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Reconciliation Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: Wrestling with shame?
blakesteele
♂ Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 7:40 PM, August 7th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I was early on...the first 2 months after DD were shameful for me. I did things and said things that were not recognizable by me...totally sacrificing my self in futile acts to save my marriage.

It has been at least 4 months since I have felt shame over my wifes affair...so I believe that is officially behind me.

The following is an excerpt from a book on forgiveness that I just read...it speaks to the identical process in which I processed through this shame. I hope it helps someone quicker then going through this blindly like I did. I will make it specific to my experience...as it really is the path I followed before reading this book. The author did a GREAT job of concisely narrating my journey. Here it is;

Shame came to me because I thought that my wifes behavior was about me...about my unworthiness, my defectiveness, my unlovability. This shame lifted when I realized my wifes behavior was about HER....her innate disposition, her traumatic experiences, her responses to lifes stress. My wife did not readily give me full access to many of these...so I had to come up with some hypotheses. I did that through reading and MC sessions.

Stepping back and seeing her wrestle with her own demons has been a restorative, centering experience for me...one that allows me to regain my equilibrium and self esteem, become the author of my own experience, and let go of my obsessive thinking.

Once I understood my wifes limitiations, I stopped expecting more of her then she could give. No longer fighting the ghosts of the past (the affair), I started to give myself the care and love she couldn't provide. Seeing her personal history spread out before me (a history that she in many ways hid from me, again for reasons not specifically related to me but to her past and her dispositions), I started to free myself from those obsessive questions such as....How could she?, How dare she?...and began to understand that what she did follows seamlessly from who she is. She is NOT a serial cheater...but the affair itself falls in line in many ways on how she copes with life.

When I could look at her clearly and honestly (not in anger) and see how she, too, has suffered, I can start to see her as a fellow victim. This MAY make me eventually realize for the first time how deeply and irreversibly damaged she may be. No longer is she the perpetrator of an unforgivable act. She has become a real person whose internal battles...whose anxieties and insecurities...triggered her hurtful behavior.

Armed with this wisdom, I was able to release myself from the grip of her affair. With this release comes the freedom to stay and work on the marriage...or to leave.

Back to my original thoughts...

I am still early on this journey....but it is nice to have the shame I foolishly and incorrectly took on regarding my wifes affair squarely behind me. I have also forgiven myself for the way I acted immediately following my DD.

God be with us all.

The book is How Can I Forgive; The Courage to Forgive, The Freedom Not To. by Janis Abrahms Spring PhD. I highly recommend it to those with obsessive thoughts and any ownership of your spouses affair....it will help you process both of these pretty completely.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 7:50 PM, August 7th (Wednesday)]


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: 3663 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
LA44
♀ Member
Member # 38384
Default  Posted: 7:52 PM, August 7th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

blakesteele you are a good man.

Thank you so much for taking the time to write that down. That book is one I picked up back in April but I was not ready for it then. Perhaps I am now. Your awareness of your wife's behavior sounds like compassion to me. And I know this is KEY for forgiveness to take place.

I started feeling this way towards my H about two months ago - month 6. Grant it, those feelings are peppered with, "you jack ass!" but more days then not now, I feel compassion.

Back to you! I do recall some of your very early posts (or they were new to me as I had just joined). I really felt for you. I knew you were struggling with her fog and all the details. I was angry for you.

There are a few of you I watch bc your D-Days are close to mine. You are one of them. You have come so far.

Again, thank you.
LA


Me: 44
He: 47 WH
Married: 15 years
D Day: December 2012
Affair: Fall 2009 - Dec. 2011
R is not linear

Posts: 2287 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: Canada, eh
LosferWords
♂ Guide
Member # 30369
Default  Posted: 8:01 PM, August 7th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I just wanted to pop in to note that Janis Spring's book was one of the top two books that helped with my healing, the other one being Not "Just Friends".

Sounds like you got a lot of great insight from it as well, blakesteele. You really boiled it down to some good points here about disowning the shame that you felt about your wife's actions.

