What if you never find those puzzle pieces?

I sat on the couch at my therapist’s office today telling her about my healing journey. I haven’t had a therapy appointment in months because we both felt I was doing well. But recently I’ve felt stuck in my healing process. I am relentlessly searching for something that in my mind will make everything click. Some sort of a-ha moment.

For the past eight and a half months I’ve been sorting through the information I have about my husband’s affair. I’ve been learning about where our marriage was vulnerable, dealing with the pain and trying to figure out how he made the decision to involve himself with his AP. Each piece of information becomes a puzzle piece to me and at this point most of my puzzle is completed.

puzzle-piecesPUZZLE PIECES

Before his affair began, we were happy, in love and incredibly busy with our kids. We were at the point in our relationship where sex was less frequent and loving affection was not a priority. We both enjoyed spending time together but because money had been tight for a period of time because of his job loss, we weren’t going out on dates. We weren’t investing in ourselves as a couple. We didn’t resent each other, we appreciated each other and we rarely fought. So what was there to worry about? I believed in time we would get back the excitement and fun in our relationship but I shouldn’t stress over the lack of intimacy in our marriage.

(more) PUZZLE PIECES

My husband found himself involved in an affair because a woman was doting on him, flirting heavily with him and telling him she desired him sexually. Six months before the affair began, my husband had spent the year prior unemployed and feeling like he risked our family’s financial security. In many ways, he felt like a failure. He had gained about twenty pounds since our relationship first began and he felt unattractive. Our diminished sex life only enforced that I was no longer physically attracted to him. But his AP, she met him twenty pounds overweight and she wanted his body. She gave him the attention that all men want. She wrote him email letters recalling their sexual encounters as if he was Adonis. Nothing she wrote was based on the sex they shared. She neglected to ever comment or discuss his impotence (i.e. erectile dysfunction) that recurred throughout their affair. She only focused on the things that would make him feel amazing… like the Man he wanted to be. She was a great mirror because she only reflected perfection and she asked for nothing in return (just for him to commit adultery).

(more & more) PUZZLE PIECES 

She lied to my husband so he would take pity on her. She entered the “friendship” with my husband knowing that she wanted him to be her affair partner. She identified my husband’s vulnerabilities and she exploited them for her own desires. She was successful too because he submitted to her will. He felt that if he didn’t have sex with her that he would lose her friendship. And he couldn’t lose the attention she gave him–the reflection of himself in her eyes was so much better than a real mirror. Or even better, the reflection in my eyes of himself was too real.

puzzle-3(even more) PUZZLE PIECES 

I was a forgiving and completely trusting wife. My husband (more or less) came home on time from work. I didn’t stop by his business, I only called him at the end of my work day and I allowed him to get away with not reaching out to me during his workday. If he was late I may have been occasionally irritated but I never questioned his trustworthiness. When my inner voice was telling me that things weren’t right, I ignored it with blind faith in my husband. My intuition knew something was wrong but I trusted in our marriage that he would never cheat. I kept my fears silent. I didn’t take advantage of opportunities to talk to him about my fears. He did a great job pushing my fears aside too.

MISSING PUZZLE PIECES

  • Why did he allow the friendship/relationship to continue when his AP made it clear that sex was a requirement?
  • Why did he cross the line?
  • If he knew it was a mistake why did he allow it to continue for a year? Why didn’t he end it?

So those are my missing puzzle pieces. I’ve put together most the puzzle about how and why my husband had an affair. The picture is almost complete but those missing puzzle pieces are making the rest of the puzzle appear blurry. I can’t figure out what I am looking at and I am searching for something that will give me the answer. This is the moment my therapist says:

You have done so much work but you are still searching. Your husband doesn’t have those pieces either and he may never find them. What if you never find those missing puzzle pieces?

I don’t know. Are these pieces critical to my healing and moving forward? Or is this just something that I need to let go of and accept that I may never understand? Acceptance on this journey may be the most difficult thing to process. I am still unsure that I have complete acceptance that my husband cheated on me. I don’t operate in denial but I have moments where I still want to wish this away.

Maybe I need to take the fork in the road and begin a new puzzle. After all, this puzzle I am putting together is missing too many pieces to keep and even if I find the pieces will I want to put it away in my closet? Probably not. So maybe it’s time to rip apart the puzzle and throw the pieces away and start a new one. A puzzle my husband and I choose together.

puzzle

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77 thoughts on “What if you never find those puzzle pieces?

