4 Years

Sometimes I forget the date.

Most of the time I try not to remember when my D-day is but it’s difficult to separate myself completely. There will always be reminders or connections to my D-day. I’ve always had a unbelievable memory, so it’s unlikely I will ever truly forget.

After four years I don’t have the same emotional connection I once felt on this date. I did find myself emotional yesterday but it’s not the same feeling I once had. I no longer spend time wondering or wishing I could have done something differently that could have changed life’s course or my husband’s decisions. I accept the decisions that were made. I don’t agree with them but I can recognize that his choices are not within my control.

I no longer feel that knife in my heart, or lump in my throat, or sinking feeling in my stomach. I’m no longer physically impacted by the affair. Yes, I admitted  that I cried yesterday but I think that’s normal. I was also realizing how far we’ve come since September 22, 2014. I also remember that it was more than one day that I suffered. I had been suffering before my D-day without a clear understanding of why and I was devastated for a long time after my D-day.

Four years later there are still reminders that I am not completely healed.

I struggle with trust. There are times when my husband works early, or late, or maybe it’s just a normal day and doubt creeps into my mind. I find myself questioning him about his day every so often in a way that is not healthy for me or us. I try to let go of my doubts but I’ve found burying doubts can lead more to stockpiling my fears than a peaceful resolution. I want to trust again but it’s difficult not to doubt. It’s difficult not to wonder if I am a fool to believe a cheater can change and be faithful. Learning to trust again is my goal for year five.

There are times I still feel like something is missing. The strange thing is I don’t really feel broken anymore, but I feel like there is a piece of me missing that my husband can no longer complete or fill. With every day that passes I find that this hole is being filled, but not by him. Sometimes that scares me.

In four years, I’ve learned that I love my husband with a love that I cannot define. I spend days and nights with him and realize our lives are forever intertwined and I do not want to change a thing. Over the past four years I’ve witnessed my husband become more engaged with our children, our families, and our marriage. Sometimes I am afraid that I have become less engaged as a result of his affair. I often have to check myself to make sure I am not pushing myself away from the rest of the world. It would be so much easier to hide and block out the rest of the world. The challenge is to keep going and be an active participant.

lionkingI no longer feel so absorbed by the pain of my husband’s affair that I would characterize it as the worst thing that ever happened to me. I won’t say his affair is the best thing that happened to me but the pain is separate from me now. I can look back and remember the horror of the first week, month, and year, but it doesn’t suck me in now.

One difficult part of being at four years is that we no longer talk about the affair or how we are feeling. I know that I could bring it up if I needed to but I also know that I don’t want to open up that box. I don’t want to have to talk about all of this with my husband. I don’t want him to feel like I am punishing him. I know it’s not good to stay silent but I guess I am not ready to go back to the past. I know I need to learn from the past but I’m not always sure how to navigate this now.

Four years after the affair I feel like we have begun a new chapter in the story of our life. Maybe it’s even a new section – Part 3. Life goes on and we must continue on too.

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40 thoughts on “4 Years

  1. Thanks for writing this. Your posts have been very comforting. I found them a month ago. Finally i didn’t feel crazy for having triggers. It scares me that you are still being haunted by the affair ghost at year 4. But it’s real. I feel like i wake up with the ghost of myself every morning who is sad and crying out of justice. She is so loud. Its been 5 months since D-day for me. I feel bad for wanting details about his whereabouts like you if i don’t ask its like spiritual heartburn that doesn’t go away. We have been seeing a few therapists and without them we would have not been able to get it together. I am going to have personal sessions to help me with trust and fear. I can’t tell what level is still appropriate i too am tired of opening the box.

  2. Thank you for your blog! I am almost three years from Dday, and it still haunts me not the way the first 1 1/2 years did! We chose to work on our 40+years of marriage and it is better now in so many ways, but there are times I wonder! I know I am so much stronger than I knew possible, I still get that sick feeling when I see a reminder and I want to really trust my husband but sometimes I question him and in my mind I think he might be lying to me. We live in CO with 1 million of people living in our area and I still catch sight of OW. My husband changed jobs and next year he will retire. Maybe will move or maybe will travel more that might help. I forgave him for his part, but, I can’t bring myself to forgive her. I can only hope someday it will all be behind us!

    • I related so much to your comments. I have been living with this for 16 months now and want the pain to stop! I cannot forgive the OW but neither can I forgive my husband for putting her before me. We have been married a long time and I am trying to find a way to move on somehow without dwelling on forgiveness. Good luck to anyone in this awful situation.

