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Wayward Side :
Not doing so well

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 Bulcy (original poster member #74034) posted at 8:31 PM on Tuesday, July 19th, 2022

BS and I had agreed that we would close the book on the time line, if there were more questions that came to mind, I would do my best to answer them, but we decided to try and live more in the now and no be bogged down in detail. We agreed to be open with one another and work on the "whys" together and with my IC. Also I would continue in my support group and generally be more in the relationship than I was before. Living in the now is difficult (hence my thread).

Since this agreement I have had a few triggers. One of these in particular was at work with a female work colleague. I find her very annoying and condescending (she is my boss). BS noticed this when I was working from home and had the call on speaker. (I don't think she means it, she just is) Anyway, in recent days I've found dealing with her more and more difficult. The problem I had in my head was that I described a former AP as "annoying" as a way of deflecting the affair ALSO she shares a name with another AP. A double whammy. So, I chose to hide my frustrations with this work colleague so as to not trigger BS. I was triggering like crazy...Now here I sit. BS wanted to talk about my feelings, especially concerning work. I know this was a big trigger and know she hates ever day I spend in the office. I chose to hide from this conversation and sit on my feelings. Obviously BS felt this. Obviously BS triggered even more as I was hiding work frustrations from her. I know this was stupid and I know I should have done better. I've once again hurt BS with something so avoidable.

I'm struggling with not spiralling into shame and self pity. I had a chance to help BS move forwards and I let her down again.

Not sure what I want from typing this, I needed to sound off.

WH (40's) Me. Emotional affair (2017), Physical affair (2003) and online affairs, Two physical affairs (2000). D-Day's 2003, August '17, multiple discoveries through 2018,19 and 20, Jan 21 and 2022

posts: 209   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8745427
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MIgander ( member #71285) posted at 10:08 PM on Tuesday, July 19th, 2022

Hey Bulcy,

You're heard. I need to vent too. The following is my fellow bitching about life and consequences after the A, so... read or not- you've been forewarned. But basically, I'm trying to show you sympathy by letting you know that your misery has company with a fellow traveler. This post has taken a life of its own, so I'm moving it into a new thread.

I hope things improve for you guys and you're able to live more and more in the moment and enjoy those moments together.

Don't get too hard on yourself. Before I could conquer the shame spiral, I had to first identify it and the crappy old behaviors that led to it. You've done that- ID'd the crap coping mechanisms that triggered your BW. Next, as you went into the spiral, you were able recognize it for what it was. Next step: LEARN NEW WAYS TO PULL OUT! Like a Top Gun fighter- learning to pull out of the nosedive is an advanced technique. Consider yourself in the book study right now on it, next thing to do is practice the technique in IC.

Wishing you the best. Your posts are really insightful and I've learned a lot from them. It's also good to see more and more WS's posting here who are doing the work. It's a big encouragement to me- I feel less alone knowing there's people in our "InfidelityAnon" small group here working towards the same goal.

This is such a lonely road, it's good to know that we've got a group here going it together.

WW/BW Dday July 2019. BH/WH- multiple EA's. Back at it again- bantering w the younger woman. Lied about blocking phone calls and deleted texts. Carried on with her.

Nothing changes if nothing changes.

posts: 773   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
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foreverlabeled ( member #52070) posted at 12:40 AM on Thursday, July 21st, 2022

Hey Bulcy

The thing with change and it's our biggest undertaking is the rewiring that must ensue. That's not some figure of speech, its practical and necessary work that involves making new connections in our brain. Its not going to happen in thought alone.. its real science and the only way to make these new connections is to be faced with the old and rather than taking the same path, you practice the new. You actually do the opposite of your knee jerk reaction. Of course you will need to be equipped with what new looks like, some understanding of the self and things like that. But it's not hard and you already know.

And the hard thing about it is that all the old comes with the comforts we tell ourselves that shields the unknown. Honesty (for me anyway), its the unknown that blocked me, the what ifs, the fear of stepping outside what I've always done.. learned behavior and whatnot.

But..these comforts will no longer serve us if change is truly what we seek. I can remember so very often I would be terrified of the new, scared for many reasons both real and imaginary. It involves putting ourselves out there when all we've ever reached for was hiding in the dark. It runs risk, we don't like risk if it runs uncertainty, uncomfortable feelings, and positions it might put us in. These risks are real you know? there's rejection, shame, loss of security, hurt feelings, all of that impacts us on some level and it keeps us restrained. It's kinda lose/lose though. Especially concerning this. Think of Newton's first law of motion. At rest stays at rest, in motion stays in motion. It applies.

