Cognitive Dissonance - Cost vs Benefit Analysis
I once said I would never tolerate a spouse that cheated on me…that I’d be gone!
In reality, I stayed for another 14 years. And I can’t say they were great years that just suddenly fell apart again at the end. They were a slog of all the details and nuances and basic lack of general empathy…and they were a grind of red flags and policing and cognitive dissonance. Yes, it was a reconciliation - but ultimately not of the marriage. It’s always intrigued me that such a strong prior stance on what I wanted and deserved in a relationship could just quickly fall by the wayside in light of a d-day. That it could become the lost arc in light of a string determination to save a shattered marriage - because, hey…I needed to be committed to the R thing if it was really going to work, right? And now, some 14+ years later, I am coming to the realization that what I most valued, what I REALLY wanted, ultimately became the sacrificial lamb on the alter of saving the marriage - which, ironically, I now realize I was trying to do just so that I could save those other most wanted aspects of my life.
IOW, I wasn’t clear on what I MOST valued…and I was confused on the means by which I could get those. I made the sacrifices…but I fucked up on my investments.
WTH am I talking about? My WH destroyed the marriage on d-day. Every marriage is destroyed on d-day. It’s not a hard concept to grasp…it’s one I understood back when I claimed I would leave a man that ever cheated on me. What I couldn’t calculate back when all that was so clear to me in such a definitive declaration was the collateral sacrifices - the lifestyle I had grown accustomed to, the physical home I had created, the financial security that had accumulated, the time and stability and routine my children had been able to establish. So many factors…and so much of it now seemed dependent on the state of the marriage. My marriage was destroyed…was I to now make the decision to destroy all these other things too?
"Self-respect" says, yes. What kind of person just tolerates cheating?? Or worse, isn’t it actually a prostitute that would sell out their self-respect for security and comfort?? Rock, meet hard place.
What was I left to do other than to SAVE this marriage? No..not even that. If anything, I must build it back BETTER. How else can this reach an acceptable resolution - where I’ve managed to keep the things I most value AND my self-respect?
Can you see the point I’m making? The marriage that had prior been a piece, now that it was broken, became the keystone to my entire life and well-being. Which only leads to more further irony in that as my WS is checked out, I’m being called to go even further in. Talk about disproportionate power! And this is where I made all those fucked up investments. Because as the marriage requires more, there was less for those other things - including my children. Whether I was still a good mother or not is debatable - my children say I was (God love them!). But *I* missed out on the joy, of being fully and emotionally present, because from my perspective, I needed to save - no, not JUST save, BETTER - the marriage to even keep what I really valued; and that required ALL my energy.
So, what’s the point of all this? What’s my unsolicited advice? - Better described as what I actually learned.
Stop all the internal emotional bullshit that we do to ourselves, spurred on by some kind of psychology of less-than-well-defined self-respect/self-esteem, and just be fucking honest with yourself about what you MOST value and what you really want. This conflict within ourselves is so much more the root of cognitive dissonance than any bullshit our WS is telling us. I firmly believe that it’s never really been an issue of not trusting our gut as much as it’s been an issue of rock vs hard place cognitive dissonance often influenced by societal definitions of what we should do in certain situations. Choose what’s right FOR YOU, simply based on what you most value. - In the moment, letting go of the outcome and what you can’t control, and then get every last juice out of the squeeze - for however long it lasts. And then when things change beyond your control, make that same choice again.
At the end of the day, it’s always a cost vs benefit analysis…and the real problem we have is the idea that we can somehow control it to reconcile it ALL. And in that belief, we often end up sacrificing what is really most important. That’s the real tragedy in this whole experience.
2 comments posted: Friday, April 8th, 2022
Kidney Stones - Any experiences?
I think I’ve got another stone…all the characteristics just not officially diagnosed. Every previous time it has landed me immediately in the hospital…so I don’t have any actual experience with *passing* one (surgical removal - always get stuck in ureters).
So far I’m able to manage the pain of this one at home. Fingers crossed because I have really crappy health insurance right now. I had one really bad night…but it’s been manageable since then. Now more colicky and just a whole lot of pressure.
Any advice to maybe speed this along (other than pounding the water)? Any experiences that you can share to maybe help me figure out where I am in the process?
