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stopping the feelings

hopefulkate posted 1/22/2020 10:31 AM

Old flame came back into my life - wow, the feelings are strong.

I recognize this is wrong, bad, an escape...but man my mind wants to go with this!

Ok, so I called my bestie, therapist, psychiatrist (am waiting for my feelings to curb before talking to MrKate because he will see right through me and I am not ok!)...

I also pictured this person taking mrkate's place - as a husband, father, my support person -

and they fail miserably compared to him.

This helped so much!!

Also, I am loving the ego kibbles and the idea of someone wanting to take care of me. (No, he wants sex, so I can at least see these things...)

I have been up and down on this stupid MH coaster long enough - please, let me know how to curb these feelings!

NC is mostly doable, but not fully.

Yes, I will tell MrKate. Probably tonight after counseling. I just need to understand how I am so ripe for an A right now (I mean, tbh, i actually know a lot of the reasons which all point back to me), but how am I going to become safe when I feel like my whole identity is shifting so drastically these past few years?

Needed: how to stop these feelings which are pure fantasy and escape mechanisms.

Also needed: does anyone else identify with that last statement? Thanks.

ETA: Just got back from therapy - the connection to this person is because they represent my childhood and my need for dysfunctional safety. It's almost laughable now that I can see that. Mindful awareness and seeing the true need to further self attach and find safety within is the answer to question 1. AND - why I keep going into this MH land. I keep looking for this thing that I couldn't identify until today, (hoping this is all, but I am wise enough now that growth is not so simple or easy, especially for the stubborn...)

I still don't fully understand question/statement 2. Any help here is appreciated. I wonder if this is a BS question, or general question for midlife?

We tackle these both with some emdr next week. Wish I had had the bravery to do it today...

Mainly I want to know...am I alone here?


Oh, and ETA: I also just told MrKate about it all. He was great, supportive, and could see it so clearly. Now to do the hard part, the actual work on this one.

[This message edited by hopefulkate at 2:08 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)]

unable2go4ward posted 1/22/2020 14:31 PM

[This message edited by unable2go4ward at 4:15 PM, March 30th (Monday)]

MrCleanSlate posted 1/22/2020 14:42 PM

Not meaning to T/J but i have to pose this:

Some weeks ago as my BW and I were settling in she confided that with her lower sex drive of late (sore knee, sick over holiday's, life) she worries that I may go "waywarding". I tried to reassure her about all the progress we made but i see her pain and worry.

Now I see your posts and it gets me wondering if I am really affair proof after all this work or am I still susceptible in the right circumstances. Sobering thought.

So are things changed since you R'd or is it something else?

hopefulkate posted 1/22/2020 14:46 PM

yeah, at first i wanted to keep it all to myself. To have this thing that was special and just for me. I mean, how good does it feel to have these ego kibbles?

But I know the other side of those kibbles, both from the MH side and the BS, and they both suck...hard.

I just decided to be all out in the open to help me with accountability - and to stop me from acting on something I logically know is wrong, but emotionally...damn those are strong feelings. They can make you crazy.

My therapist asked me today if knowing this side helped me heal from MrKate's A.

It does not. What does first help is that idea of leveling the playing field...until you realize it can never actual be even and you still feel betrayed no matter what actions you take.

But that is the BS-MH side.

From the WW side, telling MrKate was the right answer. It wasn't easy but my therapist was brilliant. Here is our convo:

T: have you told mrkate how you feel? (regarding i still trigger sometimes when he looks at his phone)

Me: No, I don't want to be that person who is always paranoid and awful.

T: so, instead of talking to your husband, you would rather be the person who turns to an affair partner?

me: F....um...no. Good point. And so I told him, and told him she said that, and that I probably wouldn't have said anything to him because I was embarrassed, I wanted these feelings for myself, and i didn't want to cause him pain. But roles reversed, I would have wanted him to tell me before things spiraled out of control...

you know, like his A.

fun stuff right?

GL - this isn't easy

fooled13years posted 1/22/2020 14:52 PM

Sorry. Didn't notice the stop sign.

[This message edited by fooled13years at 3:18 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)]

Iamtrash posted 1/22/2020 15:10 PM

Reading this makes me cringe. Not saying it to be judgmental or rude, but because this is exactly how my affair started. An old flame is an old flame for a reason. Maybe you still have the rose colored glasses hidden in your pocket. Take them out and snap them in half. I spent a long time thinking this old flame was a decent person. It wasnít until my affair ended that I finally took the glasses off and was able to see them for who they truly were and reflect on who they were even back when we first met. I highly recommend that you reflect on why that relationship didnít work out to begin with. Donít think about the good things they do or say to you, then or now. I would highly recommend dissecting your past relationship with your counselor so you can get a firm grasp about why that relationship failed. Do not try to convince yourself that they truly care about you because if they did you never wouldíve ended things with them. Donít build a new relationship on old feelings and memories.

