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Reconciliation Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: Plain of lethal flatness? Help!
sudra
♀ Member
Member # 30143
Default  Posted: 2:02 PM, May 10th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Plain of lethal flatnessÖ Is that what this is? Can it last for months without letting up?

I simply cannot make myself feel anything. And this isnít a new feeling. I keep thinking it will pass but itís been here for a good six months.

I simply do not want a husband who cheated. Iíve tried to read posts from the folks who are years out and say they have great marriages. I cannot imagine. My marriage will always be less that I deserved. Will always have an asterisk. How can I ever freely love this man again? How can I ever feel happy about our marriage? I donít care how good it gets, itís never going to be untainted.

I donít want a divorce, though. It would destroy me financially. It would make it nearly impossible for our son to go to the college of his choice. And I donít want to be alone.

Surely others have felt this bad and then gotten better.

Early on, I was hurt and angry, but I thought we would get past my husbandís affairs. I thought I could enjoy him again. I knew it would take years but I thought I would learn to love my new and improved husband. I guess I just donít know how. Itís not happening and I donít know how to make it happen.

And yes, Iím in IC, heís in IC, weíre in MC. Our C is always trying to make me see the positive changes my husband has made. I just canít get excited about it. I donít care who he is now or who he is going to be. I care only about who he was and what he did to me.
I asked my husband a few weeks ago how we would ever celebrate our wedding anniversary again. What there was to celebrate about our marriage? He answered that he was committed to me for the first time ever. So Iím supposed to celebrate on my 21st wedding anniversary that my husband has been committed to me for 18 months? How is that supposed to make me feel good? How is that something to celebrate? It just feel like a huge sucky loss to me. A failure.

Is this the plain of lethal flatness? Does it last this long? How do I combat it?

[This message edited by sudra at 2:02 PM, May 10th (Friday)]


Me (BW) (55), Him(SAWH) (58)
Married 22 years, 1 son (19), 1 stepdaughter (27)
DDay #1 January 2004
DDay #2 7-27-2010 7 month EA/PA (became "engaged" to OW before he told me he wanted a divorce)
Working on R

Posts: 1495 | Registered: Nov 2010
OneFootForward
♂ Member
Member # 39136
Default  Posted: 2:10 PM, May 10th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I have a very simple question for you -- have you forgiven him?

If you have not, then I don't think you will ever move on. Forgiveness is not something he can earn from you. He may do all sorts of things to regain your trust, but he cannot replace the innocence he took. It is gone!

I learned this lesson from someone else and it worked. According to His riches, I have given many, many people the lesson on anger and forgiveness in turn. It is a hard lesson to hear and even harder to implement... but it brings one thing you do not have right now, peace. It really, really brings peace. I am not saying it wipes away the memory or the hurt, but it will help you move on.

There is nothing to "buy" but there is a catch, the lesson is Biblically based.

If you are interested in it, I will gladly share it as a PM or out here on the boards.

"The LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace." -- Numbers 6:25-26


Me: 42 BS
Her: 41 EMA
Married: 16 years
D-Day#1: 04/17/13
D-Day#2: 05/8/13
Children: 9,5 (girls)
Om: High School Flame
"Marital problems doesn't make someone a cheater just like financial problems doesn't make someone a thief"

Posts: 71 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Mobile, AL
jo2love
♀ Moderator
Member # 31528
Default  Posted: 2:14 PM, May 10th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

(((sudra)))

You might find this link helpful. The feeling does subside, but it is a hard place to be.

http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/healing_library/reconciliation/lethal_flatness.asp

[This message edited by jo2love at 2:16 PM, May 10th (Friday)]


Posts: 35846 | Registered: Mar 2011
sudra
♀ Member
Member # 30143
Default  Posted: 2:17 PM, May 10th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I believe forgiveness is a process, not an all in one thing. But yes, I believe I have largely forgiven him. I no longer want to hurt him. I fact, I hate it when he hurts. I feel sorry for him because I know how bad he feels.

We get along, rarely fight...

None of that changes how I feel, though.

So, I think your assumption that I have not forgiven him is not true.


Me (BW) (55), Him(SAWH) (58)
Married 22 years, 1 son (19), 1 stepdaughter (27)
DDay #1 January 2004
DDay #2 7-27-2010 7 month EA/PA (became "engaged" to OW before he told me he wanted a divorce)
Working on R

Posts: 1495 | Registered: Nov 2010
Althea
♀ Member
Member # 37765
Default  Posted: 2:52 PM, May 10th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I was in this place a few months ago. I just couldn't reconcile the man my WH was becoming with the man who cheated on me and spent the last 5 years of our marriage focusing his attention outside of it while I was working my ass off to keep our family afloat.

