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Trying to Rebuild My Marriage & Still Having Doubts (KathyinPain)
January 22, 2005
11:10 am
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KathyinPain
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It's been awhile since I've posted anything - to the point that my last thread was finally removed. So here I am with a new posting. The title above really says how I'm feeling right now.

My individual therapy is going well. We're going to do some EMDR for me at my next appointment, to work on some issues from my early childhood - feelings I've had all my life of not being worthy to even be here on the planet. Pretty horrible stuff, but I AM working through it. I pray the EMDR treatment will help at least alleviate it, if not eliminate it.

I'm still praying and praising the Lord, because he means so much to me. I'm on a path that doesn't seem to have an end yet.

My husband and I are attempting to rebuild our marriage. It's been 3 weeks since he went into a rage and broke 2 toes kicking a laundry basket into the dishwasher door (and denting it badly). That's when I called 911 and the cops got him out of the house for the night.

And that's when he got it - all of it: That he was wrong to commit adultery regardless of what was happening to him and me; that he has remorse for all the pain and suffering he's caused me; that he begs for my forgiveness and to please don't give up on him; that he wants to stay with me and our girls because he does love all of us, but me most of all; that he needs help, because he now knows he suffers from depression as I do, and he is an internet addict.

That last one is powerful. For an addict to actually acknowledge to someone they love that they ARE an addict (regardless of what the addiction is), is incredible.

So, for the past 3 weeks, we've been talking and talking, and beginning to repair what has been damaged.

He has had no contact with that other woman, the one he fell in love with.

But yesterday, something triggered thoughts and feelings about her, and it scared the hell out of him. He is so conflicted about this, because he said he loves her - but he loves me too.

I'm not going to write all of it - my God, my hands would start hurting! - but he's staying, by our mutual choice.

He has his first individual therapy appointment next Tuesday, 1/25. He knows he needs that very much. And it is a condition of our staying together to try to rebuild our relationship.

He also knows, because I have been very blunt and stated it, that if he does leave, most of all for that woman, we're through and he'll lose his kids (not because I would withhold them from him, but he would continue to alienate them from him - and he knows it). I also pointed out the enormous risk I'm taking here, by wanting him to stay and work on our marriage. I'm on such a limb right now.

What I'm so afraid of is will the limb crack and will I fall? As I type this, I'm reading this quote from Maureen Dowd:

The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.

AM I settling for less than I deserve? AM I being realistic by trying to rebuild this relationship at all? In us staying together at this point, after everything that's happened over these past 6-plus years, AM I GOING TO GET HURT AGAIN IN THE FUTURE by this man?

I'm trying like hell to listen to my heart and my mind both. And praying a lot. The boundary I've set for him is real and he knows it. If he goes to her or to anyone else, I AM sticking to my guns and will not back down. Because I will not be betrayed again, by him or by anyone else.

I feel strongly about this, and how much I want to take care of my daughters (my older girl will be 7 next week). I'm thinking of them as well, not just myself here.

I have to add that he even admitted just how much he has simply wanted to run away, like a kid, and go ride some roller coasters with this woman at Cedar Point, in Ohio. He's 31, she's 30, and they have talked of abandoning all they have - children, homes, jobs, everything - to run away to play.

And he hasn't, he said again yesterday, because he loves me and wants to stay with me.

I'm sad right now, sad for myself, but also for him. How pitiful he is! And I don't mean that in a deragatory way. He knows he needs to work on himself through therapy. And he's realizing just how much he has to work through, including his codependency (he admitted to this too yesterday, another big plus), his depression, his self-centeredness, another huge admission from him.

I just don't know what else to say. I'm still here, still on this path God has laid out for me, keeping me on it. And my husband finally got that one yesterday too - that he is also on a path that God has put him on, and he hates it.

God always has his plans for each one of us, his children. And he's using everything my husband has done, the past choices and decisions he's made to please himself, as the teaching tool now.

I pray my husband stays on his very painful path and learns and grows from it. It's time he grew up, and he acknowledges that too.

THIS is why I am praying - and right now, staying where I am. With my husband.

Kathy

January 22, 2005
11:21 am
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sdesigns
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Hi Kathy: Have been wondering how you are. You are to be admired to be giving him and your marriage another chance and you have laid it all out for your husband. At least it seems he is stepping up to the plate. Its his choice what he is going to do, but at least you are being strong and direct about what you will and won't accept. How is his job situation going? SD

January 22, 2005
11:35 am
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sewunique
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Kathy,

Yes, quite a while since you posted. Glad you caught us up on what has been going on with you! A lot I see! Thank God you two are talking and getting some help with therapy. Most of don't get that chance where both parties are talking, let alone trying to work things out. If that was the case, I would not be here today. (Maybe.)

