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Heart14 Offline OP
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I've previously posted in the newcomer and infidelity sections, but I'll recap the situation here since we are actively working on piecing now. This year has been a roller coaster ride. Starting in February my H began pulling away from me emotionally and physically. He never said he didn't love me, in fact he kept telling me love didn't have anything to do with the problem. He loved me and just felt that we had grown apart and didn't have anything in common anymore. He started staying out really late drinking, occasionally not coming home. He also increased his travel because he didn't want to be home much. At first, my head was spinning from the sudden change and I did everything wrong. H mentioned divorce and/or separation a few times. I begged and pleaded originally. After about a month, before I found DR, I changed my response and would tell him that he was welcome to leave if he wanted, but I was staying right there. He was confused and ultimately never made the choice to leave.

We had a few MC sessions in April, but they didn't help much. At the recommendation of the MC we both started IC instead. It was their opinion that H needed to work on his own issues before we could work on ours together. This was in part due to the fact that H has some childhood trauma that he has never addressed. That is an ongoing issue that H is trying to work through. My IC has flat out told me that we should wait for MC until he gets through some of those things on his own.

In June I found DR and began to examine my role in the current state of our marriage. I realized partially on my own, and partially from comments H made that I had not been speaking his love language. I was not as supportive or appreciative of H as I should have been. I implemented 180s and began validating him when the opportunity arose. I also worked on detaching and GAL. GAL was challenging at times because we have a toddler and not a lot of baby sitting options. I also believe being fairly new parents contributed to the deterioration of our marriage. I felt exhausted as a new mom and often resentful that H wasn't helping with our child as much as I'd hoped. On th flip side, H felt that I put all my energy into our child and gave very little time and attention to our marriage.

After using some DR strategies, H began softening towards me and we had a few fun events together, 1 family trip and 1 concert just the two of us. Things were still strained though. H had admitted at this point to an EA with a coworker and I suspected, but had no proof, that they'd been having a PA. Whenever we got in R talks, which I tried to avoid as much as possible, H would say that I deserve better and that he's not a good person. I could tell that he had a lot of guilt and self hatred based on all of his comments. In mid July, H voluntarily confessed to having a 4 month affair. It took 2 weeks for the true identity of the affair partner to be revealed. He originally lied and said it was a stranger. I told him that the affair was not a deal breaker for me as long as it was over and he became transparent with me. He told me he had been distancing himself from OW and the affair was over. I found correspondence that confirmed this. He was very concerned that I'd never be able to get passed the affair and that it was compromising my values. Due to this, it took him about a week to ultimately decide that he wanted to work on our marriage.

The last few months have been back and forth. H has answered all of my questions about the affair and I am confident that it has ended. He has also taken full responsibility for his actions, apologized about the pain he caused me and vowed never to cheat again. He is also adamant that he does not want our marriage to fail. However, he still works with OW and they do interact at times. This, understandably I think, gives me some anxiety. Origially, H was giving me daily reports about their interactions. I got into a bad pattern of letting OW in my head and questioning things instead of appreciating his actions. That caused him to pull back, get defensive and stop volunteering information. Part of my issue is that H and OW think they can still be friendly. H is insistent that he will no longer hang out with her in a social setting or one on one. He does still have to be around her at some work events, but he does voluntarily tell me about those and they are not alone. My DB coach has told me to choose to trust him and let go of the anxiety because he has done the majority of the things I've asked. She also stressed that I need to accentuate the positives actions, forget the negative ones and stop mentioning OW.

We decided during the summer to move back to the place we consider home because we have more of a support system there. Now that we've made the move, H has to travel to the office where OW is a few days a week. I implemented my coach's suggestions last week while he was traveling and the results were very positive. He's not fully transparent in that I don't have access to all of his emails or phone records, but he was calling me from the hotel every night, texting throughout the day and telling me that he loved me. He also told me that he missed me and was very affectionate when he got home. During the A he was not doing any of that and generally just acted guilty and distant. He is also looking for another job (according to the grapevine so is OW) but I don't think a job change will happen for awhile.

I know I am luckier than most in the sense that my H's fog was fairly short. I still feel like this could be a long journey. I'm struggling to let go and trust, but I absolutely want this marriage to last. I think I need to give up the strict definition of full transparency that I'm holding onto and appreciate that H is trying to show me that he wants to be here. The more I harp on him about what he's not doing, the more he stops the actions I do like. I'm praying for patience and strength as we continue to piece our marriage back together.


Me: 30
H: 35
M: 5 years
S2
Signs of MLC started Feb 2014
BD - PA July 2014
Piecing/reconciling late July 2014
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 564
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Praying for you Heart14. Sound like you have both made some great strides and are working hard. Thanks for sharing.


