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battle within yourself

Rose2206 posted 9/12/2020 15:16 PM

For context: BS and I are in NC (per his request). Healing separately.

Days go by, every morning is a struggle to find the strength to get out of bed. My BS is gone. I miss and think of him every moment of the day. Dream about him at night.
He is on his journey to healing himself. Working through the trauma that I put him in. That I caused. None of it was his fault. He is a wonderful and very special human being that deserves the best! Yet, I failed him. Failed us.

There was a time when I started to blame him for so many things. I now realize that I deflected from myself. I chose not to face my demons. My flaws and to not show them. Instead “I acted out”. I blamed him. Hid behind a mask. Ran away and began to seek validation that I was “not flawed”. I seeked self worth from an outside source because I could not look at myself. I was a coward. I lied. Cheated. Betrayed.

I have been working on my deep, true why’s, and while they are sincere, I chose to make those decisions. I hate what I did. I absolutely hate that I did all of those things. It fills me with disgust, hate and sadness towards myself. -shame.

R is unlikely as I have hurt my BS in such an enormous way. Caused him trauma that he will have a scar from forever. He will never be the same person. I robbed him of innocence. Of his ability to trust and love.

While I have been working hard, and continue to do so to be a better person every single day, I find myself in a battle with myself in a way. While I am fighting to become a full wholehearted person with every decision I make, I notice that with every day going by, the pain is getting greater. The reality of the fact that I destroyed us. Him.

While I have learned many things in the past weeks of what I need to do, (a few things work really well- others not so much). I struggle to let go of the outcome. The outcome that I want and believe in vs. the outcome that my BS wants. The unknown of what he wants is excruciating. I must surrender. I know I do. But how?,,, I say I want him to be happy again and no matter what the decision will be, I do really mean that!
Then I look at myself, and all I can see is sadness. Loss.
Many WS I have talked to, told me to really “just do me”. Focus on me and let go of the outcome. Well, all of them as far as I know, have been given the gift of R. Am I jealous they have received that gift from their BS?.. I think I may be. It is clearly selfish thinking out of panic. - this is a major fail I noticed and stopped it right then and there.

That being said, I think of my BS every minute of the day and want nothing but the best for him. The thought of knowing it is likely he will decide to move on with life without me is something that scares me very much but I do understand. I want his happiness above all.

I feel like my thoughts and feelings have been in a constant battle for a couple of days now. One side is battling shame while also owning what I have done without feeling any sort of pity for myself (which I did early in the process). The other part is trying to find the right path to surrender to the outcome. I am so very determined to become a better person. Each day I am carefully and critically with my own decisions, actions and thoughts. Reflecting every inch of myself. I have had many “fail’s”. But I am determined not to give up. The highlight of my week is IC… it is the weirdest thing. But it is like instead of putting my boxing gloves on when I go to the IC. I go there as humble and open as I can possibly be. And it became truly my personal highlight of the week to feel that way. Be safe and comfortable being 100% present with who I am towards myself and another person.


BraveSirRobin posted 9/13/2020 08:18 AM

Many WS I have talked to, told me to really “just do me”. Focus on me and let go of the outcome. Well, all of them as far as I know, have been given the gift of R. Am I jealous they have received that gift from their BS?.. I think I may be. It is clearly selfish thinking out of panic. - this is a major fail I noticed and stopped it right then and there.
I'd cut yourself some slack on feeling jealous. I think it's natural to feel envious and even resentful of WS who have been lucky enough to get a chance at R. Denying your emotions isn't the way to rewire yourself for authenticity.

Instead, sit with those feelings for a bit. Consider that some of us are only in R because we found the strength to take our own advice. For me, some of the harder situations to watch are those where the WS relinquishes control, but does so too late. They stubbornly hold to the belief that their secrets are protecting the marriage. Then the BS follows through on a poly, or a legal separation, and the WS finally comes clean -- only to find that the BS has no fucks left to give, and that R is no longer possible. It's so disheartening when we can sense this is happening but don't get through to the WS in time to help save the marriage.