As always guys - thank you! ❤️
5 comments posted: Monday, March 21st, 2022
Can I tell you guys something? - Vent
My first XH (not the WXh - geesh!) is dead and I’m glad.
That doesn’t fit the given PC - especially given that he had a mental illness. But I don’t fucking care. I’m sorry that he’s the BIOLOGICAL father of my children…I’m sorry that I chose so poorly in that aspect (and my kids are fabulous grown adults, btw). But other than that, I finally have slept soundly…and if that required him dying then so be it.
I ran into an old schoolmate tonight…and he brought up how sad all that was. Yeah? I’m fucking glad. But there’s no place for me to say that….now that he up and died. He’ll go down as "unfortunate". Forever memorialized as all that *could* have been. (Cracked out on heroine and his body left/not found for three months behind an old business building - how fucking sad, right?)
Here’s what it really was. He terrorized me. Caught between saving myself…and trying to pick the best outcome/situation for my children. You want to know what’s really unfortunate?? My kids went to school and activities where they had a "safe word" in the event that anyone tried to pick them up unexpectedly. My elderly parents were terrorized for years with the X’s 2am phone call death threats. My dad got a concealed carry permit when he was 70 because of that. You wonder why I fell off the map…why you never saw me at school reunions? I spent years in hiding. I signed papers that never allowed my kids’ names or pictures to be published in school events. I woke up disoriented from nightmares in the middle of the night…afraid to look at the sleeping sounds of my new H for fear that HE was what I had dreamt.
I lost fucking years of my life because of what he was, what all he did. And I don’t give two shits that he’s not still here to carry that out. But I have to nod my head and agree, yes…it’s such a shame. But the shame is not what everybody else thinks it is.
You know…sometimes when you don’t know all of it, you need to just shut up.
9 comments posted: Thursday, March 10th, 2022
Any med peeps? Took a nasty fall
So I was on a ladder last night, on my stair case, to change a stupid hvac filter that the builder somehow thought was a genius location to place it. (This already sounds like a bad "so an idiot walks into a bar" joke. )
I’d say it was about a 10 ft fall total…in slow motion - I don’t know what all I hit. But I somehow even made the turn in the staircase and landed on the floor in the room below. My recent dip manicure is now completely shot so I know I was at least fighting on the way down.
It seems to mostly be all on my left side…feels like it is in sections from ankle to hip, I’m guessing where I probably hit the nose on each of the steps. I can put weight on that side so long as I stay on the inside of the foot. Certain movements send shooting pains but otherwise just an aching. Strangely, still no swelling anywhere and no signs yet of any bruising. Also strange that there’s no real tenderness to the touch. The most pain comes if I’m laying on the opposite side…feels better to lay on the side I hit.
I have an $8500 deductible on my insurance which is why I’m asking here. Anything stand out as being immediately concerning?
11 comments posted: Sunday, January 23rd, 2022
I have a new man in my life!
So…this last month I finally decided to get online and do a little "shopping around". It wasn’t the first time I had looked, in fact had been considering it ever since my marriage ended; I just couldn’t seem to make myself get serious about it. I’ve surprisingly realized that I’m quite happy on my own…but there were just some aspects I was still missing - one in particular.
Admittedly, his description acknowledged that he had some imperfections…didn’t say a lot about them, pretty vague actually. But given the stated conditions, I wasn’t expected to make any kind of commitment on the front end. He was more than happy to let me take it slow the first few months to see how I felt about him.
When I finally met him in person, he was perfect! Those acknowledged imperfections were so small, had been way overstated. I think it was mostly based on how someone in his prior relationship had described him…maybe someone that didn’t really understand his worth. Nonetheless, he’s strong and handsome…and as a plus, he’s a beast in my kitchen (in a good way). It took me a little while to work through some of the initial challenges, figure out some of his minutia, but as I do, the relationship just continues to get better and better. I love him more and more with each passing day. And my friends and family think he is awesome too! He’s already most definitely a keeper!
And that one particular thing that I had been missing? OMG…he makes the BEST cup of java I have ever had. It’s ecstasy every morning…and sometimes even again later in the day. I held on for years with the EX because he was always so good about making me coffee each morning. If only I had known how much better was out there!