So I have a question for your question. It is for you, and do not expect a response; your own free will.
That is: you asked:

"Am I settling for less than you deserve?" Question for you: By working out this marriage and giving it a chance, is this what you desrve? By not working it out, what do will you gain?

Good to hear from you, and the best to you in all of this,

Sew

January 22, 2005
12:23 pm
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on my way
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Kathy, when a person as your husband does what he did, there are consequences. He is human too. He will experience those consequences for a while. Just like some of us on these threads...letting go of anything is sometimes more difficult than for others. I know it hurts you, but he may have memories, but he is trying. He may have second thoughts, but he is trying. You can add your own list here because you know him better than anyone. But also, he NEEDS to work through this. And I know you have faith in God. In turmoil one of the most difficult things to remember? is that God is in control. If you pray for your husband, trust that God will work it out with him according to who you husband is...not who you are. And God wil give you faith and encouragement. Hang in there, just pray and trust. That is about all you can do now. And, write here and know that you are in our prayers, ok?

January 22, 2005
12:56 pm
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on my way
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K...I forgot to ask what is EMDR?

January 22, 2005
1:31 pm
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readyforachange
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Kathy,

I've been thinking about you and your daughters, and hoping all was going well with you. Much has happened in a few short weeks, and you are right to feel torn and confused.

The limb might break, but you know that God will be there to catch you if it does. You've placed your trust in Him, and he will continue to guide you.

Be careful and be cautious...it sounds as if your husband is making great progress. Don't do anything too quickly, though. Take your time, do what it takes to heal both of you, and follow BOTH your head and your heart. I hope his commitment to you and your daughters is real, and that he is willing to do what it takes to make amends and start over. But please don't forget to take care of you and your kids first and foremost...his healing and recovery has to be predominantly his own, you can't do it for him.

Keep posting. Hugs and prayers to you...

January 22, 2005
1:56 pm
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CAMER
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definitley take your time, and rebuild the trust that was lost. I am glad your hubby is making progress in wanting to improve himself and the marriage. I wish you well.

January 24, 2005
5:00 pm
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KathyinPain
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Thank you all for writing back! It is very encouraging to me!

On my way: EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It's been used for several years now for war veterans, as it seems to help with PTSD. It's actually endorsed by the Veterans Administation as the treatment of choice for combat vets suffering from PTSD.

But it also helps people, like me, who have a "tape" playing over and over again from the past, that holds us prisoner.

And, this weekend, I figured out where my unworthy feelings come from! From my father, who committed suicide in 1973, when I was 11 years old. I took care of my dad's emotions when I was a kid, and even after his death, I never let go of them. These are HIS feelings of unworthiness and guilt and pain I've been suffering with all these years! They don't belong to me at all!

I think my therapist and I can really do some good work here! My next appointment is in a week, and I'm really looking forward to it!

Things with my husband got worse Saturday afternoon, Jan. 22nd, then got much better that night and the following day. He nearly walked out, and I was, at the time, more than happy to see him go. But he came back, after talking with his mother. She suggested he make a pro & con list for me, for the other woman, and for just leaving to be on his own.

The list for me was bigger by far than the other 2 put together.

So he came home and we talked some more. And he said he is committed to being here with me and the girls partly because of love, and partly because we both have so much already invested in us together. A big thing too, is that last night, Sunday, he talked with his mom again and, in front of me, said to her he's committed to staying in our marriage and working through everything with me by his side. I think just articulating it to his MOTHER will help him focus on what is important to himself.

The road will continue to be rocky, I know, and so does he.

His job situation: He's still in the job, still getting his bachelor's degree the end of Feb. No word about his top secret clearance application yet. I've found out they have a backlog of applications to review - about 2 years' worth! So it might be quite awhile before they even get to his application.

Sew: I like your questions back to me. I'm thinking about them! 🙂

I think the big thing for me, since I now know that it's my father's stuff I've been holding on to for so long, that I am completely separate from my husband. On Friday, again on Saturday, I could feel myself trying to absorb all of HIS stuff, and I can't do that to myself anymore. It's also not fair to do that to my husband. These ARE his issues and problems, not mine.

My commitment to him is to stay in the marriage now and stand beside him to support him through his work on himself. As he's doing for me. But as a separate human being.

I've learned from my own experiences these past few months (can you believe it's only been 3 months?!?), God only needs the tiniest of openings into a person's heart in order to move mountains for that person. And movement of that kind is monumental, painful, long and arduous. And very beneficial.

I think my husband has, perhaps accidentally, created a tiny crack in his heart, and God is now there. What a wonder to me; it makes me want to cry for joy!

Kathy 🙂

P.S. - With my husband sitting with us, I spoke to our older girl and told her (with him nodding and smiling) that Daddy and I have been having some grownup problems, but we are working them out, and we love each other very much, just like we love her and her sister very much. Her face lit up like a lamp, she was so happy to hear it!