I personally feel like "letting go of the outcome" doesn't mean you're not allowed to hope for reconciliation. It does mean fighting the desperate belief you can "fix" everything instead of allowing the BS to captain the ship. When you had the wheel, you steered it into an iceberg. I can see you're working on accepting that, and I do understand how cold it is in your lifeboat. Just because we're telling you to stay in it doesn't mean you have to pretend to be comfortable and warm, or to feel happy for those of us who made it back onto our own ships.

sisoon posted 9/13/2020 12:51 PM

If you want R, I recommend letting your H know in a way that respects his right to choose D or R or waiting.

If he doesn't know you want that, he may be in too much pain to bring it up himself, even if he wants R, too.

[This message edited by sisoon at 12:52 PM, September 13th (Sunday)]

LifeDestroyer posted 9/13/2020 14:09 PM

I'm jealous of all the couples on here who have successfully reconciled or who are working towards it. I had to stop reading here for a bit because I was getting so jealous and angry at these WSs who were given that gift. I still am.

It's only getting worse. He's been gone for almost 3 months and it has just gotten harder and harder. That pain has grown enormously. That anger towards myself for creating this has grown enormously.

You're not alone.

RocketRaccoon posted 9/13/2020 22:56 PM

Rose,

Gently now:

Well, all of them as far as I know, have been given the gift of R. Am I jealous they have received that gift from their BS?

Flip this thinking a bit.

Instead of looking at the WS that received the gift of R, ask yourself, or better yet, ask the WS, what did they do to earn that gift of R?

The gift of R is not given lightly. It is usually earned...

So, what can you do to earn that chance at R? This does not guarantee you R, but it guarantees you a chance at receiving the gift of R.

You may or may not get that gift, but if you do nothing and look at it as an entitlement (not saying that you do), then it is a high likihood that you will not get that gift.

gmc94 posted 9/14/2020 00:34 AM

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Well put

hikingout posted 9/14/2020 08:57 AM

I remember acutely this battle you are talking about. And, for the most part I had many of the same feelings not being separated or in NC with my H.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but this is not ending any time soon. Getting to a place where you heal as a WS is a hard road no matter whether R is on the table or not. It's the most painful journey I have ever been on in my entire life.

Here is why:

Having an affair is the culmination of many of our bad ways of coping. Often we have stuffed our feelings, avoided our feelings, probably have done many other things to numb or self-medicate. There was a void within us long before the affair happened. I accumulated shame since I was a girl. I didn't have a good sense of self worth or self love. And, that caused a pattern of acting out, and hustling for love my entire life.

You have to go heal the roots of many of these things...but what the affair does is amplify them exponentially. Had we gone to deal with those issues or recognized them sooner, it would maybe not be the full on dumpster fire that it is. The shame, humiliation, pain, self loathing, all of us experience those no matter our path.

Healing is independent of R.

We have WS who have come here years later that never healed. We have WS who have tried to stay in abusive situations even.

If I could go back and tell myself what I am about to tell you, I am not sure I could have comprehended it. The work you do on yourself has to be for YOU. It can not be contingent on an outcome. YOU have to want to heal whatever it is you have accumulated. You have to come to terms with who you are and what you have done, not just why you have done it but also how you were comfortable doing it. IC helped me tremendously with this.

There is no quick fix for any of it. It's normal to feel jealous of those who R. But, I don't think anyone gets there easily or without a shit ton of work.

Letting go of the outcome is a hard thing to do, at some point what happened to me is that I realized that I was never in control of it to begin with. And, the decisions I made definitely decreased my chances significantly of things going the way I wanted it to. None of that should be an epiphany, but one day it just was.

You can't fight your emotions - they are not based on logic. What we can do is become a conscious observer of our thoughts. Eckhardt Tolle is a great author and does many podcasts - I loved his book the Power of NOW. It helped me to see that I was creating my own world in my brain, and by not believing everything I think I could deal with my emotions better as well.

Use this time wisely. Read how to help your spouse heal, read about trauma. Be prepared if he gives you that chance. Are you in IC? The process is painfully slow, but it's super important.

Also, I always advise self care. We lack self love and love is an action. So, become regimented on your self care as much as you can. Exercise was the #1 way I was able to get my spirits up, it also helps with mental strength and endurance. Eat well and take vitamins, you want to ensure you are not feeding the depression chemically and not just situationally. Try and get sleep patterns regular and consistent - easier said than done I know.