M:25 years at BD w/ 2 daughters
BD: 5/14
Separated 6/14 - H moved cross country w/OW
D Final 9/17

I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.
― Maya Angelou



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Thank you so much for coming back to share your experience. I needed to read that this morning. In the newcomers' section, a lot of us a grappling with the most difficult moments of the separation, often the part where things get worse before they get better. Few people come back to share their positive experience, it seems, probably because they moved on.

Originally Posted By: Heart14
I think I need to give up the strict definition of full transparency that I'm holding onto and appreciate that H is trying to show me that he wants to be here.

Giving full access to my email or getting similar access to my W's email is unthinkable. We all have our secret garden, a space to think, communicate with others. It would just lead each of us to move our thoughts elsewhere. That your H has private thoughts, perhaps doubts, hurtful feelings, etc. does not mean he will leave you. It means he's human. Don't get yourself into a situation where you regret asking too much of him. You're on the right path.

I really hope your piecing will continue so well and that you'll update us regularly. Many us need to hear a good story, as we make our way through the rough parts.


M39 D6 D3 (at S)
S 2014-09
D 2016-09

"You can't start a fire sitting around, crying over a broken heart" - Bruce Springsteen.
Joined: Jul 2014
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Heart14 Offline OP
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Thanks for the prayers, Gwen. I'll take as many as I can get! I've found that prayer has helped me stay centered through this process so far.

Originally Posted By: Mozza
Giving full access to my email or getting similar access to my W's email is unthinkable. We all have our secret garden, a space to think, communicate with others. It would just lead each of us to move our thoughts elsewhere. That your H has private thoughts, perhaps doubts, hurtful feelings, etc. does not mean he will leave you. It means he's human. Don't get yourself into a situation where you regret asking too much of him.


Thanks, Mozza. I needed to read that this morning. I have definitely struggled with putting H on the defensive by asking for more and more instead of appreciating what he's been doing. My DB coach made a great point, we feed what we emphasize. In my case, I was feeding my fears and essentially telling H, nothing you do is enough. Who wants to live feeling like that? Duh! I should have seen that, but I was too focused on my own pain. It's funny, I'm typically a very positive person, but I can see that in my interactions with H I was often negative instead.

Piecing is hard. We are working in the right direction though. I think time and continuing to accentuate the positive will really get us through this. Lord knows I never want to be back where we were!


Me: 30
H: 35
M: 5 years
S2
Signs of MLC started Feb 2014
BD - PA July 2014
Piecing/reconciling late July 2014
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 1,532
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Originally Posted By: Heart14
My DB coach made a great point, we feed what we emphasize.
We feed what we emphasize, we feed what we emphasize... Need to memorize that and apply it. Thanks for sharing.

Originally Posted By: Heart14
Piecing is hard. We are working in the right direction though. I think time and continuing to accentuate the positive will really get us through this. Lord knows I never want to be back where we were!
You know many of us would really want to be where you are, as we see our R disintegrate before our eyes. You're very luck to be given another chance. Enjoy!


M39 D6 D3 (at S)
S 2014-09
D 2016-09

"You can't start a fire sitting around, crying over a broken heart" - Bruce Springsteen.
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Heart,
So happy that y'all are headed in the right direction. When are feeling negative, go over to the newcomers board and it will help you appreciate where you are. Every day you wake up, if you say to yourself that today is going to be a great day you may not always be right. If you wake up and say that today will be a scrappy day, you will ALWAYS be right. Which day do you want?


M40 XW35
M11 T15
S9 D5
Bomb 6/3/14
Papers del 10/3/14
D final 12/5/14

I wish I could love you and make you believe it
'Cause that's all you ever wanted
From me

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Heart14 Offline OP
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I thought it might be time for an update. It's been quite awhile since I last posted. I still visit the boards often. I don't post much because I don't really feel like I have much advice to give anyone. I definitely support everybody here though.

The majority of the time, I would say our marriage is going really well now. We try and schedule a date night once a month to get out of the house and also have "dates" at home after S2 goes to bed. Physically our relationship is better than its been since before S2 was born. We've tried to spice things up which has really been fun for both of us. I don't know what kept us from doing that a long time ago. Emotionally I would also say we are closer, but H has days where he seems withdrawn. Based on our conversations, I know these are the days where he's feeling bad about himself and the distance has nothing to do with me or our marriage. I anticipate that because of his childhood trauma we will be dealing with that for a long time. I do my best not to let it affect me since I know that is not his intent.

