Trying to Find the Next Step

As I write this blog some of you comment. Some of you ask me questions and I humbly try to offer advice to questions that may have no answer. I’ve learned it’s impossible to judge another person’s decisions and where they are in their life. For so long I was just trying to get through each day until I knew I could survive a week. I was just hoping I was making the right decisions for myself and my children. But it’s hard to know what is right or wrong when your entire world has been turned upside-down.

Learning to trust myself again was probably more difficult than trusting my husband again. I have struggle to decide what I want to eat for lunch every day and now I was faced with life-changing decisions. Decisions that no one wants to be forced to make. And here I was broken, sad, upset, angry. And these decisions were looming over me every day:

Do I stay in this marriage?

Do I leave?

Do I ask him to leave?

Can I survive this?

The list of questions went on and on. And, honestly, I don’t think I ever had an answer. So I just kept going. I figured that if there was an answer it would be apparent. It would smack me in the face and I would just know.

Eventually, what I came to believe is that I shouldn’t make decisions that will alter my life in my lowest moments. Maybe it works both ways? Highs and lows just aren’t reality. We shouldn’t change our entire lives on the worst day of our life. Maybe it can inspire change and growth. Maybe we can learn to move forward, upward, or onward.

I’m glad I didn’t abandon my marriage after D-day because my marriage has grown. I’ve grown and changed too.

So if you are trying to figure out the answer to that question, whether you stay or go, don’t focus on all the negative or just the positive. Focus on right now. What you need in this moment. Sometimes the answers are found in the midst of our silence.
Don't promise

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26 thoughts on “Trying to Find the Next Step

  1. It’s funny, like ironic that you always post the very thought I am having that moment. I am 9 months post D-day. Some days I can barely function, and other days I am semi-normal and new normal in the aftermath. I never knew I would have so many thoughts and questions, that hit me out of the blue. Crazy ones at that. Thanks for you blog, it has kept me sane in my darkest of days. I chose to stay and things are very different in my marriage, I pray daily for healing and try to be positive.

    • I totally understand. It’s hard because just when I think I am over the final hurdle I round a corner and realize there are a few more ahead of me. Sometimes I wonder if there would be hurdles if the affair didn’t happen but I would just see them differently?

  2. The best advice that i received after my d-day was that I can make the same decisions in a week a month or a year. I didn’t have to decide about the rest of my life immediately. I too am grateful that I decided to stay. Don’t make rash decisions while you are angry and hurt.

  3. I’ve been reading your blog for almost 2 years now. I’ve never commented. After my D-Day, I went in search of blogs like this one. I found many, so many… And that alone made me feel, well, LESS alone. But none of them resonated with me like yours. Our stories have so many similarities… I was so drawn to you and your posts, all of them. I know that if we knew each other, “in real life,” we could sit for hours and bond over our stories. And the best part is, the stories we’d share wouldn’t be sad. They would be beautiful stories of real life, true stories of love and healing and forgiveness and redemption and discovery. I just wanted to take a minute tonight to thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being there for me these past two years; for helping me through some of the toughest days of my life; for being so open, honest and real. You and your blog have been such blessings to me.

    • Thank you so much. Reading your comment brought tears to my eyes. I spent so many nights in the beginning feeling alone but I wrote here to have a safe place for my feelings. Then when women started to comment I felt less alone. I felt like all of a sudden I didn’t need to be ashamed of my story.
      I think it would be amazing to have a friend like you to share my stories, to hear about your life, and just be honest with in my life. I only have one friend that knows my story but it would be so nice to have someone that understands how it feels to be betrayed.

  4. I found out my husband’s 2 year affair a year ago and i found your blog and commented a couple of months after that. Just wanted to let you know that I’ve read everything you’ve written and it has meant so much to me to have this connection to somebody who knows how I feel. I searched for your blog to find the answers to my questions. Like you, probably, I’ve read every book and blog to try to understand why people would do something so hurtful to ones they claim they love. It’s been really the most painful and most confusing year of my life. And that answer I was looking for did land of my doorstep; I will be divorcing my husband. You are right that everyone’s circumstances are different, even though the hurt and pain of betrayal are all the same. My husband is a narcisist and has lied to me on mostly everything about himself since the moment we met. Not intentionally, mostlikely, given his personality disorder. But they are lies, nonetheless, that are caused by fear, denial and, ultimately, a very deep insecurity and lacking in sense of self. I wondered for a long time how I was able to turn a blind eye to the signs but that all came to light when I found myself again and faced my own denials. Anyway, what I wanted to really say is that I envy you. That you could describe your relationship with your husband as a deep and passionate one, still. I spent a long time searching for that between my husband and I, and for me it was mostly an illusion. I was swept along by the charms of a narcissist who only reflected what he saw in other people, including me. I mistook his friendliness and popularity for kindness and open heartedness. Except, it was all to fulfill a void inside of himself. I was only a vessel. Like a magazine which he digested and regurgitated to everyone else. Havng said all that, the realization that I willingly took part in this craziness is what has been the light for me. It is human to have weaknesses that make you less than genuine. But it takes another truly genuine soul to spot those weaknesses. And I was not that person that could tell at that time since I had my own agenda. I feel sad at the loss of a complete family for my children. But I have never seen things so clearly over the past 10 years than I do now, and that means I cannot go back. I hope people’s stories are more like yours. I would like to give a huge hug to every man and woman who lands on your blog because of what they’ve just found out. This is such a painful experience, but at the same time, so enlightening. It is better to know now, definitely, than knowing later or not knowing at all. Thank you again for sharing something so personal. It helps so much.