January 26, 2005
10:51 am
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KathyinPain
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My husband had his first therapy appointment last night. He felt it went well. He and the therapist (a man) are beginning to get to know one another, which is good. One thing he told me was about our older daughter and his relationship with her. (This is the same therapist who was working with our older girl for a few sessions.)

The therapist made a comment, after talking some about this relationship, that my husband has a relationship with his daughter very much like the relationship he had with his father.

I see the correlation to this immediately. His father, too, was an adulterer and generally an unhappy man. It's exactly like my husband. So of course, many of the responses Hubby has with our girl will be similar to those responses his own dad had with him as a child. Very interesting!

Anyway, he came home last evening pretty upbeat - he actually had a bounce in his step, which was so nice to see.

And he has his next appointment for next Tuesday evening. They are keeping them as a standing appointment, same day/time. This is good.

I had a wonderful conversation with a friend who's divorced these past few years after a 17-year marriage to a sex addict. She is still struggling with serious trust issues with men in general.

She's been pushing me hard to get my husband out of my life now, don't do any more damage, etc.

So she and I talked yesterday about how I'm feeling and what I'm thinking now about what's happening to me. Because it's different in some crucial ways to her previous situation.

It was a very good talk - for both of us, I think. I'm still struggling with trust issues too, and will probably for a long time to come. But what I'm seeing in my husband now (I said to her) is someone who is beginning to take responsibility for, to OWN, everything he's done, and everything he is - his own depression issues, his internet addiction, his adulteries. And he's taken the first step to get professional help.

I also wish he would get some spiritual help. That is another critical piece for him and, I believe, for every person.

I've learned over these past few months just how much I need God in my life, for me to really live a good life, to live the life that God wants for me. Because I believe God's plans and timing are perfect, surrendering myself to him has been profound. I feel him moving through my life, and I can't describe the joy that brings to me, despite the pain, fear and anger I still have within me. I'm working on those too, with God, and with my therapist. God wants each person to come to him, obviously, but he also knows and encourages each one of us to seek out human help when it's needed.

I think my husband has a "chink in his armor" now, because he said over the weekend that he believes God has placed him on a path now (perhaps he's finally recognizing that he's been on this path for awhile), and he's scared, but is beginning to realize that God is working through him too.

This is why I'm where I am, this is why I want to work on my relationship with my husband. Because, despite all the pain he has caused in my life, he is still a human being and a child of God. And I think there's something to work with inside of him. So I'm not giving up.

I don't think I'm settling for less here (I've been thinking of that!). I think that I'm playing a part here too in my husband's life, to stand beside him during this trial he's going through.

Yes, I still have doubts - I'm still only human after all. I take all that to God in prayer and get on with my day to the best of my ability.

Kathy

January 26, 2005
7:19 pm
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Hi Kathy: wow- sounds like things are looking up! That is terrific. If hubby is willing to admit some of his problems and actually get help that is awesome. There IS hope if all of this is taking place. I hope this all works out for you and your marriage becomes stonger. And that you husband values you for the loving and patient woman that you are. He has no idea how lucky he is and he should be thanking his lucky stars you are willing to stand by him. Great news. SD

January 27, 2005
6:58 pm
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Thanks, SD! He's trying and I only pray he can keep it up, once the more painful things come up and out while in therapy. That's when it might get dicey for him, and he might want to hide his head in the sand again.

I have a question for you: Do you have any suggestions on how I can minimize sudden "shock" for want of a better word, when things suddenly pop up and remind me of "the other woman"?

The reason I ask is I had a moment like that this afternoon. At my job, I was doing some computer work, entered info into a database for a new client. The client lives a few doors down from that woman (her address is 202, client's is 207) and it started my heart beating hard and fast.

Man, what a shock that was! And totally out of the blue, of course. I took a few deep breaths, got up and walked around for a few minutes. That helped some, but it's troubling me.

I'm trying not to obsess about things, but I'm finding it so hard to stop. I admit it, that's what I do when I'm stressed in that "fight or flight" mode, as I've been for 3 months now. Putting things away, putting the past aside, still feels so impossible to me.

I know that time will help. But time takes its TIME going by! Do you have any ideas on how to deal with this, when things are still so fresh?

Thanks so much!

Kathy

January 27, 2005
9:11 pm
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Hi Kathy: I sure don't know how to deal with that. I guess in time it will hopefully fade. I still deal w/ feelings like that as my ex lives in the same complex as I do and every time I see him with a new one (I call them his flavor of the month)I get some freaky feelings, but it has gotten easier w/ time. I hope it does for you too. And hopefully he will want to put her behind him and not have any interaction w/ her. I'm glad things are looking up for you. SD

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