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How to process this day?

kairos posted 2/14/2020 16:53 PM

First, I think of her. How she must feel today, knowing the man she thought was so amazing was really just a traitor, a wolf in sheep’s clothing. How can I recompense? How can I take that pain for her? And then I sense my own sadness thinking of the wonderful times we will never have. And there’s that split second, where in the past I would go toward self-hate, the shame/regret, and then spiral into endless darkness…. (As an aside: I hope that she will not go there, that she knows that she had no part in my terrible choices. I hope she will see past misperceived rejection. I hope she will see how amazing she is today, despite the monster I am, but I cannot make that happen or choose that.) And so I stop myself. I take that pain. I recognize that pain. I visualize it, feel it. And I push it on. I push it out (after feeling it). Today is like a bridge where I have a choice, and perhaps we all do. On one side is extreme sadness and pain (the spiral), paralyzing. But I need to cross to the other side and choose self-care, self-love, and just simply exist, just ‘be’. I think of her. I think of me. I think of what we could have been. Choices made, consequences paid. Just keep walk across to the other side, continue growing, I tell myself. Make it better by becoming a better person, one choice at a time. This is how I’m processing today. Otherwise, I just want to fall to the floor.

About me: Formerly PDXguy. Married 17 years. Divorced last week. 1 EA/PA, and 5 ONSs over a five-year period. As for my former BS, I hope she is ok today, but I really don't know.

Edit: Dday 18 months ago.

[This message edited by kairos at 5:07 PM, February 14th (Friday)]

WalkinOnEggshelz posted 2/15/2020 08:06 AM

I hope that you continue to do the work to become a better person and safe partner. May the next chapter in your journey bring you clarity and peace.

Zugzwang posted 2/16/2020 08:56 AM

What are you doing to build up your sense of self worth? To fill your emotional bucket. I think once you begin to build yourself up, that other side will not seem so paralyzing. It will always be there. It will not be extreme. It will just be truth. There will not be fear. Just acceptance that it is there and you will work to lessen it over time. To me, that is owning it and you can sit in it and dissect it more each day till it just is. Damn, I am not sure how to ever explain that step. That next evolution in our reconciliation of ourselves. Though I see more clearly about it. Maybe I didn't just own it all in one day (though that day it all came crashing in and I chose change out of self disgust seems like it did), it just lessened over time as I built up other areas and sat a little in it each day. Even without your wife, you can find joy again. You can hold your head up with pride and feel honor and integrity be your core. Just tackle that "spiral" a little more each day. Acknowledge it and dissect it. Write it down and admit each thing that brings you shame. Give it to her if she wants it. How can you change that thing that brings shame. Each little thing you did.

EX. Feeling exited to go to work to see AP. Acknowledge it for what it was. Know what you should have been doing when it happened. How did that steal from your family and intimacy. Things like that.

Crushed7 posted 2/16/2020 10:17 AM

You've detailed the healing path well, but it is so much easier to say what it is than to actually do it minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour and day-by-day. Accepting the pain, feeling it, processing it and then letting it go can be so exhausting, but it is progress.

The reality is that your mistakes don't define you -- what you do after does. You are a work in progress, but that work is showing your character. While it is difficult, it is admirable!

One last thing -- ((Hugs)). I'm sorry for the pain you are in. You're going to be OK. Putting your feelings here is exactly what this place is for.

kairos posted 2/16/2020 20:47 PM

Thanks eggshelz, zug, and crushed. I was having these feelings on a day when couples come together and show each other love. With the knowledge that I destroyed that lovely thing we had, I still try to work through such painful hours with intention. And again, how could she feel on that day? My pain can't compare to hers. Well the plot thickens. I had not realized we weren't officially divorced until....

On the same day I wrote this post, I met up with her to drop off my kiddos. She looked so sad, so sullen. She walked over to my vehicle window and told me that it was actually today -- February 14th, Valentines' day -- that our divorce was official. She cried. I could see her pain. I cried behind my sunglasses. The world felt slanted, vertigo. A bad day went worse. I walked myself through that spiral again. We we officially divorce on Valentine's Day.