My therapist said that it sounded like I needed to forgive my WH. For me, forgiveness wasn't not hating him or wanting to kill him, it was that process of reconciling who my WH was and who he is trying to be.

For me, that came when I asked my husband to talk through the years of our relationship where his A behavior was going on. I asked him to tell me exactly what was going on for him emotionally during that time period. At first he gawked, because it was a five year period, but he worked on it for several days. The things he came up with showed just how messed up his thought process was, but it shed a lot of light on things for me, and helped me understand at least what he would have communicated to me had he been capable of real communication For me, that was what I needed to see that the changes were real, and how the relationship will be different in the future.

I don't know if this is helpful at all, just wanted you to know that you were heard, and I know how horrible that feeling of apathy about your marriage can be, particularly when it stretches out for months. I just felt so disconnected.


Taking it one day at a time.

Posts: 457 | Registered: Dec 2012
ItsaClimb
♀ Member
Member # 37107
Default  Posted: 2:32 AM, May 12th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I have been mulling over this post since I read it yesterday. It struck such a chord with me, especially this:

I simply do not want a husband who cheated. Iíve tried to read posts from the folks who are years out and say they have great marriages. I cannot imagine. My marriage will always be less that I deserved. Will always have an asterisk. How can I ever freely love this man again? How can I ever feel happy about our marriage? I donít care how good it gets, itís never going to be untainted.

I donít want a divorce, though. It would destroy me financially. It would make it nearly impossible for our son to go to the college of his choice. And I donít want to be alone.

What you said above is exactly how I am feeling.

I've spent many hours thinking about it all and this is what I have come up with (please understand that this is MY opinion, it applies to my situation and YMMV):

I don't want this tainted, flawed marriage, none of us do, of course we all want a perfect, happy, healthy and stable marriage. Realistically though, no-one has such a marriage; even if infidelity had not happened, our marriages wouldn't be perfect.

Unfortunately, I think forgiveness IS the key for those people who really manage to recover from infidelity and thrive. I say "unfortunately" because I believe that forgiveness is going to be the biggest hurdle for me personally.

I think there are many levels to forgiveness. I don't have too much trouble with the lower levels - for example, I no longer want to punish fWH (most of the time
) But I think that to move from the plain of lethal flatness and to achieve the kind of happiness, contentment and stability that most of us aspire to, we are required to forgive on a much deeper level.

I don't believe that the deeper level of forgiveness is either wise, or in fact possible, if the WS has not truly embraced reconciliation and remorse and all it entails.

I think that the level of forgiveness that is required for complete reconciliation is a very deep, almost religious, wiping-the-slate-clean sort of forgiveness. It means letting go of ALL the little bits of hurt, blame, finger-pointing, self-righteousness and other yucky stuff that I am clinging to so vigorously. Sad, but true.

I don't think this deep forgiveness can happen until the BS is properly healed, and that involves: acknowledging the past wrongs, processing all that has happened, dealing with it, feeling it (you can't heal what you won't feel), cycling through all the stages of grief etc.

I think it's easy to say "I forgive you", it's even easy to BELIEVE you have forgiven, but the profound level of forgiveness required for true reconciliation can't be rushed.

That being said, I think it's VERY easy to get stuck in the "processing what has happened stage". It is very tempting for me to keep all the "wrongs" in my pocket and clutch on to them all day, like some kind of security blanket. It's a fine line between processing the hurts and dwelling on them.

I think the scary thing about the plain of lethal flatness is our tendency to get stuck there, to wander around the desert for 40 years like Moses... Personally, I think the plain of lethal flatness serves a purpose, it gives us time to re-group, to plot our course, to make some tough decisions, but it's key that we move through the plain, not just wander around there aimlessly.

As I said, these are just my musings, the stuff that I have been trying to figure out for the past 24 hours of so... I have no doubt there are others who disagree, who believe that reconciliation is possible without forgiveness, and I totally respect those opinions. We are each on a very personal journey here.


BS 46
Together 29 yrs, M 25 years
2 daughters 24yo(married with a brand new little daughter) & 19yo
D-Day 18 Aug 2012
6mth EA lead to 4mth PA with CO-W. I found out 8 1/2 yrs later

Posts: 1022 | Registered: Oct 2012
Alex CR
♀ Member
Member # 27968
Default  Posted: 4:41 AM, May 12th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My marriage will always be less that I deserved.