Making yourself strong and reliable for you will help you to be strong and reliable for him. You are trying not to wallow, but you are still wallowing. That is not a criticism, I did the same thing...but the more you wallow the less solid you are becoming for yourself and for him. The more solid you as quickly as you can get could improve your chances with the marriage, and if not it will still improve your future.

You can do this, I can see a lot of growth already in what you are saying. But, you have to figure out the picking yourself up, dusting yourself off, and getting to where you need to go. Everything really does depend on that.

Rose2206 posted 9/14/2020 20:22 PM

Thank you all for your responses. I read all of them and thought about them in depth.

To Envy WS that received the gift of R seems to be “normal”. I do intend to work as hard as I can to become a better person. While R is my wish and hope. It cannot be my goal as it is not within my power to decide whether or not it will happen.

I can see you're working on accepting that, and I do understand how cold it is in your lifeboat. Just because we're telling you to stay in it doesn't mean you have to pretend to be comfortable and warm, or to feel happy for those of us who made it back onto our own ships.

BraveSirRobin,
I appreciate this analogy! It makes total sense. Yes, I have steered the ship into an iceberg. Even tho my BS warned me.. We are on separate lifeboats. Now, I must work as hard as I can to survive in mine. I am not comfortable and warm.. It is dark, cold and scarry. I do envy some people that post, but that does not mean I am not happy for them. I am! I think the envy mabe a result of loss and loneliness.. Idk for sure but I will explore this thought more.- rejection is a trigger for me (low self worth) and I think that maybe this is all interconnected..

Sisoon,
I took your comment to heart and told my BS again that I hope for R. (Long story, but he reached out unexpectedly yesterday, back to NC now) I told him my wish and honestly said WAY too much! Some of my insecurities that I am working on came through. Afterwards I asked him what his thoughts were.. He responded with saying that they are a bit mixed. He needs much more time in NC before even considering making a decision. He told me he felt a bit pressured by what I said.. While this crushed me a little, as I was trying to be honest and respectful, I realized that I felt helpless. A feeling that I want to help him and therefore begged for R. Helplessness is also a trigger from my past for me. So I thanked him for sharing his feelings about that with me and explained that I had just learned where my words were coming from. Not from a place of manipulation in regards of trying to end NC for my own benefit (to end the agony for myself). But a place within me that feels helpless that I know his suffering and can’t help him.

LifeDestroyer,
Thank You for sharing and reaching out. Telling me that I am not alone. I am sorry you are in this situation/ feeling too. Maybe we can support each other in this? Push each other in the right direction? I am trying to not let those “shame emotions” take over anymore. Sometimes the self destructive and even self pity shines through.. But I have been able to notice when they do and somehow acknowledge that they are there and why they are, and then pass them to the side and let the good be in front center. That is what I am trying to do in order to grow whole and not pretend to heal but don’t internally.

RocketRacoon & gmc94,
Agreed. Without hard work there is definitely no chance of R. I must do everything I can to become a safe partner. I am determined to put in as much deep work as I can. To even think of R it’s the BS that is having to work so very hard.. I can only imagine what kind of strength it would take to be able to be destroyed by someone, and then let them back into your life.. We create this thinking of WS having to proof themselves. And while consistency and transparency along with many other things are key in order for there to even be a chance, it is the BS that put in the enormous strength.. Idk. Both sides are so very different and yet somehow similar in a way. Hard to describe. I do not believe R can be earned.. I’d like to believe that. But the truth is, I will never be deserving or have earned R. It is the BS alone that puts in the work to make that possible. The will.

Hikingout,
I want to acknowledge that I read your comment but I have to reread it tomorrow given that i’d like to think about it some more before I respond. I want to thank you for the detailed response!


JBWD posted 9/15/2020 00:50 AM

He told me he felt a bit pressured by what I said.. While this crushed me a little, as I was trying to be honest and respectful...

Remember that he’s describing his feelings, they’re not designed to have an effect on you. I think you caught yourself well but moving forward the expectation of pressure is still an indicator of unsafe.

While R is my wish and hope. It cannot be my goal as it is not within my power to decide whether or not it will happen.

That’s a great summation and perspective to have! It’s not easy to stay there but when I need to catch my breath, it sounds a lot like this.

