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I Can Relate     Print Topic    
User Topic: Betrayed Men- Part 9
Tred
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Member # 34086
Default  Posted: 6:17 PM, March 21st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

FP - I think WAL nailed it on the self care. It's something I need to do more of myself. I need a hobby.


Married: 16 years (14 @JFO)
D-Day: 11/09/11
"Ohhhhh...shut up Tred!" - NOT the official SI motto (DS)

Posts: 3294 | Registered: Dec 2011
wincing_at_light
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Member # 14393
Default  Posted: 6:33 PM, March 21st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

One more thought on one of the most powerful personal realizations I had in my recovery:

If the most fittng epitaph on my tombstone was "He had a wonderful marriage", it would have been a sad and empty life I had lived.

I am so much more than who I'm married to and the circumstances of that marriage.

(And let me tell you, my wife is pretty fucking awesome these days. Wouldn't trade her for all the tea in Earl Grey's barn.)

[This message edited by wincing_at_light at 6:34 PM, March 21st (Thursday)]


Machiavellian idiot savant

Posts: 6687 | Registered: Apr 2007 | From: Indiana
Ascendant
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Default  Posted: 6:54 PM, March 21st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I remember getting pissed off at myself for feeling normal, as if it was a betrayal of my own pain...

Yeah, this is me, right here. Like, "What are you doing being normal right now....you should be pissed, ALL THE TIME!" I think I also worry that if I start to 'seem' ok, that my WW will start to think I'm 'ok' with her being less emphatic about pursuing her own healing....which is NOT the case.

I just told people, "Oh, I don't talk to him much anymore. I got tired of him fucking my wife."

Ha...not quite there yet, if only because WW and I work together, and I don't feel like hearing/see the pity on my behalf, and/or the sniggers behind my back...the people we work with are pretty vicious, most of them would use it as a way to fuck with me. But dependent upon my mood, there have been days where I came close to it, especially where it was people telling me "how lucky [I am]!" My wife's standing among our coworkers is much higher than mine, due to the fact that she's outwardly nicer than I am, and I have a nasty habit of telling people they're full of shit...usually because they are. And when we were having issues at home, I go to work wearing my anger on my sleeve, while she just shuts it off, so all anyone else sees is me running around like an asshole. So it is tempting sometimes to just fucking air it all out there, but she's been remorseful and that jazz so far, so that's probably not a super helpful step for me to take.

But I like your moxie.

How do you heal? Do stuff that makes you happy, that fills your soul, that gives you a sense of accomplishment and empowerment. Stop including your wife and your marriage in that equation. They're the whipped cream on the sundae that is your life, not the whole dessert.

This is an area I'm having a little bit of a hard time doing, to a degree. To be honest, I've always done stuff that made me happy, so long as it didn't interfere with my son....and I think...no...I KNOW that she resented me for it pre-A. An issue for us has always been that she felt like I put her third, after myself and my son...and while I certainly agree that hobbies and interests independent of the marriage are super healthy and important, I was probably a tad TOO occupied with mine, to the point where I wasn't helping out at home as much as maybe I should've been. After I graduated college(right around the time the EA portion of her A started), I started to really work on that part of myself, because I knew intrinsically that I was slacking, it it made me feel like shit as a man. Well then, when her PA was revealed, obviously the urge is there to say "fuck you, I'm doing whatever I want, all the time!"...but I've already tried that role out for myself, and found it to be ill-fitting. Now, I still have hobbies..I play indoor soccer in a league, I hang out with friends, I go work out....but I've always done those things...so I guess I feel stuck. I think the place I'm at is that before I felt like I was neglecting her when I did that stuff, whereas now I don't give it a second thought.

[This message edited by FacePunched at 6:57 PM, March 21st (Thursday)]


“Anyone who has a continuous smile on his face conceals a toughness that is almost frightening.”

Posts: 1584 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Illinois
aesir
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Member # 17210
Default  Posted: 11:51 PM, March 21st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The hardest part is if you try to force yourself to feel normal. You actually manage for a bit, and then you feel good about it and think "Hey I'm enjoying myself without thinking about her affair. How long can I keep it up this time? Oh shit, there it is."


Your mileage may vary... in accordance with the prophecy.

Do not back up. Severe tire damage.


