Infidelity year and it's impact
2019 was when my DDay happened and the ensuing trauma. It feels like that is all I can associate with that year. I couldn't tell you if any note worthy historical events took place. Or how my favorite sports teams did. Or what my daughters favorite toys were then. All of that is just a giant blur. Including the things that occurred prior to DDay (which scares me a little). Everything besides the infidelity is just background noise.
When I think of 2019, the first thing that pops up in my mind is infidelity. Not even my moms passing gets top billing.
I recently flipped by a movie on a HBO and wondered when did that come out? I don't remember that. Turns out it was released in 2019. Of course it was 2019. I even said to myself, No wonder I don't remember it.
Am I the only one who feels like this? For those of you with stories of betrayal that include LTA's stretching past a year, or years of multiple DDays I am truly sorry. That has to be even worse.
This awful association between the year 2019 and infidelity can't be healthy for me. Am I causing myself to stay stuck by allowing those thoughts? How do I combat that? or does it just become less likely to come up as years pass by?
Is discussing it worse? By not letting it die on its own. Would I have been better off correcting myself and saying I didn't remember the movie from 2019 because of .......? I have specific dates that are trigger city for me, like Easter. Since its obviously an annual holiday, I need to continue working towards overcoming it. But what about an entire year!
I'd like to here from BS and WS's alike.
[This message edited by Neanderthal at 10:18 AM, April 19th (Monday)]
12 comments posted: Monday, April 19th, 2021
What is Irredeemable?
I don't know if redeemable is the correct word. It's just the best I can think of. Its a thought that pops up and I have a hard time shaking it. I understand that is a very personal line in the sand for everyone. BS's are welcome to respond as well.
If you've done things you thought were irredeemable, after the fact how did you move on? Or is that even an option? Moving on almost feels like accepting my actions or letting them go. I am not trying to punish myself by staying stuck there, I don't think. I just really don't want to rugsweep or ever fall back into the same patterns.
Do you just live your life the best way possible knowing you will always be a net negative. That nothing can ever make up for our past behavior. Basically stop doing more harm and live.
An easy example: If my daughter dates someone that puts her through the horrible atrocities I put my ex wife through. I would view that person to be irredeemable. So therefore I find myself irredeemable as well.
I think this is different from loving yourself. It's more of a moral hardline that now exists in me that obviously was missing before hand. I know self-love is very important and I am working on that. My IC and I have spent plenty of time uncovering why I feel unlovable and proving my thinking wrong. I feel I have made some major strides in that regard.
I am also aware this is very selfish talk. Someone with regret and remorse would be more focused on the victim. Feeling their pain. I believe I do that as well.
Is it wrong to even be questioning this? Just an example of a wayward putting their own feelings first? Am I focused on a label that doesn't really matter or exist? Again this is a self imposed label. Nothing the people I care for and love have put on me.
This post isn't coming from a place of shame. More like self reflection and lack of understanding.
22 comments posted: Wednesday, March 31st, 2021
Becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable
This has been on my mind a lot lately and sure enough, a wise member here mentioned it on another thread. Seemed like a good enough reason to share what I am working on and feeling. This will probably be all over the place. Sorry.
I never considered myself conflict avoidant. In fact, I felt quite the opposite. I rather enjoyed conflict, as long as I was in control or it lacked emotional baggage. I loved playing devils advocate in a debate or involving myself in someone else’s problems. I’d throw out a rather simple solution and feel good about myself for being so smart (even though I lacked empathy and I usually was wrong).
But I am/was avoidant of anything that makes me emotionally uncomfortable. This was especially true before my world blew apart last year. Saying I love you to my then wife, made me uncomfortable. Singing a lullaby to my daughter made me uncomfortable. Being emotionally available to anyone was extremely uncomfortable. So I just didn’t do it. After all the confessions last year by my xW and I, sitting in the unknown was so fucking uncomfortable. Not knowing the outcome made my skin crawl!
