2016: The Longest Year of My Life

Today, much to my dismay, I read that timekeepers at the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service will be adding a “leap second” to 2016 (which was already a leap year) on December 31.  The article explained that without the addition of an extra second at carefully calculated intervals, atomic clocks become out of sync with solar time. Apparently, this is because the earth’s rotation is not constant, but at times it slows down and speeds up ever so slightly.  This may sound like scientific trivia to some people, but to me it feels like adding insult to injury. 

2016 was figuratively the longest year of my life. It was the year my spouse of 16 years gave up on our marriage, carried out a two-and-a-half-month affair with a coworker, and thus inducted me into a sort of secret society, what I’ve come to call the Betrayed Spouse Club.  It’s a club no one wants to join, and if you are part of it, few want to admit that they belong.  The experts at Affair Recovery tell me being in this club is like having a full-time job that you didn’t ask for.  I can vouch for that personally, as I know many of you reading this blog can as well.

My spouse and I are now 8 months out from D-Day, living in recovery from day to day.  Some days are easier than others, some are downright excruciating. On those difficult days, the thought of adding even one more second to this horrific year of my life is almost unbearable. Time can feel like my enemy as I face days filled with unrelenting thoughts, questions, and overwhelming hurt from the affair.  I’ve learned at Affair Recovery that typically it takes at least 18-24 months to overcome this, and that can seem an eternity to me. I can be tempted to tamp down the feelings, push aside the questions and thoughts, and avoid facing the issues in an attempt to simply let the passage of time heal my wounds. However, I have also learned that these feelings and hurts don’t just disappear and more than time alone is needed for successful recovery.  It matters how I spend these days and months and years. When I face my feelings, address the questions, focus my thoughts, and allow myself to recognize the hurt, I am taking responsibility for my own recovery.  I am being proactive and making time my laborer and no longer my enemy.

Doing that work is daunting, and it takes (I believe) a dependence on a Higher Power to face it from day to day. In my EMS materials, C.S. Lewis is quoted, having said “The thing is to rely on God.  The time will come when you regard all this misery as a small price to pay for having been brought to that dependence.”  As 2017 approaches, this year it can be hard for me to see it as anything but an endless stretch of miserable days and nights to come and New Year’s resolutions can seem futile. However, in the midst of this, I can choose to rely on God, to rely on Hope, to rely on Love, and to make time work for me by committing to recovery work one day at a time.  I hope each of you reading this blog can join me in that resolution, and I wish all of you a blessed New Year.

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Longest year 2016

Great post! Your words could have been my own. I'm a little over 5 months post d-day. What a roller coaster those months have been! God has been my strength through this journey I never wanted or thought I would have to take. I so desire to keep my family together and forgive my husband for this thing he has done to me, to us, to our family. I desire to walk through the journey and face the pain, feel the pain, and get through my recovery with as little resentment as possible. Without a doubt the most difficult thing I've been through.
God bless you and all who are traveling this difficult road!

Thank you

Thank you for your kind words. I'm so glad that you have been able to lean on God during this difficult time. Your desires you list above are commendable and I pray that you will be able to heal and be stronger for what you have gone through. Keep going (it can be overwhelming some days for me) and depending on God for the strength! By the way I love your username, one of my favorite songs is "You Make Me Brave" by Bethel Music & Amanda Cook. Have a listen if you haven't heard it before...its very inspiring.

Powerful I need to give

Powerful I need to give myself to the lord and follow through

Thank you for your kind

Thank you for your kind comment. I hope that you can find the peace and healing that you are seeking.

This really spoke to me. We

This really spoke to me. We are 13 months past d-day. The Lord has been my sustainer, and has literally held me up. We have been in counseling since a month after and my wife is stuck. Emotionally, spiritually, you name it. I thought this year would never end. We blew past d-day anniversary, and because of my spiritual work, I didn't have any triggers. I sill pray for the Hily Spirit to grab ahold of my wife like he grabbed ahold of me. She is stuck in the shame/anger mode and can't seem to get out. Those of you who pray, I would be grateful for them for my wife and I.

Hang in there!

I will pray for you and your wife, thank you for reaching out. You are farther ahead in recovery than me, so I'm glad to hear that you were able to get through the one year D-Day anniversary without triggers, I will be happy when I get to that point! I am glad you are still praying for your wife, I hope God can sustain you in that effort as well. I would encourage you to consider the Hope for Healing and Harboring Hope classes as well if you haven't tried them. My Harboring Hope class has really helped me when I have been stuck.

Long Days & Nights

Thank you - there are times when I think I am having a nervous breakdown but to read of other's journeys helps me understand this process is more of the norm. We will be married 35 years this coming August and I am 4 months from D Day after discovering my husband's 8 year affair! 8 years - yes, we felt disengaged for the last couple of years, however, much began at a time when I genuinely felt we were happy. all my memories - both the good and the bad have been ripped away. The dark side of his double life is too long to go into but in short it is the many lies that have kept the knife in my heart. We are in counseling and we are attempting to make some sense of this heart wrenching experience. He is remorseful and doing everything right, but the pain I feel with the knowledge I have seems to be incompatible. I too can't imagine the days forward, living with this pain. I wish we could either turn the clock back to before the affair or after this healing.

RE: Long Days & Nights

I've just read your comments on Oct 9, 2017 where you replied "7 months ago" that you were 4 months out from your spouses 8 year affair; I am either 19 months or 7 months (depending on my wife's two confessions -- the first being a mere fraction (1 1/2 year) of what became "this time is the truth: 15 years!") -- can you tell me/us how you've progressed in all this time? Has it 'gotten tolerable? Are there EVER days when you don't think about it?
Thank you.

Thinking about it

I think that I didn’t think about my UH’s affair with his ex wife after maybe 2 1/2 years. I gave myself the choice of not continuing to keep myself going around in the turmoil of his infidelity. I wasn’t thinking about it every other day by then. I was going on with my busy life at that time. I believe I had chosen to forgive him.
Now, 25 years later and into early retirement, a polygraph to even begin to know what my UH has kept hidden for the entirety of our relationship is that I am going forward learning about sex addiction and what it is like living with this chronic illness. The deception has been unbelievable for me to grasp. I’m now seeing that I swept his affair with his ex wife under the rug. Now, 26+ years later I am not going over, under, or around the infidelities that have been in my life. I’m going THROUGH this affair recovery journey. It’s an incredibly difficult and unbelievably challenging job. It’s unbelievably humbling how difficult it is to do.

50 year anniversary coming in March of 2018

Yes, we have been married nearly 50 years! D Day for us was last June. A coworker of my husband, 20 years younger, showed up at my house and disclosed a 6 year emotional affair with my husband! The same summer I found out about another very young gal, the age of my grand daughter, who was also involved in an emotional affair with him for the same length of time! There were "pecks" on the lips, gifts of money, rides in his vehicle, and visits to her home. I would guess this would be called Limerence. We are 6 months out and it has been hell! He is "all in" for making amends and managing his addiction. I now realize he has had infatuations all of our married life. Needless to say there will be no golden anniversary celebration! I am so sad that it went on so long and he never ended either relationship. Once I found out I gave him a choice and he wants to stay in the marriage and seems to feel badly that I am so hurt! We have told our grown children and they too are having to deal with this person, who none of us can really believe is the same one we knew as a great father and usually good husband. There are days I wonder if I can keep up my strength to stay in the relationship. If he weren't trying and devoting time to getting better (let alone we both do love one another), I would start a new life. I am financially able and healthy to move on.

Thank you Thank you.

For sharing your feelings and pain. Your Words of hope help those of us still in the early throngs of recovery.

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-D, Texas