Trusting Each Step

Do you ever feel like this shadow washes over your day? Sometimes darkness comes over me and I feel myself sink deep inside. All my insecurities start to surface and I see my life differently. Or I see my life through a different lens. It’s sad and full of doubt. My thoughts lead me through a maze of constant emotions and memories. Each turn I take can either bring me deeper into the abyss or shut down the thoughts completely. It’s a choice to not let them takeover. It’s a choice to not fall into depression for me.

trustIt’s the moment right before an emotional breakdown. Or it’s the moment you avoid the emotional roller coaster that feels the most perilous. Either I slam the door on everything and focus on believing only in the good or I will crumble into what feels like a million pieces.

The truth is this feeling, or these moments, I’m talking about have been there my whole life. It’s nothing new. When I was fifteen or sixteen I would sit in front of a mirror and let the thoughts flow through my head. I was lucky though, I had the ability to ponder all my insecurities and then let them go. I learned it was therapeutic to acknowledge all my deepest fears, insecurities and truths and then move on with life. I continued this pattern of behavior all through college.

If you ask me, I would say that this exercise ended after I married my husband. But that would be a lie. I am remembering things the way I want to believe they are. Sometimes it’s hard to remember which insecurities were always there or appeared after D-day.

Today I was triggered and sinking into a dark, lonely place I started to doubt everything. That seems to be what I do, maybe it’s what people do… When I feel most insecure then I doubt the people around me. I started to question my marriage, my husband and wonder if everything I’ve built my life on is a lie. The doubters and APs reading this will say yes. But I don’t want to believe the naysayers.

When I let down all my defenses all I can do is trust myself. Trust that my life is where it needs to be. Trust that every step I’ve taken is right and that I am building something better. I’m figuring this out as I go here.

trust each step

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24 thoughts on “Trusting Each Step

  1. Wonderful post.
    Same for me today but I am not so nice, I wish I were. Today I doubted him, and the AP as viable people. Then I remembered my father’s advice, ” for every positive quality you love, there is the other negative side of it, for everyone. The trick is to decide what you can live with.”
    So when I am really falling apart I do that exercise. Sometimes I am so very sad I am not the entire person he needed. Then I do that exercise about myself. I remember he didn’t want her at all. As for the AP, no, they are not viable. Strangers. Do they contribute, as your husband does, to making amends? I doubt it. So what they think is immaterial.

    • I am having a rough day today with triggers. I know that I need to trust but it is so hard for me. Please say a prayer for me today that I can trust in his words and learn to forgive. In HIS name..

  2. I’m looking for some advice from someone who’s in my shoes. We’ve gone to two councilors so far. The first one upset me too much and the second offended my husband. A month has gone by without couple therapy. We’re not talking about anything important or the situation at all. We talk about what’s for dinner and work and kids. Going right back into that hole that I lived in for twelve years. But now I know I have reason to worry. Again he fell asleep so another day goes by without talking. I emailed him to please reconsider going to a different therapist. I don’t think we can do this alone. It’s like we don’t know how to talk to each other about us. Any advise ???? Also any good books I could ask him to read to help me through this? Ive read tons about my end but maybe there’s one that he should read. Thanks for listening. Tonight’s a rough one!!!!!

    • The Affair Recovery web site has been a god send for us. We’re almost done with the EMS Online course. It’s amazing how much my husband has learned about himself and how much we have learned about each other. I highly recommend spending the time and money. There’s a link on this blog. One of the classes is about communicating. Made a huge difference for us. Think about it and good luck. You are not alone.

    • HOW TO HELP YOUR SPOUSE HEAL FROM YOUR AFFAIR by Linda j. McDonald great for the wayward spouse. Stay in counseling! Find a different one…I have looked for support groups for women whose spouses cheat but they r hard to find. Praying for u! You r right- can’t do it alone…

    • Amy, My husband and I were married for 23 years before we learned to talk to one another. We went to a weekend “retreat” called Retrouvaille and it was amazing! If you can persuade your husband to go to this weekend-long session, you will not be sorry. You can look it up on the Internet. It teaches couples how to communicate and it’s taught by other couples who have had serious marital problems themselves. I hope you can encourage your husband to go. Best of luck to you!