Rose2206 posted 9/15/2020 13:45 PM

Hikingout,
Thank you again for your response! It feels good to hear that I am not alone with “this battle within me” feeling. You seem so aware and content and I can only imagine all the hard work, pain and energy it took from you to get to where you are.
I am determined to continue on this journey. Giving up is not an option.

I am going to IC 1-2 per week and I am certain that is why I made big progress in a short amount of time. But only since I have started to actually use counseling in the right way. The first month after dday I did not… I did many things wrong out of being completely overwhelmed and simply had no idea what to do - so I continued to follow old habits/ that twisted/ sick way of thinking. Until one day it clicked. From then on I gave my BS my 100%. I started to internalize the things I was reading, the feedback I got on SI. My IC sessions became the highlight of my week and continue to be that for me. I do have fail moments but realize that they are fails as they are coming on and stop them, or realize shortly after what just happened and then learn that way.

{It helped me to see that I was creating my own world in my brain, and by not believing everything I think I could deal with my emotions better as well.}

That covers it so well! Not believing everything I think.. It seems so counterintuitive.. But while I’ve been analyzing my own thoughts and actions, this has been a very interesting concept to me.. I wonder if this applies to BS as well? Should BS analyze their own thoughts and emotions? I’ve read multiple books that described things along that line.. That trauma can happen to us, but a person then must decide how to handle it.. Idk. It is a subject I find very interesting. Self analyzing: (I think I find it interesting because I feel helpless. There seems to be so much how a WS should analyze themselves and that it helps, but would it help a BS too? To look within themselves for reasons of trauma responses?) idk just some wild thoughts that come from a place of wanting to help..

I read “how to help your spouse heal’ right after dday (BS gave it to me), sadly I read it while in panic mode… therefore I did not internalyze it and TT… - I would like to read it again! However I think I will wait until I am finished with the books I am currently reading and give it a bit more time. After all, I know while it will help teach me how to learn to help my BS with his healing, it would also increase my hope tremendously.. Given that we are in NC and the chances of me ever being allowed or wanted to help my BS heal are very tiny I think if I would read it right now, it may hurt me more than do good. At least right now. But I have thought about reading it a lot! Maybe in a few weeks I will take that on when i finished the books I am currently reading.

One audio book that I have been listening to is: The 7 habits of highly effective people by Stephen Covey. While some of it is about business, the personal aspects have already deepened my understanding of who I am vs who I want to be and the ability to make changes and to get there very much! Highly recommend this audio book!

I;m glad you pointed the wallowing out for me! I really need and want to get away from that. While I know the bad emotions are there for a reason, I need to stop letting them take over.

I’ve been going to the gym almost every day and completely exhaust myself,, some days too much. I get home drenched in sweat, take a shower and just cry my eyes out in the shower. Today I couldn't cry anymore so I actually screamed.. The physical exhaustion makes me emotionally raw.. The time after the gym is my most vulnerable time of the day.. That and right after I get up as I am trying to see sense in getting up and going.

{You can do this, I can see a lot of growth already in what you are saying. But, you have to figure out the picking yourself up, dusting yourself off, and getting to where you need to go. Everything really does depend on that}

- Really do struggle with that. It is basically a core piece of me that I am in the process of changing. Not to base things off of others (including my BS) but to do it myself. My BS is my haven. My home. And I need to learn that it is just not there like that anymore. At least not right now. And while I do not know if he ever will be there again, I must rely on myself only to get back up and dust myself off. I am determined to never give up. To never go down that horrible destructive dark path again.

Rose2206 posted 9/15/2020 13:56 PM

JBWD,

Remember that he’s describing his feelings, they’re not designed to have an effect on you. I think you caught yourself well but moving forward the expectation of pressure is still an indicator of unsafe

You're right! I was so thankful that he felt safe enough and content enough to actually tell me that. And while my reaction initially was a fail, I then quickly learned from that. That is such a wise statement.. they are not designed to have an effect on me..very true.

Yes, the statement is what I do believe in. But gosh like you said, it is hard and sometimes impossible to live by it. I think shame likes to trick us some days and push WS back into the shame pit of :I am not worth anything so how could BS ever want R. VS just thinking just of yourself..
To me, thinking of just myself is totally counter intuitive in this situation. For a long time I mixed working on myself with being selfish..
So that is certainly an area of improvement.

hikingout posted 9/15/2020 14:23 PM

Hikingout,

Thank you again for your response! It feels good to hear that I am not alone with “this battle within me” feeling. You seem so aware and content and I can only imagine all the hard work, pain and energy it took from you to get to where you are.

