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update and rebuilding trust

Investednhealing posted 9/4/2019 16:05 PM

Hey all,
I didn't look to see how long it has been, but it has been a LONG time since I made my last post. I could insert any number of reasons or excuses here, but we have read them all, and there is no point. Point is I am back.

I do keep up with some of you THROUGH my BS, but that is so not the same as actually reading and posting here on the regular. Truth be told I have been weary of doing so. It isn't the 2x4's or anything like that. I have come a long way since those days. I have issues taking advice from people who aren't where I want to be. I have seen so many failed relationships, death threats, attempted suicides etc. It leaves me wondering if this is the best place to GET advice on healing. My heart breaks for so many of you. So many shattered souls, can a shattered soul give advice on how to heal, completely heal, if they have not healed themselves? (rhetorical)

So down to my story... this will be long, forgive me. I pretty much write half of it in my head while watering. I am ADHD badly, so if I am scattered, please bare with me.

We are 4 1/2 years out from D days. I have been in therapy the vast majority of that, as well as I was already in therapy from the moment I came back from my mothers, where I was around the time of my Emotional affair nearly 7 years ago, before D days.

I went through the whole blame cycle, not accepting fault for what I had done. I blamed the toxic people in my life. I blamed my young age, and lack of established clear boundries. We all go through that phase at first.

It wasn't my mother (most toxic person ever to be in my life)that went over to her idols house at 18, when she was separated from her husband after a lil over a year and a half, and screwed her teenage idol. Nope that was ME, I did that. I made a conscious choice to go to his house, knowing the fact that I had had a crush on him for 5 years. Knowing that I would be there alone with him. I made that choice. I chose to check the greenness of the grass on the other side, while simutaniously depriving and killing the grass in my own yard. I did that!

I am the one that broke the trust in my relationship. I had a beautiful, trusting, care free, light spirited husband. I broke that. I broke HIM.

He had been pulling away from my toxic mother. I was still wrapped around her finger, because mommy always knows best right? (insert heavy sarcasm) HE could see how toxic she was. He could see how manipulative she was. I fed into that, he did not. I saw him pulling away from her as him pulling away from ME. I allowed my head to be filled with all sorts of nonsense from all sorts of toxic and boundary-less individuals that I had surrounded myself with. I did that. I was blinded to their true intentions, and I was steady making my own bad choices. I broke the best and most wonderful person I know. (My bs, Downforthecount) I killed his beautiful free spirit. I killed his trust. I killed not only his trust in ME, but I killed his trust in general.

No one forced me to make those bad choices. I have no one to blame them on but myself. I was not given good boundaries, but I am the one that had poor boundaries.

I have foo issues. Bad ones. I was not wanted, accepted, loved, I was not enough. I was the wrong gender, skin too light, hair wrong color. I was to skinny, not dressed well, unmedicated adhd, an forever the new kid. So yes I have foo issues, but those foo issues did not make those choices. I DID.

It was ME that kissed my best friend when he had broken up with his gf and needed someone to comfort him. It was ME that sought out advice and consolation from a family friend that wanted to do more than console me and build up my ego and relationship. Quite the opposite. I made the choice to go over there, and do so on numerous occasions over a month or so time period. That was MY Choice.

I am the one that chose to message my X to tell him about a dream I had. I am the one that made that contact, hoping to be friends. I KNEW he was toxic. I KNEW that friendship was not what he wanted. I KNEW he was no friend to my marriage. I KNEW that. I made that choice anyhow. I chose to answer hundreds of texts a day. I can excuse that by saying... oh but I am a heavy texter... well yes, but that is bull ish. I made the conscious choice every incoming text to text back. I fell down that rabbit hole. I have NO ONE to blame for that but myself! Was he manipulative, yes. Did he say all the right things, yes. Did I make a conscious choice to fall for every bit of his bs and lies, yes I did. That was ME, I made that choice.

In the last 4 years I have worked hard to build GOOD boundries. I have cut my toxic mother completely out of our lives. Even our children, who are or are mostly grown at this point, refuse to speak to her. Lord how I wish I had done that 23 plus years ago. I have to wonder sometimes how my life would have been without that influence. Can ONE persons influence negatively impact your life THAT much? I know the last 3 years since I DID cut her out have been SO much easier, and SO much more healing has been done.

