Stillconfused2022, thank you for the thoughtful and compassionate response. I am truly so sorry to hear about your recent revelation and heartbreak. I can only imagine the pain must be two fold to suffer the aftermath of infidelity as a child and then to have found refuge in a marriage that you trusted sheltered you from re-experiencing that as and adult, only to then be more deeply traumatized with a first hand experience of the pain that cheating brings. You do not deserve that.
You asked if I ever miss the earlier innocent/trusting version of me, yes very much. In fact since this all started a few months ago I have been journaling and that is one realization I came to, from my journal:
"I don't think I really fully mourned the death of the younger, innocent version of me that unquestioningly believed we were committed to each other for life. I trusted her completely and thought we were on the same page with our vows of commitment. That turned out to not be true and that is the part of me that died there that day. That trust will most likely never be restored to the original level."
I think it is important and healthy to embrace those more innocent versions of ourselves because if we just leave them behind I fear life may become rather pointless and unbearably cynical. Hugs to your innocent trusting soul, and mine.
Happy Birthday. Mine was the day I made my first post. I think I may appear braver than I feel in being able to handle the truth. But I have to believe that as sorted as the truth may be, that my wild imagination probably has come up with worse imagery and stories than what reality is. I could of course be wrong but I am willing to risk that at this point. Because having a strong notion that there is more to the story that is untold is having negative effect on our relationship because I am really having very substantial trust issues. And for me that is a core value and without it I just feel so incomplete.
"I keep trying to find the answers that will allow me to live with this. In reality there is no answer that will make this okay. When we have these talks he becomes demoralized and wants to give up, although he is always careful to say he is never going to leave. "
Yes me too. And that is why I said I sometimes, although I want to, I just don’t talk about it. My hope is that over time these feelings will gradually become less strong and more infrequent but I like you believe right now that those answers that will make this ok are elusive at best and perhaps non-existent.
I too want the truth to be different. I sometimes wake in the night feeling normal for a bit and then that dark black cloud of infidelity imagery engulfs me once again. I would love those "normal" moments to last longer and be more frequent and perhaps with work and time they can be.
As a man my ego was smashed with regard to me fulfilling her sexual needs and to this day remains damaged. However, equally hurtful are the mind movies where they are having afterglow pillow talk, holding hands, having a meal together, traveling to new places for the first time that we have never seen together. Those romantic movies for me are just as gut wrenching as the sex movies. I mean a drunken ONS I can better wrap my head around, but to be cast aside for the love of someone else is truly a total mind f*ck!
I think the withholding she is doing she thinks is protecting me and has nearly said as much. But I know there is more. I sense she knows that I know there is more. And from so many other stories here, being forthcoming, although difficult, is better than finding out later and then long term deception gets added to the infidelity and to me that is far worse.
And yes I may never find the truth I seek. I have to be realistic. But something I have found is the kindness, compassion, and understanding of others here which does lessen the pain. May you get your birthday wish and find peace and healing.
[This message edited by IOnceBelieved at 3:53 PM, Saturday, February 18th]