Having an affair should never be a choice. Instead you have the choice to put all of the effort you would have put into this new relationship into improving your current one, or you have the power to give your husband the control over his own life and feelings by leaving him instead of cheating on him. The damage of a divorce is far less than the damage of a divorce after infidelity.

Ego kibbles, ďapologiesĒ for hurting you and ruining that chance, anything that feeds into making you feel good is nothing more than words. Sure, they seem good on paper, but they wonít play out in real life. Fact is, good men donít actively pursue a relationship with a married woman. Kids, no kids, married a year, married 50 years. I donít care what the dynamics of your relationship is, no good man tries to start a relationship with someone thatís married. A good man would have respect for you and your marriage. There is no such thing as an AP that isnít in this for their own selfish wants. Just like a wayward is in it for their own selfish wants. Itís a toxic relationship and no good relationship can be built on poison.

Please, continue with IC. Talk to your spouse. No secrets. No sneaking. NC this person. NO LIES. Slam the window of opportunity closed. There was no ego kibble or false ďgood feelingĒ that was worth the cost to my husband, family, and myself. I will never have the trust I had before cheating. My BH will have to live with this pain forever, together or apart. I will also have to live with this forever, the lies, the terrible choices, the straight up stupid behavior.

[This message edited by Iamtrash at 5:02 PM, January 22nd (Wednesday)]

hopefulkate posted 1/22/2020 15:11 PM

Some back story:
MrKate has four personalities - it's called DID (dissociative identity disorder), along with C-PTSD, anxiety, depression and suicidal tendencies once upon a time.

Me: Most of the above, but never actually suicidal at all, and I don't have more than one personality.

His A was due to clicking with an abuser similar to his childhood abuser and recreating that abuse. (Honestly, this is pretty typical in so many cases.)

Ok, so he commits to suicide, then another person takes over, and he has an affair. Kind of knows me, kind of doesn't.

Until about a year after dday I have NO clue this is his reality.

Ok, so he had sex abuse in his past. Me too - but in different ways, so for years, when he would not want sex, i would feel rejected. Did we EVER talk about any of this? No. Never. We both just slowly died inside, basically.

After the A, and we talk about EVERYTHING now. It's actually quite amazing, and he healed a LOT, but his journey will be a long one.

After the A I healed a lot, but healing from a trauma and healing from my own history are two different - yet highly intertwined - things. I feel MOSTLY healed from the A, but my 5 yr antiversay is around the corner, and damn it, our bodies absolutely feel it, even if our minds and hearts feel happy with life.

Lots of life changes these past five years, moving, new baby, new careers, learning about ourselves and our mental health struggles/needs/superpowers, and just when i felt pretty darn aweseome, I started my own business and ptsd reared its head at the same time this person reentered my life.

Timing is everything isn't it?

So - my post is to give accountability to myself. If I am open here on this site, where the 2x4s are wielded freely, then perhaps I can keep my emotions in check. If I call my friends and therapists and say hey, I am about to go down a dark path, help me to not because I REALLY, REALLY want to go this way, then I can get good healthy feedback.

If I reach out to MrKate - honestly, the first one I should turn to, but never is the first one in these cases - then there is no secrecy, there is no private just for me ego kibbles - and there is growth between us.

So to longwindedly answer your question, I think the key is simply mindful awareness, open communication, and the bravery to share your weaknesses.

For me, ego kibbles are like water and air. I don't want them to be, and I've definitely made strides here - but they still are.

So, I just have a lot more work to do on myself.

And I think the sucky part of being a BS and now a WS or MH, is that I CONSCIOUSLY know what I am doing and risking. And that is a really, really crappy reality. AND, his A was due to mental breakdown, and mine was for lust because of my deficiencies -so i feel worse.

To know the pain it could cause, and yet to feel entitled to it anyway?

That kind of sucks to admit publicly. And I kind of am still in that thought place - don't I deserve x,y,z? After all i've done, don't i deserve a.b.c?

When really it is, after all i have worked on, i missed something inside that needs fixing.

The easy thing is to take the ego kibbles because for what the reason is inside you, they are filling the hole we need to fill ourselves.