  1. Thank u for writing. Your words often express what I am searching to say. I am currently at the same fork in the road. Also looking to start a new puzzle. Some days are better/easier than others……

  2. Amen. Burn the puzzle!…My dd was 1/1/13 and I am also struggling with all the pieces. Why? Easier said than done…

  3. this is such a huge question huh!
    i cant remember where it came from, but a good piece of advice ive read is to find YOUR why and stick to it…

    it might be easier to accept from a fellow BS rather than a WS (this is what he says to me) “I dont have an answer that will satisfy you”. and its true… the real answer, if you keep digging for it, is probably as dark as you think, and definitely delusional to a large degree. it wont make sense to you, it doesnt even make sense to him. and he wants to acknowledge it even less than you do. i completely understand wanting to know… but its a path youve got to get off, sooner rather than later.

    this sort of thinking, and im not saying its wrong, its completely natural… but it will just do your head in more. imo. youve just got to call the thing a thing (i am LOVING this right now) and work on accepting it rather than continuing to try and find something in it to make it ok.

    i know its easy to stay there trying to find an answer that will make you feel better, but the fact is, it wasnt ok. it was wrong and bad and awful… theres no reason to any of it that will make it not wrong and bad and awful…

    i hope i dont sound condescending, i understand completely where youre coming from… but thats whats working for me 😀

    • You are completely right–and you don’t sound condescending at all. What you said kinda hits the nail on the head. I am searching for something that is non-sensical. He didn’t make these decisions rationally or with much thought–so why I am trying to find a rational answer.
      I need to move on… burn the puzzle, throw it away, whatever I need to do to stop this cyclical search from continuing on a path to no where.

      Thank you. 🙂 I needed that one. (And it does help coming from a BS rather than a WS).

  4. Love love love the idea of starting a new puzzle. I had mine. He had is and now we have ours!. I came to the conclusion that nothing he ever says will be enough explanation so rather then stay stuck I have let it go and now with expectation of a much better and greater marriage have moved forward. it is what it is and we can’t change it but we sure can take what looks like garbage and turn it into treasure.

  5. Thank you for this image and to all of you for your very insightful remarks. I think it is very interesting that we BSs all seem to cycle back around to these same questions. They are the questions that can’t be considered without sounding an alarm. I know that in my experience when the alarm sounds, I fell compelled to act — either fight for answers or flee. Of course, neither of these responses are helpful at all to my and our healing. I know this. So maybe what I need is a “go-to” response that quiets the alarm and keeps me focused on the present and future. I don’t know what this looks like, though. What is the statement of truth I can say that will keep me from returning to the puzzle with missing pieces? What can I say about my husband and our marriage that will soothe my raw emotions and will help to maintain a more positive and helpful perspective?

    • I think bombladoze’s comments gave me some clarity on this fruitless search I’ve been on. She wrote that I am trying to make sense out of something that is non-sensical and didn’t happen for a rational reason. So there just may not be an answer to how he made the decision to cross the line.
      But like you said, moving forward and not looking back is not a black and white decision we are capable of making instantly. So much of our healing is feeling this pain. Just like a cut on our skin, we have to heal from the inside out. Every so often the scab will get scraped and bleed again but we continue to heal.
      When my emotions are raw and the pain begins to swell I try to step back and remind myself that my husband’s affair does not negate all the good in him. My husband chose to stay, he chose to accept the consequences of his actions and he chose our marriage and our love. It’s not always the comfort I need… but it helps when I the pain shifts and begins to overwhelm my senses.

    • Im a little apprehensive to tell you what works for me, although im quite surprised people appreciated my comment (thanks btw!) lol. I dont mean to come off hard on anyone else, i felt like i was, i think i do it because i feel like i am being hard on myself… I can go to some pretty dark places in my searching. I needed a way of telling myself to snap out of it. So… What do i say when i find myself spinning around backwards? My answer to why did he do it?

      Because he could.

      Its not the real answer… but it does help to stop me in my tracks and focus on whatever else im supposed to be doing… it doesnt always keep me from falling to pieces… But most of the time it just gives me a little kick in the brain to say, hey, youre going too far, you cant worry about this right now… Do it later…

      Having said all that, I am still searching for MY why… but i know, that it is going to be mine, not something that he says, because he will never say what i want him to. the answer i want, isnt one that he can give me… because what he did was plain and simple. messed up!

      Im also hoping that finding ways to move forward is eventually going to quell that nagging question… in time. *fingers crossed* for all of us! ❤

    • I am so sorry. The first month is so difficult and it was impossible to accept that this was my new reality. You aren’t alone. I hope you are taking time away from the pain to find some form of happiness. Take care of yourself–eat, sleep… Easier said than done (I found it nearly impossible in the beginning). Thank you for reading my story.