Posts: 14924 | Registered: Nov 2007 | From: Winnipeg
Ascendant
♂ Member
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 11:56 PM, March 21st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The hardest part is if you try to force yourself to feel normal. You actually manage for a bit, and then you feel good about it and think "Hey I'm enjoying myself without thinking about her affair. How long can I keep it up this time? Oh shit, there it is."

Yes sir...."Oh hey, I'm having such a great time hanging out with my friends, I haven't even thought about...." Damn.

eta: spelling.

[This message edited by FacePunched at 8:09 AM, March 22nd (Friday)]


“Anyone who has a continuous smile on his face conceals a toughness that is almost frightening.”

Posts: 1584 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Illinois
jjct
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Member # 17484
Default  Posted: 7:20 AM, March 22nd (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

it's a good thing for your wife to know and see that you've got different priorities, and she's pretty damned low on that list.

This is good. Real good.
For (at least) 2 reasons that jump out at me:
1. Healing myself from trauma, helping my kids to heal becomes natural. Natural priorities.
2. Can't fix her anyway. She has to deal with her own shit. I can become more and more detached - depending on her progress toward true remorse (or lack of progress). I don't mean being an asshole about it, it's just that my trauma-recovery (& the kids) just got triaged to the top.

As long as she believes that saving the marriage is your #1 priority, she's operating from a position of power.

The trick I used to make this clear - that saving the M wasn't a priority - and it's not so much a trick as it is just the reality now...was to realize the M is dead. She killed it with the A.
She would use "talking about the M" as a way to avoid working on herself. I learned to shut that down with; "What M?" "I'll be happy to talk about our new M when you decide to do the work to repair yourself."

It is a paradigm shift for us mostly, because as wal has pointed out - we do invest a large % of our identities with the M, and we find ourselves adrift. Lost, because that (old M) just does not exist anymore.
It takes us awhile to realize it maybe, like Captain Smith of the Titanic...but hey, I ain't allowing anyone to tie me to that old, sunk fer sure! barge.

I think it's much, much better when both partners get to sit on the unexploded bomb of understanding that they're optional in the other person's life. Keeps everybody honest when we all know we're a bad day away from being the backup plan.

And in a very real sense, our bomb's already exploded, and yeah, we have to deal with the cleanup, but at least there's no more damnable ticking to drive us mad! That's their burden...
(I'm saying this from a standpoint that one more, or another A would be a dealbreaker).

Still good with the Outer Banks. We got 3 'purty sures' barring a sushi-tide lol!


Posts: 5997 | Registered: Dec 2007 | From: texas
StillGoing
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Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 2:27 PM, March 22nd (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

1) How long did it take before you let yourself 'act normal'? I don't mean rugsweeping, acting like the whole thing never happened, or something dumb like that. I just mean that as a person, I tend to be pretty upbeat, and feeling like a sad-looking emo kid all the time is annoying me. Is it ok if I act normal on the outside, so long as I'm not suppressing the emotions?

I dunno. I don't remember what normal looks like really.

I mean this whole thing has been defining "normal" over and over again so that I'm not even sure I will be comfortable settling into something static. The past couple years has been adjusting to the affair and working on building a better relationship. Before that was a year of no sex, and years of major changes. Quitting a 20 year smoking habit all on its own was huge. I still feel different and abnormal. Not drinking on a week night feels normal but it's hard to look back and think holy shit, I could kill a 6 pack on a tuesday night.

Just sleeping through the night without drinking myself to sleep is different. Thank you Doc. Quality of life +5.

Even the self improvement aside there was the baby... 6 years ago. But when a baby happens it's The Baby for a couple years, which bumps up against other shit. Before that was all high maintenance super ADD boy and sleeping for more than 15 minutes at a time was something worth more than gold.

I think "normal" is just about feeling okay about yourself enough to let your guard down. That means being okay about doing the emo kid dance in front of your wife. I don't know what the difference between acting normal and being normal would be. Unless you're seething with vengeance, plotting the demise of all your enemies and building a supervillain hideout in the back yard from which you will launch your nefarious schemes, only to be thwarted by a semi-aquatic egg laying mammal of action. Then it's time for some meds IMO.


2) In cases of double betrayal (right here!), how do you deal with friends who ask questions? For example, OM, WW and I all worked together for about 7 years. We were all pretty tight...so what should I tell friends who ask if I still hang out with [OM]? I'm trying to keep the A from being super public...