This statement kind of threw me....

I don't look at my marriage and the things my H has done as something I did or did not deserve. Our relationship has been so complex I have a hard time seeing it like my job where I've put in my 40 hours and I deserve my salary but I may be reading this differently.

Marriage, for me, is a lifetime journey with a man that, for the majority of our years together, has been a good partner sharing and caring for me, for 'us' and for our family.

He screwed up royally for several years and broke my heart by cheating. Through all of this shit though, I also learned of and acknowledge the pain I've caused my H over the years. Neither of us has been perfect and although I never cheated, I did things that, in hindsight, I see were selfish, painful for my H and damaging to our marriage.

The work we've done and continue to do really looking at our life of almost 40 years together has shown me a realtionship full of good and bad, happy and sad, better and worse times.

I don't feel I've forgiven my H completely for what he did and don't know if I ever will, but we did celebrate our wedding anniversary recently, the fourth one after DDay. And I celebrated the fact we are making it through one of the biggest challenges to our marriage we've experienced......and life together is sweet again.

I love him and he does excite me again. But it took a long time to get to this point where I really look forward to him coming home again...where I get that warm feeling inside when he calls to say hi during the day or the other things he does to show he's thinking of me.

We are all so different and though on the same journey, the paths we must take are individual ones.

This may have been a deal breaker for you or you just may need more time....time to feel safe, time to heal, time to just be emotionally quiet......time will tell.



BS Me 61
WS Him 62
Married 33
Together 40
DD 11/16/09
The future looks good....

Posts: 1713 | Registered: Mar 2010
cheerless
♀ Member
Member # 38135
Default  Posted: 2:40 PM, May 12th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

(((Sudra)))
I'm not at the "not feeling anything" stage yet--I still fall apart in tears almost daily. But, I think about what you wrote in the rest of your post every minute:

How can I ever freely love this man again? How can I ever feel happy about our marriage? I donít care how good it gets, itís never going to be untainted.

I also wonder why he would settle for less from me than he had before? I loved him without restraint. I trusted him implicitly. But now I can assure him that I will always hold back and will never trust fully. Why would my WH want to accept less now that he's making positive changes and learning to be open and more loving and communicative?

This September will be (or is it "would have been"?--what is the correct tense when vows have been broken?) our 20th anniv. Just thinking about celebrating it feels ridiculous. Am I to raise a glass and thank him for the first 11 years, and the last handful of months of fidelity? Tell him how happy I am that he decided to FINALLY stop lying and disrespecting me a few months ago?

As you put it,

How is that supposed to make me feel good? How is that something to celebrate? It just feel like a huge sucky loss to me. A failure.

I hope we all figure out some things, one way or another.


♪I'm not fine; I'm in pain
It's harder every day ~ Maroon 5♫

BS:45 WH:47 needhelp123
8yr EA&PA w/MCOW emp/frmr emp
19y M * 25y T, 2 teens
DDay 12/31/12*5w TT
Sick tired sad


Posts: 273 | Registered: Jan 2013
OneFootForward
♂ Member
Member # 39136
Default  Posted: 2:42 PM, May 13th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I believe forgiveness is a process, not an all in one thing. But yes, I believe I have largely forgiven him.

So, I think your assumption that I have not forgiven him is not true.

I feel your suffering but it sounds to me like you are "comforting" yourself with an untruth, a form of self blame. Not unlike what I did when I reasoned (incorrectly) I must have some responsibility for the A. By saying I had fault, I could try and take control over some of the pain... when I really had no control at all. You sound numb to it all sundra, numb so you don't have to feel the pain.

Forgiveness is like a light, you either give it or you don't. Largely forgiven means partially unforgiven, which is the same as not forgiven. Healing is a process, forgiveness is not. Forgiveness is an event.

Forgiveness is not about being angry with someone or getting over the anger. It is not about empathizing with their pain. It is more than feeling their need of punishment or future punishment should end. That said, forgiveness is not forgetting.

You must release the righteousness in your soul for their wrong against you. Let is all go. Like pouring water from a cup and watching the ground gobble it up. Then you cannot go digging into the mud and try to put the water back into the cup. Doing so reveals how dirty we easily become trying to hold onto the pain. The empty cup exposes us to the potential of living: love, joy, pain, sorrow, loss, gain, all of it.

