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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 2:44 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2015 3:26 pm
Posts: 1
H and I are just getting started here, and I'm coming to terms with the long road ahead of me. Part of his issues included having a disturbing affair. The type of sex they had was absolutely consensual, but very much about him exerting power and control over her (choking, rough, telling her to shut up and not look at him, etc.). These are things I have a hard time imagining him doing at all. Perhaps that's why I can't stop thinking about them. I think that the work ahead will help me sort though overcoming my obsessive thoughts about that, so I'm not completely worried about those details. And as I understand, men tell these other women they love them to keep them around, so this isn't uncommon and I assume I will deal with that eventually as well.

However, the one thing I don't think I have great hope for forgiving and moving on from is that he decided to call her pretty girl. Aside from the fact that she's not pretty, this feels particularly intimate and like he wanted her to feel special. He has a hard time giving me compliments and always has - he says it makes him feel uncomfortable. But after a month or so, he thought of that pet name and he told me he thought she would appreciate it because she hadn't ever been treated nicely, and he did have some guilt about the type of sex they were having. I can't help but wonder why the guilt of cheating on me didn't make him think up a nickname for me. It really breaks my heart, and while I can work through the sex and his needs and her role in meeting those - and work on our marriage because he is really doing everything he can, I don't know how to get this out of my head.

I can't even imagine those words coming out of his mouth. I just wonder if I will ever recover from this blow to my self-esteem. He has tried calling me beautiful wife - and I told him it just feels forced and reminds me of what he called her. I feel like I want someone to meet me and want to compliment me like that - I used to just know what he thought of me and would fill in the things he didn't bother to say. I don't believe we can change now, without her lurking in the shadows of the change.
Has anyone ever found a way to help their husbands overwrite this type of destruction from an affair? I don't want those words to be hers. I don't want any dates on the calendar to be hers (but will I ever forget the days I know they were together?). How do I make my life not be about her? I want it back but I am struggling to not have everything be about her. When people say this can become its own affair or addiction, I can verify it is true. If thinking about her or their affair was a paying job I would be able to retire as a millionaire by now.
Any advice would be so appreciated.
-Lost in Wonderland

PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 9:33 am 
Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 676
sundevilgirl - Welcome to Recovery Nation. I am sorry you have to be here, but this is a healing place to be.

The partners here know the shock and pain you are experiencing. At first after I started to discover my husband's addictions, I was so em0tionally traumatized I was overwhelmed. This is normal. This is reasonable. But, I needed to get some sense of control over my life and some emotional equilibrium. When I started here, the Coaches and partners advised me to do the lessons in the partner's workshop. And, I did and they were very helpful to me. Know that the lessons will help. Know that time will help. In my case, I also started individual therapy with a trauma therapist. So, a little after a year or two of discovery, I feel so much better.

Has anyone ever found a way to help their husbands overwrite this type of destruction from an affair?

The answer to this is "no." But, here is one of the most important things RN teaches and that I needed to learn: we have NOTHING to do with our husband's addiction(s). We didn't cause it, we can't control it, we can't cure it. We also can do NOTHING about their recovery. They have to be sincere about wanting to recover and they have to make the effort with hard work and sincere dedication. It took me a while to really get both these things, but once I did, I felt so much better.

Right now the best thing to do is to focus on you. You are important. You are traumatized. We can heal. It takes time, but we can do it. Right now, today, I want you to do something nice for yourself...something that makes you feel good. RN teaches us that we need to detach from our husband's addiction and recovery and to focus on ourselves and our healing. This is easier said than done. The most important lesson I learned was to focus on me and not my husband. If our husbands are sincere about recovery and becoming healthy, then together you can repair your marriage. But, active addicts are not capable of the maturity needed for true intimacy. Recovering addicts need to develop lots of skills that they don't have. All of this will make more sense as you do the lessons.

Be gentle with yourself. Give yourself the gift of time. Give yourself the gift of focusing on you and your well being.

With deep compassion,

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