I have no idea on that one. In our case it was all online when it came to friends so.. we abandoned the entire community we were a part of. Which was okay because they weren't long time friends of many years, but I do miss a few.


3) How do you go about 'healing yourself'? It feels so counterintuitive to be constantly asking my WW and/or MC to help me to heal. I'm not really plagued by insecurity from this...yeah, I'm pissed and feel betrayed, but I'm not second-guessing myself and my qualities and/or value as a result of her A. That's not to say I don't have sad/angry/shitty moments on the roller coaster, just that even when I feel sad for a few hours, I know in the back of my mind that I'd be alright without the marriage because I'm high-fucking-quality.

Well I spend most of my time second guessing myself so my perspective there is different. Trust issues with everybody for me, so, whatever I guess. Right now my issue is trying to reconcile the self-care I did before dday with who I am after that revelation, because I spent years working that under false pretenses.

Which shouldn't matter, but it does. It's hard not to go back to every time I corrected myself when I said "I suck" to "I'm awesome" with my wife right there nodding - and realizing she was fucking someone else, and thinking about what was going through her head, really, while I was being Mister Positive Self Talk.

All the productive and constructive coping mechanisms I developed were tainted. My healing right now involves trying to clean that machinery out enough to get it rolling again, within the context of my life as it is now - because that was all developed under the notion my wife was leaving me and I was going to be alone. After dday that perspective slowly changed. I knew it was going to. I wrote myself a note (which I lost) basically saying to my future moron self that I was going to lose all the progress I made but I wasn't going to remain unchanged for the better.

So, for me, re-contexting everything.

I'm gonna go read WALs post now.

eta:

I want my epitaph to read "select 'drop table ' || name || ';' from sqlite_master
where type = 'table';"


eta again:

or

"ERROR 204

[S_G]: NO CONTENT"


eta again again:

although a 502 would be kind of awesome too

I think my meds are wearing off.

[This message edited by StillGoing at 2:40 PM, March 22nd (Friday)]


“Fate is a fickle bitch who dotes on irony.”

Posts: 7096 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
Ascendant
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Default  Posted: 3:05 PM, March 22nd (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Unless you're seething with vengeance, plotting the demise of all your enemies and building a supervillain hideout in the back yard from which you will launch your nefarious schemes, only to be thwarted by a semi-aquatic egg laying mammal of action.

Close...but I'm not quite Heinz Doofenschmertz. I don't dress like an evil pharmacist.


“Anyone who has a continuous smile on his face conceals a toughness that is almost frightening.”

Posts: 1584 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Illinois
RyeBread
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Member # 37437
Default  Posted: 3:12 PM, March 22nd (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I don't even know what "normal" is anymore. I've been walking on eggshells the last 10yrs with a WW who seems to think her priorities are the only priorities. Drama Momma. That's one reason I'm getting out of this situation. I thank the A for finally opening my eyes to the hell I've let myself get swallowed into. Our marriage was like quicksand to my soul. I got a rope and I'm climbing out.

If I could define normal for me it would be simplicity. I want to get my life back to the simple things. I don't need a lot to be happy. My son is my world and he brings me a lot of happiness. Materialisticly I need a comfy place to put up my feet, chill with my dogs and a beer, and focus on my fitness goals...thats it.


Let him that would move the world first move himself. - Socrates

Posts: 957 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Midwest
StillGoing
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Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 4:30 PM, March 22nd (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Close...but I'm not quite Heinz Doofenschmertz. I don't dress like an evil pharmacist.

Then you're good.


“Fate is a fickle bitch who dotes on irony.”

Posts: 7096 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
wincing_at_light
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Member # 14393
Default  Posted: 9:32 PM, March 22nd (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

So, for me, re-contexting everything.

This is it, really. LadyV used to call it "defining your win" -- because you have no choice but to win. The key is accepting what a win looks like. Some people won't settle for less that bettah.than.evah marriages so that the pain is *worth something*. That's how contextualize it.

Some people define their win as divorce...recognizing that they're better than what they were married to.

I think those are probably the two most popular narratives by far, but they're not the only ones.