My WS said this in an email to me a few days ago and it sounds a lot like what you have posted.

I don't want to run, but I don't want to be here causing you pain either. It seems every corner has another twist of pain for you I can't calm. How can I compete with that? How can you? Why do you want to stay with someone constantly causing you pain? I don't understand myself anymore than I understand you or this situation.

You have to take the cup with all you have left over, all the unresolved unforgivness in your heart and pour it out. Our it out in a letter, tell it to him, shout it to the winds, tell it here... any, all or more... pour it out. Then you need to confront your H and tell him you forgive him, for everything.

This should shatter the stalemate locking you on this endless plain. Letting you move forward.


Me: 42 BS
Her: 41 EMA
Married: 16 years
D-Day#1: 04/17/13
D-Day#2: 05/8/13
Children: 9,5 (girls)
Om: High School Flame
"Marital problems doesn't make someone a cheater just like financial problems doesn't make someone a thief"

Posts: 71 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Mobile, AL
undonelife
♀ Member
Member # 38421
Default  Posted: 5:28 PM, May 13th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Oh my goodness Sudra...You could have written my feelings exactly except the son going off to college. I don't want my kids to suffer financially. Otherwise I feel the same. Im am just sick with grief.


Me: BS 53 Him: WH 51
M: 28 years
DDay 11/25/12 TT 9/9/13
OW:20 yrs younger McOW
Kids: 2 teens

Posts: 188 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: Dark Hell
Rebreather
♀ Member
Member # 30817
Default  Posted: 5:40 PM, May 13th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I know that place. I remember being there for a long time.

It was at this time we started working on our relationship. Not just commnication and MC and all that. I mean, dating. Spending gross amounts of time together. Taking short trips, with and without our kids. Our entire focus turned even more inward. We had fun together. Lightened up! We learned to enjoy being with each other again. And as we did, the pain lightened up. And then I think I realized what I was fighting so hard against was acceptance. That was quite a hurdle for me. It really kept me stuck for a good long time.

Everyone is different and I certainly disagree about the forgiveness theory, as I have bathered on and on about here before. But I think the way out of the plain is to consider it the Land of Pre Acceptance. It's like you are crossing the desert, watching the Sierra Nevada's get closer and closer to you. They are huge and look insurmountable. But people made it over them. You just have to keep moving forward.

What are you doing to actively make your relationship work? I do think this is one of the times healing from the affair comes from recreating a new relationship.


Me BS
Him WH
2 ddays in '07
Recovering.
"The cure for the pain, is the pain." -Rumi

Posts: 6549 | Registered: Jan 2011
sudra
♀ Member
Member # 30143
Default  Posted: 4:16 PM, August 16th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Revisiting this after a few months. Thanks for all of your advice.

And then I think I realized what I was fighting so hard against was acceptance. That was quite a hurdle for me. It really kept me stuck for a good long time.

The forgiveness didn't click with me but this did. Big time. I think I still haven't accepted that my husband had an affair, gave himself heart, soul and body to another woman. Planned his life with her.

I still often have those moments where I think, "This really happened. He really did this!"

I think I am in an awful battle to accept it, because until I do, I can pretend it didn't happen. And yet I can't really do that, because it's there all of the time.

Even so, we have made progress since I posted this in May. We actually went to dinner on our anniversary. No crying, shouting or drama. Just a nice dinner and a good evening.

I don't feel so flat. So, maybe I'm coming out of it. And maybe I can finally learn to accept what happened and move forward.

Thanks again everyone. SIers are the best!


Me (BW) (55), Him(SAWH) (58)
Married 22 years, 1 son (19), 1 stepdaughter (27)
DDay #1 January 2004
DDay #2 7-27-2010 7 month EA/PA (became "engaged" to OW before he told me he wanted a divorce)
Working on R

Posts: 1495 | Registered: Nov 2010
TrustGone
♀ Member
Member # 36654
Default  Posted: 5:04 PM, August 16th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I didn't notice the date on your first post. I guess I am where you were then and have been for a while. I know I have accepted what he did and the reasons he gives are superficial. He will not dig deep, he can only rugsweep and hope it goes away eventually. I even brought the A up last weekend and he told me not to go back there. I told him I wasn't going back there, I am there everyday. He just doesn't get it and probably never will. I also do not want a D. I do not want to start over, it would also ruin me finacially. I am learning to accept this marriage for what it is now. It will always be tainted and I will never forgive him for the pain he has caused me and how it has affected our marriage and my life, but I am accepting that is how it is now. I know alot of people say you can't reconcile with a WH who rugsweeps, but a moderator the other day said otherwise. Will he do it again? I don't know. I do know if he does, I will D him and have told him so. He is very loving now and knows how bad he has hurt me and he tries everyday to show me I can trust him again. I don't and probably never will totally, but I know he is trying in his own way.