He originates from Breville and identifies as a BES870XL and I found him in the warehouse deals section on a well known online site. The only problem I have now is - and why I am posting - I just need a pet name for him.
11 comments posted: Monday, January 10th, 2022
Just passed the 5 year mark on XWH walking out. I had given up on happiness ever coming. There’s also been a lot of other personal loss in that time. I sometimes just didn’t even know exactly what I was grieving. The heaviness just felt like it would never ever lift.
And yet somehow it quietly has. And what has been left is just a quiet, steady contentment. It’s actually better than happiness…more consistent.
I haven’t dated…actually have no desire. I honestly like having my own space and I’m not sure now that I’ll ever give that up again. Drama goes on all around me - some drummed up, much of it just life. At the end of the day, I close my blinds and all is calm in my own personal life. I am so very thankful for that.
For a long time I just seemed to not care about anything. It scared me…but I also thought maybe it was just a means by which my body and mind protected me. Sometimes though, I honestly wondered if I was just somehow broken. That’s still present but I’ve also learned now how to appreciate it…perhaps I’ve just recalibrated my emotional compass.🤷🏻♀️ Stuff just moves through me now…it comes and it goes. And I guess maybe I’ve learned how not to attach to anything. I just enjoy what I can because I’ve come to see that no matter what it is, there is something about it I always won’t like…But there’s also some aspect of it that I will miss once it’s gone. So I’ve learned how to look for that piece and focus on that instead. It’s truly changing my whole life. I’m so thankful for the experiences in my life that have brought this perspective.
I don’t really know why I’m posting. Maybe just to say, hey…I think I made it. Even if it took me 16 years in total to get here. Would it have happened anyway…without traveling this shitty path I did? I have no idea…and I don’t care. I’m here now and it is fabulous. ❤️
7 comments posted: Friday, December 3rd, 2021
Cat- Litterbox Issue
Gross alert. I need help...I am losing my mind.
Two cat household...the oldest/first one is GREAT. The second one...ay yi yi. She is 6 yrs old and this is an on-going, on/off problem. She virtually will not use the litterbox to poop. She will hold it before she will poop...until she literally can't. I've seen her poop while she is running because it has "slipped up" on her. She will poop in her bed because it "slips up" on her That can happen anywhere but it seems to mostly happen in MY bed...and even while I'm sleeping in it. It's disgusting. It's frustrating. I've spent many wee hours stripping a bed, sleeping without appropriate bedding, etc. I never know when a "gift" is going to show up. Occasionally, she will use the litterbox.
The bigger issue is the peeing outside the litterbox. It's sporadic. There will be a long stretch of appropriate litterbox use...and then there will be a couple of weeks of randomness. Leather sofas (in two separate rooms), upholstered dining room chairs (even when covered in plastic), a pile of clothes on the floor...and worse, again - my bed. Litterbox is scooped a minimum of 2 times/day
- multiple litterboxes
- litter preferences
- multiple Feliway plug-ins (consistently)
- a LitterRobot (f'ing $500!)
- multiple vet visits
- Scat Mats
- more/less attention
- spanking/scolding - which ironically seems to be the only thing that has any impact but I HATE it.
I'm truly losing my mind and am so desperate that I am literally thinking about looking for a cat whisperer or psychic -which only further makes me feel I am losing my mind. I have a good enzymatic cleaner - swaps one offensive smell for another, and just serves to remind me further that the sofa I am sitting on, the bed I am laying in, has been peed on by a cat. Psychologically, the moment an item is peed on, I just want to move it to the curb. I don't think I have gone "nose-blind"...but who the hell even knows?? It is making my home miserable. And it's definitely affecting how I actually feel about this cat.
Does anybody have ANY further suggestions for me? One of us is going to need xanax if this doesn't get resolved.
12 comments posted: Monday, November 8th, 2021
My close friend died
Three weeks ago. She had just turned 50. She was also my next door neighbor.
Her H is pressuring me to become fuck buddies.
I don’t even know how to make sense of life anymore. This is my fourth death/loss in less than 5 years.
16 comments posted: Tuesday, November 2nd, 2021