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Doing The Work

Ilovecats posted 9/17/2019 16:28 PM

I keep seeing that waywards need to do the work. Besides IC, what other work should I be doing?

ETA: Just looking at the healing library now, but still looking for input.

[This message edited by Ilovecats at 4:30 PM, September 17th (Tuesday)]

EvolvingSoul posted 9/17/2019 17:28 PM

Hey there Ilovecats,

I bumped a post for you by foreverlabeled entitled "Ruminating in Hindsight, my work" that is a pretty excellent view of "the work" as viewed from someone who has largely gone through it.

Give it a read and see what you think.

ashamed7broken posted 9/17/2019 17:36 PM

I don't know what work we should do but what I have been doing is reading a lot of things onle, watching affair recovery videos and listening to podcasts whenever I can. I've been reading books and trying to get a better understanding of myself and a better understanding of my BSO. We also started three weeks ago going to couples counselling.

I understand that's not an option for some people if their spouse isn't ready yet.
What I have chosen to try and focus on is a deep knowledge of how to understand myself and how to help make this situation even just a tiny bit easier by not getting defensive or angry and trying to be 100% honest and have empathy for how he is feeling.

I am in very early stages of recovery but this is what has helped me understand and get me through.

Ilovecats posted 9/18/2019 10:47 AM

EvolvingSoul that is an EXCELLENT post!! Thank you for bumping it.

hikingout posted 9/18/2019 11:06 AM

There is no real way to tell a person how to go about it all. I will share what worked for me.

1. Discover your whys. All of them. They should all be internal to you. Even if some of it was resentments to the relationship - why did you harbor them and not work through them? Nothing outside of yourself has true power of you, each way we react and all of our actions are decided by us.

2. From there, what do you need to work on and change? Find books that help you with that. Discuss in IC. For me, an early key book for the work were Brene Brown "Rising Strong" because vulnerability and authenticity was one of my problems. As were setting boundaries to protect my needs, time, and desires. (Sounds backwards because those things sound selfish but I will get back to that in a moment)

3. Experiment with new things. Having an affair has a lot to do with not having healthy outlets that give us good feelings. Try classes you have wanted to try, new hobbies. Exercise was huge for me - it gave me a benefit of having a healthy hobby but also gave me a lot of goals to accomplish. Accomplishments can even be their own thing to strive for.

4. Work on whatever barriers that you have against self love. This is the hardest part - finding your worth, healing FOO issues and past traumas that have contributed to your lack of self love. I believe that this is the one common denominator between people who cheat. People have a misconception that if you are selfish, you love yourself a lot. That's actually very false. Selfish people don't love themselves, they can't find a way to be happy because they don't. It creates a huge void they are trying to fill and they constantly try to fill it with being selfish.

5. Become aware of thought distortion. You can read about it, journal and read what you write, ask yourself if it's true. I skipped that often and wrote here instead because you have a lot of people with their bullshit detector on who can really force you to go deeper on why you think what you think. Thoughts are not to be trusted, yet we build our whole lives around them. That's pretty powerful in itself. I also read "Power of Now" and that gave me a lot of insight on how to be an objective observer of thoughts, how we create a lot of our own pain and happiness. It's a heavy read, it took me months to read it because you can only read a bit of it at a time and work on the absorption of the concept.

6. Work on being mindful and appreciative. When we are mindful we are present in every moment. It is the only place joy can exist. When we are constantly ruminating over past or future you will spend a lot of time being unhappy. Unhappiness can be painful, and when we are in pain it creates chaos, unbalance, more thought distortion, etc. Being Grateful is also a big way of creating joy and contentment. It is said to rewire the brain. I create a list of 3 things every morning before I get out of bed of things I am truly thankful for. I concentrate on each of them and try and connect with the joy it gives me. After you do that for many days, weeks, months what you will find is you associate that joy then anytime you encounter that thing you focused on one of your mornings. Being able to create joy is so important because joy exists no matter what circumstances you find yourself in, and it keeps you from going into the abyss. Also being grateful helps you a lot with appreciating what you have and contentment.

7. Work on your definition of love. If you have the opportunity to stay with your spouse, be very intentional with them. Plan time together, make a lot of effort to repair the connection, look at what is healthy and what is not. Take care of the things that are not healthy that you know you are causing or contributing to. Having a deep, intimate relationship with your spouse should not be a sole place to get your feelings but it can definitely contribute to your optimism, allow you to work on a number of skills that will improve who you are in all your relationships. A spouse staying is not just a gift of getting to keep them around and the marriage - there is a lot of opportunity to work on growing your relationship and skills.

That's a lot of it anyway. I probably missed some big ones, but if I think of more I will just post again. I hope this helps.

[This message edited by hikingout at 11:12 AM, September 18th (Wednesday)]

assjack posted 9/23/2019 20:20 PM

Following up on HikingOut's post. I found that two books helped tremendously with #4: the book is the journey from abandonment to healing and for #5: the book is Feeling Good.

ChanceAtLife35 posted 9/24/2019 21:43 PM


To throw some stuff out there, reading books has helped me quite a book. I have read codependent no more, prescriptions without pills, feeling good therapy, and currently i am reading The Primal Scream. I am also in a 12 Step Program which has really allowed me to work on being vulnerable, keeping from acting out in any compulsive or destructive ways especially A's and really digging deep in the FOO issues and sitting in my feelings. I notice that since i am more present i am able to see people and observe behavioral patterns. Crazy because the negative behaviors that i have observed make me cringe because i did those things. It makes me not want to do those things ever again and stay on top of my work. Practicing rigorous honesty, humility, and gratitude helps too. Oh, volunteer if you have time too and surround yourself around healthy people. Hope this helps.

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