  6. I completely relate to the search for those missing pieces, the questions that have no answers, or no answers that make sense. My husband said something very similar to something you commented…he told me that I’m trying to make sense of a situation that makes no sense. He says what he did was stupid and selfish, and there just isn’t a logical explanation for why he chose to make such stupid decisions. But that doesn’t erase my need to know WHY. I guess I need to come to the point where I accept that I’m just not going to get the answers to all my questions. But I feel like if I can’t completely understand everything that happened and why, and how could he, etc…then it’s going to happen again. He is doing everything he can to prove how sorry he is and how much he has changed…yet I live with the constant fear that as soon as I let my guard down, as soon as I start believing and trusting him, he’s going to make a fool of me all over again. And I just can’t bear it.

    • I struggle, too, with the thought of letting down my guard, giving myself completely back to the one person who has proven that doing so is risky. I worry that if he is incapable of articulating why, then couldn’t this mean he could repeat his thoughtless behavior? I’ve often said, “you not only know how great it feels to experience another person’s body, you also know the relative ease of doing so for a very long time without getting caught. What’s keeping you from doing this again?” He always replies that none of it was worth the pain he’s caused, the integrity he lost, or the connection he has with me that is based on more honesty than ever before. It is so difficult to think that this smart, loving man could ever be so shortsighted and self absorbed. Trusting that he has changed seems too much to ask. I suppose the best that I can do in light of this, and really the only thing I do have control over, is the caretaking of myself-

    • Yes… there’s so much fear and I don’t really know if what I am looking for is even real. I’d like to believe that I am looking for answers that will give me some sense of peace but I am starting to believe that’s not true either. I have to accept that some things happen in spite of our best intentions and what we want in life. And, maybe your husband is right… maybe it’s just selfish opportunity.

  7. A thought provoking post. I like also what Bombladoze said in her comment.
    Mine had an 18mth -2 yr long affair. That time was ripped from our marriage and what I was entitled to and desperately wanted from him. I’m slowly coming to terms with what happened and the length and ability of his deception.
    However, I am grateful for the chance to rebuild our marriage, learn from our mistakes and maybe enjoy a better marriage in the future, if I can get through this.

    • I feel the same way about the chance to rebuild. In many ways I think our marriage was great before but we weren’t protecting it or strengthening our bond. We were status quo because status quo was still pretty darn good. Now, I see that not working on us (even when things felt great) was a mistake. I hope you are also feeling like what you share now with your husband is much deeper and stronger than before.
      Thank you!

  8. Pingback: I cry, we bond | Repairing Shattered Pieces

  9. I know when I was looking for my answers, I was mostly looking for a solution to never have this happen again. If we can figure out why this happened, we can work on it and work on prevention. Crazy thinking, maybe. I just needed to get to the root of the problem, his problems. After finding this root, all the other “why’s” are pointless. I will never understand why he did this or did that. Even if we did get an answer to every why, it still wouldn’t make sense to us.
    When we reach our decision to move forward, we have to leave the why’s behind with the rest of the past.

  10. Thank you to bombladoze for your honest word. I really needed to read this today. My husband keeps telling me that I need to stop trying to make sense of nonsense. He says it was a horrible thing he did and that is all. It is easier to hear from a BS.
    I relate to Keri in that at times I feel an overwhelming need to fight for answers. The answers I get only lead to more pain with no understanding of WHY. We do have to walk through the pain to get complete healing, but that doesn’t mean we have to torture ourselves with Why. The first month of my dd I read a book, Return to Love, about Christianity and love. A quote from the book gives me some comfort during my insane moments. It is, “We don’t get to light through endless investigation of the darkness.”. I say this and my husband say this sometimes when I’m wandering through the dark details of his affairs. It doesn’t take away the pain, but it helps calm me down sometimes.
    This post and all the comments have given me renewed strength for today. 🙂

  11. I know exactly where you are in the healing process. My husband’s slut basically did the same things as your’s. She made my husband “feel good”. I too trusted with blind faith and ignored so many red flags. 6 months of my life handed over to a whore. It’s now been 2 1/2 years since DDay and I still wonder about the “why”. The most honest answer my husband can give me is because he wanted to, so he did. He never thought he would be caught. Of course I would like to punch him in the face when he gives me this answer, it’s simply not good enough for me, but it’s him being honest. I now know that no answer would or will ever satisfy me, it’s that simple. No reason will ever be good enough in my eyes for the amount of pain and suffering that I have gone through and continue to go through. All we have is now, I try to judge him based on now. I try to put faith in the man he is now. He wasn’t himself during his 6 month affair, and I can see how tormented he still is about what he put our family through.I think acceptance is easier when we accept that no answer will ever be acceptable.

  12. I thought this was beautifully written. I have been on this journey since September 2012 also and have worked hard. I never thought I’d get to where I am today but, these blogs have been so helpful I can hardly describe it. I admire each person who writes here and walk with each of you in spirit as we get healthier each day.