Once again, I'm going to go back to the idea of roles, because too often, roles define the narrative that we're living. Our win is defined by the role we view ourselves as playing. If you're tied up in the role of loving husband and father, then the win generally looks something like sitting on a porch at 85 holding your wife's hand while watching your grandkids play in the yard.

If you're a BH, you've lost site of that role as a useful metaphor for your existence. You've lost the thread of the narrative you thought you were living...which means you've lost your vision of a win. The antagonist in your story turned out to be your wife. You thought you were living a love story, but it turned out to be a betrayal story.

So you've got to change your narrative, at least for awhile. It could be that the original narrative is one you still want. It'll take some time to sort that out, but if it is, that's okay (providing that you're not telling yourself you're still in a love story while your wife continues to play the Wicked Witch).

If it's not, then you've got more work on your hands, because you've got to build a new narrative from the ground up that contains all of the facts you have now...and then you've got to trace the narrative thread far enough into the future to see what the win looks like.

Grieving the old narrative is hard. I happen to be a narrative guy. I've spent most of my life living in worlds that exist only inside my head. That skill has been immensely helpful in my recovery.

(Related note: I just released a new science fiction novel at Smashwords and Amazon. Up to #69000 or something on the Amazon list after two days. Yay, me. )

All I'm really saying is that it's helpful if you can take a step back and accept that the role you thought you playing in the story of your life may have changed. You can view that as shit, or you can view it as an opportunity to take on one of the roles you always wanted to play but felt like you couldn't.

It's your story. Live the one you want rather than the one you feel like you've been handed -- or the one that life has eroded you down into.

If you don't like the story, take a different perspective and tell yourself a new one. Even Darth Vader was the hero of his own story.

Oh, and you know I love the shit out of this:

I want my epitaph to read "select 'drop table ' || name || ';' from sqlite_master
where type = 'table';"


Machiavellian idiot savant

Posts: 6687 | Registered: Apr 2007 | From: Indiana
aesir
♂ Member
Member # 17210
Default  Posted: 10:01 PM, March 22nd (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Unless you're... building a supervillain hideout in the back yard from which you will launch your nefarious scheme

Everyone should have these, both the supervillain hideout and the nefarious schemes. Actually keying in the launch codes is optional.

[This message edited by aesir at 12:16 AM, March 23rd (Saturday)]


Your mileage may vary... in accordance with the prophecy.

Do not back up. Severe tire damage.


Posts: 14924 | Registered: Nov 2007 | From: Winnipeg
h0peless
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Member # 36697
Default  Posted: 10:19 PM, March 22nd (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Related note: I just released a new science fiction novel at Smashwords and Amazon. Up to #69000 or something on the Amazon list after two days. Yay, me.

What's it called? I could use some quality reading material.


Posts: 1315 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Arizona
Ascendant
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Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 9:03 AM, March 23rd (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Everyone should have these, both the supervillain hideout and the nefarious schemes. Actually keying in the launch codes is optional.

And for god's sakes, leave off the self-destruct button. It never, ever helps.

What's it called? I could use some quality reading material.

This right here, too. I haven't read some good sci-fi or fantasy books since I knocked off the 'Foundation' and ASOIAF series last year.

[This message edited by FacePunched at 9:07 AM, March 23rd (Saturday)]


“Anyone who has a continuous smile on his face conceals a toughness that is almost frightening.”

Posts: 1584 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Illinois
Ascendant
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Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 12:24 PM, March 23rd (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

So I was lying in bed last night, and my wife asked me "Do you think we're going to be ok?". The question kind of threw me off, honestly. It wasn't put out there in any kind of attitude-y, huffing and puffing, "Aren't you over this yet?" tone. It seemed like an honest question. I've been pretty distant lately, whereas during the HB phase I was all over her, all the time. I just told her that I think so, eventually, in a few years...but she needs to attack her issues. She's well aware of the 2-5 year timeline.


“Anyone who has a continuous smile on his face conceals a toughness that is almost frightening.”

Posts: 1584 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Illinois
foundoutlater
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Member # 32900
Default  Posted: 4:06 PM, March 23rd (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

WAL your post has put into words what my mind has been swimming around for quite some time.

Once again, I'm going to go back to the idea of roles, because too often, roles define the narrative that we're living. Our win is defined by the role we view ourselves as playing. If you're tied up in the role of loving husband and father, then the win generally looks something like sitting on a porch at 85 holding your wife's hand while watching your grandkids play in the yard.
If you're a BH, you've lost sight of that role as a useful metaphor for your existence.

