Post Traumatic Stress And The Aftermath Of An Affair

 
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safehaven
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Joined: 06 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 9:17 pm    Post subject: Post Traumatic Stress And The Aftermath Of An Affair Reply with quote

I would like to open a new discussion on the topic of post-traumatic stress and the aftermath of the discovery of the affair; also including divorce, and anything that relates to the severe consequences we experience as a result of these life changing events.

Did you experience this kind of trauma?
What did you go thru, how long did you struggle with it? How did you eventually recover from it?
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LifeLoveHappiness



Joined: 09 May 2007
Posts: 200

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been divorced 3 years now. I'm recently engaged and happy 99.8% of the time. Now I'm dealing with commitment issues. I don't know if I'll ever be able to say I do. I don't totally trust anyone. My fiance is handsome, kind, attentive, and has not given any reason for me to distrust him. My sisters tell me if I keep putting the wedding date off I'll end up losing him to somebody else. Honestly, if I do, so what? I feel if a man loves you he will stand by you no matter what. I still have moments of crying spells and dreams of my ex. Maybe because he died? I think it takes time to heal from any traumatic experience. We don't heal completely but with time the burden gets lighter and the wounds don't hurt as much. It takes time to gain back trust and open ourselves up to another person. I didn't like having my heart ripped out.

Sincerely,
Messed up & confused
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tess_67



Joined: 14 Apr 2007
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome back LifeLoveHappiness,
I read that you are a believer in God.
Have you heard about The Divorce Care Program that some churches offer?
That was an incredible help to me at the time of my divorce and I encourage you to look into it in your area. Here is a link for it

http://www.divorcecare.com/

Even if you can't or don't have time to go to actual meetings, there is a self guided study that you can take.
Even though you are divorced for over 3 years now, that doesnt matter; there is really no time limit on when you can and cant go.
It might be a useful tool for you, since you are still struggling with the repercussions and the aftermath of the divorce and death of your ex husband. The spiritual guidance might be comforting.

I can see how you are hesitant to jump back into another marriage, because you are still quite fresh with the pain.
Divorce Care taught me that for every one year of marriage, it takes two years to completely heal. It takes a long, long, long time.

It is wonderful that you have a man who is understanding and is willing to wait a while and let you decide when a good time to get married is. He sounds like a gem Very Happy

Post traumatic stress can wreak havoc for several years. I know it did with me Sad
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LifeLoveHappiness



Joined: 09 May 2007
Posts: 200

PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's true and at this rate, after 25 years of being with that man, it will take me 50 years to heal. Chances are good I don't have 50 left. Joking aside, I have made great strides in healing just in the past 8 months. My daughter too. I think all the praying I've done has really helped. God listens.
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Britjojo



Joined: 29 May 2007
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Honestly no, not this time. This time I was just so glad that it was over, that I was out, that I was safe. That he couldn't get his hands on me or our infant daughter, that he couldn't hurt us any more.

But there was a time, earlier, when I was raped by an ex-fiancé. That took a lot of getting over, a suicide attempt or three, and many, many months of crying. He ripped my world from under me-the man I was supposed to be able to trust to the end of the earth was the one that hurt me, and I honestly can say that between my last two guys, I am not sure I can trust men again.
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randle



Joined: 29 May 2007
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't say that I suffered from traumatic syndrome, well maybe I did and didn't know it. But my ex husband didn't cheat on me but I did find a text in his phone that was inappropriate. To me that is the same as cheating but I did go into a state of depression that made me so sick for days.
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etaliverto



Joined: 31 May 2007
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My ex had an affair, but he was also abusive, and to be honest, when I snapped and dumped him I was just a bit down for a few days (more the feeling of being alone for the first time in years, and shock of a broken routine than anything), and then I was over it.

I think I was very lucky, I just needed to psyche myself up to end the relationship, and then once I was free I was happy. I'd already decided that he was a worthless piece of flesh, so the fact that he was cheating on me didn't matter.
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2trusting



Joined: 05 Jul 2007
Posts: 6
Location: California

PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 2:17 am    Post subject: Too many of us Reply with quote

My 18 year marriage ended because one day I simply walked away from the house, the husband, and my future with him. The "secrets" were held from me for 2 years and then it took another 2 years for me to get fed up enough to leave. My post traumatic syndrome manifests itself as not trusting the opposite sex. My ex-husband shattered my family with one known affair. It was extreme. My suspicions led me to his computer and I discovered porn, several email addresses, graphic emails to and from other women, accounts at sites known for finding sexual partners, etc. What I am dealing with now is the fear of trusting a man again. If a man asks me out, I immediately look at him as though he is from space and should not be trusted. The trust issue is an ongoing problem for me. [/i]
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safehaven
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to Safe Haven 2trusting,

How long has it been since you have split with your ex husband?

