Okay, so I have been rather flat for a while now. This morning I am angry...but not raging.
I have been on the plane of lethal flatness a couple of times, sad most of the time, but still choosing to learn to R.
I have been processing through what it means to cope and the healthy-unhealthy relationships within that mode of operation.
Cope is a way to get through something. I coped as a boy with my parents D and my Dad disappearing from my life for 10 years. I don't regret that coping as it got me through something I was simply not equipped to handle at age 12.
Now I am a 42 year old man. I have just realized how something that was healthy became something unhealthy....how coping mechanisms from my childhood blocked intimacy within my marriage, and was on its way to blocking intimacy with my other relationships too. I have little interest in coping through life when I can choose otherwise.
I know some coping will be necessary...I work in an industry that is severely affected by ice storms, we prepare for them and have restoration plans in place....but during the actual event we cope with what is given to us just to keep the power flowing. Once the storm has passed...we go back and build the grid to the specs we need to. So coping is not inherently bad.
My wife and I are through the devastating ice storm that was my wifes adulterous activities...that storm has passed. I coped through 16 months thus far. It is time to rebuild the grid. Yes, I am impatient now....
During an ice storm we cope by rigging the grid, doing whatever we can that is safe for a time but we do that with the hopes that we will rebuild the temporary solutions into a strong grid after the storm. We go back and untie from trees, set new poles, and build it right. We are attempting to learn what it means to build M right. We are both apprentices....could really use a journeyman!
As I read on coping much of it has to do with immediate responses to an event. I tried to tie coping to reactive vs proactive modes of operation...but couldn't find a strong relationship. Namely because coping can go on for years AFTER the stimulation (ie ice storm, adultery) has passed.....can bleed into the time where coping should stop and real rebuilding efforts need to start....effectively killing any real emotional growth. Growth = pain. I understand why we avoid it...it hurts!!!
I am finding the courage to HOPE for our future together. I am finding it not because of some valiant effort, but because to loose hope is to relegate my martial relationship to one of coping. The pain of that type of relationship is greater than the pain of hoping for a better one.
It takes courage to hope vs cope. Cope is tied to survival, hope is tied to improvement past survival. Coping...well, I know what I get in that one. No new pain, but a serious lack of excitement and enthusiasm. What hope can get me is excitement and enthusiasm to be married to my wife again, but at the risk of being hurt again as those hopes are dashed by her choosing to have another A or to keep herself at a distance (either through conscious decision or unconscious FOO influence) or by my own realization that what she can offer to our M is not going to fulfill me (still working on what THAT means as pre-A blakesteele had pretty low requirements....was coping with my M in many ways).
BUT, even in the sour mode I am in this morning, I am choosing to hope.
Hope without a plan is just a wish. The hope I am speaking of is the desire to fully commit to something (give and take) with the intention that things will improve....that my M will survive this and grow into a mutually satisfying relationship...complete with the knowledge that if I ever struggle my wife will enthusiastically have my back and I, hers. Confident in the knowledge that when I excel I will desire to share this excitement with my wife and she will become my greatest cheerleader...and vice versa. Confident that, in those times of moderation I will not seek porn and my wife will not withdraw into her vices. I hope to someday be delighted in the singular knowledge that I am married to a wonderful woman......no tricks, no games, no distractions....just that confident feeling that we are committed to each other, with no back up plan or escape route in the backs of our minds.
This is tough....hoping for what I just posted here. I have come to the conclusion that a person cannot hurt another person as much as my wife hurt me....any WS on here could not hurt their BS anymore than they have. I have spent much time on SI. I have noticed that the details of adultery notice greatly....but I see such a strong commonality of the pain and trauma expressed by ALL BS that it leads me to believe the devil is NOT in the details (LTA or STA, shaved not shaved, large or small breasts, penis sizes, family friend or prostitute, business trips or sneak away to farm house)....the devil is in the act of adultery itself.
I pray for all affected by adultery. It is unlike anything I ever thought it would be, and is unlike anything I thought would be a part of my lifes journey.
God have mercy on us all.