I have read several books, but admit that I do not do as much active reading as I should. I read articles here and there, and sometimes catch up on some of my book reading, but I do not devote as much time as I KNOW I should to it.

DFTC has all of my usernames and passwords for absolutely everything. I still show him my texts, and talk to him about what was said whenever I take a phone call. Nothing is deleted, nothing is hidden.

We work together on the budget, and outside of birthdays and Christmas, everything spent is discussed. There are no hidden or extra accounts. We have ONE joint checking an ONE joint savings.

We spend loads of time together. Sometime it is working in the yard. Sometimes it is long therapy like sessions just talking. Sometimes it is a date in the mountains, or going shopping together, catching dinner out somewhere. Sometimes we watch whatever he wants on tv, sometimes it is a show we both enjoy, and sometimes he plays his video games and I enjoy my netflix time alone.

We work together in the same place now, about 20-30 feet apart. So I am no longer simply telling him how I act and react to those around me, but he has the chance to see it for himself. He gets the chance to SEE me using those learned boundary skills.

Following an accident when I was 7 years old I have the most inconvenient tick a wayward could possible have. When I smile I wink. It is not conscious, and I did not even realize for YEARS that I did it, until it was pointed out to me. It was misconstrewed as me flirting for many years, and still is, but now I am quick to correct that misconception. No I am not making it up, a garage door fell on my face when I was a child. I actually find myself almost mean mugging people to avoid it now. Working on that balance.

I was always a people pleaser. That is something I learned at a very young age, and a dangerous path to walk. I have never felt like I was Enough, because as a child I Wasn't enough. I have always gone above and beyond, and worked myself to a state of exhaustion. Not feeling like I am enough is STILL a piece that I am struggling with. When it has been drilled in you for over 30 years that you are not good enough, no matter what your husband tells you, your head tends to lean toward that negative thought. It is something I am STILL working at overcoming in my head.

My question is this. I get it. I understand. I KNOW the poor choices I made. I KNOW those were MY choices. I KNOW I broke my husband. I know I shattered him on a level that has and will take YEARS to recover from. HOW do I help him learn to trust again?

Accountability, check. Doing what I say I will, check. STD test (negative), check. Open communication, check. Access to all devices, check. Consistency in actions and words, check. Telling him where I am, who I am with, who I am talking to, etc at all time, check. I can go through the building trust checklists online, an check them all off. What am I missing?

This has not just effected/ affected us, but is spilling over into other parts of his life. People that have given him NO reason to doubt them, ever, he is questioning their motives, constantly questioning everything. He is always looking for the hole in what others say. In a sense he has almost taken it to a point of paranoia almost. Trust no one.

How do I help him find himself again? How do I help him get his confidence in HIMSELF back again? How do I help him restore his free spirit? How do I help him get to a place where he CAN trust others again? I took that away from him. I shattered that. I killed that piece of him. How do I restore his love and acceptance of HIMSELF? Forget ME. That will come with time, or it won't. That's up to him.

How do I restore his love for HIM in HIM? How do I restore that free spirited, trusting, self confident, self loving, self appreciating , pride, and joy back in HIM? How do I fix that piece in him that I shattered? How do I fix HIM? I Broke HIM, how do I fix HIM?

[This message edited by Investednhealing at 9:35 PM, September 4th (Wednesday)]

Lifeitself posted 9/4/2019 17:25 PM

Hi INH,

I remember from your last post you were looking into getting DNA test for your children. How did it go? Did you get the tests done?

Investednhealing posted 9/4/2019 17:32 PM

Lifeitself. No we did not. After much discussion he said that at the moment he doesn't think it's necessary. If at ANY point he changes his mind, we'll have it done. All 4 are his carbon copy, his blood type, 100% his. However if he tells me he really needs this, then I'll gladly figure a way to do it.

thatwilldo posted 9/4/2019 20:59 PM

Investednhealing,

I couldn't get past about 1/3 of your post because I keep getting lost! Could you please break your writing into paragraphs, so it'll be easier to read? I think you'd get more responses, too.