      • Indeed. Thank you for everyone who shared their experience and feelings through this blog. @thiswillnotdefineus: I’m reading your blog and all the comments from others since yesterday and it made me feels little bit better coz I know that I’m not crazy and I’m not the only one who keep having so many “WHY” questions in my mind for the past 2 months..
        My experience for the past 2 months, the more I fight with him looking for details answers for all my questions, the more I become angry and use bad words to describe her, the more we both loose the connection and the more he become closer to the mistress (coz he feel pity to her when I call her b**** during our conversation, he feels uncomfortable with be with me coz I”m the devil wife who always fight with him and he become more comfortable to her which – she’s the innocent angel).
        The more I open up again & again – i realize that it make him to remember his memories and good time with her then it drag him more faraway from me, from our relation and it give more chance to the the mistress to fill in ‘the gap’ between us which is not a good sign as it’s not what we expect as a wife.
        So hard not to doubt my mind about ‘what if he still continue”, “why”, “how”, “when”, etc.. but when we decide to rebuild back and give second chance in this marriage life, all I can do is just keep trying to convince myself that we couldn’t change what has happen and I’m still fighting the battle inside myself to let go all the WHY. Each day, I’m trying to control my mouth not to ask and talk about what he did, trying to make him feels back the comfort when his around me without pressure him with all my wonder, curious and question marks (even though I’m not really sure yet if he found his comfort back with me, if his happy or just flat) but I hope what I’m doing will help to keep us back in the right track together after sometime.

  13. My husband did not confess, I hacked his account. It was not until after I discovered the affair that he is so sorry, wants to make it work, loves only me. How is that possible? If I had not uncovered the truth it would still be going on. It does not make any sense.

    • I hacked into my husband’s “secret” email account too to discover his affair. My husband said that he was relieved that I found everything and that he could end things. In some ways it pissed me off because why didn’t he tell me when I was suspicious and asking about this woman–telling him I didn’t trust her. Why didn’t he end it when he recalls coming home from a vacation and having clarity that he didn’t want to hurt me. Yet he continued for three more months…
      All I can tell you is that I feel like my husband needed me to find out in order to get her out of his life for good. If he had ended it on his own she would have crept back in–because he did end it with her twice and it didn’t work. Just because he was in the affair doesn’t mean that he wanted to be there… It makes no sense. Especially when you read words that sound like your marriage has no significance. My husband swears up and down that the things he wrote her in emails were written not from his own mind/needs/desires–but because she wanted to hear those words. He said it meant nothing for him to write them. It does hurt but the thing is–he remembers very little of what he wrote her because none of it was true or from his heart.
      You’ll probably never make sense of everything because the affair was not a rational decision he made. I hope that helps…

    • I found out by going on his Ipad to show him a video. I struggle so much with the idea that it would still be going on as well. It is one of the harder things for me.

    • My husband is going to therapy too. At this point we are only making couple appointments as needed because we (me, my husband & our therapist) agree that we communicate very well with each other, we listen to each other and we are moving forward on our own. We just make appointments when one of us feels stuck and having trouble moving forward.

  14. I am 2 months from dday. His affair was 7.5 years long. One year physical and then phone/email/Skype. He says he didn’t love her. She was a trusted friend. Barf! I never Skype and masturbated with a friend.
    We are in counseling. I feel I have forgiven him for the 1 yr. But struggle for the rest. We moved after that year. We lived together for 3 months then he was activated {military} and was a weekend dad/husband three weekends a month for 14 months. He was deployed, came back a wounded warrior professing how much he missed and loved me. I just found out that is when the Skype sex occurred. Yes, while we couldn’t have physical sex…I was never offered phone or Skype. The first 6 months he returned he was in another state due to injuries.
    The marriage counselor leans towards saying it was habit. Can anyone explain that to me please?
    I am effing confused and deeply hurt.

    • Hi Beth, I am sorry to hear your story. It sounds like your husband is disclosing everything to you and giving you the truth and honesty you need to figure things out. I am sure he didn’t love her–it was convenient and she gave him attention and phone/Skype sex without him probably even having to do much for it. Some of it probably was habit. I know my husband said that he expected the “friendship/relationship/affair” to end before it ever began. He just kept waiting for his affair partner to move on and leave him but he never did anything to end it. He says he tried once or twice but she always pulled him back in. Sometime I think the men do it because it’s there and they are fearful to tell their wives what they need/want/desire. Their insecurities create another life that enforces their fears. There’s no rational way to explain it or understand it completely. I don’t know if that helps or not… But I hated when my husband called his affair partner his “friend who was a great listener” too. I slapped him across the face for the first and only time in our lives.