I don't think that I am content, I do think I am more aware now. But, mostly what I think you hear from me is I have developed patience of my struggles over time. I have surrendered to the idea that it's going to take as long as it takes. That's a very hard thing to do early in the journey. I would not have been capable of it for sure. People would say 3-5 years for healing and I thought that sounded like pure torture. But, it's not 3-5 years of total and miserable pain for most of us. But that first year? She's a whopper.

The first month after dday I did not… I did many things wrong out of being completely overwhelmed and simply had no idea what to do - so I continued to follow old habits/ that twisted/ sick way of thinking.

I continued that for months on end.


That covers it so well! Not believing everything I think.. It seems so counterintuitive.. But while I’ve been analyzing my own thoughts and actions, this has been a very interesting concept to me..


Yes, almost everything I did even prior to the affair was skewed. I believed I had to be a certain way for my H to love me. I believed it was him that created my role in our marriage, but it was me. I resented him for my overgiving.

I wonder if this applies to BS as well? Should BS analyze their own thoughts and emotions?

Honestly in the early time they are too traumatized for this. And, I do not think it's their thinking that has them messed up. So, no I don't think it applies. There comes a time if you decide to R there may be changes that you two will have to communicate and make together in your relationship but you are a long time away from that point.

There is a BS here, his name is HoldingTogether. I will completely not say this as well as he did, but he describes a turning point I think we had and he kind of built it off of something BraveSirRobin once said - and that is Your Husband does not need you to pull him off the floor, he needs you to get in the floor with him.

As he elaborated about his wife, I am the type of person who he described. I will go full tilt and work for an "A" in everything. I am a perfectionist, an overachiever. You sound like me and I think this applies to you as well. You need to see that you are both broken. If you do get a chance at R, it will be more helpful for you to work on you and to provide the best environment for your husband. It does mean to help him all you can, but it's actually counterproductive to put yourself in the role of healer.

I’ve read multiple books that described things along that line.. That trauma can happen to us, but a person then must decide how to handle it.. Idk. It is a subject I find very interesting. Self analyzing: (I think I find it interesting because I feel helpless. There seems to be so much how a WS should analyze themselves and that it helps, but would it help a BS too? To look within themselves for reasons of trauma responses?) idk just some wild thoughts that come from a place of wanting to help..

Again, you need to only think in terms of yourself right now. I know you want to help, but it's best you not try and analyze him from your perspective. You can recommend books to him that you are reading as far as generally. "I have been reading this and it's enlightening me about (you can list your own behaviors) Your focus needs to be on you and not how to get him fixed as quickly as you can. Might not be your intent but it will come off as manipulative, and underneath it all it's probably coming from your desire for him to heal enough to take you back. There are so many strings attached to the outcome and that's why it's hard to let go of.

I read “how to help your spouse heal’ right after dday (BS gave it to me), sadly I read it while in panic mode… therefore I did not internalyze it and TT… - I would like to read it again!

I think you should.

However I think I will wait until I am finished with the books I am currently reading and give it a bit more time. After all, I know while it will help teach me how to learn to help my BS with his healing, it would also increase my hope tremendously.. Given that we are in NC and the chances of me ever being allowed or wanted to help my BS heal are very tiny I think if I would read it right now, it may hurt me more than do good. At least right now. But I have thought about reading it a lot! Maybe in a few weeks I will take that on when i finished the books I am currently reading.

It's a quick read, I think you should read it again asap. It's not about hope but if you have further interactions with him it may help you from doing more things that are counter productive.

One audio book that I have been listening to is: The 7 habits of highly effective people by Stephen Covey. While some of it is about business, the personal aspects have already deepened my understanding of who I am vs who I want to be and the ability to make changes and to get there very much! Highly recommend this audio book!

I would more recommend Rising Strong by Brene Brown.

I;m glad you pointed the wallowing out for me! I really need and want to get away from that. While I know the bad emotions are there for a reason, I need to stop letting them take over.

