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JBWD posted 4/20/2020 12:54 PM

Bit of an update up front: Essential services means that while BW went on telework as soon as the shutdown happened, I have been on a normal schedule. We decided to minimize kidsí exposure opportunities in light of this by canceling custody changes.

Hard for her because she is forced to juggle new job and trying to manage the ever changing distance learning schedule for a 3rd grader and a 6th grader- Same district but the schedules seem to be poorly integrated. While continuing to manage moving forward.

For me itís non-stop silence. I miss the kids a lot- DS texts from the phone every once in a while, and they get to the point after about a week where they want to FaceTime. Theyíre of the age where thatís not really a way to communicate- So theyíll talk for a few minutes, then get distracted and wander off. Regrettably that places BW in a position to talk to me- I trust she would simply hide if she didnít want to, but itís short and appears to take a toll.

The challenge I continue to face is in managing the loneliness. It has led to temptation to reach out that I havenít acted on- I can manage to keep my perspective but I feel like this shouldnít be happening still a year plus after NC took.

What I could use: Recommendations on reading for ways to manage this. Iím still grasping to treat loneliness with perceived intimacy. Iím confident I wonít get to the point of reaching out but that underlying struggle to ďmedicateĒ annoys me. Is/has anyone else dealing/dealt with this?

sisoon posted 4/20/2020 15:47 PM

I don't mean to be flip, but Skype? Facetime? Zoom?

Zoom will give you a free account with 40 minute sessions. Zoom has its problems, but it seems to be closing up its holes. Also, you can schedule meetings and put passwords on each meeting, which ups security somewhat.

Also, when you're lonely, I suggest patting yourself on your back for sacrificing time together to minimize the risk to your family. That's an honorable action.

secondtime posted 4/20/2020 16:27 PM

I'm sorry you feel so lonely.

I actually have a second job that fulfills my emotional needs. Not only that, but two jobs keeps me busy enough that I have less time for my mind to wander and fixate.

Do you have any hobby groups you can plug into online? I knit and crochet. There's a huge web site including discussion boards to chat with folks. Plus, I use my hobbies to make things to donate. Empathy and all that helps keep me focused.

Do you mediate?

Do you get off screens? When I am mentally in a bad place, being online makes it worse.

Do you have access to mental health resources? Most therapists I know are moving to phone call sessions...that could be a helpful tool for you..

I don't know what you do for a living or how close in physical proximity you are to your kids... Even if you are on the front lines...like an nurse dealing with covid-19 patients...you should still be able to see your kids 6 feet away from them.

Within my home, I can triage homework questions from my 7 or 12 year old, while I'm dealing with my 2 year old in another room that's about 6 feet away. I would think there'd be a way you could help with homework, if you were creative about it.

I'm also unsure about the facetime comment. Your kids are not 2. My 12 year old spends a good couple hours a day facetiming her friends. What about playing a game online with your kids or providing some other structure so that they aren't as likely to wander off?

JBWD posted 4/20/2020 21:21 PM

Thanks for the quick responses, team!
To clarify- I have a few hobbies, meetups that continue even online. The contact with the kids is as much as BW can support right now- She is very supportive of the kidsí contact and resources it, but they worry a lot about her and focus on trying to help her out with things, consequently I think that I get responses when they DO think of me.

To summarize the question is less about ways to connect. Itís more about how to manage the inevitable solitude. I can catch myself and my meditation helps, but the desire for comfort and SOME intimacy becomes overwhelming. I know itís impossible with BW and as such I get resigned, fatalistic. The underlying ďneedĒ for this is what Iíd like to be able to undermine. I know that will take time but I wonder if I can more effectively reframe this. Resources or perspective in this vein is welcome, thanks for all the responses thus far!

kairos posted 4/22/2020 17:31 PM

By "intimacy" do you mean you are craving connection with another human?

JBWD posted 4/23/2020 16:47 PM

I would say that connection is a basic need that I am ok with- Intimacy as the kind of profound, deep connection that surpasses basic connection.

What Iím experiencing is this- Some of the physical isolation leads me to sometimes dark thoughts about what I DID HAVE and how much I miss it. That comes through in a physical sense of longing that, before intervention, leads me to thinking ANY contact would make me feel ok. That thought is disrupted when I examine that the contact I really value and desire is with BW.

As such, what flusters me is that Iím having to still intervene in this thought process. While I know lifelong patterns arenít going to change overnight, Iím somewhat self-critical that this conflict exists for me. I am a fairly self-accommodating person and acknowledge that these are extraordinary times, but I am somewhat puzzled...

Followtheriver posted 4/25/2020 19:43 PM

JBWD,

I have an out of the box suggestion for you that really would help with the loneliness and solitude that your feeling during this time. It would also help give you the comfort and intimacy that you desire, as long as you are willing to return it in kind. So keep an open mind and hear me out.

I think you need man's best friend, you need a dog. But not just any dog, but one that needs you as much as you need him. Maybe you don't want to adopt a dog for the long term, but I think that you should at least consider fostering one.

Right now there are so many good dogs of all shapes, sizes and breeds in most shelters that would love a forever home, but would be happy with a short term home.

You mentioned managing the solitude, well what better way to do that than having a loyal friend, who is always happy to see you and wants to spend all the time they can with you. While they may not be big talkers, they are the best listeners, whenever you need to talk about anything.

Now let's talk about your need for comfort. Well, a dog would probably give you more comfort than you ever thought possible and in ways that might actually surprise you.

Intimacy? That's covered too. A dog will know absolutely everything about you and love you anyway. They will know how loud you snore, since they will be taking up most of the bed at night. Showtunes in the shower? They will never tell and may even join you for the chorus. They will curl up beside you on the couch to watch TV and will not judge you at all if you are keeping up with the Kardashians. Where you go, they will follow and that includes every, single trip you take to the bathroom. But just when you think that you don't need to share anymore intimate moments with the dog, that's when they go in for a big, ol' lick on the lips.