  5. Thank you for this post. You seem to know what I’m thinking. I needed to see these words today. I will just keep going and try not to make life changing decisions during highs or lows. I have been told by others that one day I’ll know what I need or want. I’m not convinced that will happen. So each day will come and go and I’ll do my best to get through them. Thank you.

    • Sometimes all we can do is take each day as it comes. There were times I thought my brain might explode from all the thoughts, pain, confusion, everything in my brain. I still have days like that. :/ But we’ll get through them together.

  6. Those exact words were said to me by a very dear friend.
    “We shouldn’t change our entire lives on the worst day of our life.”

    I made the decision to divorce immediately! I held my ground…. he made promises, said words to try to change my mind.
    I held my ground, I am not going to budge I thought.

    But then I was told this is not the time to be stubborn, you are ALLOWED to change your mind, don’t make a snap judgement that will change your family’s life forever. HIS snap judgement made enough of a mess.

    He showed me with action he was willing to do whatever it took to get me to trust him again. My trust will never be like it used to be but I have learned that my snap judgments were made at times of high & lows and they weren’t alway healthy decisions, even for our marriage.

    I teach my son that there is always consequences good and bad with any decision you make, to stop & think is sometimes better than just feeling the moment. It could possibly save your life.

    I took my own advice, time has healed many wounds. Love has been brought back into my marriage, trust has seeped its way back in with the love.

    • Thank you for sharing your story. I know that when I am angry I make snap decisions/judgements and they usually aren’t good ones. For example, immediately after finding my husband’s secret email account to his AP I emailed her – the affair partner. I wrote her three different emails in my rage and I wish I had waited, composed a clear and lucid email first. I also texted my husband immediately and I wonder if I should have waited too. I think I should have asked him face-to-face, eye-to-eye what was going on. I should have given him the chance to tell me. Nothing really changes the end result but I feel like I was too quick to react.
      And I totally agree with your statement that our husband’s cheated as a snap decision. There wasn’t as much thought put into those actions as there should have been.

  7. I found out on August 24th, 2014 my husband had been having an affair off and on with a married young woman from his company he traveled with since May 2012. My story is so similar to many I have read, we had a great marriage, were involved in church together, even leaders of our HS youth. They saw each other once a month until Sept 2012, she became pregnant with her husband’s child. They broke up, my husband left the company the following February for a different career opportunity, then beginning of March his old company offered him an amazing offer to come back and a paid move back to our hometown, we jumped at the offer ( mind you I had no idea he had an affair). In May of 2013 she returned from Maternity leave, they saw each other at a meeting and the relationship started again. We moved in with my mom in June and began the process of building a home. My husband would meet this woman who lived a thousand miles away from us anywhere from once a month to every few months depending on Thier travel schedules. But this time around, she set up Google accounts with gmail so they could email and live chat which grew to be several times a day. They both had work cell phones, ipads and laptops, untraceable by thier spouses. I began to notice changes and began to ask him about them, he said it was the stress of the move and more responsibility at work. In April, 2014 I was suspecting he was having an affair but could not figure out who or where. I would search his suitcase sheet trips, try to sneak looks at his phone and laptop. The history was always cleared. Until his birthday weekend, he was very distracted with family coming to stay with us and the celebration my daughters and I threw for him. I caught him several times on his computer when everyone was here throughout the weekend, he would close the computer and say he needed to return. an important email. The last time he did it, I knew he hadnt has time to clear the history. Our family left, he ran an errand with our youngest daughter, I pretended I was exhausted and was going to rest. I opened his work computer, found an email account I had never seen (a combo of their first initials, or last name and their birthdates.). I hacked into it in about ten minutes time to be flooded with emails back and forth about how they loved and missed each other, pictures she has sent off herself since with. Her children. He came home, I confronted him, he admitted to the affair. I have stayed with him, It has been the longest, hardest emotionally traumatizing thing I have ever encountered. It had taken 6 months for all the details and truth to come out, lots of counseling both together and separately. I like reading the blogs and comments of other women that have gone through this, it makes me feel more normal and know you are all having the same reactions and struggles I am. There have been days I felt like I had list my mind (I think actually did a few times!). God, the bible and counseling have been my strength’s. Read Songs of Songs together with your spouse. We have read it several times tiger l together. It has made us closer. There are still days I fight the memories, the feeling of being not good enough and insecurities. Trust is still not there, it is better, but he still travels, that makes it very hard. He applied for can job where he wouldn’t travel, please pray he gets it for my own well being! Thanks!

