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Newest Member: Taikor

Wayward Side :
Emotional baggage

Topic is Sleeping.
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 Bulcy (original poster member #74034) posted at 3:45 PM on Saturday, April 15th, 2023

I've had a whole shit ton of emotional issues to deal with of late and regret not being online as often as I should to share with you all.

I've been utterly overwhelmed by feelings of guilt and empathy (Feeling true empathy is new to me and actually feeling it has triggered so many emotions I struggle knowing what the hell is going on some days). It turns out I've been an emotional vacuum for 40+ years of my 50 on the planet. It also turns out that trying to let out 40+ years of emotions out really fucks you up.

So, working with a local health service wellbeing and mental health advisor (well, applied for support last week, have to wait 14 days to hear back...but it's NHS so free) Hopefully this will help me get myself in order.

My question to you guys is how did you/do you cope with the intense feelings that flow over you when you finally realise and begin accepting the extent of the damage you've caused? I've tried just "coping with it" but that was a major rug sweep. I've been trying to let them happen and when they do, speak to and reach out to BS. This is working, but frustratingly slow and cam get in the way of other work I'm attempting to do with BS.

There are times I struggle with basics. Cleaning the house, focussing on my job, cooking healthy meals rather than take away. It's impacting my sleep. I realise this has been the case for BS for years now, this realisation hurts and makes me feel worse. I feel like a complete hypocrite when speaking to BS about how I'm feeling as she is feeling the same, yet worse. Also, knowing that it was me who inflicted this on us both, makes my feelings seem less valid as they're self inflicted. While this (the self inflicted part) is true, BS and I have agreed that I need to talk about it, as it does benefit us both. We have agreed that the timing of these conversations is important. They can be very triggering.

WH (50's)

Multiple sexual, emotional and online affairs. Financial infidelity and emotional abuse. Physical abuse and intimidation.

D-days 2003, 2017, multiple d-days and TT through 2018 to 2023. 28 years of destructive and health damaging choice

posts: 364   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8787019
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Copec ( new member #79885) posted at 3:02 AM on Wednesday, May 17th, 2023

So this is hard. I still struggle and will continue to struggle with shame. I think it is healthy that you are talking to your spouse about it, but you’re right, it needs to be at the right times. One thing I remind myself is that my shame does not help anyone, especially my partner. So my focus is growth. I think it’s normal and reasonable to feel the shame and deal with it, write it out, feel it. But then It needs to change to a focus on growth and being better for yourself and your partner. It’s not fair for our BS’s to be constantly soothing us WS’s. I constantly read, meditate, write, rinse and repeat. I am constantly trying to be a better version of myself. Acknowledging my weaknesses and trying to be positive about the growth that I see. Doing this and working on healing myself has helped my take care of my spouse better and react better and process things in a healthier way. Is it perfect? Hell no! I still don’t know how this story will end. If my husband and I will stay together. But I know that I have grown. And I think digging deep and healing yourself through therapy, reading, whatever you need to do to get there is step #1. I get the strong feelings, they are so completely overwhelming and all consuming. Tools that I use to get myself out of it to a place of moving forward:
1. Box breathing: breathe in 4, hold 4, breathe out 4, hold for. And repeat until you feel calmer. Look up "grounding" exercises to get you out of the overwhelm.
2. Go for a walk and listen to a podcast or boom on healing
3. Write it out. Truthfully and honestly. All the shitty feelings. And then destroy it. Shred it, whatever you need to do, let it go.
4. Talk to someone that loves you and supports you and knows what you’re going through. Ideally this needs to be someone other than your spouse. Speaking the shame settles it down.
5. Write out all the good things you know about yourself. Write out the positive changes you see. Acknowledge that you are no longer having an affair and you on working on moving forward and growing.

Those are just a few things. Sitting in the Shame spiral helps no one. Feel those feelings and then use tools to get out of it because it is destructive. Let your partner know how sorry you are that you hurt them so badly. Use those times when you feel pain to acknowledge your partners pain. Let them know how devastated you are that you caused them this pain. Without making it about you. All hard things and all imperfect, but must be done.

WS/mad hatter-2+ years post DDay.

posts: 35   ·   registered: Feb. 4th, 2022
id 8791166
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 Bulcy (original poster member #74034) posted at 7:56 PM on Friday, May 19th, 2023

Thanks Copec

In many ways I need to use the tools I've learnt when dealing with abusive behaviour. I need to accept that I'm not going to be believed and keep this acceptance in mind at all times. Time outs are effective, the dogs have had a few long walks in the past, but I need to keep being aware of how my frustration impacts any conversation. I try and recognise that even a hint of frustration or anger is a huge trigger for BS.

I'm journaling a lot more now, I could probably do more, but I am finding it useful. I read back through my writing to see if I can spot defensive or minimising writing. Also it is useful to download, I have a few pages in my journals of just swearing. It released a lot of pent up frustration, better on a page that shouting at BS.

WH (50's)

Multiple sexual, emotional and online affairs. Financial infidelity and emotional abuse. Physical abuse and intimidation.

D-days 2003, 2017, multiple d-days and TT through 2018 to 2023. 28 years of destructive and health damaging choice

posts: 364   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8791718
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MrCleanSlate ( member #71893) posted at 1:43 PM on Thursday, May 25th, 2023

The hardest part was moving past simply being honest about what I did, and actually examining who I was and what I had done.

Learning how to express emotions is tricky at first. I felt like I have no right to be upset or angry or whatever since all this wreckage was brought on by my actions. But more my BW kept telling I was emotionally constipated. As time went by and I dove deeper into my Whys I became more ashamed.

Learning how to vent in a constructive way to my wife took me a long time. To express how I was feeling was new. I relate it to the guys you see begging on the Charles Bridge in Prague - they are lying there prostrate supposedly ashamed to be begging. I felt that way about expressing emotions or weakness.

At some point I accepted what I did, and resolved to improve who I was. At the same time I began to open up more to my BW about my feelings in a "honey, I just need to vent and bitch for 2 minutes here and you don't need to respond" kind of way.

My shame eventually shifted over to regret. Lots of regret. I think that is the acceptance part taking over. After 8 years I can talk rather matter-of-fact about it all as that is not who I am anymore.

To be honest, I went to IC monthly for about 3 years after D-Day. I had a lot of stuff to work through and it helped immensely. IC was not covered by health plan, but I just set the money aside for it. Small price to pay for the benefits (kind of how people who try to quit smoking complain about cost of nicotine gums - looking at immediate vs long-term).

WH 53,my BW is 52. 1 year PA, D-Day Oct 2015. Admitted all, but there is no 'clean slate'. In R and working it everyday"
To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day

posts: 690   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2019   ·   location: Canada
id 8792451
Topic is Sleeping.
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