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No balance

Iamtrash posted 9/27/2019 17:45 PM

So, itís a known fact that hearing their questions and comments on repeat will happen. You must be able to deal with that. You have to do it without defensiveness or upset.

On the other hand, you are trying to deal with your own feeling. Feelings of depression. Feelings of shame. Feelings of despair. Youíre trying to fix yourself. Some days, you feel like you are making progress. Some days, every single repeat question makes you sink deeper and deeper, every single time you try and find answers (even for yourself and not your BH), you feel worse.

How do you find the balance between dealing with their pain and emotions and dealing with your own? I feel that, most days, I spend my entire workday receiving messages from my BH going over the same things over and over. I am 100% ok with that. We set some ground rules because I donít have the ability to respond to him every time. My lunch is 30 mins, so I respond to what I can, when I can. In the meantime, Iím struggling too. I am feeling very depressed. Very low. I know it is my own fault I am feeling this way. I am not looking for sympathy. Iím not looking for BH to stop expressing how he feels. I just want to know how you work on yourself while still helping them? Many days I can do it. However, when I hit a low point, itís very hard to even manage to eat, Nevermind handling my feelings and his. I am finding these low points are lasting longer and longer. I feel like I spend my entire day reading about all the things I did wrong, then itís very hard to pick myself up and get back on track.

How did you manage both sides?

Iamtrash posted 9/27/2019 17:52 PM

And my upset is NOT with him. My upset is that I feel like I canít manage to help myself and him. I feel like I am failing us both.

EvolvingSoul posted 9/27/2019 18:15 PM

Start developing some tools for dealing with difficult feelings in a way that is wholesome rather than destructive.

Ideally everyone in the world would learn to do this during times when the difficult feelings stem from low stakes situations. And some people do, and then when a high stakes situation comes along they have the mental machinery to not be swept off by or over identify with those feelings. I did not. Most waywards do not. We find ourselves having to learn this stuff while dealing with some of the most difficult feelings of our lives. Nevertheless, it can be done.

If there were one thing I wish I had started earlier in the process it would be starting a mindfulness practice that is based in daily meditation. Seriously. I know I beat the meditation drum a lot but it's because it works. You can learn how to relate to the difficult feelings in way that doesn't feel like they own you, or they're going to destroy you. You can learn to recognize them as feelings. Unpleasant, yes, but feelings that come and go. You can learn to drop the story line that we so often attach to the feelings that keeps them going, that fans their flames, that makes us over-identify with them and just let them be what they are. Feelings that arise, are felt, and dissipate.

It is a deceptively simple practice but don't underestimate its power to help you see your own mind with clarity. The benefits are cumulative. Practice a little every day and assess at the end of 3 months. The app Headspace is a great way to get started. It's a subscription deal but I think you can get the first couple of weeks for free. It's well worth the expense. (and no I don't work for them or get a commission. I just know that I tried meditating off and on for a long time and was never able to do a consistent daily practice until I started using that app a few years ago.)

If you really want to get into the guts of it, check out anything by Pema Chodron. She has a lot of free stuff on the internet and her book "How to Meditate" a great introduction. If you want to dig into the neuroscience of how it works, check out the book "Buddha's Brain".

Fellow traveler, the terrain of the post-infidelity landscape is indeed difficult. There is no magic flying carpet that will carry you with ease to the place you want to go. You are doing the painstaking, proactive work necessary to help your BS heal. Now make the commitment to do some proactive work to help yourself. Think of it as building yourself some damned good hiking boots.

You can do this.

Best to you from a fellow EvolvingSoul.

foreverlabeled posted 9/28/2019 09:52 AM

I remember early on feeling like I was on two battle fronts. On one front I was helping my H recover from a blind attack, a massive nuke strike, carnage everywhere. On the other front, my front, the war was only beginning. But, I had time on this front. My work at this point wasn't so much on change and that lasting healing. Although, some of what I was doing at this point would later be useful. It was more so what can I be doing right now to better serve his pain and help him.

I know all to well the intense feelings of shame, the low points, despair. I had never been so low in my life before and did not know the depths I could reach. But if you are ever going to be able to help him and yourself, it is this very thing you work on first. It benefits no one, there is nothing to be gained here, no favors, it only perpetuates the process and frankly brings more despair upon our BSs and of course ourselves.

There comes a time when you have to pick yourself up and go to war. It's not easy, but I'm telling you this from experience. Right now you have to find strength and courage to face this without allowing your feelings to take you down. We need to be the ones driving this bus, we have to find it in us to carry them through. Our BSs are not helpless but they are traumatized, I don't know what you are witnessing but I knew I had to be the strong one at this time you find yourself in. Stand on your feet and roll up your sleeves.