You didn't want to trigger your wife, perhaps if you're honest maybe you didn't want to trigger your own backlash as well? Maybe a feeling of I'm going to be in trouble, BS is going to be mad at me and the whole situation again, hard conversations will arise, maybe the place yall were in was decent and didn't want to rock the boat. The list goes on for all of us as to why we can talk ourselves out of doing the hard thing and therefore staying in our comfort zones.

And what we fail to see time and time again is anything is better than a lie, or withholding info, or lies by omission. Literally anything..we have nothing to lose at this point and our BSs aren't stupid, in fact they are at their most heighten awareness, picking up on everything you are laying down, good bad and ugly. And when I say anything is better, I mean ANYTHING is better.

Courage can be hard to find. I know this all to well. There were times when I thought to myself if I say this out loud I just know thats it, this is the last straw. Or, if I bring this up its going cause major spiraling for BS, maybe I shouldn't. Or, I don't feel like going there right now. But all those excuses were to keep me in a false sense of security and comfort. Many times I just had to blurt it out or I would never speak the words. I would be honest and say I'm really just fucked up right now don't know what's up or down. I would also ease into it and say I would like to talk about something (that's the short version) and set a time very near in the future to discuss, that way it gives me time to get it together and also makes time to talk about it, can't take something like that back kwim? So it forces you to circle back.

I can also remember the feeling of doing that hard thing and what acting on courage felt like. I can access that feeling easier than I can remember the feeling of being scared. And it still propels me to this day to always do the hard thing and be as authentic as I can possibly be. We are so focused on short term gratification, that we don't even know what long term gratification brings into our lives. The shift is unreal.

Truthfully Bulcy, what really stopped you from speaking that truth? Seeing the outcome now, do you think it would have been easier on everyone if you were more forthcoming? You don't have to answer that here, but I implore you to spend some time on both outcomes, really think it through. Of course you can't really know what would have happened if you were honest about this, but maybe next time you stop your go to, your knee jerk, and you pause to do the hard thing and just see what happens. It might surprise you. Oh sure there may be a fight, there may be some uncomfortable feelings, but hey at least you won't be skirting ground zero again. In fact when its all said and done whether you feel it or not you're building trust back, you're building your confidence back. It benefits your BS but it doesn't touch what it can do for you.

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sundance ( member #72129) posted at 5:35 PM on Sunday, July 24th, 2022

OP said: I find her very annoying and condescending (she is my boss). BS noticed this when I was working from home and had the call on speaker. (I don't think she means it, she just is) Anyway, in recent days I've found dealing with her more and more difficult. The problem I had in my head was that I described a former AP as "annoying" as a way of deflecting the affair ALSO she shares a name with another AP. A double whammy. So, I chose to hide my frustrations with this work colleague so as to not trigger BS. I was triggering like crazy...Now here I sit. BS wanted to talk about my feelings, especially concerning work. I know this was a big trigger and know she hates ever day I spend in the office. I chose to hide from this conversation and sit on my feelings. Obviously BS felt this.

i'm not sure i understand the problem? what were/are you afraid of? -- hiding feelings, not communicating enough with your wife, anxiety over admitting that you find your boss annoying?

moreover, what are you currently working on in IC?-- are you trying to get your anxiety/fears under control (maybe by recognizing that your own perceptions of the world are "off"), or are you trying to be more open by communicating every feeling you have with your wife (because maybe before you didn't share any feelings with her)??

i ask because if you are working in IC on changing your perceptions of the world, then recognizing that your boss is difficult and learning to accept it/sit with it without getting anxious about it (or making a mountain out of a molehill) seems to be the most helpful course of action in personal development. in this situation, i'm not sure why you'd see this as failing (??).

on the other hand, if you are working on being more honest about your feelings with your spouse, i would think a simple, "my boss drives me nuts sometimes," would be enough of a statement to start a conversation if your wife wants to pursue the conversation further.

