Several years ago I cheated. Emotionally and physically (made out). I told my partner about the emotional part… But not the physical part. We took a short break. Months prior to this I had a talk with them about my needs not being met. I said I felt like roommates. This was after 5 years of being married. My concerns and requests were taken very lightly. I felt like I wasn’t cared about.
2 years after that, same thing happens. I mention my needs, I’m not met, a new connection happens, partner and I take a break. After the break there was still a distance and lack of effort. I think my partner always being high didn’t help. I didn’t think i was being needy. I just wanted them to sleep with me at night and they wouldn’t. I wanted more hugs. To snuggle and watch a movie. Spend quality time without them being high. I do know I had some issues… It was hard for me to ever really trust or feel love. Something I’ve been working very hard on.
About 6mo after all this, we move apart and call it quits. Their idea. 3mo after that, we get back together. Neither one of us really wanted to be apart. I ask them to please move in with me at my apartment so we may see each other more than just on Saturday. They are living with their parents and don’t want to. I feel like getting back into it all I was doing my best and giving my best effort. I started therapy and was really working hard. Not them… so I look for attention and affection outside of them again. This one I did not mention. I ended it because I want my partner… No one else. I realize I want the attention and affection from them but they have issues they need to work on in order to show up for me as well… We BOTH have issues. My therapist helped me a lot. My partner ended up getting a therapist and both of us going has been a huge godsend. Live has been amazing. We are able to connect and communicate better than we ever have… however I still hurt from the way I acted and things I did. It’s only been about a year since it all occurred, so maybe I’m just still healing. I just can’t help but feel like the bad guy completely, even though my therapist has said I’m not.
Am I alone in this? Will I ever be able to brush it out of my mind? Will it ever stop haunting my waking and sleeping existence? I just need to know I’m not alone… Because it definitely feels like it.
Thank you for taking time to share this hurt and thank you for joining this community. It’s always hard to share the deep things that show us the human nature in ourselves.
While I have not been in your situation before I do know others who have and who have moved on to have successful relationships. This took them a lot of work together and it took time to progress in their relationships.
I’m so happy to hear your partner and you are both seeking professional support through this and that it’s creating an environment you both seem to be flourishing in.
My mistakes in life may vary from yours, but they did weigh heavily on me. I think in some way people can connect to your words and those feelings, whether it’s the same situation or a different one, we all have a capability of regret.
I think the fact that you are working in self and alongside your partner shows great growth in the face of what’s happened. It could feel like it is an easier path to just run away and leave everything to try start over, but you took a stand for yourself and your partner. Your therapist sounds very wise.
I hope as you both keep engaging in this support that you find in time it becomes easier to embrace the present and future
Welcome to HeartSupport, @anxietydemon
I can start by reassuring you that you are 100% not alone in how you feel. You’ve taken a big step in opening up about your feelings, because this takes a lot of courage. Sharing your experiences and feelings so open and honestly is super important it’s important to remember that your feelings are valid.
Relationships are complex. Both partners need to contribute towards the dynamic of the relationship. Something positive to come out of a tricky situation is that you and your partner have been able to get therapy and are working on communication and connection - two of the most important C’s! This is a good step in the right direction.
It’s not uncommon to feel like the " bad guy" when we look back at past actions and reactions - especially when they’ve caused pain & confusion. However, we are all human and we all make mistakes, whether we like it or not. It’s important that you acknowledge your mistakes, learn from them and try to become a better person.
Healing and forgiveness, from both sides will take time and patience. As long as you both continue to work with your therapist and communicate openly, you will eventually be able to put the feelings of guilt and regret to rest. What matters most just now is what you do to become a better person.
The haunting thoughts will disappear as time passes by. It’s important to look after yourself and make yourself number 1 for now. It may feel like your past defines who you are now, but that is not the case. You are capable of becoming a better person and I have faith that you will.
I hope you find peace, happiness and closure
Thank you so much for your reply and thank you for having me here. I have a feeling this place will do me a lot of good.
I want to do everything I can to be the best person I can be for myself and others. I just hate looking back at all the times Iet myself and others down. I’ve done/said much smaller things that I still cringe at today and they happened 10+ years ago!
I wish the weight of everything would just go away… It’s definitely less than it was, but it still lingers. I assume with more time and self compassion and self work it’ll get better. It’s just gonna be a while.
Thank you for your reply.
I am happy to have this platform to be able to open up to more freely than I can irl. I’ve been learning the “dangers” of keeping everything inside.
I know I love my spouse and they love me. I just hate thinking about the tough times and the distance we let get between us. I hate thinking of the emotional and physical betrayal from myself. I just wish I could erase it all. Somedays I find it easy to forgive myself. To “justify” why it happened, apologize to myself and promise to never let it happen again. Other days I feel like an absolute abomination and am terrified of ever becoming that again. It messes with my anxiety so bad.
I will continue to work on me. I see many other small things I do or think that I need to change for my sake and for my spouses sake. I see things they need to work on and I politely bring it up as well and give a gentle reminder of how things got before when I wasn’t being heard or cared about. Just the other day we got in a small argument. I did something for them, something I didn’t want to do (nothing bad. Just involved me sacrificing time and being around people I didn’t want to be just because I knew how much it meant to them) and I never got a “thank you” or a “means a lot to me”. Later when I bring it up they said that I should just know how much it means and how grateful they are. While I do know, it’s nice to be told. It’s nice to hear the words. And what they think is enough sometimes isn’t and that’s ok, but it’s also ok for me to communicate I need more at that moment.
Relationships are definitely messy, this one is very worth it though. The pros far outweigh the cons. This is the healthiest relationship I’ve been in despite the things we went through over the past few years.
I hope you have a blessed day. Take care