    • I so very much thank you for the information shared on this blog! It’s invaluable, in trying to understand what my wife is going through.

      I am the cheating husband, and wanted to know if there is any way to blog/communicate with your husband, since I’m sure I and others, can benefit from sharing about our Odyssey.

      Had I known the devastation this affair has caused, it would have been unthinkable to even allow myself to enter it!

  3. Your words and heart resonatests with me. It will be two years for me, October 20,2014. I actually find myself having the same thoughts… And I don’t think I would have had the clarity to put it into words. When you speak of your husband being more engaged to the family and being a better father and husband since the infidelity. I heard your heart about maybe you hold back now. And you have to be careful. I find myself in the same way. Here I have the husband and father I wanted… But something in me has changed. I am more reserved. Sometimes I wonder if my commitment has shifted. Not changed but not as pure as I use to be. I have become like a piece of white paper…. Crumbled. And now that we are working towards healing and redemption…. The paper is smoothed out but there will crinkles and lines that cannot be removed.
    I have read your blog throughout the past years of this journey. Thank you for the music.
    Thank you for sharing
    Thank you for being real.
    I have appreciated you.
    May God bless you and your family.
    Blessings

  4. One year panic shock
    One year pain
    One year pain and confusion
    Thee years, six months :
    How could he do this.
    I am strong and independent now.
    I will no longer feel sorry for him in his difficult life of his own making.
    The lack of total understanding of him prohibits the pivotal dedication of that newlywed feeling; the only one person in the world for me free fall.
    He is insecure, secretive, devious.
    I don’t care if he is trustworthy or not.
    I am me.
    He can sort himself out.
    I don’t know how the future with him will unfold; he is determined and I wish him luck.
    I spent all my compassion in the last three years as well as during my marriage.
    I never thought he was a knight in shining armour, I thought he was a fabulous person I could love and enjoy all my days. He found a scheming fool that made him feel a hero. He didn’t mean to destroy his family. He did.
    I can’t wait to see what happens!
    Best wishes to all out there X

  5. I am 15 months post DDAY. I can’t tell you how much your blog has helped me. Your point about there being part of you which your husband cannot now fill resonates with me. I do feel more independent and I think this is a good thing. I don’t think I will ever be able to forgive him even though everything I read tells me this is the best thing for me. We go on together but will be forever changed and in my dark moments I hope I will wake up and it will have been a nightmare. I do know I need to stop hoping for a different past. Thank you for all your posts.

  6. I am 2+ years from D-day. 1 year from divorce. My husband cheated and said he found his “soul mate”. Only he didn’t tell me, I found out he was cheating. Then he changed his mind and decided that we should save our marriage. Then I discovered that he was still seeing/dating his “soul mate”. After several months of heartbreak and anger I filed for divorce. He received the papers on my 46th birthday. I never thought that we would divorce after being together 18 years. But I will say that I recognize some of the same circumstances that I read of those of you who stayed while I was in the throes of his cheating and thinking we should stay together. This blog got me through a lot and gave me hope. The only difference now, being divorced instead is, my life feels fuller and happier not being in the kind of relationship that most of you describe you have now. I feel free. I know in my whole heart I made the right decision.

  7. I soon understand about being less engaged. I find I hold myself back more often in conversation and relationships. I used to be more bold and outgoing and take charge- now I’m not. I’m happy with my husband and family and it’s enough for me, I guess. I have nothing to prove to anyone and I don’t want to try. I need to be good enough where I am at. I have found a ever growing belief that God alone is the only Faithful One the only one I can really trust to never leave me, and will always love me, no matter what, and I cling to that. My marriage is better in many ways (2 1/2 years) and I’m probably a better person …but I’m not the same person…not even close…thank u for your blog. It helps to know others understand.

      • Here’s an errant thought, Sparked by your cement !
        Perhaps what we have in common is being attractive and kind and the men we attract are dependant on that. Like a need for a drug that gets stronger…there is no satisfying it.

    • And that’s probably the best place to be! About 2 weeks after our D-day I heard the song Oceans (by Hillsong) for the first time and I couldn’t stop crying! I realised deeply that God was the only one I could ever trust and that He was with me even in that situation. Now, almost 2 years on, I’m not afraid. I know that no matter what, I’ll be strong in Him.

  8. I’m less engaged in every aspect of my life. I have to force myself to connect with my boys. I feign interest in many things because it makes Bug happy to see me try. I’m no longer the outgoing, fun person I once was.