Unfortunately, damn near everything makes me uncomfortable now. So, I just cannot continue to avoid it. Even SI makes me uncomfortable. When people would accuse me of running, or punishing, or minimizing, I’d get angry and just pretend they were wrong. Afterall I’m a special snowflake, they didn’t understand me. My IC has been great about making me sit and squirm in those awkward feelings. Trying to get me to become comfortable with being uncomfortable.
My sister passed away last week. We knew it was coming (cancer), and I had made plans to visit. She died the day before I was supposed to arrive. My family history is complicated (surprise!), so I’m not very close to many of my family members. I was supposed to stay with these blood related strangers during the trip to visit my sister. Old avoidant me would have used plenty of easy excuses to not make the trip. I mean I’m just a stranger after all, plus my sister already passed, and let’s not forget about COVID. I was ready to call and cancel my flight and car reservations. I could feel myself hiding from being uncomfortable. I was going to ignore her death, like I did my fathers. Shed a quick tear and try to never think of them again. I was going to take the easy way out.
But I couldn’t. I’ve done that all my life and look what that’s gotten me! So I went……and I am so grateful that I did. We cried, we laughed, we even baked. Within 30 minutes of arriving at my stranger nephew’s house (he’s my age), we were underneath his Jeep replacing the starter. I no longer consider him a stranger. I love him and all the wonderful people I met or re-met after 20 years of disconnect. There were difficult uncomfortable moments, like sitting down and talking with my nieces after their mother passed. Or trying to comfort my other sister (they were very close). I didn’t know what to say or do most of the time, but at least I was there. At least I tried.
I’m still not comfortable being uncomfortable. But I am trying.
18 comments posted: Wednesday, December 16th, 2020
Adjusting to less human touch
I never realized how important to my mental health human touch is. I can trace it back to my relationship with my father. Before he abandoned my mom and I, we were very close. Yes he was physically abusive, but I still loved doing dad/son activities with him.
One thing he was great at was random head scratches, back scratch, etc. I hated church, but so looked forward to that time sitting in the church row with him. I felt loved when he hugged me or scratched my head.
Then he moved away when I was a preteen. I tried to get that kind of physical touch from my mom, but she wasn't capable of it. Not her fault, years of literal torture from my dad (physical, verbal, sexual abuse). So I just went without.
Fast forward to my failed marriage. That physical touch was like a peace for me. I needed it. Even when we were in our worst places, I still needed it and asked for it.
I survived 2 six month deployments without it, but I became a very cold distant person. I don't want to become that again.
Now I'm divorced but not completely alone. My daughter is with me half of the week. I'm learning to share that positive connection, head scratching to her (when she sits still lol). I give her lots of hugs too. When I tuck her into bed. She hugs and kisses me good night, then states: "Now you may go". She's 6 BTW. I love those little routines.
Anyways on the days I don't have her, and I'm down, I really miss that connection. I'm trying to stay away from any kind of companionship for a while.
What do others do to cope with that lack of physical connection?
28 comments posted: Sunday, November 15th, 2020
Self-sabotage is when we actively or passively take steps to prevent ourselves from reaching our goals. This behavior can affect nearly every aspect of life be it a relationship, a career goal, or a personal goal such as weight loss.
Yup, I am guilty of it.
How many others have done this as well?
Here's a couple of examples:
I don't deserve her or I'm not a good person, so I won't even allow "US" to be a possibility.
It happens at work too. I'll be getting praise for my involvement in a project from my supervisor. Instead of appreciating the kind words, I'll quickly remind my boss of an error I made.
I know my self-sabotaging stems from lack of self-worth and self-love. Instead of using my infidelity as a reason to get my shit together. I use it as an excuse to just lay down. Or better yet....Cut myself down.
I wonder how many decisions we make, or actions we take, consciously or subconsciously are made to destroy ourselves? Maybe we don't even realize we are doing it?