Thanks for sharing this... I'll be re-reading this post a couple of times, myself.


Posts: 7073 | Registered: Dec 2010
meplusfour
♀ Member
Member # 38958
Default  Posted: 8:12 PM, August 7th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

blakesteele, I have been following your posts. Your ability to articulate and express your emotions has helped me work through many of my own issues and I thank you for that. I wanted to recommend two other books, Daring Greatly and the Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. She is a research professor who writes and lectures regarding vulnerability, shame and being loved. I read both of these books after After the Affair.


BW (me)42
WH 44
3 daughters, 1 son
Married 10 years, together 13
DDay 3/14/2013, four year PA
In R
"Sometimes you have to accept the fact that certain things will never go back to the way they used to be."

Posts: 364 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Canada
mchercheur
♀ Member
Member # 37735
Default  Posted: 8:14 PM, August 7th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

When I could look at her clearly and honestly (not in anger) and see how she, too, has suffered,

Yes, I can do this with WH too, & feel a lot of love for him. What keeps getting me angry tho is how he doesn't want to look at it, doesn't want to work on it, understand it----he just wants to sweep it under the rug.

Thanks for the post blakesteele.

Shame came to me because I thought that my wifes behavior was about me...about my unworthiness, my defectiveness, my unlovability. This shame lifted when I realized my wifes behavior was about HER....her innate disposition, her traumatic experiences, her responses to lifes stress.

I still struggle with this one sometimes---start thinking about all of my faults & that I deserved this.

[This message edited by mchercheur at 8:14 PM, August 7th (Wednesday)]


together 25 yrs, married 24 yrs, 4 children;Rebuilding
D Day: 5/10/2011 PA
OW: WH's co-worker,divorced, no children, 20 yrs younger than I-----& she knew he was married, had met our kids, but that did not stop her from trying to destroy our family

Posts: 1390 | Registered: Dec 2012
rachelc
♀ Member
Member # 30314
Default  Posted: 8:29 PM, August 7th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

You are a compassionate man! I do hope your wife is thankful for this!
I understand how my husband got to the point of having an affair. I don't get the 2nd one, hence the inability to forgive that one....
I have read the Spring book, and the Brene Brown book. Both good! Can't get there yet....

[This message edited by rachelc at 8:30 PM, August 7th (Wednesday)]


his Dday: 2/10
my Ddays: 1/12, 4/12 broken NC 12/12

me (WW/BS): 48
him: (BS/WH)52
4 kiddos in mid 20's

Me: I didn't sign up for this.
Him: you're already in this. All you can do is resign...


Posts: 4922 | Registered: Dec 2010
blakesteele
♂ Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 9:01 PM, August 7th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

hugs to all! Thanks for the too kind words.

just to be clear...I struggle hard and often. I was just so moved by reading this particular chapter in this book that I wanted to share.

LA44...you are one I follow closely as well. I still am so proud and happy for you with your recent involvement of your parents into this trial!

I think reading this book BEFORE I completed this particular part of my journey would have been very helpful...but it is still very helpful reading it after the fact.

Just like following LA44 and other members who have similar D Days, reading this helped me to NORMALIZE my experience. It is comforting to see that what I am experiencing is not unique. I don't know if it lessens the pain (that would be MINIMALIZE) but it definitely helps me steer clear of getting stuck in a victims mentality...which is a personal goal of mine.

My marriage is still very much in a vulnerable state....but don't really think it is a new state...I really cant say.

This was also a point of posting this...it is a true positive experience and movement forward for me. I actively try and fully recognize them when they happen.

To be sure...I think this same path I related here is similar to paths I have taken to deal with and move past my own brokenness (in those instances the big difference is that I DO own those actions and associated feelings)...and if not actually moved past them, at least to more honestly accept them...which will lead me to work through them.

God be with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 9:16 PM, August 7th (Wednesday)]


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: 3663 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
Topic Posts: 7

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