      • He called his AP his “friend who was a great listener” after D-Day? WTF?!? What she was (is) is a lying, conniving, manipulative, amoral whore with an agenda to lure him away from his wife and his family. And he described her as a “friend?” Seriously?! I’m so furious on your behalf for that. I hope that slap was hard enough to dislodge his head from his sphincter. *end rant*

      • 😀 Thanks for your rant. I’ll remember to tell my husband about this later. He has since regretted each and every word of that sentence. It only took him one slap to realize she was NEVER his friend. He said that sentence in the first conversation we had when I confronted him with the facts that I knew everything. I told him if he ever referred to her as his “friend” again I would cut his balls off.

      • This is another major area of struggle for me. They were friends first. She is also married. Lured him in with tales of ow awful her husband was. I said why didn’t she leave him if she was so miserable, and mistreated. He does not yet see that she played him like a fiddle. I ranted about once, and said that he needs to really think about and see the forest for the trees. I said I will only discuss it again in marriage counseling. (We are currently each in our own therapy, and waiting to start couples therapy until he gets ahandle on his issues.) I hate that bitch, who knew he was married and couldn’t have cared less. I found an email where she was asking to sleep on the couch at night,and not touch me. I was crazed!

      • I can’t figure out why the OW’s think they have the right to make requests of our husbands. My husband’s AP told him he needed to tell her every time we were intimate. Really? He said he never told her outright but if she asked he never denied it. He said he hope that telling her we were intimate (never any details) would make her realize he cared about me–not her.

      • Yes, I did slap my husband twice when he keep telling me “that they are just friend which feel comfortable to talk too” (if she’s really a good friend, she will be a good friend with his friend wife isn’t it?) and “pity her” – that’s what he always told me from time to time for the past 2 months when I questions him (even when I discover he bought her expensive ring for her birthday gift – he told me “pity her” – that’s the time I slap him)

  15. Our therapist asked me to think about what he can do to help me to trust him again. Dday was 3/16. He is doing everything I have asked and everything he can think of since. It seems that longevity is the key. Still not certain if that is enough.

    • Keep being honest and telling him what you need. I feel like what I need changes as time goes on and a different understanding opens up. I know I have/had this fear too–that will all this end and go back to the way it was before? Keep being honest and open. Ironically, rebuilding our marriages requires us to be vulnerable again.

      • Actually after all this affair happen, I feel that I need him to give me his email, skype and social media password (by then I can check if he still play around or communicating with that ‘b’ or not isn’t it). But in other way around, I’m also thinking that it’s all must come from himself and his willingness, I cannot control him coz the more I try to control him in every single move, the more he become not comfortable around me and we cannot start to rebuild back the marriage when his getting feed up with my suspicious to him. If I force him to give, we will fight again, end up not happy and he might give the password but there is still possibility ‘if he want, he could’ open new account, new email and other new social medias to communicate with her isn’t it?
        So, what’s your advise? At the moment I just keep quiet, just be like normal and trying to be happy and didn’t ask him anymore to open up his password, etc. Did I make the right move?

  16. I am in awe of where you are with all of this-I know I have said it before. It’s amazing reading your past blogs (trying to catch up) at the end of the day? It’s all the same story….just a few diff details. I don’t know alot of details of his affair-I haven’t asked because I am afraid of the answers. My husband has had a pretty easy ride while I have been on a roller coaster I can’t get off. I want him so badly to see the person I have become. But why? I think because I feel like he doesn’t? The affair is never spoken about really. He truly feels I should be way past where I am after all this time. The irony if it all-I gave up so much because he disnt trust ME! I would ask why his response was always “I don’t know-I just don’t” so I stopped going out to lunch w friends, told him my every move-hell I stopped having friends all together so that he would feel “safe”…..maybe I just started replying to blogs because I am ready to move ahead a little? Maybe I want to start working on me? I don’t know. I have read so many over the past 3 yrs….never have I posted. How did you get so far in this journey? Maybe I haven’t caught up on your past posts yet. What do you think has helped you the most? Therapy?

    • I am not sure but I feel like I have to give credit to my husband. He came to me within a day of me confronting him on his hands and knees, sobbing and told me he would do anything he needed to do for me to keep him. And he has kept that promise. Somedays he struggles to communicate or express himself but overall he’s been there for me when I need him. But that is how I’ve been able to move forward in our marriage.
      I feel like much of this journey is about me–with or without him I have to survive. I didn’t choose this but I have to live with it. It took me a long time to accept that too. I have been evaluating myself–why did he feel he couldn’t come to me with the truth? What made him afraid to tell me? How can I be happier? I recognize for the first time in my life that I cannot control the lives of the people around me…. I can only control me.
      Although I don’t see my therapist regularly–I recommend that everyone go and work on what is bothering them. Figure out coping mechanisms for when the pain is overwhelming or the trust seems to be gone. Because it’s often the trauma speaking, not reality. Idk…. I feel like I am just moving along. Trying to understand my husband more and myself. I hope that helps.