  3. That quote is so true, for me it’s hard to make my imagination stop when it’s imagining something that has been a reality, if that makes sense?! I hope with time that gets less. I want positivity to win to move forward successfully with my husband not against him; one day at a time 🙂

  4. First let me say, I am sorry you are having such a bad day. You have made it through so much. It is normal to doubt ourselves and those around you. I am still in the beginning of this mess and am reading and trying to find ways to help me through the darkness. I am a person who has always had her cup 1/2 full not 1/2 empty. I have gone through a lot in my lifetime including cancer which I just reached my 15 yr mark. Quite an accomplishment. But nothing has ever made me feel like this. Nothing has ever made me doubt myself. It’s not easy knowing he needed something you were not providing. Like you today, (what is it about today?) I woke up wondering if this is really what I want. Can I ever trust him again? Will I ever feel he is completely with me again? But then I remember something I read recently, they did research finding better then 50% of all people are affected by infidelity. Which means that most marriages at some point have one partner cheat. But, they also studied the results of spouses that have cheated, and have truly tried to make amends, they truly are sorry, they are human and made a mistake they wish they never had. They found the marriages that stay together after an infidelity, where the cheating spouse is truly remorseful have even better marriages because they know what they almost lost. That gave me a little hope. Yes, there are those that are not in that category, but from reading your post, you know you are suppose to be together. Take today for what it is, a bad day. Put on some music, read a good book or do something just for you. Tomorrow will be a better day.

  5. I am at a total loss. My husband and I are not talking right now. He is completely retreating from the marriage. I have this pit in my stomach that makes me sick. Makes me sick when I think of what he did with all those prostitutes. The way that he deals with things is if you don’t talk about it, or face it, it will just go away in time. I’ve told him for the past 10 months that this is not going away. I am the one that does all the talking, when we talk. He does not contribute much, if anything. He will answer my questions, yes or not. But that is it. How do I start the conversation that we both don’t want to have?