it's been a while since i've been in IC, but personally, i needed to work a LOT on fixing my own misconstrued perceptions of the world/my life. in my case, i was instructed by therapist not to dwell on things that were out of my control, and not to fixate on/complain to my spouse about external things that happened in the past-- essentially, i was oversharing my bitterness, negative energy (with everyone). i had to learn to turn that around while remaining open with my spouse. for me, it meant shortening both my internal thoughts about a situation, and also what i said/shared about a particular situation. hence, "my boss drives me nuts sometimes!" -- and allowing my spouse to take it from there.

as to good communication practices-- i am a huge advocate of gratitude, and sharing DAILY with your spouse at least one thing you are grateful for today. personally, i like climbing in to bed together at the end of the day and sharing my best good thing.

hoping something i said was helpful to you! this stuff is hard for sure! sunny

Rusty: You scared?Linus: You suicidal?Rusty: Only in the morning.

posts: 142   ·   registered: Nov. 21st, 2019
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 Bulcy (original poster member #74034) posted at 11:13 PM on Monday, July 25th, 2022

Hi Sunny,

The main problem was I triggered at both the name of the person I am working with as this is the same as a former AP. This was known and discussed prior to starting the role. An additional trigger was that I find her annoying. This is how I described another former AP, to disguise the fact that there was any feelings there. When these triggers were flashing through my mind, I hid from them and did not share them with BS. I did not want her to trigger and therefore have to have a difficult conversation about feelings. This is typical of wayward thinking and caused BS to trigger even more. Not only this, but I dealt with these further triggers poorly.

In IC I'm trying to work on the whys, but this is getting pushed back while we investigate why I keep hiding from my feelings and bottling them up. Why I have thought of myself as superior to others and almost invincible when it came to doing what I wanted and getting what I wanted. We had previously been doing a fair bit of digging into FOO. I am anxious to get back onto this, but do see the need to get to the bottom of many other issues too (the need for validation from unsafe "friends" being a big one).

I am struggling with a lot of things at the moment and do occasionally fall into a "woe is me" mentality.


foreverlabeled,

You make some excellent points. I need to rewire the default position on lie. In every area of my life. Being more forthcoming will of course always be the best policy. Why on earth can't I rewire the brain to understand this. Even in the last 10 days I've still fallen back into Me v BS and NOT Me and BS v the affairs. I know this is true...Yet somehow.... I fail to always remember this.

WH (40's) Me. Emotional affair (2017), Physical affair (2003) and online affairs, Two physical affairs (2000). D-Day's 2003, August '17, multiple discoveries through 2018,19 and 20, Jan 21 and 2022

posts: 209   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8747185
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sundance ( member #72129) posted at 1:47 AM on Tuesday, July 26th, 2022

bulcy: When these triggers were flashing through my mind, I hid from them and did not share them with BS.

ahhhh, i understand now. thank you for clarifying. and yes, sharing feelings with your BS is extremely important-- and can take some getting used to (especially when you hide from yourself).

being aware is good! keep at it ... even small steps in the right direction are worth celebrating! sunny

Rusty: You scared?Linus: You suicidal?Rusty: Only in the morning.

posts: 142   ·   registered: Nov. 21st, 2019
id 8747200
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foreverlabeled ( member #52070) posted at 12:47 AM on Friday, July 29th, 2022

Why on earth can't I rewire the brain to understand this. Even in the last 10 days I've still fallen back into Me v BS and NOT Me and BS v the affairs. I know this is true...Yet somehow.... I fail to always remember this.

It really comes across as fear based. You even said you chose to hide. Only scared people hide.

I have found that the rewire doesn't come from the knowledge I gained in all of this. it came from doing something different. Think about the brain for a sec, it's really a data bank. And it doesn't do anything on its own. We have to interact with it. If we don't? It runs on autopilot and my autopilot wasn't anything I could trust.

I wish I could accurately describe the depths of my fear. I was pretty much scared of everything that was before me. But at some point I had a feeling of "dammed if I do dammed if I don't" I could speak the truth and it could backfire, get me a divorce the next day, muck up the next few weeks, and on the flip side actually get somewhere in this even if it does hurt someone momentarily. I didn't want to hurt him more but of course hearing the details or in your case what could have been bringing up the affair in times of need (and let's not forget in ordinary times) It’s going to gut our spouses. But news flash they are already gutted, at least they understand you are thinking about it too Sometimes when WE share it doesn't feel as lonely, make no mistake its always on their mind. I think most have a real need to talk about it no matter the extra pain, because these things eventually turn into healing. Remember 2-5 years and sometimes longer.