      • “I cannot control the lives of the people around me…. I can only control me” – thank you for this..

  17. We are in couples counseling and I am going to therapy alone. In the future he will go alone as well. The therapist wants to work on us first. It has very helpful for me to have someone to talk to and get unbiased professional feedback.

    • We started to go together…almost a yr after d-day…why I waited I have no idea. I was afraid I think. After 3 sessions, the therapist thought that I had gone into such an unhealthy place (wouldn’t leave the house out of shame it happened and embarrassed that I stayed) I always said I would leave if it ever happened-but I now know that you never know what you would do in any circumstance until you are there yourself. I continued for about 6 months….I stopped going 5 months ago. I have to learn to push myself thru the shitty times…..the days I just want to stay in my room. I want to be the person I used to be-such an opposite if who I am now….but I just wish I would wake up and be there. Every night I go to bed with a plan for just the next day….and I actually do it 50% of the time. It’s the other 50% I struggle with……ugh….why did this have to happen to us?!

  18. Ok. Since I first read this post I have found many more pieces to our puzzle. Torn ugly pieces that I wish would somehow get lost again. It will be 6 months since my DD on July 1st and I have desparately been searching for truth everyday. I have always been a person who wants to know the whole truth. Well, that can be a bad thing recovering from betrayal. Some truths we just don’t need to know. My advice to anyone new to this roller coaster journey is to try not to focus on all the details. Some questions you don’t need the answer to or maybe we do so we can feel the pain. Does knowing all the details lengthen our pathway to forgiveness or shorten it? I am at a crossroads. Do we need to know all the details of something we will never understand?! It is like bombladoze said, it is as horrible as we think. I will never understand…I will just have to forgive and accept.

    • Crystal you are so right. I had a similar thing happen last week where I discovered on my husband’s work laptop a file containing a playlist he put together for his AP in 2011. I read through the list of songs and wanted to die…. five of them were entitled “I love you…” or something of that nature. He claimed it was a playlist he had made for some friends but I realized he had tweaked it a little for her… and it upset me. I didn’t need to see that or read it. He had forgotten it was on his pc. It was obviously an old file and I already knew about the playlist but not the exact contents. The visual of it made me sick. I knew they had just began their sexual relationship a few weeks before he made the playlist for her.. He said that the songs were just songs he put on there because he thought she would like them and there was no underlying meaning. But you know the AP believed that every song was specially picked for her and all I want is for her to know he never loved her. He never respected her and he never wanted to be with her. Ughh…
      Yes, be careful what you look for because you can never unknow something…

      • So true. “all I want is for her to know he never loved her. He never respected her and he never wanted to be with her. Ughh…” I am obseessed with that right now.

      • He wrongly send text with ‘picture of them’ to one of my friend and it’s written “if someone waiting for u, it doesn’t mean he has nothing to do. It simply mean that nothing is more important than u” – It tears me up when my friend show it to me (those days when I felt something went wrong, he has affair but I couldn’t proof it yet – he always come home late, said his busy and those days he seems don’t want to spend time with me, even couldn’t take same off day with me – and how could he send that sweet text to her??)

    • Crystal, I am like you, I always want to know the whole truth; I dont care how painful it is knowing the truth helps me make sense of the whys. Therapy has been great for me as an individual. We had gone to couples counseling and that was well, it was enlightening. We discovered my husband has deep seeded issues that combined with his Monday-Friday travel made it easy for him to succumb to a woman in every port —and people thought that was just a sailor thing! Forgive and accept, that is where I am at in my healing process and its taken a year to get here. Understanding the why behind the behavior has made it possible for me to be here and no longer call the other women names. They were bamboozled themselves–he led them to believe he was almost divorced and even met the family of one poor woman before he spent a week at a beach front hotel with her. Smh.

      • Thanks Rebecca. I read this a couple days ago when I was having a down moment and even though I cried, I felt better knowing that I am not alone. I am at 6 months and I still have waves of anger, but they are less often and less intense. It is good to hear from someone who is no longer angry.

      • Crystal, hang in there. Inhad those waves of anger too. I’d think ofmthebhotel hook up he had with a woman he worked with. Of course the killer was his leaving our family to spend a holiday with another woman the same woman he spent the week at the beach with. Then all the IMs and emails… It really does get better. I realized my husband was in need of serious help and I needed to distance myself for some peace and sanity. That’s when our therapist suggested therapeutic separation. a time apart on sep households to focus on ourselves and our needs in order to determine of our marital relationship could be rebuilt. It’s taken us several months from that day to finally be in separate houses and I feel great relief and peace. Challenged as a single parent, yes, but I am strong and can handle anything when I’m not being pulled down.
        Try not to hate the other women too much, they don’t matter—they are nothing to you. 🙂

  19. I have been asking him a lot of details but have since stopped. He told me he sent her flowers on her birthday and he NEVER sent flowers to my work (He gave me flowers, not the same thing). Boy does that hurt, don’t want to know any more details.

