A year later pain and triggers persist

BETRAYED HUSBAND: It has been a little bit over a year since I discovered my wife’s affair. Things are a lot different now than they were at the beginning, better in a lot of ways. But I also feel like progress has stalled. Some days, sometimes, I feel like they have possibly regressed.

Most of the time I’m content. Often my wife and I are having a good day enjoying traveling and seeing new things, or trying new foods (my favorite part of the trip). She smiles and my heart warms. She laughs and my spirit soars. We are making new memories and joyful experiences together that are wholly ours.

But then eventually out of nowhere my mind gets pulled back to dwelling on the affair. Sometimes there is a trigger in conversation, like recently. We were talking over some delicious Korean food with our friends in Seoul and after long twists and turns in the conversation they mentioned that cheating is more normal here than in the US. It seems that husbands and wives don’t see each other much because the husband works very long hours. Mention of infidelity is a pretty obvious trigger for me.

Sometimes the triggers are less obvious though. For instance, we were at the beer festival here in Seoul and I got some tacos. They were delicious, a wonderful taste of home. My wife mentions that some of the best tacos back home were at a particular place. In my head my thoughts turn sour in an instant. I have not been to the place she mentioned and don’t recognize the name. I can’t help but think this great taco place was some rendezvous she and her affair partner had. We spent nearly all of our free time together back home and so anytime she mentions something from there that I wasn’t a part of I instantly think it was some part of the affair.

My ability to handle these triggers is better than before. I can look back and see the slow (dreadfully slow) healing or at least coping. However, sometimes my mind just turns to the affair without a trigger that I can identify. This is a newer issue and one that makes me feel like I have regressed. When this happens I feel far worse than I have in many months. I often can’t find a reason to continue or care about my wife or my marriage. This has happened a few times now so I’m getting a little better but despair still takes hold of me in those moments.

Sadly, I have discovered, these dark moments have a terrible echo that affects my attitude for days. I can see several ways that my wife is changing to better fulfill my needs and comforts and it means a lot to me. When I look at myself however I don’t see that I’m doing much to address her needs. I know from our therapy and the materials we have gone through what her highest needs are but a vindictive part of me keeps me focused on the pain of the past instead of on the possible healing I could do in the present. In the end I see another opportunity pass and feel that my wife’s needs go unfulfilled.

This will persist for days after these phantom triggers. This is the biggest reason I feel that things have regressed.

I still cling to hope though I fear my grip is slipping. I don’t know the limits of my emotional endurance and I don’t know how long it takes get through this, to heal.  ‘Experts’ tend to agree that healing from an affair takes at least two years. But ultimately it seems their estimates are pinned to the ambiguous ‘it depends on the couple’ which I always hear as ‘we don’t know’. I wish this was like a physical cut. Then I would know. I would know how long takes and I would know if it was worth it.

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One thought on “A year later pain and triggers persist

  1. The uncertainty of it all I get it
    I mean it’s not so easy to fall in love with an adulterer than it was to first fall head over heels
    Best part is we do regress
    Worst part is what are we to do about it
    I’m two years out and I don’t know if staying with him is worth it per se to me
    But for the kids and to find myself
    This has been the best environment with Charles the comforts of home
    I don’t work on the relationship with Charles and it’s been 2 years
    So don’t beat yourself up
    Adulterers either have to put up with it or they don’t
    I guess that’s a cold way to look at things but it’s true
    And yes they are human and no it’s not okay to treat them like garbage
    I’ve done it not proud of it
    But to simply put me first
    Instead of him
    It’s been a change for our relationship for sure but one I’m okay with because really there isn’t much else Charles can do to me that I would be in shock from he’s really the safest person I know right now for me
    Which is weird but he is because he knows this darkness that I have because of him
    No one else knows
    The constant turmoil
    Except for him
    The tears the days I just can’t
    Anyways our cheating spouses have their own lives
    I mean can you imagine being them?
    Ugh.. slutty jerks
    They lose all around…
    And they have to pick themselves up on their own
    We have no idea what that’s like turning against everything you stand for and compromising yourself
    I’m glad I don’t know to that extent
    Anyways it’s late I’m rambling
    Don’t be so hard on yourself
    Is your cheater treating you well are you being respected and taking care of yourself?
    Then she is doing her job and you are doing yours..
    Caring for her is nice but really in the midst of suffering her needs being met are not a priority and really what the hell do cheaters know about their needs??
    Cowardice, deceiving all for what cheap forms of lust and a form of self sabotage
    Cheaters need to find themselves as much as we do

    1 year isn’t much dear friend take heart I’m not sure it gets easier but I do know we get stronger as time goes on and are able to start fresh even in a marriage full of doubts and it’s pretty neat finding other passions besides your spouse
    He was so much to me
    Now not so much
    And that’s ok 😊

    Liked by 2 people

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