Wow, Gretta. This has been a wrenching thread for me to read. I'm a survivor, someone who has been working hard to come to terms with the sexual assaults I endured as a kid and the absolutely fucked up stuff I have done since then. Let me just put it out there plainly. I cheated on my wife. Emotional stuff was part of the affair, in that I told the "other woman" things about myself and my feelings. I didn't "come out" as abused to her, because I completely ignored my abuse at that point in my life, didn't even call it abuse, until about four months after I started therapy. I started therapy one day after I told my wife about the affair. It wasn't that I just blurted the truth out. The "other woman" was married. Her husband used some kind of computer spying thing to see her emails or something. At that point, as far as I defined it at the time, the affair was over. I guess the truth is that I had ended the physical part of the affair but hadn't been able to end the emotional part. Anyway, I only told my wife because I felt like I had to, like I had to tell her myself. I couldn't allow someone else to tell her. I loved my wife too much for that....

I never thought my wife would keep me in her life. The affair was four years ago. I guess things all came out about three years and 10 months ago. I'm so glad that we're still together. Even now, though, she sometimes doesn't trust me. I understand that. I understand that lies kill trust. That's what they do. And I've been making a lot of progress on myself. I've learned so much about myself and about partnerships and marriage and love since then. I know I'm not perfect, but I also know why I did what I did, and I know how to avoid that in the future. I also know that I would split up with my wife if I thought our marriage couldn't or wouldn't work. That's what therapy has given me. It has helped me lessen my fear for facing hard truths. If I can't be the man and partner I want and need to be for my wife, I'll partner with her as an ex in raising our children as best as we can separately, but I won't drag her through a fucked up and dysfunctional marriage.

But mostly, though, my therapy has helped me to focus on each day as it comes, and on getting up and trying again. And again and again. I pray that some day she'll trust me again, fully trust me, and understand that all of this I did for myself, for her, and for our family. Sometimes it's hard to be patient. But I will be.

You ask if you can live like this? I don't know. But I do know that there is no "normal." None of us know the inner lives of other peoples' marriages. All we know is what we have in front of us. I want to be EXACTLY the man my wife wants me to be. Every day. I can't change the past. Sometimes the past is hard for her to accept. Sometimes I feel like it hits her like a hammer, when she's not expecting it. Well, damn. I can only focus on the present and make sure I'm still here, still solid, when she's ready to look to me again.

Bob


Edited by Robert1000 (10/03/12 02:28 PM)