That was exactly the “win” I saw in my existence. Walking side by side until one of us hits the grave. On DDay a couple years ago that partner I had been walking with disappeared in my story. Like you said, that story is in my head. The person was there, but some of what I believed about her was wrong.

I think it is time to focus on defining that “win” is for me. A fluid work in progress for sure, but since the A I can see there has been very little path in my mind. I’ve struggled to get a hold back on the old view. It has not worked well and has left me in a world of hurt at work. I have sacrificed much to provide for the W and kids and I think with that story shattered my motivation is gone to be the provider. It is so fucked up because I worked so hard to get where I am and the change of course was caused by all this. It makes so much sense now. I need to redefine my purpose and define why the hell I am doing what I do. At home I don’t think that “story” will look much different than it has all my life but I sure as hell am open to some script rewrites. My work life "story" though has to change because the old one is just not getting the job done.

Thanks for putting a bit of your journey out there.

[This message edited by foundoutlater at 4:07 PM, March 23rd (Saturday)]


Your beliefs don’t make you a better person, your behavior does.

Posts: 1059 | Registered: Jul 2011
still-living
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Default  Posted: 7:52 AM, March 24th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Once again, I'm going to go back to the idea of roles, because too often, roles define the narrative that we're living. Our win is defined by the role we view ourselves as playing. If you're tied up in the role of loving husband and father, then the win generally looks something like sitting on a porch at 85 holding your wife's hand while watching your grandkids play in the yard.
If you're a BH, you've lost sight of that role as a useful metaphor for your existence.

Agree, and also would like to reference Eckhart Tolle's definition of love, “To love is to recognize yourself in another.” This keeps ringing more true and true for me the more I think about it, my wife, kids, and family, and how I see myself existing with them. Upon suffering a betrayal, I was forced to reevaluate and reestablish this.


BH(me)47
WW 47 FOO Issues
DDay 11/09 Coworker
High School Sweethearts
Married 06/91
8 months TT
Sons 19 and 14

My dog farted, startled himself, wondered where the noise came from. I wish my life was as simple.


Posts: 626 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: Ches
MC_Jack
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Default  Posted: 10:43 AM, March 24th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

...roles define the narrative that we are living...

Very interesting thread...I usually don't post here...

My WW has said to me about the A, with a tone of real seriousness, sympathy, and compassion, that this is just my life's journey with its dissapointment and heartbreak.

I ran accross a quote somewhere from Marcus Aurelius that speaks to this:

"Accept whatever comes to you woven in the pattern of your destiny, for what could more aptly fit your needs"?


I am not a marriage counselor. I chose "MC Jack" in the spirit of a handle like "MC Hammer" or Young MC"...there is a lot of 'rapping' here, no? At the time I did not know what MC stood for on this site. Duh.

Posts: 791 | Registered: Mar 2012 | From: West Coast of Hopa-hopa-land
wincing_at_light
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Member # 14393
Default  Posted: 12:07 PM, March 24th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My WW has said to me about the A, with a tone of real seriousness, sympathy, and compassion, that this is just my life's journey with its dissapointment and heartbreak.

This is true. I'd probably also have punched my wife in the skull if she'd said it to me.

The person who inflicts the harm doesn't get to tell the person upon whom they infliced it that it's an opportunity to grow.


Machiavellian idiot savant

Posts: 6687 | Registered: Apr 2007 | From: Indiana
5454real
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Member # 37455
Default  Posted: 12:16 PM, March 24th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My WW has said to me about the A, with a tone of real seriousness, sympathy, and compassion, that this is just my life's journey with its dissapointment and heartbreak.

My reaction might be a little more subdued than WAL's, but the first reaction after picking my jaw back up off the floor might include something about a journey that didn't include the author of disappointment and heartbreak.

Is there some context missing or is she really that clueless?


BH 50, WW 41
DS 23(Mine),SD 21,SS 19(Hers),DS 8 Ours, DGS 2 1/2
D=Day #1 5/04EA (Rugswept)
D-Day #2 3/10/12, TT til 3/13/12
Married 10yrs
“I have no love for a friend who loves in words alone.”
― Sophocles, Antigone

Posts: 2063 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: midwest
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