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"Divorce is avoidance"

JoshQ posted 2/9/2021 11:38 AM

This is what someone said in my last post. Obviously, that is not always the case. But in my case, it was.
I'm scared to be around people because I am afraid they won't like me. Sometimes I like to act like I push them away because I am afraid of hurting them, but the truth is I don't always mind hurting people if I get what I want in the end. I am afraid of them finding out that I used them and of rejected thereafter.

I am TERRIFIED of rejection. So what is my solution? Run away. That is always my answer. What caused my infidelity? Running away. I was afraid of dealing with all of the insecurities inside of me? What insecurities? Not being smart enough, not being funny enough, not being sexy enough, not being able to make a solid decision ever, people leaving me for someone else(even though I learned to do the same thing), not being Christian enough, being afraid to reveal the darkest parts of myself. I carry these things around with me everywhere I go and it has caused me nothing but chaos. The amount of decisions I make in life based on my insecurities is ridiculous.

I just need to get this all out there and I probably will have to do the same thing again later down the road because the truth is these things don't go away so easily. I think I will carry some of this damage around with me for the rest of my life. I hope one day I will learn to accept them, but be able to continue on in a positive way.

Divorce is avoidance. I was avoiding working hard, confronting my fears, letting go of my pride, and admitting that I was entirely wrong. Thank you for your guidance. Pray for me. I want this marriage to work too and I know I can't rely on motivation because of how I am wired. So pray for my discipline. Pray that I do the right thing when it is easier to do the wrong thing. Thank you.

hikingout posted 2/9/2021 11:50 AM

I am TERRIFIED of rejection. So what is my solution? Run away. That is always my answer.

This is why I advised you to become vulnerable with your wife.

A good book for this for me was "Rising Strong' By Brene Brown. This is also something to explore in therapy.

Your insecurities are also what created this mess, looking for outside validation constantly. You are on the right track in learning the truth about yourself. Until we understand the truth we can't make the proper changes. It's painful to look at, but if you stay with it, you will find it's well worth it in the end.

foreverlabeled posted 2/9/2021 13:16 PM

I was avoiding working hard, confronting my fears, letting go of my pride, and admitting that I was entirely wrong.
Okay, now what? Whats your plan?

Look, I had huge avoidance issues, and I would have loved more than anything for this to be a smooth easy ride of getting my shit together. But it is hard work. Taking on yourself is such a challenge I'm not even going to lie. I'm 5 years out and honestly only now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Its been painful and many times did I want to give up. But from the very start I made it so that giving up was never an option.

You will have to face fear after fear and confront your worst parts. Its ugly and there will be shame. You'll have to buckle up and get comfortable with the uncomfortable. Because I promise you for the unforeseeable future you will not know your comfort zone if you are doing it right.

But you're gonna need to understand a few things first. Whatever changes you want to make, they aren't going to happen by themselves and (I'm sorry) no amount of praying will magically make it happen. You, YOU have to have the desire for this, in the truest sense of the word, I'm talking earth shattering determination and want. If you don't want to change and put in the work.. it ain't gonna happen.

You will need courage. And let me tell you, I had to have been the most petrified WS that ever crossed these pages. I was scared every step of the way. Man if my year one posts were available I think I would go hide under a rock. My inner child ruled and she was a terrified little girl. But! I didn't let it stop me, I held my breath and did the hard thing anyway. Time after time until, until fear didn't seem so bad anymore. And each time I did the hard thing I found that the elated feelings I got from showing courage was no match for the fear. In fact it helped to keep me going forward.

Relearn how to cope. Do research, expand your knowledge. Its a must. How do you expect to know the healthy thing when all you know is unhealthy? This is what I mean too when I say you have to actually make things happen for yourself. Its not just going to he handed to you, you can't just think "well I'm not going to be like this anymore" and expect that to work. Roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty.

You have this defeated attitude like there's no point so imma just run away. Well, you need to decide right now if you're capable of what needs to be done. Like today. And then get to it.

hikingout posted 2/9/2021 14:20 PM

But you're gonna need to understand a few things first. Whatever changes you want to make, they aren't going to happen by themselves and (I'm sorry) no amount of praying will magically make it happen. You, YOU have to have the desire for this, in the truest sense of the word, I'm talking earth shattering determination and want. If you don't want to change and put in the work.. it ain't gonna happen.

100%, she is exactly right. This was essentially a full time job for me for at least the first 3 years, and then past that I wouldn't say it was full time work, but some of the hardest work has come after that.