We all do it. The hand wringing. The guilt. The regret. The reality of it is that is still making the situation about us. It's not leaving the BS much room. It takes time to get away from it though.

I’ve been going to the gym almost every day and completely exhaust myself,, some days too much. I get home drenched in sweat, take a shower and just cry my eyes out in the shower. Today I couldn't cry anymore so I actually screamed.. The physical exhaustion makes me emotionally raw.. The time after the gym is my most vulnerable time of the day.. That and right after I get up as I am trying to see sense in getting up and going.

Yes. I would sit down by the pond and chainsmoke and write in a journal. Mostly I just stared into space. I am not a smoker btw. I did quit sometime after that first year. I haven't smoked since college. I was a basket case. It's a lot of emotion and energy and you don't know what to do with it. I get it. I don't have any further advice for you, it will settle itself as you work through IC. I was a lone a lot after dday, and I just didn't know how to sit with the pain.

{You can do this, I can see a lot of growth already in what you are saying. But, you have to figure out the picking yourself up, dusting yourself off, and getting to where you need to go. Everything really does depend on that}

- Really do struggle with that. It is basically a core piece of me that I am in the process of changing. Not to base things off of others (including my BS) but to do it myself. My BS is my haven. My home. And I need to learn that it is just not there like that anymore. At least not right now. And while I do not know if he ever will be there again, I must rely on myself only to get back up and dust myself off. I am determined to never give up. To never go down that horrible destructive dark path again.

That is important.

[This message edited by hikingout at 3:29 PM, September 15th (Tuesday)]

Rose2206 posted 9/16/2020 14:53 PM

Hikingout,

Do you have any advice you can share from your experience from that: first year/ journey in general? I do really struggle to “let go of the outcome”. I am a workaholic and determined. However I am also working very much to “relax”. In the sense that I attempt and want to actually life every moment instead of “just living FOR the next moment.

I believed I had to be a certain way for my H to love me. I believed it was him that created my role in our marriage, but it was me. I resented him for my overgiving

This is a very interesting and complicated angle I feel like.. So far, part of IC has been to focus on that exactly, getting my self worth from others.. Trying to fit in vs. the feeling of actually belonging. When I did feel belonging, it freaked me out and I manipulated myself and the situation so I did not belong anymore as it was an uncertain/ scary feeling. Something I should have (and deep down wanted) to embrace, but I was too much of a coward and skewed up to do so. That Ah-ha moment of realizing this was like a light bulb going on..

Honestly in the early time they are too traumatized for this. And, I do not think it's their thinking that has them messed up. So, no I don't think it applies. There comes a time if you decide to R there may be changes that you two will have to communicate and make together in your relationship but you are a long time away from that point.

Yeah, this is true. I feel helpless that I can’t help him with his emotions at this point. I feel that most things would come across as “trying to manipulate” instead of how they were actually meant. I do understand how things can be perceived that way.
There is a BS here, his name is HoldingTogether. I will completely not say this as well as he did, but he describes a turning point I think we had and he kind of built it off of something BraveSirRobin once said - and that is Your Husband does not need you to pull him off the floor, he needs you to get in the floor with him.-

I have read his quote before and it is SO TRUE. This is so incredibly hard while feeling the need to help. He is hurting. Even tho in NC I know he is trembling every night and I am thinking of him while I lay by myself. Knowing he is suffering. I have attempted to show him that I am there no matter what. And I feel all I can do right now is just to continue what I’m doing steady and keep my hand reached out to him.
As he elaborated about his wife, I am the type of person who he described. I will go full tilt and work for an "A" in everything. I am a perfectionist, an overachiever. You sound like me and I think this applies to you as well. You need to see that you are both broken. If you do get a chance at R, it will be more helpful for you to work on you and to provide the best environment for your husband. It does mean to help him all you can, but it's actually counterproductive to put yourself in the role of healer.

Can you elaborate on this? I am def. A perfectionist. (Something I am working on diminishing a bit as it creates unhealthy views of life). One thing I have learned is that I must set boundaries for myself too. To not allow others to control me and my decisions. What is best for me. Does this also count in regards to my BS?
So far, I am in the mindset of” I will do whatever you need me to do”. I want to put my BS first and protecting him. My IC told me that I need to be careful with that as it is a part of my past behavior in a way. To be told what I must to vs. doing what I believe / feel and know to be right.
Counterproductive to put yourself in the role of the healer.