19 comments posted: Friday, October 23rd, 2020
Stopping a Downward Spiral
I was trying to put my daughter's hair up in a ponytail this morning and started to fall into depression and negative thoughts (bad father, why don't I know how to do this already?, Failure, etc). I just couldn't get it right, really messy, and I was pulling her hair. She was a trooper and said it looks fine. Normally this would just shut me down and I'd pretty much give up on the day. Honestly I started to do just that. Then I decided to text my sister and tell her how terrible a dad I am. She said this:
Sometimes the little things are the hardest.
She is an amazingly supportive person. I'm so glad to have her. My whole life I would have just held that negative energy and feelings in. With her simple texts, I felt better, quit feeling like shit and continued my day with my little one.
When things like this happen to you, how do you pull yourself back out? Remove the negative feelings?
[This message edited by Neanderthal at 1:36 PM, August 31st (Monday)]
7 comments posted: Saturday, August 29th, 2020
Divorcing but still screwing up
How many of you chose to divorce, believe its the correct thing, and understand detaching is necessary, yet still make terrible life decisions?
I pain shopped the other day. Even though my marriage is over and divorce papers are filed. I know I shouldn't have but I did. I found out her AP lived next to us years before the affair supposedly started. This caused me to question the timeline. How do you guys turn that shit off? Cause it still hurt as bad as it did shortly after DDay.
My situation is kind of unique as a MH, and since my STBXW is also active on SI. This place has also sort of become pain shopping for me. Its hard not to read what people are saying about me. Again, I know I shouldn't care.
I know I should avoid her thread like the plague. But I screwed that up too. I felt I was being portrayed incorrectly and invaded her safe space for my own needs.
What other mistakes can I look forward to? Or any advice help me get ahead of the curve.
I'm trying to keep myself busy during down time, and I am actually looking at getting a dumb phone to keep me off the internet (pain shopping tool).
11 comments posted: Thursday, July 23rd, 2020
For those of you that don't know. Lifedestroyer and I are Madhatters. My abuse and infidelity was 7 plus years ago. LD had a 6 month LTA EA/PA last year.
First I'd like to say thank you to everyone on this forum. The support helped me survive the worst thing I have ever experienced.
I know some of you wont believe anything I write, and I understand why. But I am going to try and clear up a few things.
Also those of you that would like to discuss my failings as a human being, here I am....for now.
LD's lease was ending, and we had already decided if divorce occurs, she would get the house. I suggested she move back in and see how things go. If divorce was inevitable, that move made sense, its her house. Could we have handled that better?....probably. But what other options make sense? She stays in an apartment burning money until we decide to divorce, then I move out as she moved in? Like two ships passing in the night? Would that have been better for our daughter? maybe.
Did our daughter get her hopes up? Yup very much so. But she also got to experience some wonderful things. Last Friday we had a bonfire, sat around together as a family and roasted marshmallows. She had a wonderful time. As did LD and I. Was those few hours of happiness not worth the chance?
Lets not forget all the Covid stuff happening. Did any of you want your child living away from you during all this?
Why did I leave SI?
It's simple really. I was weak. I made a fool of myself, was told I have anger issues and I retreated into myself.
Someone telling a normal functioning person that they have anger issues may not have a large effect. For me though, It was devastating. I'll explain.
Do I have an anger problem? Yup I do. What does my anger look like? Not physical, mostly I take it out on myself. Sometimes I lash out verbally at others. As you all have witnessed. What I thought it meant.....I thought I meant I was my father. I internalized it as being as bad as he was. Beating everyone around him, destroying things, practically killing my mom. That was what I thought anger issues meant. That's what he did.
Therefore I have no business being around LD, my daughter or anyone else that I care about. So I drove my car into my garage, closed the garage door and kept the vehicle running. To this day I don't know why I finally shut off the ignition, but I am glad I did.
I decided to take a break from SI. Up to that point it had been 6 months of nothing but infidelity. I lived and breathed it 24/7.
Am I an abuser? I don't think so. Was I an abuser? Definitely yes. I wont defend my actions from 7 years ago. I was a terrible human being.
