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Newest Member: Goku06

Reconciliation :
Plain of lethal flatness? Just a bad mood?


 This0is0Fine (original poster member #72277) posted at 4:24 PM on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

Hey y'all.

Long time no update on my R.

Right now things are going well for me materially and physically. But I'm emotionally spent.

Specifically, I have hit all my fitness goals (strength and aerobic) except a pretty ambitious weight loss goal. I have been promoted in a rapidly growing company that I have worked at for over a decade. I have completed the vast majority of house remodeling projects the house needed when we bought it. School just restarted and the kids are doing well. Things are objectively good.

As I said though, I'm just not really happy. I'm a baseline happy person, so it doesn't really track how I feel historically. I find myself unexcited when I do hit personal bests. I generally enjoy my work but have started to find it grating. I am not really interested in sex like I normally am. No ED or anything, just I could take it or leave it, which isn't something that's gonna turn my wife on.

I'm often impatient with the kids and pets, but I'm managing it just fine. I'm not raising my voice or anything but I'm still a little short with them. My wife sees that I'm not really OK and has been trying to help. She tries to take stuff off my plate at home and to make time for us to cuddle, go on a walk, etc.

It's not low T. I'm fine on that front. Anyway I've scheduled IC appointments again. My IC had been fired but he is at a new practice now. So I'm doing what I can to figure it out. It just feels like I wake up every day ready to do a day full of tasks I don't really want to do. Maybe "welcome to being an adult", but it's not like I haven't been one for a while. Anyway, advice is appreciated. Also happy to answer clarifying questions.

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 2091   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8754211

Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 5:27 PM on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

For me, it wasn’t a bad mood, although it probably looked that way from a distance.

I was numb. Spent. No rounds left in the emotional chamber.

I went from fight or flight mode, to rage for a few months to deep sadness. That’s a ton of energy expended while we figure things out.

So, the dreaded POLF was a bit of void or black hole for me.

I think as with any other part of the journey, I couldn’t skip it or pretend I was okay, I had to process it as well.

And it sounds like you are on the case, you’re very aware that things are off. That’s a good sign to me.

Once I knew I had to process my way through, I tried to mix things up best I could, change my routines and focus on the good progress I had made to that point. It also helped me to just clear my mind completely, whenever I was able. Meditation of sorts (I’ve never been great at that, I am easily distracted) — or at least the best version I could muster.

Ultimately to me, POLF means: Your brain is worn the fuck out. It needs rest and/or some fun when you’re not resting.

[This message edited by Oldwounds at 5:28 PM, Wednesday, September 7th]

Married 34+ years, together 40+ years
Two awesome adult sons.
Dday 6/16 4-year LTA Survived
Restoration takes time.
"Circumstances don't make the man, they only reveal him to himself." ― Epictetus

posts: 4401   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: PNW. The adventure continues.
id 8754219

ISurvivedSoFar ( Guide #56915) posted at 5:45 PM on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

I think this is a normal part of our recovery. Like Oldwounds mentioned, the amount of energy required to process the trauma and the resulting hypervigilance is astounding.

In addition, at least for me, I think the POLF was a readjustment to a new way of living, of the impact to my world view of humans, of the impact of the changes I needed to make because of it all. And as important was the impact of the incredible loss I felt as a result of the infidelity.

I've come to realize it is a necessary part of the recovery. This "quiet" time allows us to really make the adjustments we need to be sure we are taking care of ourselves - to rely upon ourselves for happiness and to consider the relationships we have as enhancements rather than necessary for our happiness. I think it is a heck of a lot of processing we have to do to embrace the new paradigm in which we find ourselves.

It seems endless and worthless at some point, which is a sign of getting to the processing we need to find our mojo again.

(((big hugs)))

DDay Nov '16
Me: BS, a.k.a. MommaDom, Him: WS
2 DD's: one adult, one teen,1 DS: adult
Surviving means we promise ourselves we will get to the point where we can receive love and give love again.

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id 8754221

 This0is0Fine (original poster member #72277) posted at 6:41 PM on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

Thanks for the advice. Having this site available in general and just being able to identify I might be in the POLF is a good thing, I think (great job on having an o/i typo in my title too!).

I also think as I look back on everything, I'm most likely on a typical or even a little slow overall trajectory.

