Did my illness cause this? Was I so woefully inadequate that I had driven him to someone else?
The answer to each question, of course, is a resounding no. It has taken me a lot of time and therapy to realize that. It has taken him a lot of time and therapy to come to terms with what he did and why he did it. We both recognized the circumstances that brought our relationship to the precipice that is infidelity.
I laid out my ground rules.
An Emotional Affair: It Can Happen to You Too (My Story)
He was to sleep on the couch. I reserved the right to send him away at any time. The questions were painful.
The answers were painful. We identified the things that we valued most in our relationship, and agreed to try to repair the considerable damage.
It has been a long, difficult road with a few setbacks. However, with time, my heart began to heal. To say that we have stayed together feels like an oversimplification. It is more accurate to say that we started over. Our relationship is defined by a new level of honesty. He is more vocal about his feelings, needs, and wants.
He no longer avoids telling me things that he thinks will upset me. I am more honest about my health issues.
Emotional Affairs Can Happen to Anyone
We jump into difficult conversations with both feet instead of skirting issues while they fester. We are more communicative about every aspect of our relationship. I have learned that trust, while fragile, is startlingly resilient. We became engaged last fall. We feel far more prepared for marriage now than we did before his infidelity.
There are days when wedding planning stirs up unwanted emotions—when I ask myself if I can really trust him, or if he trusts me enough to be truly honest with me.watch
emotional infidelity + codepency - Jody Moore
When I have those fears, I do something that the old me would not have done: I talk to him about them. Can every relationship heal after infidelity?
I can only speak to our own experience. Not every relationship can be saved. Not every relationship is worth saving. Infidelity is devastating in a private, insidious way that is different for every couple. Whatever your role, it will probably make you feel dirty and ashamed.
Infidelity drives you and your partner apart in every possible way.
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The shock of separation from the person that you love and trust more than anyone might be the most isolating feeling in the world. The loved ones in whom you confide may offer judgment and pressure when all you want is a listening ear. But remember, a person can only experience a relationship from the inside. The decisions are yours to make.
For me—for us—the hardest part was making the decision to save our relationship. The next-hardest part was sifting through all of the pain, shame, and confusion and actually doing it. I went to therapy for myself but what helped me the most was drawing closer to God. My husband did come around after 3 weeks and decided he wanted to stay with me and recommitted himself to me after him losing his job and understanding what he did and how much self esteem problems he had.
We only went to about 2 therapy sessions as a couple but we also did a lot of individual therapy. A probelem that I really struggled with during my grieving process was that I kept thinking of all of the things my husband needed to work on. I tried hard to focus on myself but I kept seeing all of the negative things he needed to work on and still needs to work on.
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Since then, we have had an uphill climb in our lives and have made a lot of progress in our marriage. There has been lots of amazing progress, but definitely a hard road. We needed something big like this to really propel our marriage into an eventually strong one and also for each of us to really work on ourselves.
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My husband has been really amazing in the repentance and self-improvement considering the circumstances. We just moved across the country to a new state about 4 months ago to have a new beginning and for my husband to find a new job. I had been through the grieving process for the infidelity, but I found myself grieving our future being possibly messed up because of his actions.
I have been on medication for mild depression for about 2 months and I feel great! I have way less irritability and more motivation. The one thing that remains to be a struggle for me is my inconsistency with how I feel about my husband. And wow, all of my emotions came flooding back of when he used to do that last year before he confided in me about his emotional infidelity.