  6. You are about 6 mos further along than me. I appreciate your blog so much.
    I confronted my husband with my suspicions in Jan 2013. He denied it and I believed him. Then in Feb 2013, I found evidence. Again, he denied that it was anything more than a “father-daughter” relationship b/c she was an emotionally wounded girl (half his age) who had been abandoned in childhood by her biological father and sought my husband’s advice constantly. I chose to believe him but thought the thousands of text messages between him seemed quite excessive. I continued watching them when I visited his place of work and didn’t really trust him. finally, in March of 2013, he came clean and gave me the full details of their 2.5 year sexual relationship. Because there wasn’t penetrative intercourse and everything occurred in short time frames in the office after work, He’d rationalized that it wasn’t really an “affair.” She’d seduced him and he’d not stood up for our marriage. He was both a coward and hypocrite. He’d criticized Bill Clinton for his affair and lies involving Monica, yet here he was in a similar predicament, convincing himself that he’d not really had sex with this woman, when they’ve done everything else but intercourse.
    When he tried to back out of the relationship, she began threatening to expose him, ruin his career, claim sexual harassment as an employee, etc. Then she began threatening suicide, almost every weekend, threatening to leave behind a letter blaming him for her death. One time she even used her husband’s cell phone pretending she was her husband, and sent him a text message blaming my husband for the death of his wife and claiming to get even. My husband was trapped and saw no relief in site, except that she’d entered grad school with plans to eventually find a better job. He began to realize that she was quite mentally/emotionally unstable and feared what she would do if he shut down their relationship. Additionally, since she worked along side of him every day, she could make his day miserable if he didn’t cooperate with her demands. My husband realized he could keep her under control, by spending time with her, being her close friend, and by meeting her sexual needs. He thought if he could just play along with her for another 2 years, he’d eventually be free of her as she would move onto a higher paying job. He was hoping I’d never figure out what was going on. Stupid man… living in a fog of denial! That seemed to all work for him until my discoveries in Feb 2013.
    With his confession to me, we teamed up against her and called her bluff. She was furious and made more threats, but never followed through. She had a nervous breakdown at work one day, showing up disheveled and taking Xanax. Management then forced her to “get help,” and decrease her hours to part time work. They assumed her “break” was due to being overly stressed while trying to balance school demands, work demands, and motherhood. She was moved to another area of the office and my husband did his best to avoid her at all cost. She made a required visit to a therapist office, but claims they told her she was “okay.”
    A psychologist friend of ours who also works in the office listened in on a phone conversation between her and my husband. She was unaware someone else was listening. As she ranted and raged at my husband, continued making suicidal threats, etc. our friend coached my husband and later told him that at all cost, he was to avoid her and have no contact. After learning all of the details of their relationship, our friend warned that this young woman most likely had borderline personality disorder and that there was no way to reason with her. Husband avoided her and wouldn’t even make eye contact with her if she passed him in the office or came to ask him a question. He didn’t respond to the emails and texts she continued sending. It took several months, but she finally got the idea. It wasn’t long before she began working on another man in the office. She finally graduated and has moved on to a new job 150 miles away.
    Husband and I have been through counseling separately and together, having been now to 3 different therapists. In the summer of 2013, we attended a “Hope and Healing” seminar by Mona and Gary Shriver (heard on Focus on the Family radio). That’s when I think my husband finally came to grips with the damage he’d done to our marriage and family. We attended Family Life today’s “The Art of Marriage” seminar in Feb 2014, which was also very helpful. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in May of 2013 and he had a recurrence of throat cancer a year later. He has been amazingly supportive of me throughout these past months and I truly believe he loves me and is a new man, broken by this whole mess. As we’ve sequentially both gone through surgeries, chemo and radiation, we’ve gained a new perspective on life…. and whatever time God allows for us to remain on this earth.
    I love my husband. We’ve been married 40 years and have 4 adult children, several grandchildren. He was such a “good man” and community/church leader until he became wrongly overly involved with this young woman. He was stupid and naive, thinking he’d never fall into such a predicament, believing he was above being unfaithful. He’s always had a bit of a “hero complex” and works in a helping/medical profession that kept him on a pedestal. Everyone loves and admires him, but he now lives with the secret shame of what he did to me and the family. Because of this woman’s constant threats and instability, we’ve kept this all secret, except for sharing with a few close friends, our pastor, and the 3 children who live nearby. Our friends and children have been supportive. I feel like Im wearing a mask out in public now.
    In spite of husband’s efforts and acceptance of full responsibility, I still deal with moments of anger and awful memories of how I “was played and betrayed” by both husband and this girl. I awaken from nightmares about her. I have moments of doubts concerning my husband. I still cringe when I see him reading a text message. I think of the risks he took, his lying to me, his double life, etc. and there are days I want to shout from the rooftop how I was wronged. I long to be free of all this, but realize it will take a lot of time. Meanwhile, I hope I can continue to restrain those harmful desires to seek revenge.
    We’ve read countless books on surviving an affair and my husband has completely dropped his defensive posture and listens patiently to all of my concerns. I feel like the problem is now all mine. I have forgiven him over and over, but I still can’t shake some insecurities and the bouts of anger
    We are looking into attending one of Rick Reynold’s upcoming Marriage Intensive weekends (www.affairrecovery.com).
    I wondered if anyone else reading this has attended one?

  7. It’s a side of good health & courage to be brave enough to allow oneself to be vulnerable. Your post washed over me like a familiar wave, these universal feelings connect us & create a more compassionate, loving world. I am sure of it. Much love to you.

  8. Sometimes I feel like a fog kind of embraces me and lingers. I am a little over a year and a half now since I found out about my husbands infidelity. The pain isn’t as excruciating now as it used to be but he is a pretty horrible communicator so that makes the healing process for me take twice as long I think. I just want the fog to be lifted and feel free.