Maybe your work right now includes practicing not letting your emotions control you. So maybe you then research or talk with your IC about it. Learn tools that help with this. Then practice those tools in moments when your BH expresses his pain, and when you go down your own road of hard feelings needing managed. You take control of your feelings. It is possible to set them aside for a more appropriate time to deal with them. It is possible to ride the wave of whatever emotion you are feeling, rather than drowning in them. But you have to take action. It's not going to change on its own. Start here, and improve this first. You will be better off for it.

Maybe you can start practicing by setting some time aside before you call or text on your lunch break, to explore your feelings beforehand. Every feeling comes with a thought and the thought you are having is more important than the feeling, feelings pass but that thought tends to stick around, that thought can turn into actions and actions can be devastating to those around you and yourself.

It's crucial to be mindful of our thoughts. Whether we realize it or not they dictate our subconscious and conscious mind, and we act on it good bad and ugly.

You must be able to deal with that. You have to do it without defensiveness or upset.
I feel like I spend my entire day reading about all the things I did wrong
I feel that, most days, I spend my entire workday receiving messages from my BH going over the same things over and over. I am 100% ok with that.
Look, I know you said are okay with this, your second post also says its you not him, but I sense your frustration regardless. Do you struggle with becoming defensive? Do you express your defensiveness and become upset sometimes? Again you have to pinpoint your thoughts in these moments, what are they telling you, are they logical, do they align with what is really going on.. Your knee jerk reaction isn't going to be useful you'll have to learn to slow down for awhile and rewire.

I never struggled with defensiveness, when my H was expressing his pain sure I could have turned it into a blow up or a fight, but there was nothing for me to defend, what he was saying wasn't an attack. I'm not saying it was easy, I would become filled with fear and anxiety, he was showing me my worst self. I had to learn to be comfortable with those feelings in the moment, try to replace them with compassion and empathy, it helped to step into his pain knowing it was valid and then also validating that pain, knowing that his own feelings of pain needed to be expressed unchallenged.

I also remember that I asked my H to find patience with me. That I'm doing something new and I don't have all the answers right now, I specifically remember saying (and because of SI) to watch my actions. I can honestly say I was giving this my all and felt I would prove everything through my actions, they are the most telling and really all our BSs have right now.

I think instead of trying to find balance, what I did was just surrender to the situation. There was no quick fix, and I couldn't fix anything about this anyway. What I did was done, and now we are just trying to navigate it. I surrendered to the thought that nothing was going to come easy, this is hard work. I surrendered to not knowing what to do at all times and not knowing much about it at all. I surrendered to the fact that I was going to have to actually do the work, it meant expanding my knowledge and putting the new knowledge to use. Also, that my feelings were going to suck. They would suck for sometime to come, but they weren't going to stay around forever, they weren't going to harm me, and there's no point in wallowing in them.

FoenixRising posted 9/28/2019 12:31 PM

Hey doll. Glad to see youíre still doing the work.

Iím going to actually say something that I needed to do for myself. If you donít want to talk about whatever it is that he wants to talk about, DONT. Itís ok to set limits.

I actually think that texting all day throughout the day is unhealthy. You need to work. These texts are affecting your work performance. Or your work performance could be affecting how you respond to BS. Either way, it is still indicative of shitting where you eat. Stop doing that. Work knows too much about your personal life.

Youíve mentioned before how overwhelming the texts can be, which was why you set up ground rules. It doesnít sound like theyíre working anymore, if they ever did. BS seems to be getting his needs met by texting all day with you but you seem to consistently say the texting isnít working. Stop responding to the texts that restate things you donít have the energy to restate again WHILE AT WORK. donít engage.

I will also say that in going forward, there should be a time to talk about everything but maybe schedule it. Encourage him to write questions and once a week you sit and answer them. Type them if that makes you more comfortable. But, the only focus should be to focus on him and put forth all that BS truly deserves. Half thought, rushed answers via text arenít and shouldnít be, good enough for him. You need to communicate the big stuff. JMHO.

Besically, yes... you need to keep answering his questions but in healing yourself, you do get to decide when those answers are given. It doesnít have to be instantly answered. He can wait. Youíve answered the questions before. Itís ok to say Iím not talking about that right now. Iíve got to get through the day first.

