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Author Topic: My Story Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go

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I had the WORST dreams/lying awake at night dark thoughts last night. Does that happen to anyone else?

I had nightsweats almost every night for a year. I still get them pretty frequently.

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When you are in that space - if any of you are - in the dark of night - what do you do to get out of it?

As little as I can muster. Less pithily, the best times for me have been when I don't fight against it. I initially found it hard to differentiate "ruminating" from "feeling", as I tend to be a very "in my head" person. With time I have been able to sit and feel all of the minutiae, as uncomfortable as it may be in the moment. In my case, aspects of me just wanted to be felt and comforted. By trying to "move past" it I was effectively abandoning myself. When I stopped and truly felt it all is when I began to feel much more able to do anything. I say this because words are easy :) It is incredibly difficult to actually do and I still find myself bucking against it and refusing to accept the anguish in the moment.

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Is this normal?

Regardless, it *is* happening. I emphasize this because, for me, the external reference point of "normality" was used as an almost automatic goal. If I wasn't normal then I was wrong, deformed. This caused me much needless suffering. And, again for me, "normal" wasn't even something I cared about. I was using it as a way to not accept where I was. What I truly wanted was to feel differently, mostly to feel a sense of clarity and calm.

All of that being said, yes everything you are experiencing is something I have personally experienced. I imagine most people here have as well. The unthinkable wasn't just thought of, it actually happened. You're sitting in wreckage with a ringing in your ears when you hear an air-raid siren. It is a very difficult position to find yourself in. Every little step you take adds up. To switch up metaphors, right now you are at the base of a mountain. With time and effort, you can scale it.
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When you are in that space - if any of you are - in the dark of night - what do you do to get out of it? I tried to pray but I felt like it was so strong I couldn't even get my mind there. Does anyone have anything suggestions of things that might have worked for them? Is this normal?

Yes. It is normal. I would walk circles in the living room to tire myself out. Sometimes I would repeat something self affirming, like "I am worthy", "I am able" while walking. I would then go back to bed and watch one of two things that I learned would keep my interest long enough to give me a few minutes reprieve. Sometimes I'd get back up and walk circles again.

Then when I finally went back to sleep, if I did, the morning meant I would wake up with going from sleeping to anxiety pulling me out of sleep. I could feel that happening. That's how my day started.
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« Last Edit: January 29, 2024, 10:36:54 PM by Reinventing »

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You know, all this time I was not sure what 'high energy replay' or 'low energy wallower' meant. People used those terms and I was always perplexed. But now that I've seen the two things appear before my eyes, I get it completely.

My H is here, has been since Wed. Last time he was here at Xmas he was wild eyed, couldn't sit still, edgy and cold, couldn't wait to get of here, checking his phone in the bathroom etc.

Since Wed, he sits around, has been hugging and kissing on kids, is super low energy, has let me know he wants to work on our marriage and does not want a divorce or to break up and understands that that means fidelity and commitment. He is without question, clinically depressed. At least he now admits that he is. He has also apologized for his actions at Xmas. I asked him if he'd had an affair/affairs -  and he denies it. But later when pressed, he said 'there's nothing you need to know.' I told him if he was involved with anyone, or if there was a woman out there pulling him away from his family with texts etc. he can no longer be in touch with them if he wants me. I have a massive thing about secrets and lies because of my own dad's affair. He agreed. He no longer takes his phone to the bathroom I've noticed or even sits with it the same way as before. We will see. We have  kissed and hugged and he's said I love you. Last night we slept in the same bed - first time since September.

Now, all of you battle scarred vets on here are going to tell me - i think - hold on, there's more crazy coming down the pike! this is NOT over!  Don't believe what he says! and yes, I get that. Thank you!

Right now it feels like I'm living with a stroke victim. He appears to feel little, moves slowly, and seems uncomfortable in his own skin. He is catatonic but weirdly also restless. He will almost def leave again at some point soon, altho he ok'ed me making plans with kids for a family overnight in 2 weeks. I think he really is taking it day by day. The reality of raising these two kids in a foreign country (that he does not like living in- but to be fair hasn't made much of an attempt at) will likely make him feel like he needs to escape again. And yes, I realize, that once back over there, he will possibly (maybe even likely?) reconnect with an AP for sympathy, comfort, dopamine or whatever. I am taking it day by day. If it comes to that, if he seems dodgy and secretive or vanishes, I will likely pull the plug on this. It's v hard.