How so? Isn't that what “how to help your spouse book describes?

It's not about hope, but if you have further interactions with him it may help you from doing more things that are counter productive.

That is very true and I haven’t thought about it in that way. It is almost like: I want interaction and communication instead of NC. (Realizing this is what he needs so that is what we do). However, at the same time I find myself full of anxiety from further interaction as I am afraid anything I do or say while in contact could make everything worse. --Not meaning that I hide stuff or something (unlike I have in the past). That is no longer a question. But being comfortable with knowing that it is such a vulnerable situation that can turn better or worse with each interaction, each word.
I ordered the paper book version of “How to help your spouse”after reading you comment due to that point you made. And I do already have Rising Strong. Have not read it yet. I have read other works of Brene Brown and Rising Strong will be my next one.

The battle between :Becoming a better person vs. feelings of shame and absolute guilt is what I've been trying to balance.

hikingout posted 9/16/2020 15:22 PM


Do you have any advice you can share from your experience from that: first year/ journey in general? I do really struggle to “let go of the outcome”. I am a workaholic and determined. However I am also working very much to “relax”. In the sense that I attempt and want to actually life every moment instead of “just living FOR the next moment.

Not really. I got through it and survived, and so will you. You are doing the same things I was so you will find your path. And, the letting go of the outcome takes a lot of time. Right now the idea you understand it and are aware of it is the best start. Just try and be aware of your intentions and motivations, and get as nakedly honest about them as you can.

I would say meditation can help, and if you need to calm your anxieties your IC should be able to give you some strategies.


Can you elaborate on this? I am def. A perfectionist. (Something I am working on diminishing a bit as it creates unhealthy views of life). One thing I have learned is that I must set boundaries for myself too. To not allow others to control me and my decisions. What is best for me. Does this also count in regards to my BS?

Rising Strong by Brene Brown helped me understand a lot about this. Basically speaking perfectionism is a way we try and compensate for shame. It also keeps us from being fully our authentic selves, and does not allow our vulnerabilities to be shown which prevents deeper intimacy.

I am also horrible at boundaries. And, yes you will eventually need to apply those even towards your husband. But, I would not start with that. And, I think your IC probably knows far deeper in your situation you could ask them some about that as well. It is tricky to introduce those into the relationship if they weren't there before directly after the betrayal. It requires a lot of communication that you are currently not able to have with your H. So, I wouldn't worry about that for right now. When I had to explain to H about ways I was trying to change and why those were pretty detailed conversations where we kind of worked through how to proceed together.

So far, I am in the mindset of” I will do whatever you need me to do”. I want to put my BS first and protecting him. My IC told me that I need to be careful with that as it is a part of my past behavior in a way. To be told what I must to vs. doing what I believe / feel and know to be right.

Yes, tricky stuff. I do think for some time it's probably more helpful for your relationship if you try and bend in the ways he needs, but your IC is probably getting examples of that, and there may be some things I am not privvy to understand here.

Counterproductive to put yourself in the role of the healer.

How so? Isn't that what “how to help your spouse book describes?

Not exactly. There is a difference in providing your H with an environment to heal and trying to give him therapy based on what you read. So, a good example of the difference is when you are saying that you are reading about trauma and you are wondering if he should change his reaction to trauma - that is trying to be a healer.

If he is triggering and you are sensitive to him. Making specific apologies. Showing him that you love him in special ways. That's providing an environment in which he can heal.

In the first example, which is why I warned you against it, it makes you seem like you are suddenly an expert and that there is something wrong with how he is reacting or thinking. In the second example, you are just there for him and are loving, caring and empathetic. That's what I was trying to express in the Holding Together scenario. He didn't want his wife to give him therapy, it almost puts her as whole and he as broken in that scenario. He just wanted her to sit with him, two people broken by it and working through it together. It's a bit nuanced but I hope you understand what I am trying to express. Do not coach him or give him therapy. Instead, be open, listen, apologize, try to put yourself in his shoes. The book is more geared that way.