My ability to be apparently satisfied and passive when things aren't that great probably keeps me processing things longer than if I would more rapidly decide that I'm not satisfied. Maybe I can work on that too as I identify that I'm not feeling great.

At least my username remains appropriate laugh

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 2091   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8754227

emergent8 ( member #58189) posted at 11:34 PM on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

At least my username remains appropriate

One of my favourites - I literally picture you as the dog in the hat with the flames all around.

Wonder if what you're describing is like a pandemic hangover type situation. Like due to the lack of novelty in day to day life. Does that jive at all for you?

Me: BS, Him: WS. Mid-late 30s.
Together 15 years, married 6 (11 m at D-Day).
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
5 years (and two toddlers) into R. Happy.

posts: 986   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8754260

 This0is0Fine (original poster member #72277) posted at 1:11 AM on Thursday, September 8th, 2022

Wonder if what you're describing is like a pandemic hangover type situation. Like due to the lack of novelty in day to day life. Does that jive at all for you?

I don't know. Historically, I have enjoyed routines. I enjoy novelty but I don't generally crave it.

That said, I've done well to keep up more or less normal levels of travel to new place even through the pandemic (Mexico right before the whole world shut down, Florida, Maui, back to visit family, the Oregon coast, a new state park to camp at). I have also been going to concerts now that they are more or less back to normal. Just saw two and have two more on the horizon that I'm looking forward to.

It's probably worth more thought than that initial reaction, but it doesn't immediately strike me as what's got me down.

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 2091   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8754282

sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 4:40 PM on Thursday, September 8th, 2022

Typo fixed.

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 27569   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8754358

irwinr89 ( member #42457) posted at 3:00 PM on Friday, September 9th, 2022

Sounds like the usual signs of a mild depression.....

posts: 71   ·   registered: Feb. 14th, 2014   ·   location: Miami
id 8754556

 This0is0Fine (original poster member #72277) posted at 8:44 PM on Friday, September 9th, 2022

I like to say, "Me depresso; need espresso," when I get coffee in the morning.

My wife said, "do you think you are actually depressed?"

I said, "I don't think so. At least not compared to (actually depressed person we know)."

But yeah, could be mild depression.

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 2091   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8754656

jb3199 ( member #27673) posted at 12:07 PM on Sunday, September 11th, 2022

Could also be the long path to acceptance. I mean real acceptance, when the mind and body fully sync with one another.

I look at it similarly to the path to forgiveness, if one chooses to do so(not for me wink ). You may seem like you have forgiven a person, and act forgiving, but there is that little 'something' that just doesn't sit quite right. Then, much later in time, you realize it like an after-the-fact event. "Oh yeah, I do forgive this person for such-and-such." Acceptance can be the same way---it was notably accepted at some certain point, but did we really accept the acceptance? Are we 100% on these feelings, or is there still something mentally blocking us from being totally there?

Or was I just seeing how many times I could use the word 'accept' in one sentence?

2 boys
Married almost 30yrs.

All work and no play has just cost me my wife--Gary Puckett
D-Day(s): Enough
Accepting that I can/may end this marriage 7/2/14

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id 8754787

 This0is0Fine (original poster member #72277) posted at 9:49 PM on Sunday, September 11th, 2022

Therapy was on Friday and it went really well. Also did a half marathon yesterday and got a PR/beat my goal.

One thing my therapist noted was that I wasn't doing a good job actually celebrating successes. Basically I have done a lot of things well but I just also sort of get what I want when I want. So it's like I take away my ability to actually reward myself. So perhaps taking a little more time to recognize achievements and connect them with rewards might help.

He also thinks it's likely I'm borderline on the spectrum following my son's diagnosis and based on some of my behaviors. So then using some of those anti-rumination strategies when I do ruminate. Currently I'm not ruminating on the A much, but rather another pretty rough event over the summer where my son had a near death experience.

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 2091   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8754854

HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 10:43 PM on Sunday, September 11th, 2022

I'm sorry to read about your experience with your son. So relieved he is ok.

posts: 4655   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8754861

 This0is0Fine (original poster member #72277) posted at 12:27 AM on Saturday, September 17th, 2022

Been talking quite a bit about this with my wife. We had a nice long talk last night about my perceived mild depression, and she thinks I'm doing all the right things and asked if there is anything else she could do. I don't really have anything for her. She also asked if the traumatic event with our son might have anything to do with it. I told her it probably does. She said that the event made her appreciate what she has and her family that much more. That she is actually happier and more calm than normal. She joked that we were trading baseline happiness levels, at least for a little bit.