The work right now IS

ChanceAtLife35 posted 9/28/2019 13:00 PM

Good topic IAT,

I am sorry to hear you find yourself struggling, opening your feelings about it here can definitely allow you to receive lots of support and help. I can relate to you on this, I remember shortly after d-day I was kicked out of our home by my BW and I was a shameful mess. I didnít have any healthy coping mechanisms, and didn't do any work in the beginning to support my BW. I was selfish and afraid of confessing or doing all the things I was supposed to be doing in order to be there for her. She would text me constantly during the work day. During that time she was in extreme traumatic pain with lots of rage. I worked an 8 to 5 job, and found myself unable to concentrate on work duties which led to few job related mistakes being made. I tried to do everything I could to talk to her whenever she reached out. I would stay up for hours at night to talk to her until my alarm went off for work the next day which caused me to be barely functional.

I wasn't taking care of myself. My diet was off, and I was in a toxic environment living with my emotionally abusive sister at the time. I was so enveloped in helping my wife instead of myself that it hindered me from taking the necessary steps to aid my recovery and provide her true support. Fast forward to now, what Iím finding helpful has been setting boundaries with myself, and making sure I do my self-work on a regular basis. I am in a 12 step program where I work with a sponsor, I make sure to practice self care, and do volunteer work. Being in IC and reading books has helped tremendously along with SI. You canít be there for your BS unless you give it all you got to yourself first. I do everything to listen, talk, and be there for my BW no matter what. Especially with triggers. What has helped a lot too, is that she is understanding and has healed so much by herself. She sees me enough to know that I am so broken that some things I just canít help her with until I heal myself. Lately, I am progressing with my work so the days have been better especially with communication. I would definitely discuss this with your BS and come up with a healthy plan especially for work.

[This message edited by ChanceAtLife35 at 1:35 PM, September 28th (Saturday)]

Zugzwang posted 9/28/2019 15:34 PM

Found a hobby. A healthy way to releave stress. Bucket lists. Things to take pride in and build up my self esteem in accomplishing things. Grilling, rock climbing, teaching the kids something, building things in my wife's garden, recently biking on a trail.

foreverlabeled posted 9/28/2019 16:56 PM

FR, I disagree with just about everything you have advised. Once a week? We don't get to dictate their needs and their healing. Once a week is insane to ask for, for most asking for that will not yield great results.

IAM, I would not advise you after just stabbing him in the back, shattering his reality, and causing such mind altering pain to then turn around and say "my terms". Wow just no. I mean by all means try it if you agree with that just don't expect all to go well.

Jesus Christ what did I just read here? Actually if you take into account what trauma is, the repeated questions and almost compulsive need to get it out as it comes is on par. It is healthy for dealing with trauma. Texting all day isn't working for her? How about being cheated on? I'm sure that isn't working for any of our spouses.. how about our BSs work performance? Some get fired for being cheated on due to the trauma. god forbid we have to suffer a little too here.

If you donít want to talk about whatever it is that he wants to talk about, DONT.
†again strongly advise against this.
Itís ok to say Iím not talking about that right now. Iíve got to get through the day first.
Seriously? How about helping him get through his day?

Just wow..

[This message edited by foreverlabeled at 4:58 PM, September 28th (Saturday)]

godheals posted 9/28/2019 17:10 PM

Are you even allow to have your phone on you while you are at work and able to even answer text messages?

I agree to setting limits but not agreeing to once a week!

I think we when the first year taking about it everyday. It was well after a year that we didnít talk about it maybe once a week.

Answer on your lunch hour.
Answer questions when you get home.
Learn how to deal with your feelings in between
Take a bath. A very long bubble bath..
Get a hobby like Zug said

I think you need to find a balance between FR and FL posts. One extreme to another....

[This message edited by godheals at 5:13 PM, September 28th (Saturday)]

foreverlabeled posted 9/28/2019 17:32 PM

I honestly don't think my advice was that extreme.

godheals posted 9/28/2019 17:53 PM

IAM is asking for advise about balance. I really didnít see advise just nip picking and tearing apart what FR said with a bunch of questions. It was one side to another side of advise. Probably left her more confused then ever....

foreverlabeled posted 9/28/2019 17:59 PM

Oh.. sorry GH, assumed you were talking about my first post in this thread.

Lostgirl410 posted 9/28/2019 18:17 PM


It is hard, but you absolutely CAN do this. I totally understand that you're down on yourself right now. Remember, most of us really are our own worst critic. Couple that reality with having to acknowledge what we've done, and it's easy to let yourself play the martyr.

You've done something wrong, very wrong. Are you going to let it define you, or are you going to do better?

Just because you've done something you should definitely be ashamed of, doesn't mean you need to see yourself as the definition of shameful. In fact, doing so will only prevent you from healing yourself. If you don't heal yourself, then you'll never be safe for your spouse.

