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Newest Member: itspointless

Wayward Side :
Fears of managing new version of yourself

Topic is Sleeping.
stop

 Spaceman (original poster new member #80138) posted at 8:01 AM on Tuesday, April 26th, 2022

Long story short - due to my infidelity, as well as my emotional unavailability, my wife decided to leave me. In all this chaos, I decided to clean-up my mess.

Never had any affairs or even entertained an affair, but I visited prostitutes 4 times in the last 3 years of our relationship.

Nothing related with looks or shyness - both with my ex were lucky by genetics in that sense. I was respectful, kind and caring to almost everyone else in my life, apart of my ex for a long time. Petty need for 'revenge', lack of self respect, needed for external validation, huge resentment - all my problems in a nutshell.

But my question is following. What if all this work - becoming more emotionally aware, learning to self-care, understanding the why's and the boundaries, working on improving relationships with important people in my life - touches only the surface?

What if my personality is like that once I enter the relationship?

Before: emotionally unavailable = cheating with prostitutes
Now, with new version of me i am afraid that i will be more emotionally aware = will end up with some stupid affair at some point.

I do not believe that I would cheat ever again after seeing the damage caused, but it is quite big fear that i am having lately.

That all the work might not reach the depth that is needed to become an integral person. How you are dealing with this?

posts: 36   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022   ·   location: Poland
id 8732019
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 11:24 AM on Tuesday, April 26th, 2022

One day at a time.

Do your best today, then again tomorrow, etc.

Get in IC. Read books, examine your thoughts for what is truth and what is narratives.it’s not like you wake up immediately changed. It’s years of
Consistent hard work. So when
You get there you aren’t managing anything you are just being.

5 years of hard work
Reconciled
WS & BS

posts: 6083   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8732028
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 Spaceman (original poster new member #80138) posted at 11:41 AM on Tuesday, April 26th, 2022

That's the thing. I am roughly six months in - IC, books, reflection, notes, still doing that and will do for forseeable time.

Good point on narratives vs facts though. Have to pay attention to it.

But few weeks ago I started to have this fear quite intensively and it is combined with a huge loss of confidence in myself (more in a relationship/personal domain, not the professional) as to who exactly I am now. It feels that there is some kind of different identify of myself and I noticed this also when being around other people+really increased anxiety (which is very wierd, as I always had an abundance of confidence). That I simply do not know yet who I am right now.

Hard to explain the feeling, but I guess it is related to the fact that i am slowly disentangling the lies i built in my head. And maybe that shook the core narrative of myself.

[This message edited by Spaceman at 11:42 AM, Tuesday, April 26th]

posts: 36   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022   ·   location: Poland
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 1:12 PM on Tuesday, April 26th, 2022

I didn’t experience the sort of fear you are talking about. I feared NOT changing and even that was sort of abstractly. I say abstractly because when you are at the beginning you don’t know what it even looks like.

We identify with our externals sometimes more than our internals. They are more visible to us. So when we stop a long term job, relationship, or even just move to a new house or city it can be like losing some of our identity.

These are early times. That first year of therapy and uprooting is intense. I am starting year six now and I can just tell you it does get better as our perspective gets better. What you are doing now will pay off of you stick with it.

I would examine why you think changing for the better is a lot to manage? Maybe see if you can shift that to be "when I am Authentically me I am free. There will be nothing to manage". Right now I think you are just feeling the gap of where you are and where you want to be. Don’t look hard at that, because that’s a big journey ahead. Just think about the fact you can now recognize there is a gap, and each day of introspection and work is going to keep

Closing the gap naturally.

Some of the feelings of upheaval can be the letting go of the things that are not serving us. Just a sign you are out of your comfort zone - and that’s the only place we grow.

[This message edited by hikingout at 1:13 PM, Tuesday, April 26th]

5 years of hard work
Reconciled
WS & BS

posts: 6083   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
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DaddyDom ( member #56960) posted at 3:25 PM on Tuesday, April 26th, 2022

Never had any affairs or even entertained an affair, but I visited prostitutes 4 times in the last 3 years of our relationship.