  9. I want to share…and be honest, but give some hope. I am posting from a hotel room bed, with my husband sleeping peacefully beside me. Last night marked one year since the last tryst he had with his AP, in a hotel, in another city. He knew my heart was breaking…that triggers abounded…and I was astounded at the tender care he took to try to create a new memory for this day, to write a new chapter in our life story.
    This is my first time posting. I have read, and cried, and despaired, and run and returned and hated and screamed and retreated over the last 9 months since Dday. The first three months were excruciating as at first, H had decided he wanted out. That was when he only admitted to an insignificant emotional tie…and over the next months truth slowly trickled out and revealed that during the 27 years of our marriage, there had been 3 full blown physical affairs along with some other “stuff” along the way. The crowning glory for me was the first AP and the last AP, 25 years apart, were the same person…and the last one became fully involved emotionally and physically with them talking about a future together.
    Obviously, my entire world was shattered and I basically went fetal for the first few weeks after it all came out. Slowly, with excellent counseling and a H willing to give 100% of himself, we have climbed out of the pit. It has involved couple therapy, IC, support groups for both of us. We are now part of a marriage therapy weekend group and provide coaching to hurting couples.
    As I look at the road I never thought I would be on, and the incredible strides that I have made personally and that we have made together, I think the keys have been 1. Excellent therapy for ME…that recognizes that betrayal is TRAUMA and deals with the betrayed spouse using trauma strategies (and demands the WS do the same…or leave), 2. A husband who understood (once the fog lifted) that his words meant nothing…his words scarred and destroyed…and it was all about his actions and transparency and 3. The freedom at any moment on any subject to any degree to ask questions and get an honest answer.
    My marriage is beautiful now. It is scarred, and has deep, ugly evidence of the wounds but for the first time, we are so bare naked from the inside of our souls. This journey is like no other that I could ever imagine, and it still takes my breath away when I think of what I thought my life was and the profound and utter betrayal that led me to understand what my life really was…but somehow, through the devastation, we are discovering an entirely new story for our lives that is more. And honest. And real.
    To my sisters in this painful fellowship, I wish peace for each of you.

    • Thank you for sharing your story. I share so much of the feelings, pain, rawness and then happiness that you wrote about. There is a something amazing about stripping down your relationship to such a raw level. To the point where all you can do is rebuild, grow, and embrace all that is good. Peace be with you too.

  10. “…She could never go back and make the details pretty — all she could do was move forward and make the whole beautiful….”

    Ladies, if you and your husband are still together after his affair, it means that you dug deep into your heart and found a reason to stay with him. Maybe it’s because of the kids. Maybe it’s because of finances. Maybe it’s because you’re ashamed to get a divorce. Maybe it’s because you’re afraid to be alone. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s because you love him and are willing to take a chance on a second chance. And maybe, despite the pain, agony, devastation and humiliation that his affair brought into your life, you want to fully love and trust him again.

    Yes, our husbands cheated. Their stupid, selfish, thoughtless and evil actions crippled us and left us sobbing on the floor. Thoughts and visions of the OW with OUR husbands make us crazy with jealousy and insecurity. Anger, resentment and disbelief have become our pop-up companions. The whole mess, from start to finish, is too ugly for words. Infidelity — ok, let’s call a spade a spade — adultery is something I would never, ever wish on anyone’s marriage… not even the OW, should she ever get married to some unsuspecting victim. (Did I say that?!)

    But despite all that crap, vomit and poison, we’ve thus far stayed married. Why? Because with each tear that falls, the tiny seeds of strength and determination are watered a little at a time. We may FEEL like failures, we may FEEL worthless — but in reality, we ARE survivors. What we FEEL doesn’t make us what we ARE. We aren’t promising a FUTURE love of our husbands “…in sickness and in health…in good times and bad..’.til death do us part.” We ARE LIVING that love, right here, right now. If this isn’t a bad time, then I don’t know what is!

    Sure, we got our butts kicked and our spirits shattered. But we stayed because our HOPE is stronger than our worst pain and bigger than our fears.

    It is SOOOOO not easy to get through the tears and days of darkness.