Investednhealing posted 9/4/2019 21:30 PM

Thatwilldo,
I did not realize I had to double space the paragraphs. Yikes, it ran all that mess together. Give me a few, and I will try to fix that. SORRY! I know it is a book.

Investednhealing posted 9/4/2019 21:36 PM

Hopefully the double spacing makes it a little easier to read, even if it is still very long. Sorry.

Investednhealing posted 9/5/2019 11:33 AM

Mod please remove stop sign

wifehad5 posted 9/5/2019 14:00 PM

The Stop Sign has been removed. Betrayed spouses may now post on this thread.

Chaos posted 9/5/2019 17:37 PM

BS here. I'm glad to see the Stop sign removed. I had so much I wanted to say. Please, keep the following in mind when you do. I am a BS. 2 years out from DDay1 - weeks shy of DDay3. I'm going to be straight with you. But no 2x4s. I promise. Ok?

Take a deep breath. I'm going to break down your questions.

How do I help him find himself again?

I'm sorry but you can't. Before you think - Wow Chaos - what a bi**h you are - I'm being honest. You can't. What you CAN do, however, is be there for him during the journey. He may not want to lean on you - and that's OK. But he can know you are there for him. He may not only want to lean on you, but do so until it hurts. That's OK too. He many pull you in to lean on you and push you away at the same time. Confusing? Yeah - try being in his head on that one. It's a mind fuck for sure. But show him your unwavering support and follow his lead.

How do I help him get his confidence in HIMSELF back again?

Again, sadly, you can't. It is shattered beyond repair. That being said, he can rebuild it. It won't be the same. It is now hard earned through sheer fucking grit. What you CAN do - be honest with him. You CAN pay a compliment when it is deserved [be careful not to cross over to love bombing though]. Be prepared for him to throw it back with a snarky comment. STAY STRONG and don't take the bait. Those snarky comments come from fear and self loathing. He'll be watching to see how you react. Stay strong. But be authentic. We BS can sniff out a pity compliment from a mile away. Delicate dance I know - I have faith you will figure it out.

How do I help him restore his free spirit?

You know what I'm going to say. You can't. What you CAN do, however, is hold him while he mourns the loss of his old one and builds a new one. The Phoenix rose from ashes. Which means the fire had to burn out and cool off. Hold him during this process.

How do I help him get to a place where he CAN trust others again? I took that away from him. I shattered that. I killed that piece of him.

That may never return. Not to the level it was anyway. I too had blind faith trust. I fear I will never even come close to that again. You CAN, however, work every moment on earning trust back. Start with telling him what you just said. Tell him you know what you did. You are so very sorry for it. You want to earn any level of trust back. And, gently, no matter how hard - because remember the snark I spoke of earlier that was really fear talking - it will surface here repeatedly - don't take the bait. Stay strong. Remain open, honest and transparent. And remember...patience.

How do I restore his love and acceptance of HIMSELF?

No surprise. You can't. He has to regain that on his own. It sucks. It is hard. It is exhausting. It can be done. It does take time. What you CAN do? Be patient. Be authentic. Be genuine. Be honest.

Patience. This is a marathon not a sprint.
And it is over the worst terrain possible.
A roller coaster ride from Hell.

Read about all the mistakes those before you made and don't make them. Be honest. Don't minimize, blame shift, gaslight, trickle truth.

Proven behavior over time. That's what you need to do. Proven behavior over time. Slow and steady is what it is going to take. One moment at a time.

Investednhealing posted 9/5/2019 18:09 PM

Chaos,
Thank you for your time and in depth replies. Having an outside respective is helpful, especially from a bs. Thank you.

We're quite a ways out at this point. Over 4 years. The roller coaster is still there, but it's more like the kiddy coaster ride, than the omfg I think this rides going to throw us off the edges ride the first couple of years was. (In my mind I'm comparing actual theme park coasters for reference.)

We've gotten much closer, and have each come a very long way in this life long journey. The ups and downs are not as drastic, and melt downs are waaaaaay further apart. Our relationship has grown much stronger.