During our long 2 hour talk on Friday while kdis were at school, the culmination seems to be that he does not want to lose me or this marriage etc. It was more that he was saying I don't want to lose you than he was choosing me, if that makes sense. I told him we have to move in one direction or another - working on a marriage or working on a separation agreement/divorce. I will not live in limbo anymore where I feel like I'm auditioning to be his wife - a role i won long ago. So, he said, I want to work on it. And so that's what is kind of happening now.

He does not want to take medication but we will continue to talk about that. I know that exercise can be v effective if done nonstop 30-40 mins a day, according to experts. I am not going to push too much but keep encouraging. He was a personal trainer for heaven's sake! and now he just sits around - the doctor who spoke at my group last night - topic was depression which was well timed - (i go to a divorce care group on Fridays and I went last night anyway) said that a sedentary lifestyle feeds depression like petrol feeds a car.

H took my D to volleyball practice just now and she was over the moon that he was going with her and sat with my son for an hour on the sofa this am hugging and kissing him watching the you tube pranks my son likes. They are over the moon he is here, and they are better off for it. He is being polite and low level affectionate to me - he never initiates any hugs or kisses with me and I am trying not to go too hard on that - he seems startled by them - but he responds when I initiate.

I wish I had more solid info, but i do know that i am on a journey and it is far from over. I am trying to keep two parallel paths open in my mind: one is that we reconcile and start to rebuild slowly and move back to London where he has a chance of getting things together (his work contacts are there and he feels much more at home being Turkish, has close friends, and also closer to his family), I also have contacts there for work and lots of friends so it's not bad for me to contemplate either,  but also a scenario in which I move alone with the kids to a place in the country like in Tennessee or Arkansas (my BF lives in Bentonville), and write a book about surviving/thriving during your H's MLC.

Living in a liminal space like this is hard, but lots of people do this every day. My friend has had Stage IV colon cancer for 4 years now, she was given 6 months to live initially. She gets up every day to go to work, calls her kids at college, and just started a new trial at UCSF (she has run out of options re traditional chemo - 16 rounds). She lives day by day. She's written a book and hopes to be alive for her book tour in June. Every day she holds on to two realities. That is my calling right now I think. Thanks to all of you, I am not rushing blindly into this with him, assuming we are all set because he's expressed that he wants to keep his family. Thanks to you, and all the collective wisdom, I know that this is a bend in the road, and it's a long road ahead.

I can say honestly that if it were not for my children, I would prob walk away. I don't get enough from him, he is such hard work, and he has broken our marriage and trust. But, there is a part of me that believes in 'sickness and in health' and I can see with my eyes how sick he is. He sobbed the other day in bed after we'd been affectionate. He turned his back and cried. He is a shell of the man he once was - the strongest and without a doubt the bravest man I'd ever met. That is the truth. I want to help him get better, for him and for my kids.

Time will reveal when my limits are reached. And this time, if we break, I don't think it will be fueled by fury, it will be a sad acceptance of the fact that he cannot continue on this journey with me and I can no longer carry him. And I will forgive him for that too.

All thoughts from this beautiful community gratefully appreciated. thank you!
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« Last Edit: February 03, 2024, 01:11:10 PM by amazinglove »

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RCR says it takes about 6-9 months past BD for them to settle into their energy type.  I 100% concur based on my experience. 
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F
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Hi amazing love,

Quote from: amazinglove
My H is here, has been since Wed. Last time he was here at Xmas he was wild eyed, couldn't sit still, edgy and cold, couldn't wait to get of here, checking his phone in the bathroom etc.
[...] Now, all of you battle scarred vets on here are going to tell me - i think - hold on, there's more crazy coming down the pike! this is NOT over!  Don't believe what he says! and yes, I get that. Thank you!
I am glad for you and your children that your H has come back, and glad that you are knowing it is not the end, likely not the beginning of the end, maybe only the end of the beginning ?

Quote from: amazinglove
I had the WORST dreams/lying awake at night dark thoughts last night. Does that happen to anyone else? Like between 3:33 and 6 am I was a mess. The most horrible thoughts about him and the woman who is his AP (I believe, have some evidence altho I cannot prove and he denies) and the fact that I think he was with her again this week (he goes dark and doesn't call kids or me for a few days) and the most terrible feelings of betrayal, hopelessness and if I'm really honest, humiliation.