I had to overcome the fears. I'm pretty there was a moment for you where you made a choice. More than that you talked yourself into that choice. It may have been a mere second or two, or there was longer dialog in your head, regardless a decision was made. Part of the work is paying attention to our thoughts. And in moments like that is where I had to slow it down and choose to do the hard thing. But in doing that I made new highways or wires in my brain. I guess you could say I turned off autopilot and became the pilot.

posts: 2589   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2016   ·   location: southeast
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DaddyDom ( member #56960) posted at 3:27 PM on Friday, July 29th, 2022

A really excellent response foreverlabeled, brava! I found the same thing. I give the same advice all the time, however I love the way you worded it. The bottom line is, you need to start thinking differently, and that's not going to happen because of a book or a pill or white knuckling it... In the same way that your bedsheets stay dirty until you change and clean them, so does your brain. If something needs to change, then you have to take actual, physical steps to do so.

I started small. I made a single decision on the most important thing to change at the time, which was my honesty. My brain was so full of bullshit. Some of that BS was put there by others, such as my FOO and childhood trauma. But just as much had been created by me. BS doesn't care where it comes from however, it's happy to remain BS forever. So I made the decision to monitor myself as best I could, and whenever I caught myself in a lie, I stopped, observed it, recognized it, and then told the truth instead. Later, I would also make the effort to examine my thinking and reasoning about how and why the lie popped into my head, and how I could have thought differently, or handled it better.

It's not hard to do, it just takes consistency and dedication. It can feel overwhelming at first, because WS brains tend to lie ALL the time, to ourselves and to others. But after a while, the process starts to work, you lie much less often, telling the truth becomes second nature, and the thought processes that supported lying start supporting the truth instead. The best part? That fear you mentioned. I had never realize how much of my own fear was really being generated by ME. Telling the truth made me MUCH less fearful. I never had to remember what I said, or come up with a story, or hope that I didn't miss some important detail, etc. The more I acted like a responsible and accountable person, the more I BECAME that person. It sounds stupid, but I started to realize that the lies themselves were really causing my pain, and then I was just using more lies to try and fix it. Oy vey.

It's true that what you put out into the world is what you get back, for the most part. Go be a decent person and you will sleep better at night, be happier, healthier, and fear much less.

Me: WS
BS: ISurvivedSoFar
D-Day Nov '16
Status: Reconciling
"I am floored by the amount of grace and love she has shown me in choosing to stay and fight for our marriage. I took everything from her, and yet she chose to forgive me."

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 Bulcy (original poster member #74034) posted at 1:31 PM on Saturday, July 30th, 2022

It really comes across as fear based. You even said you chose to hide. Only scared people hide.

I have found that the rewire doesn't come from the knowledge I gained in all of this. it came from doing something different. Think about the brain for a sec, it's really a data bank. And it doesn't do anything on its own. We have to interact with it. If we don't? It runs on autopilot and my autopilot wasn't anything I could trust.

Yes, yes, yes! I've been hoping, I guess, that some rewire will just happen. I guess it's up there with "She'll get over it soon" or "I'm not screwing around any more, therefore I'm no longer Wayward". I got the making a choice every time I was Wayward, I've got to now make a decision, a choice, to rewire. I do a lot of thinking that things are better because we have a nice evening or plan a weekend of fun activities. I have to learn that even in doing this, I still need to stay 100% focused on.

Filtering out the bullshit in my head is difficult. No only the lies I've told in the past, but the bullshit way of living and thinking. The bullshit friends, the bullshit attitude and every type of shit you can imagine. I've lived so long in that world it is hard not to switch back to the default when scared or when it becomes too difficult.

Today was supposed to be a day of "Us" BS and I spending the day together...Just me and her. No family or friends and just spend the day doing nothing. We were going to watch the last episode of Stranger Things and just relax. This morning I suggested we camp downstairs and watch tv together. The I suggested going out for breakfast...Which was selfish as I knew the plan was to spend the day just the two of us. Also, I still not taking the lead and initiating conversations about my feelings and what is going on regarding my "work". I've ruined the day and I've hurt BS again.

WH (40's) Me. Emotional affair (2017), Physical affair (2003) and online affairs, Two physical affairs (2000). D-Day's 2003, August '17, multiple discoveries through 2018,19 and 20, Jan 21 and 2022

posts: 209   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8747759
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