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Canít believe Iím back

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BluerThanBlue posted 6/14/2021 09:33 AM

SI is really strict about infidelity resource recommendations so Iím afraid I canít post anything that isnít already in the Healing Library. Thatís a good place to start, but at the same time, I do want to advise you against totally immersing yourself In infidelity-related material, whether itís podcasts, books, or even SI. Everything you read or listen to is going to have its own perspective and its own agenda; sometimes too many perspectives can make you more confused, not less.

Similarly, limit who you talk about the situation to 2 people that you completely trust to give you sound, honest advice thatís in YOUR best interests. When I found out, I told too many people; all the responses were really overwhelming and the abundance of advice was more confusing that no advice at all.

The most beneficial action I took was move out. If you own your home, then he should leave. At the time I moved out, I hadnít decided if I wanted to divorce, but I knew I couldnít continue to stay in the same space with him and achieve any kind of healing or clarity.

For a few weeks after I moved, however, I spoke with him frequently. He alternated between begging for me to return and then making me feel crazy for walking in the first place. I decided to limit contract after a few weeks because I got sick of getting roped into these draining discussions that almost always focused on HIM and how he was feeling. At a certain point, I decided I didnít want to hear a word he had to say and just wanted to focus on his actions. Even if you havenít decided if you want to reconcile or break up, you should go no contact or at the very least limit your contact to specific days and times. If your goal is to focus on yourself, you donít need him chewing your ear.

Do you have any friends or hobbies that you let fall by wayside since youíve been with him? I think reengaging with people you lost touch with and things you enjoyed doing is a much better use of your time then burying yourself head first into infidelity-related material.

Last but not least, find an individual counselor. Clearly, you find yourself in serious relationships with duplicitous men; you need to get to the root cause of why that is. When interviewing counselors, tell them what your specific therapeutic goals are and ask them about their therapeutic techniques. How do they measure progress or success? If they feel that the counseling isnít going well, how do you address that?

Good luck, Happening, and reach out when you need to.

[This message edited by BluerThanBlue at 9:34 AM, June 14th (Monday)]

Happening posted 6/14/2021 12:18 PM

Thank you for the replies and advice around growth. I find it really heartening, it helps me feel I am on the right path for me.

In the past I took the first counsellor I could, limited by finance and work restrictions. This time, I have done otherwise, and done what it turns out you recommend! I had consults with several ICs, laid out the situation and my goals, and have chosen the one I felt most experienced and aligned to help me with those goals, or just related to betrayal recovery but in longer terms as well of ensuring boundaries for self care, parenting, stress and anxiety. If they arenít the right one though, or I donít feel progress, I will try another. The one benefit of being here before is that I know healing is possible, and I know my own strength. Before it seemed the pain would never end, and, spurred by blame from my ex and others, I believed it was my fault. Now I know the pain will end, I just have to do the work, and itís not my fault I am back on this road.

As for not telling too many people, definitely. That was an issue in my past go-round. I have a trusted friend who knows, and I am comfortable with that for now.

Finally, non infidelity related things, or hobbies I let slip. No, I didnít let anything slip during the relationship. However, the pandemic has limited a bunch of them, singing, travel, changed the way I volunteer. Thatís been rough, but itís starting to get better. I try to take breaks from this regularly, even if itís just to do a hard crossword puzzle that requires my brain to refocus, or listen to a funny podcast, watch a movie with my kid.

Basically, I know I have a long road ahead of me, but I know I can walk it. Itís good though to know there are other people on the road too, that Iím not alone.

devotedman posted 6/14/2021 12:49 PM

This is going to sound new-agey as crap. It isn't, though, these techniques have been around a long, long time.

Here's what helped me heal, in rough order:

First, I learned to breath correctly. In through the nose, out through the mouth. I also learned how to time the breaths with my internal clock, you know that "beat" that you can feel? That. Breathe in sharply through the nose and fill your lungs, about a count of 4 or 5 beats for me. Hold it for a beat of 1 or 2, then open your mouth and breathe out more slowly, about a count of 8 beats for me. Expel all of your air comfortably, not exhaling to the point of emptiness, but almost. Do this about 10 times to charge your body with oxygen and then relax into a more gentle in through the nose out through the mouth routine.

This is the first step in practicing mindfulness.

Next, sit in an armchair in a dim room. Get situated, feet flat on floor, arms resting on the chair arms, relaxed. Do your breathing exercise. When done with 10-ish breaths start taking stock of your body. Start with your left foot. What does it feel? Do you feel pressure against the floor? Any pains? Acknowledge the feelings relax the muscles, and move on. Right foot, same. Left lower leg, right lower leg. Left knee, right knee. Left thigh, right thigh. Left hand, right hand, on up to the shoulders and then switch to our torso. Move your inner focus up your torso, then into your neck, then your head.

Next focus on your hearing, then smell. What do you hear? What do you smell? Acknowledge those things.

Finally, focus on your thoughts. Acknowledge your thoughts. If something is troubling you picture writing that thing on a piece of paper and then letting it go into the wind and out of the room.

What this is doing is helping you be "in the moment." You consciously choose to ignore what other people are trying to get you to do and instead focus on you, what you're feeling, what state your body is in.

There are old religions that make a point of recognizing the difference between your thoughs, your emotions, and _you_.

You aren't what you _feel_ emotionally. Those things are reactions outside stimuli, and often knee-jerk reactions. Learn to recognize the feelings and let them go. One technique that helps is the chair exercise above.

Another thing that helped is recognizing the difference between thoughts and feelings. Something that helps there is to put the phrase "I think" in front of the words that describe what is going on with you. If "I think X" doesn't make sense then that thing is an emotion. If it does make sense then it is a thought.

"I think angry." Makes no sense. That's an emotion, not a thought.
"I think sad." Makes no sense.
"I think that you don't respect me." Makes sense. That's a thought, not an emotion.

Hope some of this helps!

FaithFool posted 6/14/2021 14:36 PM

Sorry to hear this.

You deserve so much more than having to put in years of hard work hoping maybe a serial cheater who put your life in danger will change his spots for you. So much energy that could be directed toward having a fabulous life. It's a massive gamble.


You'll decide whatever you decide, but the best healing path for me was finding my self respect and not wasting one more minute crawling from the flaming wreckage.

Hugs.

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