I have so much compassion for this learning and growth curve you are in with respect to relationships! Usually suicidal feelings come from feeling helpless and hopeless- and it is important to know that if you are indeed having suicidal ideation as your post suggests, it is definitely time for you to seek professional support and interventions. No situation - especially not one like this when you have three children depending on you- is worth losing your life over or worth them losing a mother! There are many experts here on Your Tango with certifications and licenses that can help you, and it would be unrealistic for you to rely on an internet post from someone no matter how expert they are. None of us can know you fully, nor grasp your full story and advise you accordingly, without talking with you. That being said, I will try to answer your question in general, with an emphasis on the fact that I implore you to seek professional help to get through this time to what can be a Renaissance of joy and love in your own heart and your marriage. It is not uncommon for an affair to be the thing that takes marriage and intimacy to the next level of joy and commitment- rarely do we hear about that in the news, because it is the break ups that make the headlines. But an affair can spell a new lease on love for both partners when they have the proper tools and guidance to work through it and receive the learning that is present on both sides.
As a Your Tango expert (http://www.yourtango.com/experts/sheva) with a book out called Being the Source of Love, I included a chapter in the book on trust because trust is one of the biggest issues in relationships. Not surprisingly, it is also a source of one of the biggest misconceptions in relationships. Most people think what makes a relationship work is trusting the other person. That NEVER works. People, all of us, are learning and growing and therefore apt to do untrustworthy things. The real person any of us need to trust in ANY relationship is ourselves. This situation is so painful for you not so much because of what your husband did (though that hurts too) but because of what YOU did and didn't do, and what you knew and didn't know. The trust that was broken here was with your own self esteem, self confidence, self respect, and awareness of what's real. As soon as you stop looking to what your husband did as the problem while seeing yourself as a victim of his actions, and shift instead to looking at the choices you made and the things you allowed that contributed to the way things played out, you will feel the power come back into you. This will then allow you to make decisions with what is happening now that feel better to you. For example, if you
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were doing coaching with me we'd look at why you were ok with your husband taking a back packing trip to Europe with another woman while you stayed home and took care of the kids. Sounds like you were not placing healthy boundaries on the container of your marriage to protect its well being. Every marriage needs healthy boundaries, the same way the walls of a house protect you from a winter storm. Learning how to be the source of boundaries that support the integrity of your marriage and your husband can put the power back in you. Then you will feel much less helpless and ready to create the love you and your marriage deserve.
I encourage you to reach out to me or one of the other experts here on Your Tango for help doing that. And I send you much care, compassion and support as you navigate your way to that!
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I have read your post and there are two things that come out as a priority. You mention that are you feeling suicidal. If needed, please seek immediate resources for suicide prevention. 1-800-SUICIDE and www.imalive.com are both places where you can talk live or live chat, respectively, with trained volunteers that can help you immediately and help find resources in your area to help for the near future.
The second is that I agree with Sheva that feeling so depressed that you wish to take your life comes from a feeling of hopelessness and helplessness. With your husband unwilling to talk about what happened between the two of you and how you both can move forward to repair the relationship, you might it seems as if you feel that you can't predict when another betrayal will come. In other words, why be hopeful for the future if you are waiting for him to cheat again?
Your husband made a terrible decision and took actions that hurt you greatly. You can't change what he did and your feelings about it. However, you DO have control over your future actions, so helplessness & hopelessness do not hijack your actions. If you husband will go with you to therapy to work on the marriage, that's great. If not, GO FOR YOURSELF. You may find that in positive changes in you will spark something in him to want to change his behavior also. If he chooses not to change, you will be healing yourself and learning coping skills to make you feel strong and confident so that if he does not want to change, you can move forward on your own if you choose. You cannot control your husband's decisions and actions, but you can work on your own. I highly recommend that you do this. If money is an issue, there are often low cost counseling options through a community service board or a private practice that offers sliding scale. Look through Your Tango Experts for someone first, then you can consult Psychology Today, Therapy Tribe, or Good Therapy and choose "Find a Therapist".
Good luck with your new adventure in self-empowerment.
Your Tango Expert
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