I hear you on the trust issue. It WILL take time and many, many years to overcome the trauma you experienced (and I am so sorry that you faced that). In fact, you may not be able to FULLY trust another man for the rest of your life. You may trust to "certain degrees" in future relationships; but once traumatized to that severity, you will never forget.

Going through something like this completely shocks your inner core and instantly changes the dynamics of who you were/are.
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2trusting



Joined: 05 Jul 2007
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Location: California

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 3:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your reply. I stumbled upon this site and find it very comforting to share stories with other relationship survivors yet alarming that there are so many stories to be told and heard.

I moved out of our bedroom about seven years ago hoping and working (one sided) toward a better relationship. I moved out of the house two years ago. I moved out of a 1750 square foot home into a 500 square foot apt and just recently into a 1350 square foot townhome. Now I feel like I am solid on my feet and am able to live and be happy with and by myself. Trusting another man in a relationship seems very distant to me. My ex-husband to this day calls me "honey" and says he loves me and always will. I no longer accept his calls. I realize now that had I not been so traumatized when I met him, I never would have dated him. The dynamics of our relationship started as a unified loving couple and ended as something very very different. My children who are grown now say that he changed dramatically over the years. The incident I referred to was he slept with my son's fiance in my bed and videotaped it. This fractured my family. Since then, I learned of many secrets he held and am truly grateful to be away from such a deceitful, manipulative man. It took everything I had to walk out that door. I am grateful I did. Do you know of any books I could read that might help me with trusting again?
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LifeLoveHappiness



Joined: 09 May 2007
Posts: 200

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm so very sorry you had to endure such a nightmare. Except for the major 'secret' or reason you left, our lives are very parallel. I was married almost 24 years. I knew something wasn't quite right but for years dismissed it until my world came crashing down around me. Years of lies from the ex all caught up with him. They always do. I know how it feels to have to be the one to leave your home that you love and have lived in a very long time. That first step of leaving is always the hardest part. I too moved into a small house for 2 years before I acquired my own home. I dated many guys after leaving my ex and had the same issue with trust. I've moved on and am now engaged again but I still have trouble setting a date for the wedding. In the back of my mind a little voice keeps telling me that once I commit and get married, he too will change and become a person I don't know. I recently watched a segment on Oprah about men that cheat. The more I think about it, the more I realize I'm happy being single. It doesn't matter how nice they are or committed and honest they seem at first, when the boredom of life hits them, they cheat. It was hard enough starting my life all over again, even harder having my heart ripped out by somebody I loved. My ex always called me honey too. Honey or bitch depending on his mood. We were married to master manipulators but you will learn to trust again. I'm slowly regaining my trust and my life was very similar. Heck, I even found out that my husband was being treated for an STD when I was 6 months pregnant. We were only married 6 years at the time. Plus, we had tried for years to have children and I had suffered 3 miscarriages and an ectopic pregnancy prior to that pregnancy. You'd think he'd have enough decency not to have an affair while I was carrying a high risk pregnancy. I mean what if I'd have found out during that time? He hid that from me our entire married life. It came out during the divorce because he was ill. My ex had many, many secrets too. I should write a book. It takes time and you will heal to love and trust again.
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2trusting



Joined: 05 Jul 2007
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Location: California

PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am sorry our lives are so parallel. From your post, I can see just how similar our lives are. I, too, was either called a bitch or honey. The emotional pain from my marriage and from the move still grabs hold of me and I find myself weeping uncontrollably. This, I am sure, will pass with time. On a brigher note, congratulations on your engagement. When the time is right, I am sure you will set the date and enter into a loving, equal, honest relationship. You deserve the best.
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LifeLoveHappiness



Joined: 09 May 2007
Posts: 200

PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the kind words. Emotional pain can be as bad if not worse than physical pain and abuse. I too, even after 4 years of having moved on with life, have moments where I break down and have uncontrollable crying spells. I'm 48 years old and the stress of the past 15 years alone caused me to enter premature menopause at age 40. I feel my life was destroyed by this man. I cannot tell you the traumatic stress I suffered by this man. Even today my daughter is having problems in her relationship with men due to issues from her father.
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jaded_jewel



Joined: 07 May 2007
Posts: 62

PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am sorry you guys have gone thru that Crying or Very sad Listening to people's stories has made me leery of ever marrying. (((hugs)))
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flamerose



Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Posts: 125

PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My experience after being married 22 years/together 9 years is I went through this twice with my Ex. Very painful. I never experienced pain like this before. The second time worse than the first. I guess because I knew he was going to walk out of our lives for good...mine especially after 31 years. Its been 14 months now and I can honestly say I am happy and I smile often. Never thought I would get there but I am. Very Happy

I get daily divorce care readings. They have been very helpful. If you are interested: dailyemails@divorcecare.org.
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safehaven
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flamerose, thank you for the wonderful link! Smile
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