The Cycle of Anger, Hate, and Forgiveness After the Affair

Recently I’ve experienced these surges of anger that take hold of my emotions. It’s almost like a visceral hatred rises out of nowhere and fills my brain. I was sitting on the couch saying good-bye to my husband as he left for work and as I watched him walk out the front door I was angry. But not just angry, I was vexed with idea of him having sex with Bat Shit. As I stared at my husband I was internally infuriated, but on the outside smiling and wishing him a good day at work. He closed the door and it took everything inside of me to breathe out the hatred and let go of the past. Two weeks later, that same feeling swelled inside me as I watched my husband getting ready to go to a meeting.

During the first two years of this blog I regularly received comments from women (some OWs) that pointed out that my anger was misdirected. I was seething with anger for Bat Shit and there was a huge part of me that wanted to prove that she was a horrible woman and my husband was a pawn in her game. While I think that my mindset during that time was essential in order to move forward and continue to care about my husband, I know Bat Shit is not part of my marriage. Her intentions and actions have nothing to do with my husband’s decision to cheat on me.

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Is it possible that all of those emotions just caught up to me or is this just a normal part of forgiveness?

During the first few years it felt like it was up to me to forgive my husband. He apologized, showed his love for me, and met me more than halfway. He did everything I needed. He answered every question I asked. He was opening up and bringing me back into his world. I was falling apart and trying to find my balance in a world that seemed more foreign than I ever imagined. Loneliness took over after D-Day and I still have to remind myself not to completely disengage from the world. It’s easier to be sad when you are alone and sometimes I have just wanted to feel the pain.

I just read a quote that said:

Forgiveness is the gift you give yourself.

A few years ago, I might have pinned that quote on my Pinterest board and agreed. Forgiveness has been largely about me needing to make peace within myself and not continuing to fault my husband for his actions. It meant letting go of my hurt. But what if forgiving my husband for his actions is superficial serenity? Obviously, my anger means that I haven’t dealt with something.

cd04430dcf9befa46df1f3dad0d4727bBoth times I was able to let go of the anger and fill my mind with loving thoughts of my husband. I had to tell myself that I am happy with our life together. I focused on our future and thought about how much I love not just our life but the way he loves me. Maybe angry emotions are normal post-affair but I am not comfortable with them. Even in the beginning, I was uncomfortable hating or being angry at my husband. Is it possible I buried all these emotions so deep that they are now just surfacing? I know anger is a response to my problems. I just need to figure out where those problems are arising from and why am I still angry about the affair? I thought I was over that part.

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115 thoughts on “The Cycle of Anger, Hate, and Forgiveness After the Affair

  1. Thank you for your blog. I am now coming up to one year out from DDay, and it’s good to find someone on the interwebs who chose to make it work, but also acknowledges the enormous amount of work it takes, and the painful process that it is, rather than take one of the two options of righteously leaving, or stuffing down all emotions immediately and deny things are anything but hearts and fluffies now. Your honesty has been a boon to my journey, and also serves as some markers on what to expect as I progress and time passes. I read one of your earlier posts, and then frantically searched for your five years on, to see if you had stuck it out. Full of admiration for you, both for your determination to make it work, but also your openess about the emotions that continue to come and go, and that this is a perfectly natural reaction to the enormity of what has happened. Best wishes to you.

  2. I feel so sad for young women going through the beginning months and years after husband’s affair. I’m sure there are women who forgive him and accept his remorseful promises it will never happen again. But most of us would have sworn that our husband would never cheat on us – that we had great marriage, communicated, were best friends, shared goals and interests, and husband was honest, trustworthy, etc. Until we discovered that they lied. That they could meet her for sex and then come home and say ‘I love you’.
    I refuse to accept the excuse “I made a mistake”. A mistake might be a drunken one night stand. Every time after that is a conscious decision to pursue personal pleasure.
    32 yrs after my husband’s almost 2 yr affair with co-worker I still have moments when something will trigger it and I am flooded with anger.
    We’ve been together 40 yrs. I still love him. But his affair taught that I can live without him and be fine. Before his affair I believed I wouldn’t survive if we weren’t together.

  3. Its been 10 months since I first discovered my husband’s 10 month affair. It was with a woman 14 years younger than him (9 years younger than me) and I go through angry tantrums (only way I can describe it) every couple weeks or so. I literally go through feelings of rage where I yell and then I am okay for a good week or week and a half until I blow up again. If this is what life is like after an affair (especially seeing where she is going through it five years after), I am not sure I even want to work it out. But then again, it could be that I am still in the beginning stages of healing. Today is a particularly rough day, but I compare what I have now with my husband to what this little pop tart got from him in the past. And even though she got stolen moments here and there, he wanted to spend those moments with her, and not me. She inspired him to tap into his creativity and he designed her a $350 ring, I got diamonds that were worth more but don’t have the same meaning behind them. He has had the last 2 weeks off for vacation, and not once did he ask me to have lunch with him. Yet I think to myself how he would have off a Thursday (where I worked and our child was in school) and he’d coordinate a lie to tell me so he could go see a movie with her, or have lunch with her. Maybe I am looking at this in a negative light, but those things make me feel like maybe fighting for our marriage is not worth it. He should be going out of his way to prove to me that he loves me. Going out of his way to show me how bad of a mistake he made. How can someone really truly love you and do this to you? I might be the wife and the one he choose in the end, but she got to be the one he desired. What wife wants to be a choice to begin with? And to not feel like my husband desires me like he did his new piece of tail? I am gutted.

    • It breaks my heart that all of us should feel these things! It has been 16 months for me and this blog is where I feel most connected. So thank you for making an entry today!
      You describe my thoughts and feelings so well. I see beauty but thru the ashes so it takes on a different hue!
      There really is nothing worse than betrayal except a death of a child…. it rocks all that you believed was true and it changes everything you see and experience from that day forward!
      As I said, it breaks my heart that we, who chose to love, made excuses for bizarre behavior, who chose to believe in the best of someone we loved will feel this for the rest of our lives AND no one will quite get it except for “us”.
      I am sorry but so grateful I am not alone!
      Here is to 2018…. and oh maybe, so peace!

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