1 comment posted: Wednesday, March 10th, 2021
Christmas and New Years
2020 was quite the year. Pandemic, lock-downs, working from home, still trying to understand what the deal was with toilet paper, face masks, and baking bread.
Mrs. Clean and I went for a drive to a few country markets today and splurged on some nice treats and artisanal meats and cheese for Christmas Eve. It will be a smaller gathering with just our immediate family.
Reflecting back it was a difficult year in some respects. I discovered I had massive pandemic anxiety - spending days freaking out and not doing well in general. I also discovered what it means to be together, like all the time. I was comfortable with that and enjoyed our moments doing small things.
To the point of my post though. I realized what a difference it is being honest and open these past few months. With nothing to hide there was no stress. I spent some nights on the couch due to my anxiety. I was able to let Mrs. Clean know why. I never could have done that before.
Today while driving I handed Mrs. Clean my phone to check a few messages that came in. I just handed her my phone. No worries of what she may see.
So I came to appreciate the growth I have made over these past 5 years.
I also finally started to treat my youngest (he is now 21) as an adult. That was so hard to do for some reason. I've watched him trip and fall a bit, but he gets up pretty fast on his own much to my surprise.
Thanks Covid for these positives.
So, end of year and how about one or two personal growth stories to share with us.....
6 comments posted: Saturday, December 19th, 2020
Positive Reconciliation Stories
W2BHA is always so upbeat and has been on a mission to get a few more posts onto the Positive Reconciliation Stories., and she specially was hoping for a few from WS's.
I took some time to read the stories, and so few from waywards (not surprising). I recalled reading those same posts about 4 years ago and they did motivate me. There was hope.
I posted my story. To be honest I found it more emotional to write out than I expected. It felt good though.
So, any other waywards who are in R and would like to maybe share your success head on over to the Reconciliation forum to the pinned post.
72 comments posted: Tuesday, December 1st, 2020
5 Years today....
5 years ago my AP went all nuclear on my BW and exposed the A to her. I had ended the A a few weeks prior and was trying to build up some kind of nerves to tell my BW. I was way too chickenshit to face her.
For months prior during during the latter stages of the A I kept wanting to scream out to my wife "Can't you see how shitty things are? Look what I've done! I had a fucking affair"
Before My A I so wanted to fix things with my wife. I was too afraid to open a dialogue. I so regret that. No, instead I bitched and complained to another woman. Oh and she fed me all the lines I wanted to hear. I played my AP too. I was taking and taking. My AP made me feel important, and needed and she was willing to do whatever - what a power trip.
I clearly remember those first few moments when my BW called me all confused saying she had an email from a woman.....
That was the start of a journey of self examination, of truth, of learning how to be a couple again, how to communicate and deal with life's stresses.
I decided to blurt out everything. It somehow became easy once I started. The real hard part was trying to understand why I did the things I did, and even harder was accepting I had depression and other issues that I needed to work on.
The AP was the shit sandwich that kept on giving - she literally stalked us for about 6 months. Even after we blocked on everything digital I started to get notes on my windshield at work, mail to my house. With everyone of those I felt awful bringing it to my BW. But in a strange way those brought my BW and I closer. We circled the wagons so to speak. It made it easy for me and my BW to have a real united hate on for the AP.
For a long time I kept thinking about all the 'what ifs' in the years leading up to the A - If only I had accepted that I was depressed, if my BW had not been depressed too, if I tried to communicate with her, if we had sex more....Looking back now I understand that the 'what ifs' search was my way of trying to shirk accepting responsibility. For sure there were issues in our M and with me, but I took the wrong path to deal with things, or more to the point Not Deal with Things. What I did was escapism.
Today for sure there are still the odd triggers from the A, and I know there is a very short leash attached to any trust my BW gives me but I also have learned how to keep her apprised of where I am and what I am doing if out. We have cobbled together a new M with a much healthier relationship. This took work on both our parts.
I mention this time and again on posts - but learning how to effectively communicate was so huge for my wife and I post D-Day.
There is a lot of times I will complain to my wife about work, a neighbour, whatever. I get it off my chest. She listens. Sometimes she agrees, other times she calls bullshit on what I am saying, but end of the day I am communicating. We also don't let stuff build-up or ignore issues. We deal with stuff that bothers us head on now. It is much healthier this way.
I'm here still learning, and also trying to offer some advice along the way. At times I am in awe at some of the responses others put up with such insight.
12 comments posted: Friday, October 9th, 2020
It is interesting how much I have come to understand about EA's over the last few years.
During MC about a year after D-Day I sort of had a moment of clarity about a situation a few years before my A with my BW. My BW started mentioning this one young male lawyer in her firm that would come around to her office and make small talk and joke, etc. Then my BW didn't mention him to me so much, but I would see her texting and reading texts with a smile every so often. Now I was deep in my depression dealing with loss of my brother and father in recent succession and was not really 'present' in my M.
One day we were driving to our summer camp and I looked over to my wife sitting in the passenger seat with a silly grin reading a text. I asked what and who and she quickly closed her phone and said 'oh it was just a funny text from J' (the young lawyer). I said something to the effect that it seemed a bit improper for her to be 'socializing' with a junior in her firm.
Nothing more on that and J not long after left to go to a larger firm.
Fast forward a few years and our M is still on the rocks. We aren't really communicating well. Too many walls built up. I'm miserable. BW is happy to see me off doing whatever hobbies or volunteering as my black cloud is lifted from the house when I'm gone. So between that, running my own business and needing my ego kibble bowl fed I go off and start an affair.
So back to MC. My BW said she was not happy a the time either, but she did not go off and have an affair. Out of the blue I ask about what went on with J. BW admits that yes she enjoyed J's company at work, he paid attention to her, lent her a sympathetic ear, made her day a bit brighter. And yes, she was attracted to J and encouraged his attention, but she would never have crossed the line to an A with him. Even though she did in a non-physical way. And that she had other men show interest in her as well and she could easily have taken them up on their implied offers but chose not to.
Well she did have me there. I did have a PA. So I rugswept as my transgression was bigger.
We talked about it a few more times at MC. I actually stated one time that I could now see that she had an EA. My BW said maybe, but that was because she was lonely in our M at the time and she stopped it before it went any further. There is those boundaries we all talk about. I kind of felt at the time that my BW was saying that she had options if I wasn't all in for R.
Haven't really dealt with it since then. But I think it led to a better progression of our R and fixing how we are with our M moving forward. It led my BW to work on fixing how she was within our M. Maybe it was a recognition that we both needed to change to stay together.
Reading some other recent posts about EA's kind of got me thinking about this again. How many people have EA's and don't really admit it to themselves?
In my case I never processed what occurred at the time, but I guess in looking back my spidey sense that something was not right was bang on. But I was too self absorbed at the time to get what it all meant.
So many missed opportunities to deal with things before I went off and imploded a big old A bomb in our M...
Anyway, just kind of needed to put this out there. It has been on my mind for a while. Thanks.
[This message edited by MrCleanSlate at 11:35 AM, July 22nd (Wednesday)]
7 comments posted: Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020