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Grow up!!!!

GuiltAndShame posted 12/27/2019 07:36 AM

Just an observation about myself.
Perhaps this will be useful to others.
I have always acted like a child, asking why, challenging traditions and rules, eating dessert first, playing with the kids at family celebrations instead of interacting with adults. While those aspects aren’t necessarily bad, other child-like aspects of my behavior were terrible. I acted selfishly, pursuing whatever I wanted. And, just like most kids, I was unappreciative of the most special gifts in my life, the loving caring people in my life (my fantastic wife and awesome kids). I was careless with the love they gave me, I was reckless with their feelings and loyalty, I did things that I knew would deeply hurt them, forming a distance between us, and kept all the dark deeds secret. The time has come to wake up and GROW UP!!!! Child-like awe and playfulness are fine as long as they are truly innocent and respectful of the treasured people in life.

Pippin posted 12/27/2019 23:41 PM

What does being a grown up look like to you, concretely? What is a choice you would make as a grown up, that you didn't make, and would do differently now? The stuff you wrote is pretty abstract, there's nothing wrong with that, but for me it's more helpful to think concretely about specific choices and actions. The difference between "I wasn't honest with my husband" and "I didn't tell him I did X on X day and I should have told him immediately, or better yet, should have called him when I was thinking about doing it."

GuiltAndShame posted 12/28/2019 06:34 AM

Thanks, pippin! Very true, I can develop this further to provide actual examples of times when my cheating words and actions were childish and selfish.

My original reason for posting this was to identify one more possible root cause for my cheating ways. I believe that my terrible cheating nature has many root causes, that it is a complex combination of factors that I continue to identify and develop antidotes for.

I hate my cheating nature and cheating ways, and am determined to never be that person again.

hikingout posted 12/28/2019 22:54 PM

It sounds like you might be one to push boundaries.

There are things in there that can point to why’s, point to character flaws.

You may be pushing them:
-To see how far they go. The more that is allowed the more unconditional love you feel. This may require you to re-wire the way you perceive love.

- to ruin good things for yourself. Things you don’t feel you deserve. If this sounds correct then there is a lot of digging and rewriting to get to a place where you do feel you deserve them to the extent that you will take care of them.

- you lack connection and feel it best through chaos - that usually happens through foo but could have developed in past relationship.

- could just be plain old power struggle, asserting dominance. Sometimes people do that to mask insecurity

I think this is a topic you should deeply explore with IC to figure out the roots of it. By understanding where it comes from you can understand what you are trying to obtain and think about a different strategy to get it, or a way of dissolving the need depending on the answers. I agree with pippin that it’s stated in the abstract so you need to come into it from a more experiential perspective.

[This message edited by hikingout at 10:57 AM, December 29th (Sunday)]

WalkinOnEggshelz posted 12/29/2019 08:10 AM

My original reason for posting this was to identify one more possible root cause for my cheating ways.

Once you identify a problems or reasons for your behavior you will need to be able to step back and examine those deeply. Dissect it if you will. If you were acting childish, ask yourself why. When you have the answer to that, keep asking yourself why until you are no longer able to do so. Then you need to have strategies in place in order to stop the cycle.

I believe that my terrible cheating nature has many root causes, that it is a complex combination of factors that I continue to identify and develop antidotes for.

Infidelity is like ripples in a pool of water when a rock is thrown in. The larger and deeper ripples are at the center, but they grow and spread outward. When you find one reason, it will often lead to another. It’s always a complex combination of factors. That’s why it takes so long to heal.

What does “developing antidotes” look like to you?

GuiltAndShame posted 12/30/2019 21:23 PM

Thank you hikingout and walkinoneggshelz!!!!!

Chaos posted 12/31/2019 06:53 AM

I'm going to be straight but do not intend to be cruel.

This falls under JUST DO IT. Adulting is hard. No one want to do the shit involved with adulting. We do it because it has to be done.

There is no magical motivation, no key to unlock the mystery of life, no way to spin it so it is fun. Adulting is hard.

If you aren't willing to do it [and yeah - it is a choice and is just that simple] at least don't drag anyone down to Neverland with you.

And while you are wallowing in that self pity limbo - ask yourself - why do you want to be a toddler complete with tantrums and timeouts. Sure playing all the time is fun but how do you feel when you make someone [metaphorically] change your shitty diapers. And why are you surprised when they stop.

Pixie Dust dulls. Spend your energy not needing anymore instead of trying to find it.

Best of luck to you. It is never too late to become a better person.

DevastatedDee posted 12/31/2019 07:48 AM

Chaos nailed it. My XWH is living in his elderly mom's house jobless because he's too depressed to "adult". She cooks for him and brings him his meals upstairs when he's "too depressed" to come down and join the rest of the family. He was too depressed to "adult" less than a year after DDay and quit working then too. Whereas I, with no magical powers of my own, kept a full-time job through DDay and the aftermath, went and bought a house to leave him, and am now working two jobs to make it financially as I now carry the same household bills without his income. As a single parent, no less. I did not want to go to work. I did not want to brush my teeth or take a shower. I certainly didn't want to be working two jobs. I did it and do it because it is my responsibility to be a productive adult and care for myself and my children. Even when I felt like I would rather die than get up and go to work, I got up and went to work. Like Chaos says, it's not like people do it because it's fun. I did the best I could to make it as rewarding as possible with the part-time job as it's doing something I believe in and get a lot of personal satisfaction from, but I would rather have just volunteered to do the fun parts and had more personal time. I would rather not come home on Saturdays and Sundays aching in every muscle and so tired I just want to sit down for the rest of the night.