    • At previous comment… I kept asking for details too. I just felt like I needed to know everything. What I figured out is that each little detail would sink me deeper and deeper. Now I feel like I do not want to know any more. I think that I have enough knowledge now to know exactly what happened. I do need to stop giving “the slut” any more if my energy by thinking about her. I pray we all heal soon!

      • I’m sorry you found the playlist. I do know your pain and it is comforting to know we are not alone. I go through times when I think I’m okay and stop asking details and them its like I am overcome with the need to know everything. My husband had multiple affairs and one main tramp for four years. He started seeing the main tramp when I was pregnant with our twins and continued to see her through my second pregnancy. He pursued these women via online swinger sites. It was all very calculated. He travels for work so all the adultery was done in the daytime or on out of town trips. I was completely oblivious until I was sent a text by an unknown person on New Year’s Day. It is all incomprehensible to me!

  20. IDK, I guess I’m in the minority here. I insisted on all details, how he conducted himself. Otherwise, how would I know what exactly I was forgiving or even determining if it was forgivable for me. But with regard to the whys, there I was unrelenting. And I now feel I have most of the important pieces of the puzzle. One of the things waywords avoid is the realization of how low they had sunk. Not only do they deceive us their wives, but they deceive the AP as well if not overtly, implicitly. When I questioned my husband as to why he didn’t end it when he realized it was not what he wanted, we found through therapy that it was because he didn’t want to face that he used and deceived another person. He wanted to maintain the illusion that he was still a good guy and they were “friends”.. You see men like to see themselves and have others seem them a certain way. Ending it would have destroyed that illusion or justification, unmasking him. He was not he man of character or integrity he portrayed or thought he was. It made him question who he really was, how he lives his life. This was when the true work of healing and forgiving began for both of us, no lies, no illusions. It’s an opportunity to live authentically and truly transcending the old relationship. His honesty and the hard work he has put into therapy and atoning have helped the healing process enormously. I don’t think I would have stayed had he done any less.

    • I was crazy too about the details for the first nine months. It’s just recently that I am trying to not focus on things. I felt like I needed to know how he could have allowed this.
      You hit the nail on the head about how your husband still wanted to be seen as a good guy. My husband realized this too. He said that if he left her he would be the bad guy, he would have to acknowledge to her that he never cared about her, loved her or any of it. He was waiting for her to walk away. He didn’t want to destroy the illusion either.
      Thanks for posting and sharing.

  21. I am 29 days from my dday. I recently got to the point of being able to sleep a little, and eat a little. I have been so surprised that I am still here. I always thought that this was a non negotiable for me. We are in therapy individually. Our therapists say that we need to wait for couples therap, until he is ready. They say that he needs to figure some stuff out about his own issues, for couples therapy to work. I hate waiting. I hate no knowing what my life is going to be. I am trapped in a holding pattern,and that is hard. I will think I doing okay,and then I will be stuck with an imagined image of them together, or a quote from one of their disgusting emails. It brings me to my knees. We had a good marriage. It wasn’t perfect. Sure there were things that I wanted that I wasn’t getting. Did it ever occur to me to go somewhere to get it? No. It kills me that what was missing in our marriage was being given to someone else. My therapist says that right now I am grieving because my marriage is dead. No matter if we stay together or not, the marriage we had is gone forever. So true, and so sad.

    • The first month is unbearable. I look back and wonder how I survived. How did I not drive off a bridge? I say that only half joking.
      You will go through the stages of grieving as though someone/thing died. Your marriage before the affair is over… you cannot have it back and that was a hard pill to swallow. It was much harder for my husband to accept that. He felt like our marriage was perfect and we could get back there–if it was perfect then why did he lie? Why couldn’t he come clean and tell me the truth? Our marriage was great, wonderful and pure before the affair but we weren’t able to communicate our biggest fears and weaknesses to each other. He feared that telling me anything about his AP (before she was even his AP) would upset me and anger me. Yet, his continuance of the “friendship” is what killed our marriage. Ironic, huh?
      Now we are more open. We talk about our fears, about relationships with other people, moments during our day that didn’t seem necessary before the affair.
      I have finally reached acceptance on this journey… I accept the affair. I dislike that it happened but I accept it. I guess that’s the final stage of grieving. But there is still work to be done.

      • Thank you for creating this blog, sharing your journey, and giving so many of us a place to find commonality and healing. I read and re-read this every day because I relate to what you are saying so much.

