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The plain of lethal flatness.

Zugzwang posted 4/17/2020 10:15 AM

Just had some introspection lately.

How many of you that "got it" "owned it" needed that Plain of Lethal Flatness your BS went through to stop doing damage control and look inward? I know I did. Don't get me wrong. I still did the stuff any normal husband should have been doing to begin with and beyond. Yet, it was a sudden death that made me focus inward more because there was really nothing left for me to do but that. It changed everything and I have to wonder if that is just a natural progression for WS that choose change.

DaddyDom posted 4/17/2020 13:48 PM

Great question. I experienced something similar. I just don't know if it is quite the same way that you experienced it.

My wife also hit a point where the POLF pretty much took over. No more roller coaster, just POLF. She was ready to leave, and was just waiting for the conditions to be right to do so.

In retrospect, the thing about her POLF that eventually helped me to "look inward" was simply the fact that "looking outward" wasn't working and was continuing to fail spectacularly.

For me, "getting it" was not something I was trying to do for myself because it was important to me personally, rather, I was trying to do it in order to make her happy (which in turn would make me feel better about myself). I didn't realize that fact at the time, but with the benefit of hindsight, it is now clear as a bell to me.

I'll be honest with you. Her POLF lasted so long that I gave up too. I really did. And while this may sound horrible, I'm glad I did, because that's what I should have done long ago. Giving up had the effect of me no longer trying to make her happy, and when that happened, I instead, very naturally, started to think about my own life, who I was, what I really wanted, who I wanted to be, what would make me happy, and so on. I started to change and to make decisions based on who I wanted to be and what I wanted in my life. It had nothing, nothing at all, to do with her. As it should be. We cannot heal or control others, only ourselves.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, what I was missing in my life, and in our relationship, was self-respect and self-worth. My value was attached to the perspective of others. As long as that continued, nothing could possibly make me feel worthy and loved, because those things are generated internally, not externally. When I stopped trying to make her happy, and just focused on being a good person instead, everything fell into place. I was able to finally "see her" and "hear her" because there was no longer a personal agenda clogging up the communication pipeline. I was no longer trying to manipulate her into making me feel better about myself, I had that covered, so I could instead focus on her needs and what she was saying to me

I'm still working on it. We just had a conversation last night where she told me she wasn't feeling heard and respected, and until we hashed it out, I really didn't see it or understand it. Those skills take time and lots of mistakes to learn. But at least now, they can be learned, because nothing else is in the way. Had we had the same conversation last year, I think it would have turned into a mess.

BraveSirRobin posted 4/17/2020 14:18 PM

I had more of a light bulb moment. I was pleading for my BH to believe I'd told him everything (while still lying), and he said "No," and took my hands off his shoulders, and stepped away. There was a look on his face, a tone in his voice, that told me he was giving up on me and detaching. Maybe that was the start of what would have been the POLF. I'll never know, because just looking into his eyes and seeing nothing there was the straw that broke the camel's back.

leavingorbit posted 4/17/2020 14:59 PM

My husband... he has a lot of trauma of his own. Emotional connection was not a priority. Heíd been hurt too bad in too many ways by too many people (and I was at the tippy top of that heap). So, a rugsweeper. Like, class A, 15 years holding onto shit I did but it really didnít bother him, thanks.

I didnít want to be in the dark anymore. Iím very grateful he wanted to join me. It wasnít POLF so much as it was massive self protection. He had given up on everything, in general. But I did really think, I did it, I broke him completely. Which retrospectively was way arrogant because how could something that had nothing to do with him destroy him? Him, a whole, complex, multifaceted human being who was more than just my husband.

None of that is to downplay what I did to him. It was absolutely the most pain he had experienced and it took him a long time to realize that he was the prize. He felt guilty. And I did too, until we both got that our cheating was separate.

MrCleanSlate posted 4/17/2020 15:52 PM

In some respects my BW hit that BEFORE my affair.

We were both dealing with depression (mine was not diagnosed until later since I refused to think I could be depressed) both fathers passed away and a bother, special needs kid at home, work stress, etc.

I just got detached and miserable and my BW detached as well and she was happy that I was out so as not to be casting my shadow over the house so to speak. We were not communicating as a couple. It was a terrible time, no arguing. Just indifference from my BW. In some ways I started my A because I was afraid to talk to my BW and deal with things. Sad.

Part way into my A I started IC - I knew things were wrong. Broke off the A and D-Day came a week after that by an OW that went nuclear on my BW.

Anyway - we both had a good wake up at D-Day and I was full on open and honest pretty quick. I guess I started down that path before D-Day.

Zugzwang posted 4/18/2020 09:55 AM

I guess what I'm trying to say is, what I was missing in my life, and in our relationship, was self-respect and self-worth. My value was attached to the perspective of others. As long as that continued, nothing could possibly make me feel worthy and loved, because those things are generated internally, not externally. When I stopped trying to make her happy, and just focused on being a good person instead, everything fell into place. I was able to finally "see her" and "hear her" because there was no longer a personal agenda clogging up the communication pipeline. I was no longer trying to manipulate her into making me feel better about myself, I had that covered, so I could instead focus on her needs and what she was saying to me

Change for you. Happened here to. The most profound moment of my entire life. That sums it up nicely. It is letting go of the outcome. Interesting. We let go of getting our self worth from the BS too. I can see that now too. Thanks. I agree pleasing her and making her happy at the time wasn't just about trying to ease her pain..it had been about making her happy with me, giving me worth. Nice.

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