But filling the hole ourselves is both painful, hard, and a lot of work.

So the easy way out is an affair (in some cases), alcohol, or some form of escapism so that I don't have to face myself in the mirror fully.

And it's not that i don't love Mrkate - i very much do - it's about fearing what i will find inside that drives that desire to follow the fantasy.

Thankfully, I have made some mistakes in the past and learned from them. Thankfully I keep making mistakes and am starting to be more proactive about asking for help. Thankfully I have built up a support group.

I still very very much want to go down this fun path. I wish I didn't. I really, truly wish i didn't.

I'm not going to - i hope! - but because i don't trust myself, i decided to bring my thoughts out into the open. Will this be enough to help me?

I don't know. If AP were nearby would i be strong? I don't want to say what i think, but it's obvious.

I'm not strong enough yet, but i really, really hope to get there.

Does that make any sense?

Also - these analogies are such cross over all of life, right? work and parenting and marriage (i mean the real stuff, not this stupid fluff that will be the very undoing of all the hard work these past many years)...

anyway, still trying here, but still very scared of myself. And that sucks.

so - are you safe? We are only as safe as we make ourselves. Self care, self awareness and strong boundaries are a lifetime of maintenance. So in that regard I will ask you, are you safe?

Life crashes, you are overwhelmed, grieveing, feeling intense emotions you can't seem to handle - and opportunity arrives at the same time. Now what? are you self aware? are your boundaries still good? do you have a good support group to bounce these feelings off of?

No one is ever permanently safe. No one is ever free from temptation. But we all CAN actively work towards maintaining our safe status. Without conscious effort, i feel humans are just human. We make mistakes, especially under extraordinary circumstances.

reminder - i don't feel safe. and that, to me, is the scariest of it all.

hikingout posted 1/23/2020 08:30 AM

kate - and I say this without judgment, but at this point this behavior is serial cheating. This is at least the 3rd time that I have read about you having inappropriate relationships with other men. I am saying this again, not to judge you but for you to consider the severity of the acting out. There. is. something. wrong. You need to make sure your therapist is aware of this.

But filling the hole ourselves is both painful, hard, and a lot of work

Yes. And it's infinite and goes in cycles. Self love, care, and having healthy passions and outlets is an ebb and flow. We have to keep feeding the flow.

hopefulkate posted 1/23/2020 12:57 PM

Hereís the thing. I completely agree with you. I broke. I completely broke and am trying to fill that hole with this.

Only two times though (still serial), and...itís the same guy. (Just being factual - it doesnít matter itís all wrong and none of it is justifiable. I do want to understand it so I can change though.)

So yes the same issue. But I think I get it now. Or better.

Meaning, I thought I had control. I thought, ok that was weird, and went to therapy and thought I had worked on it enough.

But I didnít heal yet- if anything now that things were calmer itís like my brain said here you go! Work on this shit for real now!.

Thatís why I feel so out of control, like I donít know who I am, I canít explain why I keep doing this...I donít even know who I am most of the time these days.

So I came here to say, hi, my name is kate and I need help.
Next weekís emdr session is all over this. Back to weekly for this girl.

Issues: theme of rejection
Comfort in familiarity even though toxic
Calm in life is scary. Familiarity of fires always burning is comforting too.

Iím glad you called that. Iím not offended or anything. Itís why I came back here. Iím ready to hear the hard truths now because I really, really donít like where I am headed if I canít fix me.

hikingout posted 1/23/2020 14:48 PM

Okay, I remember a time you had someone staying in your home and you spending time with him after H went to bed. This is that guy?

But, prior to that, there was some sort of other confession you made - I don't remember what it was - it was a lesser confession than spending time with the guy in your house, but you were inundated that time with a lot of replies about being wayward. It might have just been some thoughts you were having though.

It doesn't matter, you and I agree whatever is wrong isn't fixed. I think you hit the head on the nail that there is a void there that you don't know how to fill.

In other ways, I have often just wondered if your husband just completely broke the marriage for you. That the grass won't always seem a little greener in something that is untouched by infidelity. I don't know if that's true. You have worked very hard to try and reconcile with your husband and it might be heartbreaking to think that it's just not possible?

It's hard for me to know so I am throwing darts. I am not a madhatter, but it's a thought I sometimes have when I read your stuff.