    But keep finding those reasons to stay. Maybe, just maybe….it’s worth it.

    xxoo
    Annie

    • Today is the first anniversary of my own death, of the person I thought I was and the person I thought my husband was. While we have both emerged again as different people, his for the better – me still broken. ..God has done an amazing miracle of restoration to our marriage, but today I mourn the pain of death….

    • I wish that on a day like today I could see the strength in me that you see in yourself. It’s been over 2 years yet I still struggle. Lately I see myself as sad, naive and stupid person. Rather than see my trust was violated I have been blaming myself for not asking more questions about things that were happening in front of my eyes. My husband never seemed to feeel any shame for the things he did right in front of me. At one point we sat together in livingroom while he texted her. Constantly. When I questioned it, he told me it was work related. The long hours, the work relationships that only developed with women. I posted to the ow on her facebook page. I was in the wrong because it was for her business. Really? He was fired for their relationship yet I should respect her reputation.

      I’m feeling really low right now. I know how long it has been. I know the changes that have come about. Yet I am left doubting his sincerity.
      As I writing the tears are streaming down my face, you’d think it happended yesterday instead of 2+ years ago.

      • Hi, I know that feeling of “how could you” and then drowning in feelings of shame, worthlessness, and just a general feeling of being lost and alone. The further I’ve gotten from D-Day the more I’ve been able to rationally look at the affair-which was completely unrational behavior. But I can see that my husband wasn’t thinking about me or the fact that his behavior could impact me in such a devastating way. He was emailing her or communicating with her was because it gave him a high. While his actions were disrespectful and hurtful to me, it was never his intention. He wasn’t thinking about me but he wasn’t trying to destroy our marriage. Which may not make you feel any better about anything but it’s helped me separate his “affair” behavior and actions from him.
        There were many times I wanted to expose Bat Shit and make her suffer some small percentage of what I felt. But I’ve maintained my distance. Which in retrospect was smart because she was so manipulative. But I know there was a time when I told my husband I wanted to write her a letter and he said whatever I needed to do to feel better he would support. I wrote the letter, rewrote five times, and never sent it. I don’t regret that. I want to close all the doors in my life that lead to Bat Shit. I’ve accepted that as much as I wish her misery I don’t want my life intersecting with hers on any level. But I think that takes time because I never thought I would get here.
        I know how it feels when the tears are streaming down your face and the pain from D-day surges up inside… Breathe through it. Know that it’s okay to still feel pain. We are human. Make your pain drive you towards your happiness in those moments.

      • Precious one…I encourage you to change your name here…while I understand how you could see yourself as shame, you are NOT. As thiswillnotdefineus so beautifully says, our cheating spouses did not do this to us. We were the unwilling participants in a drama…a role…in which we had no knowledge and no say. My H also admits to texting boldly in front of me, and even our children, and lying. We have NO SHAME in these actions, and you have no shame. We were faithful, and trusting.
        Oh, I so understand and still struggle with the OW questions and lines of engagement. Especially that last (and what actually was the first, too) affair. As asthiswillnotdefineus also did, I wrote countless letters to her…even recorded conversations of confrontation between the imaginary HER and the real me as I tried to put any kind of human understanding on how the situation. Slowly, I am doing these things less often. I tell my husband I do them…and he says it is terribly painful for him…that he wants to forget but knows I need to walk through the craziness and process to get to a place that I want to forget.
        Do you see changes in your husband? Maybe they don’t look exactly like my husband or someone elses, but is he trying, is he hearing, is he holding, is he hearing?
        The most beautiful writing I’ve seen on grief that has helped me understand (and my husband) can be found at the link below. Maybe he would read it with you, and together, you can write a new story that doesn’t deny how you got where you are, but chooses where you go next? http://nyti.ms/17OtMiZ

  11. Today is the first anniversary of my own death, of the person I thought I was and the person I thought my husband was. While we have both emerged again as different people, his for the better – me still broken. ..God has done an amazing miracle of restoration to our marriage, but today I mourn the pain of death….

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