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Surviving infidelity.


velvetpuddles

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About this time last year, my fiance began an affair with a girl at his work. He started "working late" more often. He started showering with the door closed and sleeping fully dressed. He began to get snippy with me about random things, and he overall just felt distant. He stared at his phone a lot and texted all the time.

But I held out. I could tell something was wrong with him, but he's prone to depression also, so I thought that might've be been it. I noticed some girl I never heard of appearing on his Facebook posts more often, but I'm also prone to paranoia and anxiety, so I thought that might've been it.

And one night, he got really cranky from a look he thought he saw on my face before he went to bed. So I stayed up and wrote him a note about how much I loved him and looked forward to our future and about how much I wish I could be making him happy but that it felt like I was making things worse for him. I promised to be more supportive and love him with everything I had to get passed this but we were in.

When he came home from work the next day, late, he walked into my office crying and told me it was over. He told me that he'd fallen out of love and wanted to end our relationship. I bargained. I pleaded and negotiated. I tried to talk some sense into him. But he wouldn't budge. And that day catapulted me into my worst depressive episode ever.

In a particularly regrettable and deplorable act, I found his old phone one day while he was at work. I read the texts between him and the other girl. I read through all the lies he had told me. And I read them talking about how they'd been together for months, well before he broke up with me and before she'd broken up with her boyfriend.

It was an insanely difficult time to still be living with the love of my life who'd cheated on me. But a little before he had back surgery half a year later, we became so much closer again. Closer as friends. We talked about our lives and what was going on. He helped me through some difficult moments of this depression. I helped him through some difficult moments of his new relationship.

I gave him many chances to come clean about the affair, but he never did. When I couldn't hold on to that knowledge any longer (and wanted to demonstrate honesty to him), I confessed to what I'd learned and how I learned it. He broke down. I broke down. It was a big, messy day for us, but looking back, it feels like we'd overcome a major speed bump in our history and present.

Ultimately, he broke up with that girl a month or so later. He lost all sense of happiness with her and as much as he tried to talk to her about anything, she'd fly off the rails and take everything out on him.

We had a good month or two of honest, simple, and fun friendship. It was a great time. And for as much as I hated him for what he'd done, I don't think I ever stopped loving him. And in that time of friendship, I started feeling like I had a crush on him again.

After a while of that, we were sitting on the porch one night talking, I don't even remember about what, but it was a very close and deep talk. And in the warm summer night air, he asked if he could kiss me. I said yes, and it was everything I remembered. It wasn't the simple pecks that we'd devolved to at the end of our relationship. It was a loving kiss with so much history behind it. Then we went inside and he walked me to my bedroom door and kissed me goodnight.

A day or two later, we got to talking about it... for a while. We talked about the affair and what we were both feeling and thinking and what comes next. We decided to try again.

And since then, we've had an incredible time. We go out and do things, we stay in and do projects together. And he's been treating me like he did for the majority of our previous relationship... lovingly, tenderly, and as if we were the best and oldest of friends.

But the affair is still hanging over me like a black cloud. When my mood sinks or when he's not feeling good or when my anxiety flares, I get paranoid and worried that he's lying to me. That something isn't right. That eventually he's just going to do it again and leave me again.

We talk about it. We do. He's incredibly supportive and understanding. But when I get in that frame of mind, I torture myself; I punish myself. I go and look at that girl's social media and let myself feel awful that she's still hurting over losing him. I think about all the feelings I had at the end of our relationship and convince myself that my paranoia and anxiety was right... something was wrong... and I should believe it this time, too. Understand that there is not a thing he does that leads to this suspicion; it's entirely contingent on my own poor mental health and propensity toward cynicism.

This happened again today. We had a great day and I fell into a sour mood over something stupid and irrelevant. And in my sour mood, I looked at the girl's Instagram page. I saw a picture that floored my anxiety (because she's still crazy about him). He could see in my face that something was wrong, so I told him what I did and saw. We talked for a while, I cried, he comforted, and I started feeling a little better. But after he went to bed, I was feeling crazy again. For as much as I fought myself and wanted to go with my rational mind, the irrational took over. I snuck outside and went to look in his car for something that should've been there. But when I actually got to his car, I couldn't do it. I just didn't have it in me not to trust him after everything we'd been through. So I went back inside. Except that he heard the door close and came out to see. I told him something was blocking the garage from closing, partly because I was caught off guard and partly because I couldn't bear the thought of telling him the truth.

And now I feel awful. For doubting him. For not being able to overcome my doubts. For lying. For all the trouble my inability to move forward is causing.

The thing is...I know infidelity is hard to overcome and takes a long time and a lot of mutual work. But I feel like I'm the road block. I want to trust him completely. I want to live our lives together. I love him with all my heart. And it's ******* me that this is so hard to move on from. He's being amazingly patient and supportive of everything I'm going through. And I can't give him the benefit of the doubt that his glasses actually are in his car?

I feel rotten and pathetic. But I also know that his actions are what caused this... and he knows it, too, but I feel awful that my healing process is taking a while and making him feel bad every time I need to talk about it. He doesn't mind at all, though. He knows he was wrong and how it affected me, he feels awful about it all, and he's doing everything he can to help me. He WANTS me to talk about it and anything else whenever I need to, but it's hard for me because I don't want to bring him pain. My mind would rather absorb all the pain around me than let others feel it, even if those others are responsible. 

I can't take it anymore. I just want my life and love back the way they were before this horrible black cloud rooted into my mind. This is a burden I just don't want to bear anymore. I didn't deserve this. I don't. I need to figure out how to move on from this memory. And from this year.

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I can sense your pain and frustrations that you are going through my friend.  Things will never be the way they were between the two of you because of the past things but you can choose not to allow those things of the past to control and to dominate your life.  Life is short and you should try to enjoy what you have right now because nobody knows what tomorrow holds for them.  So, just try to enjoy the new life that the two of you have right now my friend.

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6 hours ago, Floor2017 said:

I can sense your pain and frustrations that you are going through my friend.  Things will never be the way they were between the two of you because of the past things but you can choose not to allow those things of the past to control and to dominate your life.  Life is short and you should try to enjoy what you have right now because nobody knows what tomorrow holds for them.  So, just try to enjoy the new life that the two of you have right now my friend.

Thank you. I'm honestly trying. And for the most part, we're completely happy and loving this new life. But once my mood slips down, it's so hard not to dwell on the past.

But thank you again. I do take your words to heart.

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You are the one who was wounded and  needs to heal and so the process will take just as long as it must, not a day less or more. It's easy to self-blame, I get why you might feel impatient. Maybe try to look at it this way: at this point your brain is still trying to protect you from harm, same as it would any other danger. Betrayal cuts deep and building trust anew ought to take time, it just cannot be demonstrated any other way than over time. 

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