When you are in that space - if any of you are - in the dark of night - what do you do to get out of it? I tried to pray but I felt like it was so strong I couldn't even get my mind there. Does anyone have anything suggestions of things that might have worked for them? Is this normal?
What you describe is "normal" for LBS, yes. At least in the first months post BD. For the first time in my life, the time has slowed down very much. At first it is a  curse, something I wanted to fight. Then, with time  ;) I saw this is a gift that I can use for me. Now my sleep is almost come back to normal without any medication. Only change : I wake up 1 hour earlier than before BD, and I use this time for prayer and reading Word of God

Quote from: amazinglove
I wish I had more solid info, but i do know that i am on a journey and it is far from over. I am trying to keep two parallel paths open in my mind: one is that we reconcile and start to rebuild slowly and move back to London where he has a chance of getting things together (his work contacts are there and he feels much more at home being Turkish, has close friends, and also closer to his family), I also have contacts there for work and lots of friends so it's not bad for me to contemplate either,  but also a scenario in which I move alone with the kids to a place in the country like in Tennessee or Arkansas (my BF lives in Bentonville), and write a book about surviving/thriving during your H's MLC.
Yeah, that's it ! You have options ! And options where you see good future for you whatever the outcome. That's great !

Quote from: amazinglove
I can say honestly that if it were not for my children, I would prob walk away. I don't get enough from him, he is such hard work, and he has broken our marriage and trust. But, there is a part of me that believes in 'sickness and in health' and I can see with my eyes how sick he is. He sobbed the other day in bed after we'd been affectionate. He turned his back and cried. He is a shell of the man he once was - the strongest and without a doubt the bravest man I'd ever met. That is the truth. I want to help him get better, for him and for my kids.

Time will reveal when my limits are reached. And this time, if we break, I don't think it will be fueled by fury, it will be a sad acceptance of the fact that he cannot continue on this journey with me and I can no longer carry him. And I will forgive him for that too.
I totally understand what you write : you are full of empathy and forgiveness, it is a good place to be, right ? With this MLC, I feel my heart is bigger and my mind is clearer, it looks to me that you feel the same.
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M 44, W43. Married 18 years, together 21
3 children D17, D14, S6
OM discovered Dec 22, BD Jan 23 (few days after)
W still living at home
Aimer, c'est donner sans attendre de retour et tout acte est prière, s'il est don de soi (Antoine de Saint Exupéry)
Love means to give without expecting return, and every act is a prayer if it is a self-gift. (thanks OffRoad !)

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Living in a liminal space like this is hard, but lots of people do this every day. My friend has had Stage IV colon cancer for 4 years now, she was given 6 months to live initially. She gets up every day to go to work, calls her kids at college, and just started a new trial at UCSF (she has run out of options re traditional chemo - 16 rounds). She lives day by day. She's written a book and hopes to be alive for her book tour in June. Every day she holds on to two realities. That is my calling right now I think.

I don’t think I have heard anyone use that analogy before but it makes a great deal of sense to me as a way of living with significant long term uncertainty. I think most LBS, regardless of their situation, find themselves living by dropping back into day by day and finding a way to do that which works best for them. Having said that, of course, living with a sort of embodied cancer in the shape of your spouse (sounds harsh, I know, but I’m not quite sure how else to put it), who might be blaming you or reluctant to take care of themselves, has some differences too. Either way, not an easy or straightforward way to live. I imagine you will find your own way of doing so as things shake out. I hope that others here who experienced something similar will come along with their thoughts and advice.

All of us here would celebrate your compassion, I think, and your commitment to your family. Whatever happens in the future, there is a kind of peace to be found in trying earnestly to do one’s best about things that matter that matters. But, at the same time, it’s not easy and we are here to support you as you navigate it and try to walk the tightrope between his needs and everyone else’s needs. Including your own.

What did strike me - and it may be a passing thing bc imho it helps to tag the phrase ‘right now’ onto both our emotions and thoughts and theirs, bc things evolve - is that your h does not yet seem to have reached a place where HE has a plan of action to address his own issues, whatever they are. No medication, no therapy, no solo endeavours?…..his plan seems to be that this is a We problem to work on? And that his bit of the We is met by his return and saying he ‘wants to work on it’? Do you know what he actually means by that? Anything that is just about HIS action as opposed to all of you changing things, like relocating, which will change the conditions of his external life as opposed to him changing the internal ones?

Where do you see the line between We and Him and Me?
It may even be worth practicing using the question - silently, or even out loud with him - which bit of this is a We problem or a You problem? Or a We/You solution?