The fun parts of life are important, but they are fleeting moments. Unless we are independently wealthy, we don't get to have fun all the time. Childlike awe is something my XWH was very into as well, but somehow that seemed to translate into buying prostitutes. Nothing so childlike about that. When I'd hear my XWH say "I messed up", all I could picture was a toddler walking up to me with a poopy diaper asking for it to be changed. It isn't okay for functional adults to be dependent upon every other adult to take care of them. It's not fair and you make a fool of the ones who clean up your messes.

This idea that you're supposed to be happy and having fun at all times is a problem. It never leads to actually having fun and being happy at all times. It's far better to behave in a mature fashion and cherish the fun and happy times you have and truly appreciate them.

kairos posted 12/31/2019 12:32 PM

This is such an interesting post and concept to me. I've spent the past 60 therapy sessions pursuing my issues, and at a certain point I found myself faced with the inner child. And now, I would trust that inner child any day of the week over the flawed adult I became (but I am evolving!). I'm not a Christian anymore and this process has hastened that departure. But I can't help but to remember the verse: "whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all." At a certain point, after children learn the benefits/drawbacks of right/wrong, they become, in my opinion, more capable of doing right. In fact, my 9 year old kid frequently surprises me with his ethics. It reminds me that at a certain point we, as adults, make 'adult' decisions. There is nothing childlike about it. If I choose to cheat, I am 'adulting', just as if I choose not to cheat. These are adult choices with adult consequences. If I choose to live a healthy, open, transparent life, according to Mark in the Bible, I am choosing the child-like life that is un-corrupted, and the benefits too.

So when I read your post, I had the opposite reaction. I want to be more child-like. I want to embrance the innner child who chooses what he knows is right and true and moral. And if I find myself hanging out with kids more, playing games and laughing and having child-like fun, then perhaps I am ignoring the bullshit adult stuf. All of the good stuff in life is child-like. What do children do so well? They play. Also, children aren't careless with love. They embrace it. Adults feel uncomfortable hugging. Adults misperceive love. Adults learn and repeat bad behaviors. Children innocently experience love. Yea, that's what I want. I want to be more child-like. As for growing up, take responsibility over your actions, embrace the inner child who wants to do what is right, and I suspect you'll become an amazing adult.

Maybe the goal is to embrace both the inner child and your adultness, all in one amazing package, yea? As WalkingOnEggShellz says, "Infidelity is like ripples in a pool of water when a rock is thrown in. The larger and deeper ripples are at the center, but they grow and spread outward. When you find one reason, it will often lead to another." Childhood is one of those ripples, but maybe it's also the answer too.

GuiltAndShame posted 12/31/2019 23:37 PM

Thank you, Chaos and DevastatedDee!!!

GuiltAndShame posted 12/31/2019 23:42 PM

Thanks, pdxguy!!! I agree, maybe I need to embrace the inner child (which I deeply enjoy) while also “adulting” properly and honorably, always respecting those I truly care about and love, maintaining my integrity and reputation.

GuiltAndShame posted 1/1/2020 20:26 PM

WalkinOnEggshelz asked a good question:
‘What does “developing antidotes” look like to you?’

I can give a partial answer now. I’m sure I will develop a better answer as I continue analyzing myself and attending IC.

I called them “antidotes” because I want to remove the cheating poisons already present within myself. Another analogy might be a vaccine.....frequent doses of cheating vaccine please. Both of those are proactive actions, helping to prevent cheating. I do not want cheating antivenom, because that implies that the cheating serpent bit me again, and damage is already being done.

Examples of cheating antidotes or vaccines:
- Build my own self-esteem, do not seek affirmation from others
- In all situations, consciously ask myself “Would my wife be happy with this?”
- Keep pulling up the root causes to find common threads and develop more effective antidotes and vaccines.

Justsomelady posted 1/2/2020 11:56 AM

I like your take on it, pdxGuy, I was a very level headed child and things in adulthood disengaged me from some of those wonderful childlike things about myself.

guiltandshame - I can see that I also have a tendency to look for the quick fix of easy instant gratification, dessert first, sort of attitude. Looking to others for validation too much makes this attitude even more dangerous. For my own antidote (I like that word here), I am working on a regular mindfulness practice - it helps quite a bit and now I notice when I don’t do it, like with the holidays I was out of it for a month and I feel it. Staying off my phone and staying present, reading an actual book in front of my child so she doesn’t think adulthood is all screenobsession...those are some things I am doing in addition to practicing mindfulness. I am also working at not responding or sending emails (or posting) impulsively as I regret when I do not. I want to be fair minded and find my impulsive self isn’t, I must sit in quiet (sometimes with some discomfort) first. I can say these efforts have helped my marriage. We still struggle with some things (his depression) but we are coming out the other side of it and are tightly bonded, a closer team than we have been in years. I know when I want to fantasize and look outward, it is not a sign of a need that must be filled by others —it is a sign of me simply needing to sit quietly, analyze, explore internally, fill my own cup and/or talk about it w husband.

[This message edited by Justsomelady at 12:03 PM, January 2nd (Thursday)]

GuiltAndShame posted 1/5/2020 08:26 AM

Thank you, Justsomelady!
I like your antidotes, I will add them to my arsenal of weapons.

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