Gently, I think you are getting hung up on semantics here, or more likely, just minimizing. Claiming that you never had an affair, just had sex with prostitutes, is a little like saying that you never eat dinner, just supper sometimes. One of the first steps in making the changes that you are talking about here is in accepting and owning your actions and choices. You did not honor your vows to remain faithful to your marriage. No matter how that happened or what you call it, you had an affair. If your intent was to say, "I never had an affair UNTIL I visited prostitutes..." then that's something else. One of the things I'll share with you is that many of us (WS's) realize later on, after going to therapy and doing "the work", that we had a lot of little "warning signs" of infidelity before it occurred. But that's a topic for another day.

But my question is following. What if all this work - becoming more emotionally aware, learning to self-care, understanding the why's and the boundaries, working on improving relationships with important people in my life - touches only the surface?

This is fear talking. Fear of change. Fear of having to really look at yourself and who you are. Fear of failure. Fear of the unknown. Imagine someone saying, "What if I jump into the ocean, but I don't get wet? What then?" To be fair, if you've never been in the ocean before, never been to a beach, never learned to swim, then the thought of plunging into the unknown could be a really scary thing, and it is natural, and normal, and reasonable, to question what's going to happen once you take the plunge. But as someone who has jumped into the ocean before, I can tell you, that despite your fears, jumping into the ocean will make you wet, regardless of any fears or concerns you may have.

Jumping into an emotionally healthy version of yourself is the same. A person who is truly emotionally aware, self-caring and who understands themselves and their motivations on a deep level (by understanding their whys and other reasoning) is someone who, by definition, is already more than surface deep. In the same way that you can't be in the ocean and dry at the same time, you can't be emotionally healthy and yet... not. If you are still surface-level deep with your emotions, then you are still not self-aware and emotionally healthy.

Now, with new version of me i am afraid that i will be more emotionally aware = will end up with some stupid affair at some point.


Can you expand on this a little? I am just not understanding your line of thinking here. Affairs happen because of NOT being emotionally aware and from lacking things such as empathy for others, and more importantly, lacking respect for yourself.

Let me ask you something. Let's say you are walking down the street one day, and see someone eating a delicious ice cream cone that looks super yummy to you. Would it occur to you to run over to that person, beat the living snot out of them and take the ice cream cone for yourself while leaving them bleeding on the sidewalk?

Now, you might be thinking, "WTF DaddyDom? Why the hell would something like that even occur to me, let alone me doing it? I'm not a monster! I'm not violent! I'm not a thief! And I don't beat people up and leave them to die just to eat a damn ice cream cone I could just go buy for myself instead! I'M NOT THAT KIND OF PERSON!"

Right. You are not that kind of person. Notice that above, I didn't even mention the feelings, rights or experiences of the person eating the ice cream in my list of reasons for not attacking them... the whole premise for not attacking them is based on being the kind of person that, because of their own self-respect, their own dignity, their own sense of right and wrong... would never attack someone else, because doing so would feel horrific to them. I don't know about you, but if I attacked someone like that, I wouldn't be able to sleep at night. I would hate who I am and what I did, and would do anything to make it right.

My long-winded point here is this... an emotionally healthy person doesn't have an affair, CANNOT have an affair, because doing so would violate their own sense of decency and integrity. Being more emotionally aware doesn't make you MORE susceptible to an affair, it makes you LESS susceptible. It prevents it entirely in fact.

Do yourself a favor. Stop worrying about who you might become and focus more on the fact that you are not who you want to be RIGHT NOW. Right now, you are a person who chose to NOT respect themselves or their partner. You are a person who chose to lie and hide and do the wrong thing. If that isn't who you want to be, then being someone better is the best choice you can possibly make.

