I Still Struggle

For years leading up to D-day my husband and I were leading separate lives under the same roof. We weren’t angry with each other. We weren’t making threats to divorce or having screaming arguments. We had family supper together every night. We went on family vacations. We talked about politics, family, the latest national news, friends, and a host of other topics. But we never talked about our relationship. We were disconnected emotionally. We lived a life of pretend normal that was externally the model marriage but internally suffocating. Intimacy was gone, not just in the bedroom, in every aspect of our relationship. Looking back I was deeply unhappy and obviously so was my husband. Yet neither of us had the courage, wisdom, or whatever it would take to shake us awake to our dismal reality. So we continued to live together, yet separate.

In the months leading up to D-day our separate lives became nearly unbearable. My husband had become nasty and mean. He would lash out at our daughter and me for the stupidest reasons. He became almost tyrannical in his need to control practically every aspect of our home lives. His anger was always just under the surface. He wasn’t abusive but he became increasingly difficult to live with. On days I worked and he didn’t he wouldn’t be home to eat lunch with me. He would go shopping in the next town without me. I now know that his affair and the confusion, shame, and guilt it was causing were responsible for his actions towards me. But at the time it seemed that nothing I did was good enough for him anymore.

After D-day when we decided to stay together our previous pretend normal was no longer good enough for either of us. We would need to have a better marriage and deeper intimacy or recovery would not be worth the effort. So through a lot of hard work, tears and learning about ourselves and each other we’ve come a long way in the past two years. It’s amazing how much he’s been willing to change. I’ve changed. Our relationship has changed and it is now more honest than it’s ever been.

Yet at times I still struggle. The other day he purchased a new blender without me. Yes, that simple purchase sent me spiraling downward into an emotional hole that was dark and scary. I thought we were a team. He knew I wanted to help choose the blender. Didn’t he care about my feelings? He was so selfish! I became withdrawn, distant from my husband. I didn’t talk about anything with him. I even began second guessing my decision to stay with him. In my head I ranted that I felt “stuck” in the relationship, forced to stay when I really wanted to leave. I began to convince myself that I had only stayed because we still have a daughter at home. Or I stayed because I had no other financial option. I was trapped. I would be happier alone, away from my cheating, uncaring, selfish husband. I began convincing myself that I really wasn’t happy. Maybe I could just leave and start over.

Then it hit me. What in the world was I doing? Was I really trying to talk myself into leaving? Sure, if I wanted to I could make a case for divorce by focusing on the negative. Who couldn’t? My husband could easily do the same with me. I had allowed a simple blender purchase to turn into a major trigger that then made me question the entire past two plus years of hard work.

I resolved that it was time to yet again focus on the many, many positive changes we both have made since D-day.  My husband is an imperfect human who caused me so much trauma and grief. But honestly, I’m imperfect as well.

If you’re like me, and so many others, when it comes to triggers and reminders you can easily spiral to a dark place. Luckily Affair Recovery has a Protocol for Reminders if you haven’t looked at it you should.

Recovery is a struggle. There will be days when you want to just give up. There will be days when the pain of betrayal just doesn’t seem worth the effort of recovery. But don’t lose your focus. Keep your eye on the horizon. Stay strong. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you’re stronger than you think, braver than you believe. Stand firm and fight for what you deserve. The pain of the process is worth the result. You will struggle. But you will win.

Add New Comment:

Comments

YES!!!

It has been 16 months since the most recent D-Day and I think very similar thoughts when I allow a trigger to get ahold of me! I thought I was the only one. I question everything, especially deciding to stay. It is so easy to spiral to deep dark places and wind up feeling like I'm experiencing the horribleness of discovery and his lying for many months. MUCH harder to look at all the changes that we have made individually and together.

THANK YOU for this article! I have this idea that I shouldn't have hard moments or days. Knowinf that it's normal to struggle helps me immensely.

Stay Strong

I'm so glad that sharing my struggle has helped you. It's difficult to know what's "normal" after D-day. Every story is different. But we have a shared pain. Remember, stay strong!

YES!!!

It has been 16 months since the most recent D-Day and I think very similar thoughts when I allow a trigger to get ahold of me! I thought I was the only one. I question everything, especially deciding to stay. It is so easy to spiral to deep dark places and wind up feeling like I'm experiencing the horribleness of discovery and his lying for many months. MUCH harder to look at all the changes that we have made individually and together.

THANK YOU for this article! I have this idea that I shouldn't have hard moments or days. Knowinf that it's normal to struggle helps me immensely.

Still struggling almost 4

Still struggling almost 4 years later. However the last Dday was about 2 months ago. I've had 3 Ddays. Married 38 years. My husband has been torturing me with trickle truth since Dday 1. About the time I have worked through a set of facts, more seem to emerge. After each Dday, he had assured me he had told me everything. Nope. I go back almost to square one every time, but not quite. Right now, after the last detail, while I fully expect more will come out at some point, I just no longer give a rip. He will not hurt me again. I am numb. I am sad. I am exhausted emotionally.

My heart aches for you

Karen, my heart aches that you've had to suffer with trickle truth that hinders your recovery. I'm even more worried that you're now numb. Have the two of you tried EMS weekend or online? Even if you did, it may be helpful to try again. Your husband has missed one of the most basic and important parts of recovery and that's FULL disclosure immediately. You need help. He needs help. Please, get the help you deserve. I'm thinking of you.

We have done EMS weekend and

We have done EMS weekend and EMS online, he did Hope for Healing and I did Harboring Hope before Dday 2, which was the worst of the Ddays. I STILL had Dday 3 about 2 months ago and it was a revelation that should have been disclosed during the ground zero lesson in both EMS courses. I no longer have any expectations of him, am guarding my heart with a cement wall, and I basically just exist. No joy, no desire to celebrate anything. I just want to isolate. But I can't because I have grandkids and there are expectations of me. I love them dearly, but I have to fake my way through everything--Holidays, birthdays, vacations.... Christmas Day was my Dday 1. This is my life now, and as sad as it is, I refuse to break MY vows that I took before God and family and become like him. I'm also too old to start over ( age 60). It appears we will live as roommates until death do us part or until he gets tired of it and divorces me. Whatever. I really don't care anymore. Whatever happens, happens. I'm too tired of trying and driving recovery and he is doing minimal work and doesn't seem to care how I feel or ever initiate conversation or want to talk about the affairs. So I'm done. There's no hope, really as far as I can tell.

What type of affair was it?

Our free Affair Analyzer provides you with insights about your unique situation and gives you a personalized plan of action.
Take the Affair Analyzer