I don't believe I am stringing LD along. I am still an emotional mess. I don't trust my own thinking. I have inadvertently hurt her more. I have not stopped apologizing to LD. For everything. For my past behavior, for not being strong enough to continue to fight for this marriage, and for filing for divorce.
Some of the concerns you SI members have for LD, I have too.
Is she fighting for a bad mans attention and love?
Is the shame and guilt driving her to hold together a toxic relationship?
Can she truly heal herself around me?
Why is she defending a monster? (past or present)
We are two very broken human beings, who are working to becoming better. Her journey recently started. I believe mine started years ago when I quit drinking. I believe both of us have a better chance of becoming wonderful people and parents, but we must do it separately.
I am still sober. Next month will be a year. I am not in IC. I will probably go back to IC sometime after I settle into my new place. Collectively we burned through $6k on IC visits during the last year. When the finances make sense, i'll probably go back.
I feel I am more self aware than I have ever been. I see it in my interactions with friends and coworkers. I am trying to believe I am redeemable as a human being. My daughter deserves that.
Continuous Improvement....that's the goal right?
LD and I are far better than our parents were. Our daughter has two parents that love her and will do anything to keep her safe. Will she have scars from our parenting errors? Definitely. Hopefully less than LD and I have from our parents.
LD and I are divorcing. I move out this weekend. I am terrified of the damage to everyone involved with this decision.
I am trying to set LD and our daughter up for success through this divorce process.
42 comments posted: Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020
No More Rug Sweeping
If you aren't familiar with my story here are the cliff notes:
9 or so years ago I convinced my wife to try the swinging lifestyle. I constantly pushed through her rules and boundaries involving what I was allowed to do with other women.
I sexted a woman we had met through the lifestyle without my wife's knowledge. Happened 7 or 8 years ago. Disclosed in 2020
I had PinV intercourse with a woman in front of my wife, during a swinging night. This was very much against our agreed upon rules. Happened in 2013.
I later kissed that same woman at a Halloween party. This was against our agreed upon rules. My wife was also pregnant at the time. Happened in 2013. Disclosed in 2019
I was asked to go home with a woman at a bar while away on a work trip. I said yes. Then the woman remembered I was married and changed her mind. Happened in 2013. Disclosed in 2020
During the early part of swinging I joined but didn't use Ashley Madison. Around 8 or 9 years ago. Disclosed in 2020
Through all of this I was a verbally abusive drunk. I told her I wasn't in love with her anymore and that I wasn't attracted to her either.
We then rugswept what she knew and I kept the rest to myself with no intentions of ever telling her. I think the birth of my daughter forced me to work on being better. I stopped drinking in 2015.
Last July I found out my wife was having an affair (6 month EA/PA). It only stopped because I caught them. Her infidelity eventually prompted me to tell her the secrets I had been keeping from her.
This brought me to SI.
I am sorry to everyone here in this community for pretending I am something I am not. I am not Innocent
We are currently separated. She wants to R and I am in limbo.
What I do know:
We will be in each others lives for many years to come. Thanks to our beautiful daughter.
I don't want to hurt her anymore.
Regardless of R or D, I want to help her in anyway possible to deal with my cheating and wayward ways.
I want to continue to better myself. I don't believe I am the same man that did those terrible things years ago, but I still have plenty to fix.
I want to learn to love myself.
I am a madhatter but the purpose of this thread is to work on me while wearing my wayward hat.
Which is very hard because I still feel very much betrayed. Its maddening!
I have no contact with any of the women I was involved with. I shared everything I can remember. This all happened during a very heavy drinking period of my life. I say that not as an excuse but for why it's hard to recall all the details. As I remember details I offer to share them with my wife.
I have been reading all over SI for 6 months now. The whys......they bother me. When someone gives there whys, all I see are excuses. That applies to myself as well. Lots of people have FOO issues, low self worth, and resentments but don't cheat. I cheated because I chose to. I am a very selfish person.
I'm hoping something I do IRL, here, or in IC will jump start me back to life. Maybe fixing my shit is the goal I need.
43 comments posted: Tuesday, January 21st, 2020