Anyway, I had previously made plans for the weekend to stay in a historic hut on the mountain with about 16 or so people. While I was at the hut, I suddenly received a text from her that said:

"You're a real piece of shit. Always the victim. And I'm so very glad that I won't need to attempt to decipher your 'reality' from truth any longer."

I was confused. I asked what spurred this. A day later, she hasn't told me why she suddenly texted that. I want her to have that space. I want to receive the pain she needs to push out. I can take those punches, because I owe it to her, and also because I'm getting stronger now and I can handle it.

But I can't tell if the post from this day caused her to view me as self-victimizing. I don't believe I am conveying a victim mentality but I'm open to feedback. I own what I did 100%. I now see the full truth that it was I who destroyed our marriage. I destroyed her. No one else is to blame. And therefore I am the one who needs to look in the mirror.

The only thing I can gather is that the 'officialization' of our divorce has opened up the wounds again, and she is going through all that pain again, like it's on repeat. I want to help her. I want to be there for her. I want to be a strong man and not be a victim as she says, but I'm trying and I don't know how. So I'm just going to wait and listen.

maise posted 2/17/2020 01:02 AM

I wanted to share my thoughts to your latest entry. While she may have been triggered at the divorce being finalized on Valentine’s Day (which is just horrible) I did want to ask about something you mentioned. I am not sure what the contact situation is between you two, but this right here:

She walked over to my vehicle window and told me that it was actually today -- February 14th, Valentines' day -- that our divorce was official. She cried. I could see her pain.
was emotional vulnerability and sharing on her behalf with you. Did you go into this:
I walked myself through that spiral again
in front of her after her willingness to be emotionally vulnerable with you? How did you respond when she cried and said this? Depending on your response, this too could have caused the backlash.

It’s hard to feel so hurt by our WS and then to be emotionally vulnerable and expressive about our hurt with them - only to then have them either not really acknowledge it, or cry and go into themselves instead.

Dragonfly123 posted 2/17/2020 03:10 AM

Maise is spot on but also (I can only speak for myself as a BW) after a moment where she had opened up to you, been extremely vulnerable, expressed her hurt and pain, on Valentine’s Day and a day where her divorce comes through, it must have hurt like hell to be left with the children, while you drive off to spend a weekend in a historic house with a large group of friends. I’d be raging too. I’d have felt abandoned all over again.

It may seem illogical to you as she chose the divorce but her hand was forced by your behaviour, she had to do it for her own safety. She had no choice.

Maybe try putting yourself in her shoes in that situation.

I hope this doesn’t come across as harsh, I really don’t mean it to, it’s just I feel so sad for you both.

[This message edited by Dragonfly123 at 3:26 AM, February 17th (Monday)]

Zugzwang posted 2/17/2020 10:15 AM

Maise is spot on but also (I can only speak for myself as a BW) after a moment where she had opened up to you, been extremely vulnerable, expressed her hurt and pain, on Valentine’s Day and a day where her divorce comes through, it must have hurt like hell to be left with the children, while you drive off to spend a weekend in a historic house with a large group of friends. I’d be raging too. I’d have felt abandoned all over again.


That is what I think as well. You move on while she is still suffering because of you. You are going to have to accept that and continue to move forward. You are divorced. You need to heal too. You need to become a healthy and better father. She will have to learn to navigate her own world now. Just don't make it hard for her. That doesn't mean you self flagellate and become a hermit for the rest of your life. She will have to learn to accept that you will move on as well. Have empathy and understand where it is coming from. Do not change to suit her or alleviate her. The goal for you and always has been is to reconcile yourself. Life moves on. There is injustice in that for her right now. Just understand that.

kairos posted 2/26/2020 11:34 AM

Thanks Maise, Dragonfly, and Zug. I've thought a lot about your comments over the past week. I had a really long response full of emotion, but I'll keep this short. I also had a really good cry last week. What I'm hearing and what I'm believing needs to happen is to have empathy and understanding while also moving forward into my own recovery. If I stay in this place of unfinished pain, I won't be the man or father that I need to be. As much as I hate it, as much as I wish for a time machine, I have to find a way to truly let go and forgive myself. Thanks for your comments. The ups and downs of this are truly life changing, for better or worse.

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