That is very true and I haven’t thought about it in that way. It is almost like: I want interaction and communication instead of NC. (Realizing this is what he needs so that is what we do). However, at the same time I find myself full of anxiety from further interaction as I am afraid anything I do or say while in contact could make everything worse. --Not meaning that I hide stuff or something (unlike I have in the past). That is no longer a question. But being comfortable with knowing that it is such a vulnerable situation that can turn better or worse with each interaction, each word.

You have to let some of that go. It's keeping you from being vulnerable with him and being in the moment of what he needs. Try and center yourself and be present. Anxiety sometimes robs us of that.

I ordered the paper book version of “How to help your spouse”after reading you comment due to that point you made. And I do already have Rising Strong. Have not read it yet. I have read other works of Brene Brown and Rising Strong will be my next one.

Good. I think this will give you more lightbulbs, it did me.

The battle between :Becoming a better person vs. feelings of shame and absolute guilt is what I've been trying to balance.

Yes, and it took me a long time to get past that battle. But the lessons are there in that battle, I promise you. I read a lot here of what the BS's experiences were. It helped me understand my husband. While we were not NC, there would be periods where we didn't know what to do or say in each other's presence. And, you can do every single thing right and still get a divorce now. Same here really. Getting comfortable in that scenario is some of the challenge of letting go of the outcome.

It's hard, but you are trying. Keep doing what you are doing, and as you said don't give up.

JBWD posted 9/17/2020 19:31 PM

One audio book that I have been listening to is: The 7 habits of highly effective people by Stephen Covey.

I was just recommending this to a program friend. I would caution anyone against thinking of this as just business-centered. Covey’s foreword does a very good job of articulating the family-centered focus that led him to the process he wrote down.

(By way of background- I was a cake-eating asshole for 6 months, and regrettably right around the time things were starting to click (which mostly coincided with my stumbling across SI days into a now permanent separation) my BW finally had enough. It was a fantastic method to learn that outcomes were now irrelevant, and I could either continue chasing whatever I was trying to fill with an affair, OR I could face whatever that was and be better as a human. As HO says, letting go is a continual process, and I think I would still be trying to muscle things sideways had my BW brought me home.)

Covey does a fantastic job guiding you through developing a personal mission statement- That starts with deeply examining the roles you play and how you want to shape those roles. This exercise was a great way to have to accept that I had not always done destructive, hurtful things. It really was a powerful way to recognize that I had strayed from a lot of things that I valued and believed were worth doing, and in building that mission statement I had a newly developed “reference point.” In yoga we talk a lot about letting go of things that do not serve us, and the mission statement/role analysis gave me a tangible yardstick so that if I sensed something did not serve me, I could now pretty quickly get to exactly why it didn’t.

Covey describes “effective people” as “integral,” people whose values and actions are in concert, and it really gave me a good lens to understand that JBWD in the A was DISintegral, which was an effective and more objective way to step back and assess without simply surrendering to being forever cursed and refusing progress as a result.

Sorry for the rant but I REALLY love this book, and am actually reattacking with a second read soon.

RocketRaccoon posted 9/17/2020 22:27 PM

Rose,

Both sides are so very different and yet somehow similar in a way. Hard to describe.

Agree in that both parties will still have to work through their own traumas. Both BS and WS will experience some form of trauma that comes from betrayal.


I do believe R can be earned.. I’d like to believe that. But the truth is, I will never be deserving or have earned R.

I removed the word 'not', as I believe that should be mindset you should try and adopt (up to you) if you want even a sliver of a chance at R.

It is the BS alone that puts in the work to make that possible. The will.

Nope. Nope. Nope. Any attempt at R is a 2-party effort. Will agree on you that the onus to do the majority of the hard work falls on the WS, but the BS must also be open, and work on the R.

The work for R will be extremely hard, and it is up to you if you want to put that effort in. Would you consider M with your BS worthy of your effort to try and work for? or are you already in a self-defeatist mode, thinking that even if you work for it, and you don't get R, hence you will not work for it?

The amount of effort you put into getting your chance at R, will show you and everyone else, how much you want the R.

Why am I only mentioning R and not the marriage? Frankly, once a betrayal as primal as infidelity happens, everything changes. The people, the mindsets, the dynamics, the emotions, the trust... everything. The M therefore is destroyed. A new one will have to be built on new foundations. The R gives the chance to lay new foundations for a new M.

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