Me: WS
BS: ISurvivedSoFar
D-Day Nov '16
Status: Reconciling
"I am floored by the amount of grace and love she has shown me in choosing to stay and fight for our marriage. I took everything from her, and yet she chose to forgive me."

posts: 1282   ·   registered: Jan. 18th, 2017
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 Spaceman (original poster new member #80138) posted at 7:51 PM on Tuesday, April 26th, 2022

Thanks, Dom!

That clears a lot of the things. As for prostitutes, it was clearly cheating and an affair. I think i made a grammar mistake there. This was a piece of shit thing to do - and i was the one who did it. As for 'small signs' - yes, i will address this with my IC.

Actually on my to do list is to start finally addressing my infidelity with IC. So far I was focusing on the emotional aspects of divorce, the self-awareness, but it is time to openly talk about this as well.

Now, with new version of me i am afraid that i will be more emotionally aware = will end up with some stupid affair at some point.

About this - let me give you an example. Today I was picking up / dropping of kids from my ex and really making a conscious effort to be aware of my convo with ex.

Positives:

1) i noticed that she is distressed (6 months ago I would sweep it under the rug or write off);

2) for a moment I felt an actual pain in my own body as soon as my ex said that she might have depression again (6 months ago, i would say something along the lines - some bullshit-kind version of 'others have it way worse, deal with it').

3) i managed to kindly address this, but without being too intrusive or pushy as ex explicitly asked me to mostly stick to kids topics (6 months ago i would most probably put some me-me-me angle);

Challenges: 1) said a stupid, insensitive joke. Really a minor one, but uncalled for. On the way to my apartament I was thinking about this short convo and realised that. Sent an SMS to ex and said that the joke was unnecessary.

2) real, conscious effort was needed to deal with it.

I mean, it was a 15 minute exchange but i had to be really aware of managing myself (listening, responding, assessing situation). It is really an effort and I am sure I will succeed in time.

Maybe I just feel down today - I hope that I am not some kind of evil manipulator that does all this to fuck up somebody else's life later on...

But maybe i'm just not focusing on the big picture here - every week is slightly better than the next one and this will become easier, and later on - my nature. The ice cream :)

[This message edited by Spaceman at 7:57 PM, Tuesday, April 26th]

posts: 36   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022   ·   location: Poland
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Pyrael ( new member #80247) posted at 1:16 PM on Thursday, April 28th, 2022

But my question is following. What if all this work - becoming more emotionally aware, learning to self-care, understanding the why's and the boundaries, working on improving relationships with important people in my life - touches only the surface?

I don't know how well I can answer this question, but I'm gonna try.

Before my A in '01, I had been cheated on numerous times by girlfriends as well as 2 ex wives. I started feeling like that's just the way it was. People cheated on me and it was because I was a POS and not worth the commitment. I still feel that way from time to time. Hell, I spent 15 years with my wife thinking it at least once a month, then once a week, until finally daily. I never sought help either. I should have.

I don't think its bad to soul search, it's probably the most important thing you can do. Since I've been doing it myself I've noticed that I'm not as bad a person as I thought I was. I have alot of hangups about many things and finally I believe myself when I say "that's ok".

I get afraid of the same things that you have stated. Mind you, I can't find even a shit IC to take me as a patient, so I've had to resort to only having friends to talk with, so take that as it may be. A close friend of mine told me that everything I am feeling about these things is good. The deeper you go, the more you learn. You have to look at each thing and decide (maybe not right away?) if it's positive or negative and put it in it's proper place. There's always room for growth and improvement too.

So my short answer, and maybe I'm just goofy is this:

Why does the idea that you are more than the sum of your parts scare you? If you are only touching the surface, shouldn't you be excited to see who you truly are beneath that surface?

I know it's scary. It's probably terrifying. But I think if you look at it as an opportunity, you'll get an order of magnitude worth of returns.

posts: 17   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2022
id 8732448
Topic is Sleeping.
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