BW-50
WH#2-51
M-9 yrs T-11 yrs
4 children-none together
DD#1-9/5/11 LTA 2yrs
DD#2-7/3/12 False R
DD#3-4/29/13 (OW broke NC)
Status: Your guess is as good as mine.

Posts: 2420 | Registered: Aug 2012 | From: Texas
crazyblindsided
♀ Member
Member # 35215
Default  Posted: 8:15 PM, August 16th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

TrustGone I feel like I could have written your post. After reading this thread I've realized that's exactly where I'm at right now, stuck on the plain.

However you have given me the most hope as of yet in what you said about the moderator telling you it is possible. It makes me feel better as my WH is not the most remorseful but he too is trying his best.


BS/FWS (me):40 Madhatter
WS/BS:42 Serial Cheater
Together 18 years, Married 13
DD(10) DS(7)
DDay(s) 5/08, 5/09, 3/30/12
Final Dday 7/11/14 Affair never ended

Posts: 2266 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: California
jjsr
♀ Member
Member # 34353
Default  Posted: 10:57 PM, August 16th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Trustgone, I understand your feelings. We are at an age where our kids have their own lives, and our marriages are not what we thought or hoped they were. You have an opportunity though to see your husband for who he is, if he is trying to work on the marriage etc . I know before dday I had put my husband on a bit of a pedestal. I am hoping now we can move forward and have a more authentic marriage,


Me: BS
Him: WS
Married since 1985
Parents to 2 adult sons and 3 of the cutest cats you have ever seen
D-day 8/6/11 Truth about ONS and 9/21/11 Truth about EA
Trying to reconcile

Posts: 1647 | Registered: Dec 2011 | From: midwest now.
blakesteele
♂ Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 2:36 AM, August 17th (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Great post.

Itsaclimb captures what I believe is the key....the deepest level of forgiveness. Not cheap surface level, crisis avoiding forgiveness, not acceptance...but a true earnest, soul satisfying forgiveness.

I am reading a fantastically detailed book on forgiveness....the power it has and the different levels of this act. It is slow reading as it is thought provoking. If you are quick to forgive you never give the person who wronged you a chance to fully repent and fix what they broke .. In BS's, this is your heart. If you offer quick forgiveness, you deny yourself the opportunity to "feel" the pain. You can't heal from what you don't feel....meaning it will stay a factor long after you think it still IS a factor. Forgiveness is a process, not a singular act.

While I don't think anyone who has wronged you has to do anything new for you to forgive them at some level, I do think that if we expect to get to a deep meaningful intimate level with our fWS there has to be real meaningful remorse and repentance on their behalf. I just don't see it happening with a spouse who brings up how unhappy they were pre-A and language along that line. This interacts with the process of forgiveness. This type of interaction from a fWS towards their BS stops foregiveness somewhere between cheap foregiveness and acceptance....it allows for some mending and closure but not the type that leads to a healthy marriage....and I wonder if this is partly why the plain of lethal flatness exist?

Plain of lethal flatness is arrived at when the fWS has stopped their actively destructive, hurtful behavior but are not embracing full repentance and the BS is past the shock and rage of the A but has not embraced full deep forgiveness? WS looking back to quickly to pre-A issues, BS to slowly moving to pre-A issues? Note the ???? here. Not really confident in this. I am tired.

I am only 50% through the book....but can at least see that what I thought was forgiveness before is not the kind that would allow the intimate relationship I desire for my future. I am at this plane now...occasionally with angry outbursts..

We are stuck.

I am okay with that for now because I realize this is normal. I also realize my wife is doing what she can right now, and so am I. As I process this book I am piecing together what my forgiveness of my wife will look like so that I can embrace it fully when it happens.

At that point I expect I will have left this plane.

Itsaclimb has wisdom....

God be with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 2:50 AM, August 17th (Saturday)]


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3965 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
blakesteele
♂ Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 2:55 AM, August 17th (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Jjsr......an authentic marriage. Admirable goal. We are working towards this as well.


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3965 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
Topic Posts: 17

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