Admit your poor choices, acknowledge them, and decide who you really want to be.

Admit to yourself that the reason you are in pain is because you live in constant fear that you really are a terrible person. Can I tell you something about terrible people? I'm going to anyway...

Terrible people don't want to be better. Terrible people don't care about the destruction they've caused. Terrible people feel no remorse. You are NOT terrible people!

Do NOT play the martyr in your situation. It will only lead you to falsely place yourself in the victim role.

Know your value, know your worth, and know your morals. The constant self-shaming for breaking your morals means you actually do have a set!

Make sure your BH knows you are struggling, and that sometimes responding will be difficult for you. Tell him that you know damn well it's not fair. Tell him you beat yourself up regularly, and tell him that YOU ARE NOT STRONG ENOUGH to always answer the questions repeatedly while you're in such a sorry state of mind.

Make sure he knows he is your priority, you are working on yourself because you want to be better for him, and that if you refuse to take care of yourself, you won't be strong enough to take care of anyone else.

Ultimately, I've learned...being the martyr in a true partnership does nothing but break up the team. In essence, by refusing to heal yourself because you convince yourself you don't deserve to be human, you're unknowingly committing just another selfish act.

Be the team. Communicate your needs, allow him to communicate his, and work together to find the balance you both need to get you through this mess.

[This message edited by Lostgirl410 at 6:27 PM, September 28th (Saturday)]

FoenixRising posted 9/28/2019 19:12 PM

Hi all-

I was answering while in between soccer games. To clarify, the couple gets to DECIDE (typo fix) how often to talk face to face. Sure it can be daily. Right now with my schedule, 3 kids, 2 dogs, in laws, sports and my full time job plus hubs full time job... realistically... once a week is about all I can hope to get of undivided attention. Also, both my H and I need process time. The texting thing for us just doesnt work. It actually tends to complicate things bc of perfect examples like FLís response to me.

Actually forever labeledís response to what I wrote, did a magnificent job of making my entire point.

I was rushing to answer trash bc I identify with her so much in certain ways... we PM too. In fact now that Iím thinking of it... perhaps Iím aware more so of the texting issues bc of pming... anyhow... I wanted to reply to trash bc I know she is fragile and we connect here. But, bc I had to go pay attention to my kid, I just hit send and didnít proof read to see where more details would make my point clearer.

Iím sure forever labeled is likely now thinking something like Ďoh yea foenix that does make more sense. Once a week for you and your H sounds doable.í We are two years out. My BS never ever ever wants to talk about anything. For him, once a week is a lot. Itís a compromise for the couple. It doesnít have to look like what it did in my recovery or now in my reconciliation. Maybe itíll be a once a day face to face trash and her H need to talk. I dint know. That is for them to decide.

At some point though... it does have to become a compromise if youíre to reconcile. Recovery needs and reconciling arenít the same. But if trash is reconciling with herself now and finding out her whys... recognizing that texting at work is not healthy for HER bc itís leaves her to suffer after taking away from the STUDENTS she teaches... then she she should NOT be expected attempt to heal or even listen to her BSís suffering. The consequences of that choice are explosive for trash. She could lose her job... a kid could get hurt bc sheís distracted...

Yes it is a wayward responsibility to account for their past actions but how itís done will make a big difference in the journey.

I could have cleared this all up a couple of hours ago but, I was making dinner for family and winning with a wicked uno hand so I had not had the chance to even see the replies. Not the same as being at work in trashís case but Iím sure the connection is visible.

[This message edited by FoenixRising at 7:18 PM, September 28th (Saturday)]

FoenixRising posted 9/28/2019 19:33 PM


Just to add, if you set limits that you both agree to and BS keeps crossing the line, that is worrisome and an issue that you can not control. He will have to get control of that. You get to chose whether you will accept him in your new marriage with this quality that you do not particularly love about him.

Just as he gets to chose whether he wants to accept you in your new marriage knowing that you were intimate with another man.

BS may always need help to stay in the lines. This may always be a weakness for him. Just as your overall vision of situations (understanding your BSís point of view pre A as an example) may need to be consistently realigned. The thing is... if you reconcile and grow together, then the love that you cultivate by helping to KINDLY and LOVINGLY help each other to work through their internally suffering by recognizing it, acknowledging it, releasing it you live happy and healthy together. It will come back again those annoying things the other does but each time you realize them and shoo Ďem off, they come back less and different. Youíll see sweet trash. Youíll see. 💗

Are you guys still doing counseling together?

[This message edited by FoenixRising at 7:39 PM, September 28th (Saturday)]

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