You are one of my favorite posters. I am not sure if I have said that to you before, but your posts have been so much guidance to me, and always so sage.
To me, the vast majority of my work was understanding my value. That my wife’s choices didn’t degrade me or reflect on me. Betrayal is so personal it obliterates self esteem in early discovery, so I spent a lot of time trying to understand I’m still as amazing as ever. Hiking, I think a lot of your work was rebuilding yourself and understanding your value — so in a way, I think your starting line is slightly ahead of mine.
I don't think that it's that I understand my value, and that my self worth is so strong. That is something I think can come and go for anyone. That's not a permanent fixture type of thing I don't think. I think it's more I know how little my affair was a statement of my husband's value. For some reason, I just can't seem (yet?) to get worked up that this was a statement about my value. Now, it might have been a statement about my value as a wife - right? And, when he started cheating, my value as a wife was pretty damned low. But, I don't think it's a statement of my attributes?
I don't want to sound boastful here, or that this eliminates hurt, because it doesn't. But, while this person was younger than me, she is far less attractive, far less successful, far less substance of a person than I am. She is kind of trashy and not someone who he would have a real relationship with, or at least I would be floored if that is what ended up happening. I honestly feel like I might have to laugh and say good luck. That might be a weird thing to say, but it's just how I feel about it right now.
This doesn’t mean your hurt is ANY less at all, I’m just saying a lot of the work a BS does, you’ve already done. You already let go of the outcome, you already prepared yourself to stand on your own. You’re already much tougher than when you first got here.
Sort of yes. Sort of no.
I don't feel the urgency I did the first time because I am not in denial of how long this is going to take. The first time around I felt I needed to change fast and I think to the point I was not making any progress, I was trying to fake progress. At first, not the whole time. I do feel like I don't have any control on where this lands or what he does. I do feel like I can make it if I need to go on my own.
I don't want to. The pain in all of this really comes from getting to one place and then finding out you were there alone. Being told for such a long period of time one thing, and finding out another. Not knowing if you will ever be able to trust it enough to believe you are in that place again.
After my affair I was so thankful that I kept my family. That my girls had us. That we danced at our daughters wedding together. That we had the kind of marriage that I didn't know was possible and didn't think we could accomplish when I basically wanted out.
How can I go back to that place again? That is the unsurmountable question. I know a WS can feel like they understand love, but I don't even know if my H can understand himself. His disconnect is astounding on some things. In some ways I think his road forward is going to be much harder, not because of me not willing to try but because of who he is and our situation.
I know the decision is down the road, but a lot of times I feel so hopeless because it seems like the only logical outcome is going to be divorce. And, that's not what I want emotionally. That's why I can't engage it. That's why I feel removed from it and want to distract myself from it. Because logically I know I don't know what is going to happen, and I don't have any control over what's going to happen and there is no rush to make a decision.
I kind of think that part of me has already decided it's over, and that's where my functioning and not controlling the outcome is coming from. But I can't connect to that right now, and emotionally it's not what I want. Not sure that makes any sense, but maybe it's more like you said - I am in shock? It's the last thing I was expecting. I don't know if one knows where they are at until later. As a WS I always thought I was in a different stage than I was, hindsight is where I really had a grip on the reality of what just happened. I don't know if that's individual to me, but I have accepted that we just need to keep moving forward and I will know more in hindsight?
So, more emotions may be on the way once the dust settles, and the shock clears, but I hope you’re able to lean on the strength you built with the all the work you’ve already done.
I think there is some truth to that. If this had happened before I had been a wayward myself, I would have a completely terrible set of coping skills, I would have a lot of past trauma I hadn't looked at, and I was a people pleasing pushover who would have rugswept. So, Yes, I think I agree that there are some advantage to the order of these things. And, I can recognize my husband doesn't yet have these advantages. That's really another factor as to why I don't mind to give it a lot of time, as long as he doesn't break some basic boundaries moving forward.
[This message edited by hikingout at 12:24 PM, October 22nd (Thursday)]