Feel free to laugh all you want and think I'm crazy, but there is research to show that pet owners live longer, happier and healthier lives. Pets can also help improve our mental and emotional health, along with lowering your stress levels and blood pressure.

While I am an advocate for and do animal rescue myself, (in case you couldn't tell, lol) I very strongly believe that one of the best things a WS can do for themselves, is to help others. I just think that it is good for a WS to get out of their own head for awhile and direct their mind towards something bigger than themselves. You have the power to make a difference and to change for the better something in the world around you, but do you have the chutzpah to do it? If you do, you may just find that the difference and change that you're making for others, will also be made inside yourself.

I know, I know. I may sound like love child, let's change the world and make it a better place hippie from the 60's or 70's, singing "I'd like to Teach the World to Sing" from the coke commercial, after a few too many "special mushrooms." But I'm really a party hard, nothin but a good time, livn' on a prayer, 80's hair band, fluff chick, who won't stop believing that it's better to burn out, than fade away. (Sorry, I really need to get out of the house.) But, I still want to make the world a better place.


JBWD posted 4/26/2020 20:43 PM

LOVE the idea, FTR... BW has the dog, I do miss him.

Sadly my options are limited in current apartment- I (and kiddos even more so) really like this place and leaving is both impractical and unwanted at present. THOUGH, I do relish the thought of maybe pitching in with a charity once things open up!

maise posted 4/27/2020 10:58 AM

I struggled with loneliness the most after Dday, I had to do a lot of digging as to why. I realized in that - that I had actually struggled with this for years, having it only magnify after infidelity. I used to dislike being alone, even in my teenage years. I once told my mom that I felt something was wrong bc I didnít like to be alone - her response to me was that she didnít know what was wrong with me bc she loved being alone, and I should figure it out. Not much help there.

Anyway, I think what I ultimately found was that the loneliness was coming from my abandonment of self.

I often put my emotions on the back burner, my needs, my wants, all to the side to attend to someone elseís problems, needs or wants. I found myself wanting someone to be there when I was lonely, so that I could have that distraction away from myself, and from those feelings. It wasnít just loneliness that I would feel, it often came with a deep sense of boredom...but not your typical boredom, it was boredom to the point of emptiness.

Emptiness because I hadnít been doing for me. Doing what I love, listening to my wants. Loneliness because I had abandoned my emotions. I had catered to everyone elseís.

What I found helped me was to sit with the feelings more and more each time without acting on reaching out to someone. Then meditating and journaling to try to communicate with myself better on what exactly was happening with me. I often had emotional breakthroughs this way.

I found that the need to reach for others was a way to essentially say, ďthis person is going to handle my wounds for me - whether by distraction or whatever else, that way I donít have to deal with them. I donít have to deal with myself.Ē

Not healthy of course. So I sat, and allowed the feelings, and didnít give myself the out. I wrote and attempted to understand myself more in those moments so that I could be there for me instead of dismissing myself with the distraction of someone else.

[This message edited by maise at 11:10 AM, April 27th (Monday)]

JBWD posted 4/27/2020 13:08 PM

Absolutely agree, Maise. I really do see it as self-medicating with contact. As I ponder more I realize this is likely a good indicator to me that itís time to go to Divorce/Separation- Looking for an assist on issues that are fairly unique to non-R may be hindering me.

I know that WS are all good resources for navigating through the challenges of self-awareness and personal growth. But I think that I need to be more honest with myself about where I am personally and help better focus myself and questions to the group.

JBWD posted 5/4/2020 22:57 PM

Looking for thoughts on a potential resource:

Sex and love addicts anonymous- Anyone involved or have experiences, positive or negative?

BWís IC pitched this on DDay plus 2(?) MC trumped her and said not likely to be relevant to my situation. But I need to do something different. Sent an email to admins here in my city so hoping to find a meeting sometime soon.

Any feedback appreciated.

hikingout posted 5/6/2020 09:50 AM

So as a young woman I moved to a city in my own, and didnít know anyone other than my coworkers. The need for touch (not even sexual touch- just to be hugged or touched in like ways) about drove me bananas. I felt depressed, I felt the most alone I have ever felt in all my memories. The need for touch is underestimated especially in the case of love language.

I donít have a good answer for you but I do understand what you are feeling. Thatís not always about waywardness or addiction or anything but normal response to isolation. I am hearing it from a few friends who live alone too. It could be problematic given your past, but I think it might be about self soothing in accepting you are human and having feelinsgas that are normal. Reminding yourself that itís okay and wonít go on forever. Read about coping and self care and do your best to take care of your self. Take it back to the basics - especially making sure you are getting exercise and sunshine.

I think something you could do to be productive and help your wife at this time would be to try and do some of their school work with them over zoom or other video conferencing. Donít think about those things as tools to just see them or talk to them but to do productive things with them, to teach them things. Be creative even. Maybe get some balls for them and for you and practice juggling. Get the same math puzzle or crossword puzzle. Try and get some schedule of quality time. Have their mom send you pictures of their homework and you would have what is needed to go through it with them.

JBWD posted 5/6/2020 17:46 PM

Thanks for the perspective and recommendations, H.O.

JBWD posted 5/17/2020 15:41 PM

Updates on this-
Have been to a few meetings (on Zoom) now. Itís too early to reach any conclusions, but I think itís helping.
Have been spinning out a lot based on lack of communication, but am grateful that Iím not acting out. Iím able to recognize what Iím feeling and understand how itís challenging me.

Just to say the ability to recognize the fears driving my dark moments is helping ease them.

I have a lot to be grateful for and thank folks here especially.

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