Infidelity was actually used in a scientific study about trauma!
I know we can't link, but it's an article from Psychology Today (with a misleading headline about positive post traumatic growth - "Research shows trauma can have a positive side").
I was honestly floored that the study used infidelity as a traumatic event, but glad. It's a good read about how you *can* have positive PT growth but you can also go a divergent path where the trauma only confirms negative thoughts and get stuck.
I love a good article that is research backed to share with others who might brush off or not understand the depth of the trauma that infidelity creates. I had to come and share!
6 comments posted: Tuesday, January 17th, 2023
Did I miss the Christmas Card signup?
Ack! I know it's usually sometime around Halloween and just thought about it now. Did I miss the window - or am I too early?
2 comments posted: Monday, October 24th, 2022
Any parents have bi-sexual kids? Need some guidance.
So my 14 yo daughter has been very secretive about her phone lately, turning it face-down, etc. She also has a friend from church who we've known for years that she's started to want to hang out with more. I thought it was weird, just because this person is a year younger and they weren't ever close until a few months ago. Yesterday, she asked to hang out with this person, and I decided to check her texts. Which I've never done, because I do think kids deserve privacy. What I found was lots of sexually-charged discussions and confirmation that this was definitely a romantic thing. When I asked her about it, she told me at first that it was a joke, then said that yes, this was her girlfriend and that she thinks she might be bisexual.
I'm at a loss here. There are so many levels to this. First, the sexting with an 8th grader, is not okay in my opinion. Male or female. If it was a boy, I'd be talking to his parents. Apparently this girl is not "out" to her parents, so I'm obviously not going to out her. BUT, this girl goes to my church. I'm friendly with her mom (have done bible studies with her for years). Just like an affair, I feel like I have to hold onto yet ANOTHER secret that was not my choice. Also, I'm not even sure how to correctly parent my daughter now. She's lied to us about her relationship with this person, even having sleepovers with her in our home (she chose to do this when I was out of town bc I'm sure she knows I'd be paying more attention than her dad). I don't let her 17 yo brother have his girlfriend sleepover, so it's not like I'm playing favorites here.
THere's also a bigger issue, that in looking at her texts and TikTok's, she is saying that someone in middle school told her to kill herself, that she's had an eating disorder for 5 years, etc. I feel awful that she hasn't shared any of this. We did take her to a therapist last year, but she only went a handful of times and said she was fine. I feel like her life started falling apart when DDay 1 happened. She went from a kid with a ton of activities and friends to someone who is completely different and has trouble keeping friendships going. I'm not even sure if she's really thinking she's bisexual or she just loves the attention that this girl is heaping on her and it's "safe", you know? (But obviously I wouldn't say that to her because I don't want her to think I'm dismissive of her.)
Ugh. I don't know. I don't know what I need. I am just so incredibly tired of life throwing curveballs, especially when I'm still struggling to find my own peace. I guess first and foremost, I don't want to say/do the wrong thing here. She broke up with this girl because she thinks I wanted her to. (I didn't, and told her that, but I told her that she was putting me in a difficult situation with the other girls' parents and that I felt like the physical/sexual aspect of the relationship was a lot, especially when one of them is barely 14 and if this were a boy, I'd have already called his mom and set boundaries on how they could interact. (They see each other bc of church at least 3x/week and go on retreats, do lock-ins, etc.) We are like this with other kid relationships at church (keep a watchful eye) as well as with her brother and his relationships. But I know she sees this (and most things honestly) as a dig at her. How do I support her while also just being a parent of a teenager?
20 comments posted: Tuesday, October 18th, 2022
5 years post DDay 1
I remember when I first arrived here. That 2-5 year healing timeline seemed like it was WAY too far in the future. Yet here I am at a little over 5 years from that first DDay that changed everything about my world. Now, I do have a caveat, in that my 2nd DDay was over two years later and that sucker reset me negative years! However, today, I can say that things are still moving in a positive direction.
My actual DDay was almost two weeks ago. About a month prior to that, my WH was planning an overseas trip for work. His first since DDay 2 and his first trip of more than one night since the pandemic. He gave me some weeks to pick from, and I chose the week following DDay (it was a Saturday, he gave me the Monday date). A few days later, he sent me his itinerary. He had booked a flight out on the afternoon OF DDAY! I responded with a ? about the date, and he told me he had been wanting to make sure he got in with enough time Sunday to get a night of rest so he could be functioning on Monday morning. Which I get - but I was pretty non-plussed that he didn't make the connection still. When I again told him that date wasn't a great choice, it finally clicked. He then offered to move the flight, but at that point, the damage of not being cognizant of the date was done and I told him to keep it. Not a great start to the lead up to DDay. (He did end up moving it to a red-eye so that we'd be together the whole day.)