Today she was worried I might decide to leave her. We've definitely talked about that before and I said, "Not for the foreseeable future, I can't really promise you I'll never leave though".

She said, "You used to all the time before the A."

I said, "I was naive back then."

She said, "I guess you are an adult now. I just want to be a kid and be held in a warm blanket and told everything is going to be ok."

I hugged her and told her "Everything is going to be OK. [Inside reference to anxiety here]."

Maybe not the world's most positive or negative story, but a glimpse into how we have been dealing with this.

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 2091   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8755677

Tanner ( member #72235) posted at 2:44 PM on Saturday, September 17th, 2022

Sorry you going through this but I can relate to every word of origin post. I went through it back in spring. I described it as feeling like I was living with a cool girlfriend but not ready to marry.

I think this is part of the journey, the baron desert. I think 4-6 weeks was my time in it. It will get better.

Dday Sept 7 2019 doing well in R
BH M 31 years

posts: 1795   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8755736

 This0is0Fine (original poster member #72277) posted at 4:26 PM on Wednesday, September 21st, 2022

I don't know if it was brought on by some of our previous conversations, but my wife was pretty upset yesterday.

She is very concerned about her weight, which has been going up slowly and steadily in COVID/work from home. Recently I guess she has crossed into the obese region for BMI, I would say she is just overweight based on her frame. I did reassure her that I still find her attractive, which is the truth. She talked about the difficulty she is having controlling her weight and that it also makes her upset that I'm in the same environment but have been losing weight.

I could probably write half a novel on the total discussion we had on weight loss. Feeling good, feeling healthy, trying to find control when things aren't going well at work, trying to cope with stress through eating, etc. etc. I'm going to jump past the majority of the conversation here since it is more or less the normal weight loss conversation anyone has when struggling with weight loss.

Basically eventually she says, "The last time anyone else found me attractive, was when I had the A. So then I feel shame for trying to be attractive again."

I didn't really have a good response to this. I was just quiet for a bit, then we kept talking about losing weight. To me there isn't really a connection between looking better and the A, but for her there is.

Any advice here for dealing with shame related to feeling attractive again like this?

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 2091   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8756366

waitedwaytoolong ( member #51519) posted at 11:04 PM on Wednesday, September 21st, 2022

The weight gain was also a real thing with my XWW. She was always in really good shape. I’m talking yoga instructor shape. During the short lived affair she was actually at her best in terms of shape, and in appearance as she was really grooming herself. I didn’t think much of it during the affair, but it made sense in hindsight.

After her affair she slowly gained probably 15 or 20 pounds. Not obese, but not nearly what she was. I think this was caused by stress eating, more wine than she should have been drinking, and dropping her gym after I asked her if she was screwing her trainer too.

It really bothered me, but I guess having your husband of 25 years wanting no physical or emotional connection helped pushed her into it. At one point I did bring it up, but she never could shed those pounds. Posters here made the point that my XWW like yours, was trying to protect herself (and me) by making herself unattractive.

I never really commented much after that as By then I didn’t really didn’t care. But the shame weight gain is a real thing.

Can you start living a more healthy lifestyle if you aren’t already? I don’t believe in diets, but if you could approach it as a team, maybe that would help. Throw out all the tempting bad foods like chips, ice cream, etc. if she sees you sacrificing these things it might help her.

One last thing is I’m a big proponent of intermittent fasting. Not so much for the science, but just not eating anything after dinner works wonders. No one is munching on carrot sticks at 930 at night.

[This message edited by waitedwaytoolong at 11:06 PM, Wednesday, September 21st]

I am the cliched husband whose wife had an affair with the electrician


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id 8756447

Tanner ( member #72235) posted at 12:44 AM on Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

The shame weight gain is a real thing. You have to encourage her to take care of herself for her, if she is securely within her boundaries tell her it’s ok to feel good about herself again. Be her #1 supporter.

My W went from goal weight to +40 with wine and comfort eating after Dday and her mother’s sudden death. She just competed in a Bikini competition last Saturday and it was a healing victory for both of us.

Dday Sept 7 2019 doing well in R
BH M 31 years

posts: 1795   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8756457
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