    But the affair, that door is mostly closed.

  9. I try to remember that each day is a brand new day of marriage because I will never had what I had before. But I remain broken hearted even 5 years after d-day. I read, seek recovery from this pain, and look for a magic answer to get over this. It is a secret kept except for this blog, you are very much appreciated with the giving of yourselves to those of us who are in this thing called life “after”.

  10. Thank you for this blog. I felt like you read my mind. I am only at 18 months out but this is exactly how I feel. Pretty much word for word.

    I found the first year it all made sense what I was feeling. But since around 15 months I feel different. I really only find true happiness with my kids. Beyond that I lack the ability or desire to trust others. And really I feel like I need that to be connected with people. I honestly feel like I cannot fully trust anyone that I will just be let down and disappointed. And on some level I do not have that expectation with my kids. They are amazing and really what keeps me going. My husband has made dramatic changes and is happier than ever. Which is great but I just feel this big hole inside me. And I too feel how our lives are forever intertwined but I feel like there is a barrier between us and it is coming from me. My therapist says I need to move towards making myself more vulnerable but I am struggling with what that looks like.

    • I am two years fro DDay on 26th September and I feel just the same as you, Hopeful. There is a gaping hole inside of me. But I am trying to stay in the present moment and look at the strength I have gained and what the new ME looks like when I look to healing. There is no balancing the scales. There is only Acceptance.

  11. I too am 4 years from D-Day. I have days like today when I’m haunted by my mind’s recollection of the deception and lack of shame he showed. Most days I stop those thoughts by asking myself, “What is good about today?” None of it can be undone however it was the source of the person I am today. I’m thankful for your blog as it reminds me that I am not alone and my feelings are not unique to my situation.

    • “It was the source of the person I am today.”
      This is interesting. Maybe I should concentrate on that and try to be admirable in my own eyes. X

      • I got my first, and only, tattoo in the month after D-Day. One simple word “Courage”. Courage to go forward, courage to learn from the experience and courage to know I am stronger than I realize. At the time it was because I wanted the courage. Now it reminds me that I have the courage I didn’t think was in me.

  12. I am 2 years and 4 months from D-Day and I still hurt but at least I don’t think about it every day any more. My husband had an affair after 35 years of what I thought was a perfect marriage. He was my one and only. We had been together since high school. We have 3 grown up children and 4 grand children. We went to college together and have always had the same job so we’re together all the time. That’s why I trusted him completely. He brought that woman home so I could meet her. She visited several times over a 6 month period and cooked some meals for us, etc. I naively thought she was simply a friend my husband got to know when he was performing for some events she catered upstate. This would be easier if I and my children had never met her because there are so many triggers that cause me to have to think about her. I really appreciate your blog. It is the only place I found searching online where I found my feelings put into words so eloquently. You really have a way with dealing with all the hurt by looking for the positive in it all. I too am having trouble with completely trusting my husband again. I trust he will never have an affair again but I don’t trust that he would never lie to me like I used to believe. Thank you so much for keeping this blog going.

  13. sending you much love on your courageous journey.
    you have big love. love that goes beyond personal and emotional.
    the kind of love that is eternal and connects all of us.
    your blog is one little strand on the world wide web of love (and hope)
    xoox

  14. So good to hear that you are moving on. It will be 5 years for me in November and we are on affair number two now (I started writing about it). I stopped writing two years ago because it triggered me and I felt it hindered my recovery. I am in a different space now and have a different perception of affairs. I may be jaded and bitter from all of this, but I am trying to find a way to release myself from the resentment still.

  15. You have taken the words out of my mouth. I am 2 years from my DDay and although “WE” are moving forward to the outside world in my inner world with him I am stuck. I too cannot trust and am less engaged within our relationship. Sometimes I wonder what my life would look like now if we had ended our marriage back then.My life continues to move forward and I cannot say that I am unhappy but I cannot say I am happy either. We have many good moments and he has changed in positive ways but I am reserved and do not share my true inner feelings because of the trust issue. I miss the safety and security I once felt that was taken from me and I hate the thought of how he could just abandon me and our marriage.

  16. Thank you…your blog was one that I found early in my journey (now 2 years, 2 months) and helped give me courage and direction.
    I am finding a path to healing…and for that, I am grateful. HUGS.