    • Hi Jen,
      Your story has similarities to mine. Noticing things were different and find the emails. Some of those emails I don’t think I’ll ever be able to erase from my memory – and I wish I could. Words that I always relate to my husband’s affair. Things he wrote, things she said, etc.
      I really do hope that your husband gets this new job. It sounds like a fresh new start for both of you. There’s a security in knowing your husband won’t be traveling. I totally understand.

      • Thank you! You are an amazing writer and so many times what you write is exactly what I am feeling and can’t find the words to express. Your blog means the world to me, it means there are other women out there going thru and understanding what I am going through. Thank you for your blog!!!

  8. Positive post 😉 thanks! Very true, if I had done what I felt in angry moments, we’d be moving in and out weekly! But that has simmered down, I haven’t felt that way in quite some time. I know she’d marry me yesterday if I said yes but also a good point you made, don’t make decisions in good moments either. Thru all this I’ve learned about making rash decisions in the moment, when your head & your feelings are all mixed up. That’s what got us here.

  9. It has been 5yrs since D-Day.
    My story is much the same… I still struggle at times. I go back to those memories of what was said in the emails. It causes huge amounts of anxiety.

    This is what the counselor told me to do anytime I started the ‘memory downward spiral’: remind yourself “that was THEN ….that is not what IS NOW” Your life will never be what is was “then” …there is relief in knowing that moment can only live in memory, but I have the choice in letting it go or remembering. You have that CHOICE too.

    My husband told me this, “I was not the man I was supposed to be when I was with her, I am the man I am supposed to be with you. I was caught up and didn’t know how to get out of if. Nothing I said in those emails are in truth how I really felt. It was a surreal but now I see what I have done”

    I think what he said goes for many people (male & female) They get caught up in the emotion and don’t THINK it thru of the reprecussions. They lie to everyone so no one is mad at them.

    My husband was horrified to think of our son finding out. He was then horrified again when I told him to move out. He did move out but then after going to several counseling sessions he said he was moving back in, that him being in the home was an action showing me every day of where he wanted to be. I told him he was wrong, I would divorce him anyway. But he was right, by him staying at the house, taking care of our son and ultimately taking care of me (I was ill with the flu for a week) he showed me his love for our family and me.

    If he had stayed moved out, I would have divorced him. It took 6 months of him being at the house for me to change my mind.

    He made the right choice in staying and I believe I made the right choice as well.

  10. I am 4 months post D-day and they have , by far, been the hardest 4 months of my life. I love what you said about not making decisions that will alter your life in your lowest moments. I filed for divorce just a few short weeks ago (after a bad couple of weeks) and the finality of it hit me as I walked out of my attorney’s office and I decided right then and there that I was not going to let how I’m feeling at my lowest moment affect the rest of my life. Thank you for being so open and honest. Your posts have helped me through some extremely rough days.

  11. This post really speaks to me, as I’m trying to explain this very thing to family and friends who know about the affair. It’s extremely hard for me living in limbo (I’m only 3 weeks from D-Day) and I want so badly to make a choice and decide whether to stay or go. The affair only lasted for 20 days before I found out, and it’s over and he’s so contrite and trying so hard to get his head on straight and keep from losing his family, but I’m half in and half out of the marriage at this point. I keep wanting to answer my own questions about what’s best for me, but I’ve flip flopped back and forth so many times already that I’ve realized I have to wait for the answers to come to me instead of forcing them. That’s honestly the hardest part for me right now, the wait and see period I’m in. I feel like I can heal faster if I decide one way or the other, but it’s too fresh and too raw and I really don’t know what I should do. So until I know for sure, I can’t do anything and I just have to ride this out. Thank you for putting it all out there for the rest of us to relate to! I love your blog.

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