I still struggle with painful feelings from the affair at times. It seems to come in waves. I'll be feeling really positive and then bam, I'm having insecurity issues and feeling stressed that this will happen again. In general, H has been really great during these moments. Reassuring me that he's committed to me and will not stray again. Accepting full responsibility for what transpired. The hard thing is that no specific action is triggering me. It's not like H is neglecting our M or acting suspicious like he was during the A. I know this is normal. I still dislike when my fears get the best of me. Those are actually the moments when I can see that walking away would have probably been easier. I never wanted that though. I still don't. This was a very painful experience. I learned that I have a lot more strength than I ever thought I did. I'm very proud of that. It seems odd, but I also feel so much more empowered as a person than I did before the A. I'm not afraid to stand up for myself or of H walking away. One of the questions I do struggle with is why I didn't take a stand earlier. I knew something was off and yet I didn't push anything until H admitted the A on his own. I suppose the answer is fear. I wasn't ready to let go yet.

I'm really proud of how far we've come. H has moments where he lashes out because he doesn't know how to handle my emotions. This has been an issue for him because in some ways he's emotionally stunted from the childhood abuse. When he feels attacked (even if that isn't really the intent), he becomes almost like a cornered animal that lashes out until his free. I at least understand this now and H is more aware of it too. We had a fight a few days ago where that happened and I stayed as calm as I could and stopped engaging. We cooled off for about 15 minutes and then H came to me unprompted and apologized for his reaction and tried to explain the reasons behind it. That is progress in my book. I can see the effort we are both making to change the patterns that drove us apart.

One thing that has been a bit of a sticking point for us is that I want H to say he chose me over OW. Clearly he did because we are together and they are not. However, he loathes the term chose. In his mind that makes it seem like he was comparison shopping. Instead he says he wants to spend his life with me. I realize this is semantics and I have to let it go. It still bothers me for some reason. I know I cannot always be right, and truthfully I've never really cared about that anyway. I think what it really comes down to is that I fear by not saying "I choose you", he's not acknowledging that he made a choice to stay and instead felt like he had to. Again, logically, I realize this is not true.

I guess there is a part of me that wishes he had groveled and apologized more. Almost like I wanted him to go over the top proving that I was the one he wanted. I realize that I cannot want retribution for the A and healing for our marriage at the same time. I have to release the need for him to pay. I have made the choice to forgive and heal because that is truly what I want.

H is out of town tonight which stinks since it's the weekend. However, it's also good because he's really staying in touch since he knows what a trigger Friday's can be for me. It's always nice to feel like he listened and wants to ease my fears.

Thanks for listening through all my rambling thoughts! Hope you are all having a good new year. Here's hoping 2015 is filled with love and laughter for all of us.


Me: 30
H: 35
M: 5 years
S2
Signs of MLC started Feb 2014
BD - PA July 2014
Piecing/reconciling late July 2014
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 1,532
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Hello Heart14. Care for an update? Your story is inspiring for several of us in sitches. Hope all is well.


M39 D6 D3 (at S)
S 2014-09
D 2016-09

"You can't start a fire sitting around, crying over a broken heart" - Bruce Springsteen.
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 157
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Heart14 Offline OP
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Hi Mozza! Thanks for checking in. Things are still going really well. When we were first piecing I still felt that things were awkward at times. Probably because we were both feeling out new ways of communicating and understanding each other. I can honestly say I don't feel that way anymore. H is very engaged as a husband and father now. It's almost hard for me to believe that last year at this time we were on the brink of divorce. We both feel closer now than we have in years.

I think it's Train that mentioned antiversaries. All of our really painful ones are coming up in the next few months. Hopefully those dates don't trigger me too much. We've planned a romantic "date" at home for one of them and a vacation for another. That was important to me because I want to celebrate where we are now. I feel incredibly blessed to have come through this stronger. Certainly I'm not as naive as I used to be. I realize now that our relationship needs to be nourished. It isn't guaranteed and effort is required. I suppose that's common sense, but H and I lost sight of that along the way. The dark days gave me my freedom in a way. I no longer feel like I need H, I just really want him. I don't take myself for granted anymore either. I enjoy doing things for me as much as I do for H and our son now.


Me: 30
H: 35
M: 5 years
S2
Signs of MLC started Feb 2014
BD - PA July 2014
Piecing/reconciling late July 2014
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 1,532
Likes: 1
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Heart14 - Thanks a lot for the update. It's really nice to know that your piecing is progressing well. As you may know, you're in the list of "success stories" at the top of my threads. Should I move you from piecing to reconciled now? If not, then just let me know when you feel ready.


M39 D6 D3 (at S)
S 2014-09
D 2016-09

"You can't start a fire sitting around, crying over a broken heart" - Bruce Springsteen.
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