Worthwhile - Yes.
Comfort Zone - Shattered, there is no comfort zone
Soul piercingly painful - Yes. And, it's most painful because for a long time there is a lot of flailing and failing. I couldn't tell you how many times in a row I had to reevaluate and readjust.

I would say it's a brain rewire - and it takes challenging your thoughts/behaviors, changing your thoughts/behaviors, being observant of your thoughts/behaviors.

The thing that was most astounding to me is how much manipulating I was doing, and many times without recognizing it.

You will need courage. And let me tell you, I had to have been the most petrified WS that ever crossed these pages. I was scared every step of the way.

Same.

Man if my year one posts were available I think I would go hide under a rock. My inner child ruled and she was a terrified little girl.

Same.

But! I didn't let it stop me, I held my breath and did the hard thing anyway. Time after time until, until fear didn't seem so bad anymore. And each time I did the hard thing I found that the elated feelings I got from showing courage was no match for the fear. In fact it helped to keep me going forward.

This is key. The actions will build the confidence. Doing the right thing is harder at first but every single time you do the hard right thing, you find that it FEELS better. So, there are mini-rewards in the journey as well. When things feel better you gain momentum to continue to choose the right things.

The problem I think is that when we land here we are more concerned with what we want, feel, need than anything else. But, the secret is by doing things the way they should be done what we want, need, feel are easier to obtain. So many things were counter-intuitive to me.

One of the main things is complete and total honesty. And, the hard part of that is often we don't even have that with ourselves.

Keep reading, keep posting, and make sure that you have real live support as well.

MrCleanSlate posted 2/9/2021 15:15 PM

JoshQ,

Wow. You really laid yourself out there with this post. I wasn't man enough to do that. Heck for the first 3 years after D-Day all I did was lurk.

I used to do exactly what you do - run away, or lie to avoid conflict. Man I dug myself such a big hole for doing that.

It is immensely hard to change. To step out of our safe zone.

It does help to just lay it out there though. It feels good. That is something I still work on today 5 years later, but in a good way.

My wife made a good observation about a year ago. She mentioned how she noticed that my willingness to try new foods was directly proportional to my willingness to be open and more honest. It was like I was opening myself up in all areas of life. I was dumbfounded when she said that. It was so true. It hit me then that what I had done was let go of my fear.

It takes a first tentative step. You just need to let go a bit. Trust yourself, and more importantly trust your partner.

[This message edited by MrCleanSlate at 3:15 PM, February 9th (Tuesday)]

NeverWillAgain posted 2/9/2021 15:19 PM

"Every minute is another chance to turn it all around." There is a lot of truth in that. I will tell you I went through much of the same thing as you. But, I handled it differently. I became a performance addict. I worked my ass off to be the best, but not for positive reasons. I was running away from the self image I had. If I did this better, I was not that kid. To the outside world, I was a "could do anything" guy, but internally, I was doing it because I was so afraid to fail and prove who I really was. The sad part is I never knew it until I had my affair and went to counseling. It was a complete awakening for me. I realized that I wasn't that kid. That I could do anything because I wanted to, not to get away from my old self. I came to find peace and was able to let myself relax. I no longer needed external validation because I could finally accept who I am. Counseling turned my life around. It took 2 counselors, one to get my head out of my ass. And a second one that really helped me address my weaknesses and low self image.

You need to do the same. Once you do, you can confront yourself image. Example: Your fear that you are "not smart enough." Everybody has strengths and weaknesses. Instead of looking at your weakness, think about your strengths and use them. This will get you going in a positive direction. I'll guarantee you that you are a lot more intelligent than you are crediting yourself. You're just looking at the wrong areas. Focus on you, focus on your strengths and drive toward those.

Also, think before you speak. Sometimes not telling the truth can be almost automatic. But think about what your are saying and live honestly, one minute at a time, one statement at a time. Be honest with your wife, she deserves it. Most guys get creamed in discussions with women. We tend to be novices at soul baring discussions. So, it's ok to pause and think of the right words or even preface "this may not be the right words."

I tend to want to avoid uncomfortable conversations, but I have to force myself to have them. It's part of me not wanting to disappoint. Think about each of your listed weaknesses, what you do because of them and what you believe you should do. Try to tackle one, one time at first and try to do what you believe you should do. It will be another step away from the things about you that you want and need to change.

sundance posted 2/9/2021 19:35 PM

Praying for you!

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