It's more concerning to me this is the same guy. Has he really left your mind since the first incident? When people have crisis and they feel good for the first time in a long time it's a very big pull. Finding ways to make ourselves feel happy after a long time of not is a lot of hard work.

badguy47 posted 1/23/2020 14:52 PM

Absolute and utter NC should be a first non-negotiable step regardless of what side effects it has.

hopefulkate posted 1/23/2020 15:44 PM

In other ways, I have often just wondered if your husband just completely broke the marriage for you. That the grass won't always seem a little greener in something that is untouched by infidelity. I don't know if that's true. You have worked very hard to try and reconcile with your husband and it might be heartbreaking to think that it's just not possible?


Yeah...me to...itís what I am most afraid of, and also part of next weekís counseling session...

ChangeMe1 posted 1/23/2020 17:42 PM

Hopeful

I've read your story on both sides of this forum, I think you are an incredibly insightful and brave person to post the way you do, I also think you'll disagree with my opinion here but I hope from what I know of you you'll at least mull it around a bit first.

Feeling the pull of the "grass is greener" honestly I think even the purest of people do that. There's a saying that goes something like loyalty is only as strong as the offer in front of them. I guess that can be interpreted a few ways but to me it means that someone who is never presented the opportunity to stray can never be truly tested.

The idea that you may always be tempted or tested could it become a healthy benchmark. When you feel that pull look inside at your marriage, what's there that's broken, what work still needs to be done, can you refocus that attention there, or bring it to MrKatesattention to ensure he focus the required energy.

The idea of the quick fix, the grass is greener, it's pretty wayward thinking, it's what most of us this side of the forum struggle with. We are for the most part hesitant to put the work in for a long term healthy gain against the allure of the short term high.

Honestly I'm one of those who doesn't think you class as a madhatter, but I understand you do, and the fact that you do seems to me to put you in a different place, a place where I wonder if you could be building a wayward mindset for yourself.

Its not a bad thing to question yourself, your feelings and the fact that you come here and lay them all out shows the processing you do.

So I guess my point is, while you are still so open about it, willing to stop and think and not only willing to, but actively seeking to explain and discuss it all with MrKate that all seems incredibly healthy. The fact that the thought of it entered your head seems just human.

If MrKate is continuing his work towards being able to be as open and honest with you as you are with him then even if it's not green right now, maybe that's the manure you guys are working with to have the greenest lawn of them all?

hopefulkate posted 1/23/2020 18:09 PM

Thank you for your kind words, Changeme1, they mean a lot.

I still have this 'trauma' thinking where things are black and white and *still* have a hard time seeing the grey.

I created my own accountability posse last night with two very close friends who are here. Friends who agreed if I feel the need to text or call, or whatever it is that I am feeling, that I call them and we talk through it.

I wish I had had this kind of group support when I first joined here! Well, honestly, SI WAS my life back then - helping me breath each breath just trying to get from minute to minute. I am eternally grateful for this place.

On this side of the fence - because my desires and related rationalization of acting on them thereby making me a WW in thought, at the very least, I must say that having this physical support group is unbelievably helpful. I will see these ladies often, and they now know all of my warts. If I had bad thoughts as a BS, totally fine. Part of the healing (you will notice many posts of mine that are filled with all kinds of feelings in every direction) was to just let it all out.

But this time around, I think I should be super wary of the paths i let my brain follow, and, as someone with impulse control issues (ie i have none), having that text resource is awesome.

I don't feel ok. I feel, empty and full at the same time. I feel, out of control. The past year+ has been an internal spiral to the point of actually saying, "fuck it all"...

And my posse kept texting me today, and i called one on the way home and though i was helping her this time, she mentioned couples therapy.

Brilliant!!!

Honestly, how is it the most obvious answers can evade you?

I do feel like I don't want to be married to MrKate, but conflicted because I do love him, and I know he loves me, and he treats me and the kids so well. He is a GOOD man!!

And I'm over here with these awful thoughts. (Yes, my therapist called it human too, and also talked about boundaries and what we will be working on next week )

MrKate and I have not done much couples therapy since month 3 or 4 of joining this club. We both had too much independent work to do. But maybe, this could be the answer. A place to say that I feel broken and unfixable (in this marriage, not in my sense of self which is hard to believe giving everything i said above!), that i'm afraid...that i'm sad.

It's not like i don't talk about these things, but, its been 5 years, we moved 3 times, had a baby, changed jobs, started companies...life went on and normalized even though we didn't finish the work.

Does that make sense?

Ohhhh...maybe that's it? I need to think some more. Forgive my runons, spelling errors, etc.

I just purge my brain on here and don't edit. Sorry for the reader - but i assure you it's authentic!

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