Imho - and I have a mental image of something like the triangle of Maslow’s Hierarchy - my advice fwiw would be to tread very cautiously in doing anything significant that is intended to improve his situation without seeing evidence first that he is choosing to take action independently on getting his own internal ducks in a row. To let him show his workings in the margin first.

For two reasons….one is that it feeds a narrative that what you do is either the problem or the solution. And if you take some of his prior complaints at face value, that is self evidently not so. The second is that it runs the risk of doing the life equivalent of you and your kids throwing spaghetti at a wall for someone who may not yet be stable and clear eyed enough to know what he really wants and have personally committed to it. Both imho are good reasons for you to keep slowing your roll and give yourself time to reflect before saying yes, no or maybe to anything big that will affect your and your kids future wellbeing.
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« Last Edit: February 04, 2024, 01:24:13 AM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.


"Option A is not available so I need to kick the s**t out of Option B" Sheryl Sandberg

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Thank you so much for those replies. They are so helpful and deeply appreciated.

Quick question - I've noticed that he does not want to be touched really. He never initiates a hug for example. We watched tv tonight and i reached out to hold his hand - he holds it back with strength, there was no wishy washy tolerance/acceptance if that makes sense, and I was watching for that.  But also tonight he went to sleep alone in my son's room (his choice because my son was with grandma) and he came over and like 'high fived' me goodnight! WTF? He seems honestly afraid of physical contact with me.

I wonder too, is it a fear of reattaching? A fear of 'engulfment'? (a term I recently learned ab avoidant personalities, of which he is def one) Is it that he's not sure he actually loves me and he doesn't want to lead me on that he will be my husband in a real way again, ever? Maybe all three?

I asked him directly tonight, are you comfortable with affection from me, because it feels normal to hug or kiss you, and he said yes it's ok, but when he said it, his eyes looked panicked. I said I didn't want to like pressure him or stress him out either but it just feels normal to me. We have held hands for 14 years. But again, this version of him is not the man I've known, not by a long shot.

What do you guys suggest ab that? Still attempt hugs, or hand holding etc or just leave him alone entirely in a physical way? My fear on that is, if I do stop initiating affection, he will completely shut that down from his side (more high fives?!) and then it will be impossible/too awkward to pick it up again.  On the other hand, it's humiliating to basically be asking your own husband to touch you. (and ps I'm gorgeous) :)

I loved your note Treasur about a We or Him issue, I will use that,  and he still makes no moves towards exercise - something he can actually do to help himself.I also think medication and counseling needs to continue to be discussed.  However, he did take on a major project today in my daughter's room (de-assembled a bunk bed and assembled some furniture) and it was industrious and hugely helpful and he took the initiative on it. I helped with the moving and tagged along when he went out to buy some beer (I had given all of his beer to a friend's husband while he was away!) and we felt like friends. Honestly the whole evening as the kids were occupied and he caught up with me on Apple TV's Criminal Record (recommend it) we felt like friends. Which is a whole lot better than what we had in December. Re reading some of my old posts where he was a total monster, was enlightening just now. So maybe I should be grateful for the high fives.

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Mine used to say he felt like he had a "burning aura" and did not want me to touch him. He repelled or dodged during most of this time unless he initiated it. Sometimes he'd hug me and cry suddenly, then push me away like it didn't happen. It's just weird. I remember the cognitive dissonance in myself during all of this because the person I needed to comfort me was the one causing the need for comfort! It's hard to deal with. Best course - don't touch him. I know that seems weird. But it's not going to keep this from progressing because you're keeping the physical connection. It doesn't even matter if you are still intimate - they'll keep going and being weird. Save yourself the pain, and start finding other ways to get the oxytocin.

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Sending hugs and support AL. This will be a very difficult period and it must be so hard to know how to move around your own home. As R2R says, there's likely a cognitive dissonance for you. My suggestion is that you keep a kind of 'open' body language, and let him come to you. I have seen the same with my H. I have seen the wild-eyed fidgets and the complete crumple. I don't see him much, but when I do, he initiates hugs. I don't. It's hard not to take it personally - like the gorgeous you has suddenly become a swamp-monster, but it's really not about you, it's about how he feels about himself being lovable. About shame. And, yes, about feeling pressure. It's his inability to cope at the moment that led him to flee in the first place.