About a week prior to DDay, my body started reminding me what was happening. Unexplainable heaviness in my chest, a flat state of dissociation, and my house was freaking SPOTLESS.
Day of DDay, WH offered up taking a hike together, having dinner, and me taking him to the airport (I get triggers about the airport). When I was dropping him off, the emotional floodgates cracked open and I cried. He held me, reassured me, and told me that he'd left a letter for me by the bed, and headed off. (Letter was sweet and reassuring and gave me some suggestions on what positive things to focus on when I felt sad or angry.)
Once he was gone, I closed those gates back up. Did my work, my kids, my house, and was a superstar at distracting myself from feelings. About three days into the trip, he called from his hotel at the end of the day (since he was overseas, communication was kind of hard but he was consistent about texting throughout the day, calling from his office prior to dinners/events, and FaceTiming as soon as he would return). I started to talk about my day and he interrupted me and said - "I have something to tell you." That sounded ominous, so I got quiet really fast. He then told me that he was supposed to meet a couple of co-workers for dinner but they went ahead of him. When he got there, they had ordered him a beer. So he started to drink it. Then, another co-worker came and had brought a woman from the office with him. Now, our deal is no alcohol in mixed company if I'm not there. So he stopped drinking that beer when she came in and switched to water.
This may sound minor or silly, but to me it was HUGE. In the past, he's gone along with the drinks or whatever, in order to fit in. In the past, even post DDay, I would have to ask questions about who was at functions or whether he had a drink. But that one story, and his insistence on making sure it was the first thing he said to me, showed me how much he has changed. And how much he respects our marriage and me - in a way that he never did before his A.
This whole long story is just a way to say that although there are always hiccups, we now have the tools to move past them. Together. I am not afraid to tell him what causes me anxiety or what I need. He doesn't get defensive or angry and searches out ways to ensure I feel safe. His work doesn't come before family anymore. We check in every night about our feelings and what we are grateful for (this has been really awesome just to center us back to the little things that we do for each other and our family).
Obviously, I will never forget what he did. I still have triggers that I am just now beginning to feel strong enough to tackle. Our sex life is NOT healed and may never be. Our life is forever altered in awful ways (and good ones), but we are working on all of these things together.
I used to want to follow a playbook of those who came before. I needed to KNOW what I had to do to heal. To feel "normal" again. But time, grief, loss and growth have taught me that "normal" doesn't exist as a place to return to. I will never be the same. I will never truly trust him again. He told me the other day that he will always be a little bit afraid that I will leave him, just as I will always hold just a little bit back and not feel 100% safe.
I've said this before, but we choose each other every day. We don't have to, and we know that. Knowing that we each can walk away, but choose to stay and do all of the hard work (that will probably never end!)? I think that is real love being lived out and I am glad we both keep fighting for it.
Thanks to all of you who share here, who have offered laughs and comfort and advice. This place is truly special and I most definitely would not be in such a good mental space without the guidance, references and support from all of you.
5 comments posted: Thursday, April 14th, 2022
Can we talk about sex?
Especially interested in those of you who feel positive about the direction of R or your WS' work.
A little backstory for those of you who don't know me, my WH had an affair in 2017. I discovered and was told the physical extent was a kiss and the EA had been happening for a few months prior. We hysterically bonded mostly daily or multiple times daily for the next two years. It was the best sex either of us we'd had together. (And prior to his A, I was his only, he was NOT my only.) In 2019, he confessed to sex (occurred over a 4 day conference, a BJ on the way home from the airport and a quickie the following week in the parking garage at work).
Since his confession, we've had sex maybe a dozen times. Not a single time was it connective (TMI, but only twice did I face him.) I've cried every time. I also can only be physical if I have headphones in as a distraction. I can't take being silent with him (or hearing him talk to me bc then I wonder what he said to her).
I think I partially I cannot stand the idea that he still gets to have sex with me after the lies and gaslighting, partially that he (and I) feel tainted and disgusting (he gave me an STD that I will have forever bc he had unprotected sex), and partially I am just not okay being vulnerable in that way with him anymore - after two years of completely trusting, that was also destroyed with his lies.
My question ----- has anyone had these issues? I think relationship wise, we do well. Great communication, have fun together, spend a LOT of time together (thanks COVID!), etc. I do think he is honest and tries to be a better man every day (poly confirmed his timeline and since that 2nd DDay there has been no lies).
Is it possible to get that loving feeling back AGAIN? I have started IC up again, and a new BTrauma group, but I am kinda wondering if I need a sex therapist, drugs, or a lobotomy. (I've read a lot, and we've tried sensate touch stuff, which helps but maybe I'm just being impatient).
I always get the sense that while mind movies and triggers happen, many of you are still connecting physically, and I just feel grossed out by my own sexuality these days, much less my husband's.
Thanks in advance for any advice. Infidelity sucks.
25 comments posted: Tuesday, June 8th, 2021