  22. I’m approaching 8 months since DDay and getting extremely discouraged. I’ve been reading your blog and have felt hope that my marriage too,can become something better than it was before. We’ve grown up together, been together for 11 years, married for 6. No kids yet. But I recently discovered my husband did not cut off contact with his AP and found naked pictures she had been sending him this whole time it was supposed to be over. It took me three weeks to confront him about what I had found. I wanted to be able to confront him and leave. But I’m still here, and questioning if I should be. I’m so confused, hurt, sad, angry, and tired. I confronted him last week Monday and did not come home. I told him to end his relationship with her. He claims he did but has a million excuses for not being able to show me his “break-up” email. He started being extremely transparent with me the first few days but now he’s slipping back into his old ways. I don’t feel him fighting for me, fighting for our marriage when it’s something I so desperately want. We started seeing a therapist last week (which he’s open and agreed to) but I have this underlying sadness that I’ve given him my everything, and now it’s time to move on. How do you know when enough is enough? What would your end look like?

    • I know exactly how you feel. It has been 3 yrs since that horrible day. At first he was all about therapy and second chances etc and for about a year-he really worked hard. We went to therapy 3x together but the therapist suggested I go by myself for a while because I was such a mess and it was effecting every area of my life. So I went alone for about 9 months. The whole time I was there-I was pissed that I was sitting in the therapist office and he wasn’t!!! He had the 2 emotional affairs and then upped the anty to a full blown affair. That resentment took me out of
      Therapy. I am thinking of going back because he has “gone back to normal”
      And I still cry every night. I only found this site about 3 months ago. I am now angry again. Not sure if I am angry at him or myself? I want a do over. I made this way to easy for him. I read on here about other husbands that are working so hard and mine thinks life is back to normal. He doesn’t see the person I have become. Well actually, he does, he just doesn’t think it has anything to do with his affair!!!! That makes me very angry. I know who I was before that day…..not who I am right now-that’s for sure. Hang in there-we have to work on ourselves as well….some days I want to leave and other days I don’t. I know I’m afraid of the unknown…..

      • Keep going to therapy on your own. Not every marriage can be saved. I used to think that bit it really does take two and , honestly, he has to go to therapy as well. I did I individual and couple therapy wi my husband. It’s taken me a year since my DDay but it is here. I am moving on because it is what I need to do to be sane and raise our daughter. We are starting with a therapeutic separation and working on rebuilding trust. From there, we just go on with wherever I path takes us. If we come back together great. If not, we will be ending as the friends we were when we first were married.
        –Rebecca

      • Am I scared? A little but I have a very strong resolve; supportive friends and family. I also have a very strong faith and know that life will turn out for me . I may be alone or not. I’m just living each day as I go. I am a school teacher and believe me, with all the budget issues, that concerns me… But when I feel scared, I take a deep breath and I say a little prayer. Then I try to do something I like–that usually means pulling weeds in the yard, taking my dogs for a walk, or coloring or reading with my little girl.
        Find your inner strength, Lostmyself722. You are stronger than you may feel right now, and you will come out of this feeling good about yourself. It’s just going to take some time and forgiveness. Forgiveness is key to being free and happy with yourself.
        Sincerely, Rebecca, NC

    • Stephanie, you will know when you have had enough. For me it was when my husband quit his job yet again and took another M-F travel job. I still lied to myself –this can work, I can grow and accept this–but shortly after,I found myself sad again, feeling like I was still in that cycle. I was driving to work one morning and I knew, I just knew it was time to let go and move on. I felt such peace in my life from tha moment forward. I told my husband we had to sell the house and live on separate places. Of he wanted to work on our marriage he would need to work on it with me.
      Today, we are living in separate homes. He struggles with not being with us as a family on the weekends but that was his choice when he betrayed us. Will we divorce? I don’t know. I feel strongly we will and this separation period is a way of letting go gradually while healing at the same time.
      I will keep you in my prayers and send you positive thoughts as you face your life ahead.
      —Rebecca, NC

    • I am not sure how you know when it’s the end. Have you read the book “Not Just Friends” by Shirley Glass? I started this book early in my healing and it was too difficult. I recently went back to it and it’s helping me and my husband understand what is going on in this healing process. She discusses transparancy about 1/3 of the way through the book. She says that if the unfaithful spouse refuses to be transparent then you have two options–accept that your husband may not be faithful to you or you leave the relationship. If he’s not willing to be completely open and honest then it must be hard to trust and respect him. You can’t respect him when he is sexting another woman, right?
      Maybe you can discuss with him what he wants and where he wants to see your marriage in five years? Have him talk to you about what he needs and then tell him what you need to stay. You need to help him understand why you believe you can’t stay. Just be clear and upfront… and hopefully he will understand your needs are nonnegotiable.

  23. Pingback: Things I need to tell you about puzzle pieces… | Creative Title, until I think of one

  24. Pingback: Filling the Void After His Affair | Healing After My Husband's Affair

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