  17. Thank you always for your works and guidance, I just reached my one year D Day. I was talking with a colleague the other day who is having marital issues and she relayed to me that she is ready, with the help of her therapist to ask for a separation. She also quipped: “you know I wish he would just cheat on me b/c then I would be so done and it would be easy”. I froze and had a lump in my throat and thought about that for days. If she only knew how very difficult infidelity is. This has been the hardest thing I have ever been through.

    • Yes, I wouldn’t wish this on anyone! It felt more devastating than, when my mom died! Life goes on and you don’t give up with or without your spouse. I chose the latter. After 40+ years of marriage we had so much more to learn. Almost 3 years for me and it still haunts me.but we are determined to make this, now, the best years of our lives. I never knew how strong i was or how much courage I have to till my husband’s infidelity. He is a better person now and truly regrets it, I just wished I knew how to rid my thoughts of the OW.

  18. As always you feel the same things I think and feel. It’s great to know I am not alone in my thoughts and emotions. It’s also wonderful to see other women Sharing their experiences on the matter as well. We all have something in common.

  19. I appreciate this blog. My D-Day was over 2 years ago and I’m one year divorced. While I relate to those of you who stay and work on your marriage, I just wasn’t able to do so after 19 years. It was too much of a betrayal that left me heartbroken and feeling the lowest I have ever felt in my entire life. Now, I feel free and unburdened. My life is full and although I have pangs now and again, I am glad I don’t have them with him in the picture. I know I made the right choice to leave, for me.

  20. Thank you for sharing your feelings. My D Day was July 28, 2014. So we are over 2 years. We are doing pretty good in our marriage; but I still think about the betrayal and the pain, and I still cry sometimes and get angry at things that happened. What hurts even worse than the betrayal (with his opposite sex “best” friend!) are the times when he gets upset with me for “living in the past”. This morning we had good discussion about how to have conversations showing empathy (chapter 7 in “After the Affair” by Janis Spring). It is the first time that we talked without both of us getting very angry, hurt, etc. He doesn’t want to talk about the “past”; I have to! We love each other very much; and are committed to each other. Even though it is still hard to communicate, we are doing better. I have never had anyone to talk to or receive empathy from! No therapist. AND my husband wanted to keep the friendship without “benefits”. Oh, and by the way, my D Day was 11 days before our 51st wedding anniversary. We’re looking for a good “year three”. They say 3 to 5 years is to be expected, but you never really get over it! It does make you stronger, but I’m still not where I want to be. Hang in there, because time does help a lot (not sure if it heals, but just gets you further away from the pain!)

  21. Thank you for this blog and the comments. It is good to know I am not alone and not crazy for wanting to rebuilt my marriage of 17 years.
    My D day was 6 weeks ago, so my wounds are still very raw. The affair was 3 months and discovered by me, as I was searching through his ipad to make sense of the gulf that had appeared between us.
    I am glad I found this blog. Thank you for sharing your journey. You are clearly helping many of us make sense of our own experience.

  22. Thank you for this blog. My d-day is exactly the same as yours but a year later. Unfortunately, my husband chose to give me a little bit of truth. Through the next three years I’ve found out more, none of it from him. I’ve become the type of wife that snoops – I never, EVER though I’d do that. That’s not who I ever was. The OW – a woman I’d talked to and been kind to, a woman whose secrets I kept – finally told her husband this August. She chose to be brutally honest (at least as honest as she can be; I know this was all through the filter of herself being a victim and the blame falling on her husband and my husband). Her husband ended up informing me that my husband and his wife had told each other they loved each other; that they kept seeing each other long after the initial d-day (they worked together), and that contact occurred as late as one year ago. The post-confession contact wasn’t sexual, but they did tell each other they loved each other at least once. They wanted to have their cake and eat it to. And this latest revelation just may have destroyed my marriage. I thought things were awful, but I thought we were together on this path of rebuilding. We’re in counseling, we’ve gone through so much…he’s often accused me of prolonging the pain by my actions, when in reality he didn’t want to do the real work. I’m so, so lonely. I also find comfort in my children’s love and at the moment we’re just focusing on family life and being the best parents we can. My counselor assures me that I don’t have to make any hurried decision, it’s all up to me. But I so resent being put in this position. How could he? I read so much pain in this blog and the comments, and how could anybody do that to us? Most especially those they vowed to love and honor? I will never, ever trust again. It’s just gone.

