus on that right now.

MommyLovesStilettos said...

I think some couples can overcome it. I couldn't. I just couldn't find it in my heart to ever trust him again.

Anonymous said...

I am the original poster of Damaged Beyond Repair.....

First, I'd like to thank you all for your advice, encouragement, and kindness. it has helped me more than you could ever know.

We moved into the new house together last week. Things are very strained right now, but we have entered into marriage counseling, both together and seperately. It was much more of a relationship than I initially thought, but I am going to give it a try and see what counseling can do. He is hesitant to really open up about everything in counseling , but we've only gone twice, so I'm hopeful that it will come in a little more time.
I'd just like to say to you all---Trust your instincts, because thats what led me to find everything out. I never in a million years could've guessed that this would be my life right now, and now I realize that this can happen to anyone, no matter how great you may think things are. I hope none of you will ever have to go thru this, and to those of you that have, I thank you for sharing that with me, and I hope your story has the happy ending that you want for yourself.

Please keep me and my family in your thoughts, and I will keep you all in mine.
Thank you.

kootnygirl said...

One of my best friends went through exactly this. They are recovering, day by day, and with lots of effort on both their parts, and most importantly, a strong desire, by both of them, to make the marriage succeed.

It can be done. Does he really want to save the marriage? Could you truly forgive him one day? If the answers are genuinely "YES", then it can be done.

Anonymous said...

yep, been there and done that. I'm going to remain anonymous here because lots of people that know us DO NOT know what we went through. Long story short ~ My husband and I dated for six years before we got married. I found out I was pregnant three months after we got married and then watched my husband leave me for another woman. It was over a year of Hell. After our son was born, we started to work things out. I very slowly got the whole story, after we decided to make it work (otherwise I'm not sure it would have). It was a thorough affair, he even said he loved us both at the same time, which I never thought could be possible. He had change his job, we got a new place to live together, changed all our numbers, etc to start afresh. It was tough. Probably the first 2.5-3 years of our marriage was in chaos because of it.

But three kids, lots of forgiveness, lots of apologies and total affection AND 16 years later, we are still going strong.

It can work but you have to be an amazing forgiver.

My faith and my family were the only ways I was able to get past his betrayal. I hope counseling will help you, but you might consider (if you don't already have it) a personal relationship with God. He is the only one who will never leave, betray or hurt you and it's nice to have Him on your side.

Best to you, T.

Anonymous said...

Your post brought back all those horrible nauseating feelings I had 20 years ago when I found out. He is the last guy on earth that you would expect this from. We had a 5 yr. honeymoon before our first child and I felt I had the perfect life. But parenting, jobs, responsibility, and fatigue takes its toll on a marriage. He fell out of love with me and found someone else. I have never cried as much, lost as much weight, or ever stalked anyone but that was my life. I told my kids I had a bad flu and spent too much time in bed. He moved out. I confronted HER. (still one of my favorite moves!) and then I told him I was done, I was going to the lawyer, and I was moving on...he could have her. That woke him up and he joined me in counseling. We will be married 40 years soon and even though I have forgiven, I never forget and the pain is always in my heart. I do not feel that he has done enough to redeem himself but I don't see enough reason to quit. I did tell him one thing that is the absolute truth... if it were ever to happen again, he is gone.

Anonymous said...

As far as I can tell - and as he's told me - I discovered it before it got to the physical level, but somehow that doesn't bring me much comfort.

Yeah, really? Call the Other Woman, and ASK HER HOW LONG she's been fucking your man. Don't take your cheating husband's word for it. If he protests, tell him you wouldn't have had to do it if he was a trustworthy husband.

I'll bet he waxed his carrot a time or two--"emotional" affairs go physical pretty quick, especially if he's feeding some needy woman who is no better than you, probably not as good as you...she's just some "strange" if you know what I mean. Men are hell for vaginal variety; they all think they're Johnny Frigging Appleseed.

Get his ass into couple's counselling, get OVER the pain, and--if you want to keep the union together for the sake of the children (which is not a bad idea, don't get me wrong) start thinking like a French woman. You PROTECT YOUR ASSETS. Get him into a lawyer's office, and make a pre-divorce agreement that states that he goes to the CLEANER if he cheats again (and so do you, if you wanna make it reciprocal).

Deal with the pain--you can't undo what has been done. But you don't have to put up with your Smooth Operator's BS, either. Grab him by the balls and march him to the lawyer for the "marital agreement," and then to the marriage counsellor, in that order. First you look at the PURSE, girl. You've got kids to worry about.