Q&A Am I Abnormal for Struggling with Healing?

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I’m really struggling with healing. I am the betrayed spouse. We’ve been married for 37 years. My husband was in a emotional and physical relationship with his secretary for 7-8 years. She was also married. We have pieced together a time line based on life events but don’t have definitive dates. She ended it but he couldn’t let go. He continued to call her for years afterward. He admits that he didn’t want it to end. I didn’t find out the truth until 2 years ago. Over 20 years had gone by at that point. Yes, I suspected and knew instinctively he was cheating. I asked him straight up if he was cheating more than once. Over the years I dropped many hints hoping to have my suspicions confirmed. Finally he admitted to everything. He did not disclose. I dragged it out of him. I also discovered 2 other situations where he pursued women but the women did not reciprocate. He is now remorseful. He is tortured by the pain his choices have caused both of us. He is the model of a man that wants restoration. He wants nothing more than to forget the whole nightmare and move on. I’m not sure that can happen for me. We have done Hope for Healing and Harboring Hope. We are beginning EMS Online soon. This is a last ditch effort for me. I just can’t get past the ugly emotions that this mess has caused. I’m feeling pressure to be beyond all of this by now. You guys say 18-24 months is a reasonable amount of time to heal. For me it’s not. Yes, I’ve made progress in healing. But I still flood and have very dark times. I can’t seem to forgive completely or rid myself of bitterness and resentment. God knows I’m working at it every single day. Am I abnormal?



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Am I abnormal for struggling

Your situation is so much like mine. I haven't really talked to anyone with a similar situation. I found out 6 mos ago that my husband had an affair with one of his employees over 25 years ago. It lasted several years. I also had suspicion at the time and he gaslighted me all these years. I have been absolutely devastated. I don't know that I will ever heal. I'm so sorry for your pain. I know exactly how you feel. It hurts really bad.

Am I abnormal

Wow! I know it really sucks. Every day. Almost constantly. I hope you’re making progress in your journey.
Wayne’s response led me down a rabbit hole... although I read The Shack years ago I was unaware of the author’s story. Im learning a lot from him. Just what I needed at this time.
What types of things have helped you?

Am I abnormal

I'm so sorry for you to be going through such a horrific situation...as is mine. I hate to say this but I really haven't found anything to relieve the pain. I think talking to other women going through similar things helps the most. I get on YouTube and search for " restored marriages after infidelity" testimonies and that helps for about a minute and then I'm back to the same thing. My anger has been overwhelming because he lied about it for so long. If he had confessed it at the time I would have had a choice of whether or not to stay in the marriage. He made the choice for me by keeping it a secret for 25 years! Now I'm 64 years old and haven't worked in 30 years! I'm just devastated. I wish we could talk. I'm not sure if it's ok to share phone numbers. Do you know? I could share things that help me if I knew your number.


Not sure how to go about getting personal info. I’m not crazy about posting it here. Not because of you. I guess all those on this forum would be ok. Maybe emails? Would you be interested in that to start?
Please know I get it. I know where you are with this. I’m the same age as you. I am working full time still.
I go back and forth between wanting to be over this nightmare and holding onto the anger with a death grip.


My anger is killing me. It's all terribly unbearable. I feel sick all the time.
I wish I was working like you. At least then I would know that I could support myself. We have a son with terminal illness so I was a stay at home mom to take care of him. Haven't worked in 30 years. I'll just give you my email... bridgethill777@gmail.com
Feel free to email me and maybe from there we can talk. I keep thinking I should be doing better because it happened so long ago and my husband chose me. I don't know how to process all of that. It really doesn't make me feel better that he chose me. I really wish he had not because I was 25 years younger and could have done something with my life then. It's so devastating...I feel paralyzed...stuck in pain and anger.


I sent you an email

Also still struggling

Your situation closely mirrors mine.
Four years ago I discovered my husbands porn use. Then two months later I discovered he had been having an on-going affair with our secretary, also my friend and his best friends wife, for over a year. The affair happened 14 years prior to my discovery.
My husband says they both agreed to end it. But the AP continued to work for us.
6 months later the AP moved out of state with her husband.
For 14yrs they kept in touch and even planned a few family vacations and dinners for us when they were in town visiting family!
In my eyes the affair continued for those 14yrs as an emotional affair which my UH denies it was an emotional affair.
My husband is very sorry and remorseful but he refuses to do any recovery work even though he admits to being a sex addict.
We were in counseling for a few months after discovery and he quite when it was time for our full disclosure saying he didn't like his counselor.
He also told me that I know everything.
There are to many questionable occurances theoughout our marriage that lead me to believe this isn't the only time he has been unfaithful. He adimateley denies any other times.


During the time of his affair I also knew instinctively something was going on and repeatedly asked if he was having an affair. His response was "I cant believe you would think I am having an affair, that hurts me deeply that you would accuse me of that"!
Because he hasn't done any recovery work, I recently put in place a boundary that he do recovery work. He agreed and signed us up for EMSO.
We are in week 5. He has not done one meeting or even worked in his workbook. I finally quit the group because it was too uncomfortable for me to go on by myself.
He finally agreed to work in the book one on one but has also backed out of that too.
He blames me for where we are and says I am stuck and seems to think that's where I want to be.
And has the nerve to say I should be further along because thats what it says in the book. 18-24 months!!!
My anger and resentment have reached an all-time level!
His lack of motivation or willingness to do the work and prove to me he is genuinely remorseful and sorry has pushed me over the edge.
He makes me feel I am not worth it.
My feeling is he does not want to own up to everything he has done and that's why he won't do the work.
I am this close to filing for divorce.

What type of affair was it?

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-D, Texas