  23. I am 6 weeks out, 39 years of marriage , 6 amazing kids and 7 adorable grands…. I’m still so sad but we are working, by Gids grace to repair our marriage. I am beyond grateful to have found this blog! Another one one of Gods blessings in this storm! My heart aches , I feel alone, but I know I do forgive him. Thank you all for sharing…

  24. I just passed the one year mark. I made the choice to stay and fight for my marriage. Ours is a familiar story – family “friend” that he got too close to emotionally, a real but also imagined (to justify it in his mind) marital stress, after 22 years of marriage plus 9 years dating. We took a trip that I planned three weeks before D-Day just the two of us for our anniversary. I thought we could reconnect. Now it makes me feel like a fool because he was involved with her then. I will not plan any trips just for us; thinking about the 31 years we had before D-Day seems like one huge lie.
    I hate how it’s changed me. I don’t trust people anymore. I don’t want to make new friends nor spend time with old ones. Although I’m so much better than even three months ago, in ways it seems worse because I’m just numb, flat, nothing. I know this is that plain people describe and that it will not last. And right now, I need it — to just be introspective and continue to heal.
    I’m so thankful to have found this blog. No one except us three know about it. We don’t see the family anymore – I often wonder what her husband thinks the reason is. My husband ran into her for the first time last week in the grocery. He called and told me immediately. I’ve not run inti the Whore as of yet.
    Didn’t mean to ramble. I have no outlets for this. I will be reading here faithfully. It’s already been healing fir me.
    One question I have is how the people handle milestone anniversaries? We will hit 25 years and 2018. I know that’s a long way away, but truthfully I don’t feel I will ever want to celebrate. For me, it feels like celebrating something that was a complete lie. How have others handled this?

    • If you don’t feel like it, DON’T do it. The reason to celebrate is make you happy, not someone else. Be strong, stand up for yourself, and take charge. You won’t regret it.

      • I know you’re right. To complicate matters, no one knows about it and my in laws are HUGE about celebrations for birthdays, anniversaries, etc. So, I have no idea how to refuse a party for what they believe to be a milestone anniversary of 25 years. Maybe I will feel differently by the time it gets here. I’ve learned to suck it up, smile outside while crying inside. As I type this, I’m at my brother in laws house for Thanksgiving, which is the location of their first inappropriate encounter. I even know the hallway where it happened. For a while I made excuses and didn’t attend anything at his house. As time has passed, I’ve grown stronger and am not triggered by being here. Thankfully, the other stuff happened at her house.
        My wayward husband is open to my talking about things, but I know he doesn’t want to. He wants closure and wants to move past it. I think we’ve done remarkably well without formal counseling so far. He acknowledges my feelings and knows that it will never truly go away.
        I find myself very “reserved” most of the time. I can’t be 100% open and transparent anymore. I would never lie to him, but I can’t open myself up to vulnerability of expressing all of my feelings yet. In many ways, I don’t feel he deserves to have the deep parts of me anymore. He forfeited that when he decided to betray me and crap on our marriage vows.
        We were also the “ideal” couple – high school sweethearts, had a “vanilla” life in the midst of multiple family dramas around us. Then one day it all changed. He wouldn’t have told me had I not found it myself. I should’ve never found out – it was a strange series of decisions I made that I found the emails. I was at work, at the end of my lunch break. I went outside and called him on my cell, yelling at him “who is ‘puresweetness82’?” Although I already knew. I have pages of journaling about how I thought he was too close and in danger of an emotional affair. I even warned him. He brushed me off. I asked what has changed between us and he laughed at me and said nothing had. After I called he admitted it all.
        This is not the life I envisioned. I often ask myself how this could be my life!

      • I can easily relate. Our stories are very similar.
        It wasn’t till long later that I became strong enough to stand up for myself. We had separated shortly after the DDay, and I was ostracized by all my inlaws and was thought to be a controlling, unyielding spouse who deserved being left out. That went on for a long time, until one day I said, “Either tell them what happened or I’ll never go around them, or talk to them again.” They had treated me like dirt.
        I finally took charge of MY life, and have no regrets about being a strong person. I have a right to be happy and unashamed for things I didn’t do. I have found that it changed my life completely. I am better.
        I don’t expect anyone to make me happy, other than myself. (Well….except for grandkids) 🙂

  25. RatherBeMe,
    I love what you said at the end of your comment. That’s the biggest takeaway I’ve had from this nightmare: don’t depend on anyone else for my happiness and fulfillment. I only rely on God, or at least I try to. I’m still working on me. I’m still convincing myself that I am worth working on. I am embarking on a health journey now. I’ve neglected myself for too long and have really punished myself this past year. It’s my time now. Whether I ultimately stay or leave, I owe it to myself to put myself first.

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