Originally Posted by egoscout
Why the hell can't I see clearly? I feel like my mind has been taken from me. How do I get it back quickly? Time is of the essence, because if I don't get this fixed, my wife has made it clear that our marriage will be over.
I dipped into some depression throughout all of this, which hasn't helped either.
There is an older forum post my wife read about a couple in a similar situation. When the husband realized the pain he was causing he apologized and ended the secondary relationship. It is described as a quick, clean, painless process in that post. Is that really how it is? If so, what is wrong with me?
Yeah, there's no way to rush this. There's no reason to expect that falling in love and then going through a break up -- whether or not you did things the wrong way, whether or not the person you fell for was being genuine or manipulative (in the end NONE of us know which it is, not us, not you, not your wife, not her husband... only your former secondary can really know) -- should work the same way for everyone. In fact, I would hazard to say that break ups are painful and messy far more often than they are painless and clean.
Especially layered onto the depression, you should NOT be expected to feel things you don't feel or see things you don't see. Your internal process is your own, and if your wife is giving you the choice between "say you see it this way or get a divorce" (I really didn't get that sense from her thread??), then your real choices are going to be "lie about how you see it or get a divorce", because perspective is something that just takes time... not to mention that reasonable people can disagree on someone's motives!!
So, I would say you cannot at all be reasonably expected to change your feelings or perspective. What you CAN change are your actions. Are you still in touch with this woman? Still talking about it at home? You've got to just let it all go. You can't make it painless or clean, but you can make it quick in the sense that you end it fully and completely on all practical levels. That seems imperative.
It'll take longer for it to end in your heart. That's just natural. If your wife really wants to stay your wife -- and from her thread, it seemed like she really, really did -- she'll appreciate your practical steps and give your heart time to catch up. That's my take, anyway.