Thursday, November 17, 2005

Chapter 14 - False memories

I recall one reaction immediately after the affair was a profound sense of insecurity. The world shakes under your feet and you feel as if there is no safe place to stand. The person you trusted the most has betrayed you, so you doubt everyone.

One factor that increases the feelings of insecurity is that you don't even know whether you can trust your memories of your prior relationship. When you learn that things are not as they really seem, you wonder about all of the feelings you've had toward your spouse and all of the things you did together. When we went to that new restaurant, was her heart really in it, or was she thinking of him? When the family went to the zoo, did she call him on her cell phone when she went to the bathroom? You think nothing was as it seems.

There is a little bit of truth to it -- it wasn't as it seems -- but that does not mean that it was all bad. But you tend to throw out all the good memories, just in case. As a result, it is like you lose entire years of your life in one moment. It is so unsettling. If our experiences are part of our makeup, and if I no longer trust that those were what I thought they were, then who am I?

9 Comments:

At 7:42 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you for writing this although we did not survive it this does clarify things. When I told my husband who I thought loved me very much (I still do believe that!) that I had feelings for someone else he basically just let me go. if he would have put up the slightest bit of resistance and offered to try to work it out I would still be there with my family in tact. I give you kudos for being a man!

 
At 4:55 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

all of those things that you wrote I can really relate to. I just found out about my husbands 2nd affair. who knows there maybe more, I can't believe anything he tells me anymore. I do wonder if our past is what I thought it was.

 
At 4:32 PM , Blogger I survived an affair said...

To the woman whose husband "just let her go":

I'm sorry you guys were not able to stay together. But do not assume that your husband is not a "man" if he chose not to stay with you. That is his right. It was mine, too, and had I learned of the affair earlier I would have responded in the same way. I was stronger than I had been earlier and the affair was on the down swing by the time I learned of it. If my wife had come to me and said she had feelings for someone else, I would have packed her bags for her.

 
At 12:02 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually I think your husband acted like a man. You expressed an interest in going in a certain direction and he gave you the freedom to try it out. While it certaintly took away your hedge it showed great strength on his part. He probably does love you and he gave the gift that you said you wanted. Unfortunately, you should have asked for the gift you really wanted.

 
At 8:29 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ouch! This particular post hits me so "where I am". As an avid picture taker, I have constant reminders of that "time" and I ache inside, as I feel those times were not real. The A was going on during the first four years we were actually able to take our best vacations, (cruise, Disney, beaches) and I can't even believe that they will EVER hold the wonderous memories for me that the did before D-Day. I can't even watch America's Funniest Video's and see a date on a clip that was during 99,00.01,02 and in my mind, although not "for sure" part of 03 as well. At least I feel this is something somewhat normal now. the real question is, will my family's memories ever be ours again? Thank you for this posting! What a God inspired way to help others.

 
At 12:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The previous reply could be describing my situation too... I see all the pictures of the three years my husband had an affair, and I think: "This whole time he was with someone else while pretending to be having a good time with me..." I discovered his affair four months ago, he had ended it already on his own. That helped me in my decision to forgive him. It made me believe he wanted to be with me and not that woman. It has been a very hard time for me, but my husband has been very loving and understands my feelings... I hope the pain goes away and I'm not thinking about the affair all day long and what they did together and all the lying he did and everything... Can that ever happen? I hope so... I trusted him blindly, I thought he was the kind of man that would never do that... Now I doubt everything he says... I hope that goes away also, I don't want to spend the rest of my life like this. I love him very much and want to have a great life together, it has been going very good since I discovered the affair... We are more open and communicative with each other, he is also more loving and caring with me, well... actually since he broke it off with that woman, since before I found out, so that says he really wants us to work and have a good life together...
I'm sorry for all of you that are reading this, I know how much it hurts... I cry everyday... But I believe and hope it will get better and you can have a great marriage after an affair. It's not the same as before, but it can be good if you both work on it and the one that had the affair works on making you trust them again and shows you they love you.
Good luck to you all

 
At 11:05 AM , Blogger anonymous said...

That's a beautiful comment. It is just what I hoped people would do when I started this blog: Be honest about your feelings, and encourage others going through the same thing.

I agree that it is easier to forgive when the other person has decided on their own to end the affair. Still tremendously painful for you, but your husband had a few months to get the OW out of his system. It is a little bit less for you to deal with, maybe, but there's still plenty of sadness to go around!

Good luck to you.

 
At 2:57 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am glad I can also say something ( my English not so good - Afrikaans - South africa) I discovered my wife was having an affair a month ago. I read an email where he declared his love to her. I confronted her. She says it was only an emotional affair over email, bbm and the phone. They kissed once. I believe her and we are working very hard now on our marriage. It is just that I have this 1 % doubt if it didnot go further. That one percent is killing me. Every day it feels better. I have stopped asking her questions about the affair. I think the one important thing I have learnt is that there must be an open discussion where you are aloud to ask what you want to ask. My wife did not want to do that. She gave just a few sentences. It almost destroyed every thing, because I think you must know about everything. She later gave in and I was given opportunity to ask my questions. Problem is that now and again I still have new questions. Tricky one.

 
At 10:18 AM , Blogger Author said...

Hi, South African friend. I agree with you. In my opinion, it is important that our questions be answered. Nothing we hear can be as hard as what our imaginations have already written. At some point, the questions need to stop -- I don't think there can be healing if you spend the rest of your marriage poring over details. But early on, yeah: We have a right to know.

 

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