He still struggles with the things I listed, and I was wondering if I was just missing something, but you confirmed that I simply have to continue to be patient, loving, sincere, trust worthy, caring, open, honest and kind. The rest will simply take time.

Healing is a life long process. It takes many years, and some things may never heal completely. There will always be scars.

In my head I picture the Japanese vases. In Japan, when a vase is shattered, they do not toss it out. It is mended with gold, and much care. The cracks are still there, but the vase is now beautifully repaired with pure gold. This takes much time, and attention to detail.

Thank you. Your honesty, and openness in your answers gives me peace. While I know I can not fix him, I know I can do my part and support him through his every emotion.

gmc94 posted 9/5/2019 18:09 PM

LOL - Chaos and I had the same thoughts, but she put it better than I could.

You can't fix him... but you CAN love & support him through HIS journey to rebuild himself from the rubble.

Chaos posted 9/6/2019 06:43 AM

FWIW Investednhealing - I am familiar with the Japanese vase reference. The fact that you see it too and think that way is a positive. And gives me hope. And, those vases, you know, are celebrated for their uniqueness and beauty as well as for the story they tell.

I also get the amusement park ride reference.

You sound like you are doing what it takes and compassionate enough to try to not only walk a mile in his shoes but try to help him with it.

While I know I can not fix him, I know I can do my part and support him through his every emotion.

This. Very much this.

ChanceAtLife35 posted 9/6/2019 11:18 AM

Just read this post. I am still early on in my recovery because of TT, relapsing and being an ass, but I am making some pretty good progress now so I felt compelled to respond. First of all, I hope you're doing ok today. From my experience, my BS trusted me more than anyone she knows, she gave everything, while trying to resolve our hardships during our relationship. I was closed off and was just a character to her treating her horribly and later on with my A's.

Fast-forward, to post Dday, I remember in my first IC session with my therapist as I walked in full of anxiety and despair speaking frantically on how I wanted to fix her lost trust, insecurities with I body that I caused her, the brutal trauma from the affair, to help her love and accept herself again, and so much more. After 30 minutes of crying and pleading my heart out, the Therapist said "There is no way you can do any of this work to fix this." "she has to heal these wounds herself." I literally slumped into the chair and belted out a loud gasp and tears rolled down my eyes. Not only did I shatter what we had, her world, and her being, I can't help her repair this life altering damage? I walked away in so much guilt, confusion, shame, avoidance, I was all over the place.

So I agree with the other responses that being there, be supportive, doing the work, being rigorously honest, forthcoming, etc. and everything you can possibly think of to be there is so important. If anything to be grateful to still be in this person's life.

I wish you both continuous strength, courage, wisdom, and self care.

sisoon posted 9/6/2019 14:20 PM

I agree with Chaos. I'm writing to add:

My first difficulty in healing was the cacophony of voices I kept hearing in my head. I could not keep track of the messages. I couldn't evaluate the messages for truth or utility. I couldn't stop the damned things.

My solution was to find a good IC. The one thing you can do is suggest that to your H. If you have already done so, how did he respond?

Also, I'm curious: how are you treating your ADHD?

Another also - the SI rule of thumb is 2-5 years to heal, and a lot of us in R take longer.

I thought I'd never forgive my W, but one day 3.5-4 years out I realized I had done so. At the same exact time, I realized I was totally confident that our R would succeed. Those 2 thoughts snuck up on me. That sort of thing might happen to your H.

Investednhealing posted 9/7/2019 10:14 AM

Sisoon, I've been unmedicated ADHD pretty much my whole life. When I was in grade school they tried to medicate me for it, and I had adverse effects to the medication. I'm allergic to more meds than not.

Mtn dew is my go to, too help me focus usually, that or coffee, dr pepper. Whatever would wake you up, calms my brain and lets me think more clearly.

I mostly use it to my advantage, when working or doing things around the house. However it's really difficult to have in depth conversations, as my mind bounces. It's just a constant conscious effort to focus and refocus.

One of our sons has it as well. You learn to multitask, and cope with it. Things like long conversations, waiting in line, waiting rooms, classroom settings, etc. Can be difficult. People talking to you when your writing or doing a task throws you off. It's a frustration that you just learn to deal with through time.

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