Me: BW, 45 at DDAy -- Him: WH, 45 at DDay -- 2 LTAs (2012-2021 and 2016-2021) + 4 ONS -- Dday1: July 2021 -- Dday2: September 2021 -- Just want to be happy again
2 years out
It's been a little more than two years since the second Dday, when WH finally stopped lying. Since he layed out all the bad and the ugly of his actions, spanning more than 9 years. I was devastated, shaken to the core, but still when finding this site and reading about 2-5 years needed to recover, I believed I could at least be on the lower side of this interval, no matter which way I might go, R or D. But like many others, I was wrong. I am not okay today, I am nowhere near being okay. I have decided very early on that I want to try to reconcile if he proves to me he is all in and never, ever lies to me about anything and I don't regret that decision. I loved him and I still love him, these feelings have not changed after his affairs. I mean, I have a lot of pain, anger, resentment, disgust about what he has done, but these feelings were added to how I felt about him and not replaced the love that I had. I still feel R is the best course of action for me and I am proud to have taken the difficult path I wanted, it's just that I didn't expect the pain and suffering to persist for so long and with such intensity.
There have been some positive changes in me in these two years. I had a bit of a codependent streak our whole relationship and that is gone. One of the reasons I wanted to R was that I couldn't imagine my life without him in it. Now, when I think about the future, both possible paths are clear to me. I still prefer the one where we are together, in love and with future grandchildren coming to visit and running around us, but I also see very clearly the other one, where I live alone in a nice small apartment, somewhere near the sea and I see myself happy in that life as well. And I am a lot stronger and more confident than I ever was. I always had a bit of a low self-esteem, and now I totally know my worth. I know I deserve more than he was giving me and I am not afraid to ask for what I deserve, not just in this relationship but in life in general. But even with him being all in, respecting every boundary and every condition I set, doing nearly everything I asked for and much more, I still don't trust him and consequently I don't let myself be vulnerable with him. I love him so much, I am in love with him, but I very rarely tell him that. He tells me he loves me every day, but even these words are triggering for me, because they remind me every time that he had said them to others as well. And it is so hard for me to say it back, because that again reminds me I am not the only one he had heard these words from, but even more, I feel that every time I tell him that I love him I give him one additional pathway to hurting me again. I know I will be okay without him, I have a detailed plan of what to do if I see any dishonesty in him again, but still I am afraid to let him close again. Sometimes I think infidelity might just be a dealbreaker for me. Sometimes I feel like my own worst enemy. I want so much to R and he is doing everything right but I am still holding back. I miss the closeness and the intimacy and at the same time I keep him at bay.
Our sex life is also not great. After a year-long stint of hysterical bonding, we had a gradual decline in frequency, which is now at once a week or even less and I hate that. Don't get me wrong, the frequency is as it is because of me, if it was up to him, we would be doing it every day and twice on Sunday :). And it is not that I don't desire him, I do and I think about him in a sexual way all the time. He is still the one in my fantasies, the reality just doesn't keep up. So often I think about him during the day, imagining our night together, but when the night comes and he is actually there for me, the mind movies of his affairs take over and that kind of kills the mood. When we do have sex, when I succeed in pushing the memories of them together out of my head, it is always great, but it is so hard to actually get rid of them. And afterwards I still often feel like crying for what was lost,for what he has taken from me, from us.
In the past two years I've been contemplating a lot about what I want and need in R and what it comes down to, besides, of course, him being a safe and honest partner, is first, I need to feel special to him again and loved the way I deserve to be loved by the person I decide to spend my life with, second, I need to believe that we share the same core values, and third, I need to find a way to trust him again. Without that, I don't think we can make it. I know that trust is going to take time to rebuild and I am OK with that, besides he is really doing a lot to help me on that front. But the other two proved to be more difficult than I imagined. I know he wants to be with me, he is showing that everyday in a million ways, but I don't know if it is the life we have together that he wants or me, I don't know if he truly loves me or am I just the best option he has at the moment. I fear that my love for him is more than the love he can give me, and I refuse to be in such a disbalanced relationship. He says I am wrong, that he truly loves me most in the world and that I am special to him and his actions say the same, but his actions were just as loving in the 9 years of hell if you take out the cheating and lying. He never changed how he was with me, or with the kids in those years, he was just as loving, attentive as before, except he added the OW in the mix and mostly in the work hours, so our time together didn't suffer that much. He says it is because he always loved me and never meant for us to split, but it is just hard for me to believe that you can truly love someone and do what he did. I hope time can give me some clarity on that, unfortunately there has not been much progress on this front up to now.
Core values are also a problem. I always believed we shared similar fundamental beliefs and importance of fidelity was one of them, now I ask myself if I ever really knew him at all. We talk about it a lot and he maintains that he believes in fidelity, even though his past actions don't show that, but he swears he will spend the rest of his life showing me that he can and has changed. He wants to be a person he and our kids can be proud of, he wants to be a role model for them and it is hard for him that he has not been that kind of person for 9 years. He says it feels hypocritical to ask certain things of the kids, when he was not that way for so long. But of course, all this could just be a ruse, to make me lower my guard, to enable him to keep a life he wants. I just can't know and it is killing me.
So here I am, after 2 years, the affairs are still on my mind every day and I am still in so much pain. Maybe it is not as debilitating as in the beginning, but it hurts more than I ever imagined I could bear. Getting through these past two years has been the hardest thing I ever did in my life and I still can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. Not that I am unhappy all the time, I have good days or even weeks, we can have fun, just us or the whole family together, but the affairs are always in the background, sometimes as white noise and sometimes they override everything.
I don't really know what I wanted with this post. Mostly, I guess, it makes me feel a little bit better writing it all down, but also I am looking for some reassurance, that I am where I should be in this timeframe. And to ask where you were at 2 years out, both betrayeds and waywards. I am not in IC, so maybe that's why I am a little slower on the way, but I read a lot and muse about our situation and my options and I talk with my WH, so hopefully I will manage to get somewhere better anyway.
5 comments posted: Wednesday, November 8th, 2023