It's hard not to have expectations of what you feel is the 'known quantity' of your H, but he is currently in extreme inner turmoil and distress. It is unlikely that he can tell you what he feels (thinks - more accurate) at one moment to the next, so perhaps it's better not to ask just yet. If it is your desire to keep him at home, dial down the pressure for a while. But as Treasur say, there are 3 other people in this mix and this is not a you problem. From my life experience, it can take some people an awful long while to accept that a)they have an issue b)they need to take responsibility for it.  I imagine it unlikely that he will proactively do this for a while - this comes with the MLC territory. He has to find his own way to what will heal him. But you noticed that a solid, tangible task, with no pressure (the bedroom furniture) was a positive activity for him. Maybe you 'seed' a few more, without asking directly. A small point really, because he is clearly in a low place, but maybe some low pressure activity will be of some gain.

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« Last Edit: February 05, 2024, 01:52:55 AM by KayDee »

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It's strange to post something like this in an anonymous forum before I've even told my own sister, but she is currently getting a breast biopsy done to find out if she has cancer, and my goodness when it rains it pours (it is literally pouring rain here also). Praying for her and have been.

Today I found out about my H's affair.

I heard him whispering on the phone early this am and it was in English, which stopped me cold because his family is all Turkish. I came downstairs quietly (the rain disguised my steps) and heard him talking to someone in a way that was really familiar and close. I saw a woman's name on his phone and asked him 'you have a girlfriend?. We talked after the kids went to school and he initially told me nothing, just a friend, none of your business, but then we really, really talked and he's now admitted he's in love with her. She was his first love, and they reconnected via facebook -the first time she called him I actually answered his phone can you believe that? - so I've talked to her. Anyway, they've been in touch and saw each other in October when he was in Barcelona with his mates (she has a place there) and they then went back there for NYE. They have had these like dirty days/weeks together - in Moscow where she lives, Barcelona and she came and stayed in our place in Antalya.  It's all these like sexy, romantic getaways. She has one adult daughter who hates him because she knows he is married and also how he apparently broke her mom's heart the first time, 20 years ago. He says of her, 'we went through a lot together.'

Gag me with a spoon.

He sobbed, cried and sobbed some more. he told me he cries all the time (he does), he never laughs (he does not), he is a mess (he is) He does not want to lose me or the kids but he also does not want to give her up. He told me when he was over there, and I would post pics on FB he would just cry and cry. I initially told him to pack bags and get out but have told him he can stay for a bit longer because it will traumatize the kids if he is just not here when they get home from school. I told him we can see if we can be kind to each other and co-exist and he can stay a bit longer. Maybe we can build some kind of friendship back or something i don't know. I am not sure how realistic that is. I reckon he will be gone within days. He said he slept with me the first day back because he was hoping he would feel something in that way for me again, and he does not. It is just not the same as it is with her, and apparently it's much better with her. He said "what I lost with you, I found with her.' I think he means that kind of romanic spark.

I told him that I am a working mom in menopause and literally carrying the weight of the world (bills, job, kids) on my shoulders, and I can never compete with dirty weekends with a secret lover in far flung locales. I said make me your mistress and I can show you a good time too. I told him he should go explore his happiness but that they are building a reality on lies and other people's pain. No one in his family even knows. He has told no one and has been lying to all. I also told him that this is his brokenness, his problem and not because of me or our marriage. Anyway, I tried to speak some truth, not that much sunk in.

I said that we now finally have the truth, and now we need to act in love and kindness towards each other. He said it would be easier for him if I hated him, if I screamed at him and kicked him out, and I said that I will always love him as the father of my children and we will part as friends. iI said I believed he was a good man but that he had behaved terribly and blown up our marriage.  Honestly, I think God helped me with this. Last night my Bible reading was all 1 Corinthians 13 - the Love chapter - and those words kept ringing in my head.

I don't know if I will ever love him the same way again , nor him me clearly, but I dont think we will part in anger or hatred. Maybe our story isn't over as a couple, but it's very hard to see that now. I cannot imagine that he will even end up with this woman, the woman he blew up our family for. I think it's totally crazy, but he is mentally unwell (he admitted that) and he is clutching at a history, shared memories and his fantasy of a future. is that it?

I think I sound stronger than I am right now. I've just called in sick to work. I don't know how I'll function today. Did I mention my mom lives with us? This is going to be so so hard. But at least, I've got the truth that I've known in my heart for months now. Finally.

I hope healing starts with truth.
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