I did this on Valentines Day and now again for my bday, which was yesterday. My H told me that I consistently sabotage special and even non-special occasions (ie: going out to a movie, I decide I don't want to go at last minute). I know I do this. Not all the time but I know I do it and I don't get it. I grew up in a nice family - they celebrated bdays. They were loving. But as I grew older I would feel disappointed by the end of my bday. I would see the 1-2 things wrong with the day. This year....
I was greeted by my H and boys who made me cards and hand-picked gifts. My H chose some lovely things for me = he clearly heard my hints.
The day was a bit of a whirwind and by 4pm with the phone, the door, the kids...it was like I snapped. I wanted to be alone and I only went downhill from there.
Mind movies came in. They were so damn vivid! I asked him two weeks ago if they ever had sex in a car and they had. What?! Who does that in their 40's?! How skanky! No wonder he hates, Paradise by Dashboard Light!
He arranged a small dinner party for me here at home. He bought the steaks two weeks ago. I actually told my friends (one couple who knows) not to come. Then I asked them to come back. They did and were really understanding. I had too much wine throughout the night.
He was joking with our friends and never made any sexual innuedos with the woman but I was "pretending" he was doing this fun talk with the Ow and boy...I was just spiraling.
When they left, I screamed at him. Swore a lot. He slept in the boys' room. I slept alone.
Happy Birthday LA! Time to grow the F up!
"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson
Last night made me really aware that I need to see an IC on a very regular basis.
This is not intended to hurt or offend you.. just me reading between the lines and trying to help you decipher what is going on. Hope you figure it out - the pain is overwhelming and I feel for you!
However, your question seemed to be "I know I had this issue pre-DDay, and I want to stop it", so I will answer with that in mind.
My H used to self sabotage when life was going too well. This is what allowed him to cheat as well. Life was great, let me prove to myself how terrible I am by ruining it and sleep with a stranger. That was his thinking, even though he didn't recognize it at the time.
I also used to protect myself from hurt by distancing myself from others, and that often came in the form of not enjoying time together, i.e. birthdays, dates, etc. I kept myself at arms length from everyone this way, so I didn't get hurt. The result? I wasn't close to anyone, HELLO!
So, part of our healing from our FOO issues has been that H is recognizing that he DOES have worth, and he DOES deserve happiness. Part of my healing was tearing down those walls and letting people in again, and being grateful for the things I have. For me, I started keeping a gratitude journal. I write in it everyday, at least three things that I am grateful for that day. Sometimes it's hard, I've had a terrible day and I can only be thankful for the sun, the air, and the trees in my backyard. But it's something.
This journal has really helped me change my attitude about life and what I deserve.
H did IC for a while, as well as MC. His IC helped him realize that he did deserve to be happy, and he is a totally different man now. We also both got some help from Harville Hendrix's book called Receiving Love. It helped us figure out our FOO issues and how to work on those. I highly recommend his book when you are ready.
Don't be so hard on yourself though, it's early and time to work on yourself will be plentiful in the years to come. (((LA44)))
I see myself as an intimacy avoider - he a conflict avoider. Awesome!
I really do want to R tho purplerose. I knew in the first 24 hours that I wanted us to get to a better place. That might be hard to understand in the day/night of despair but I think you instinctively KNOW or you do not very quickly. No offense taken by your suggestion! Just not at that place.
Ok...going to read the responses many times. Regardless, I know I have to address the stuff weighing me down as whether I was with H or not, it would be present.
((to you all))!
Learning to breathe again - one day at a time
Also, this stuck out at me a bit:
But as I grew older I would feel disappointed by the end of my bday. I would see the 1-2 things wrong with the day.
You really, really need to stop setting yourself up for what will actually be a huge disappointment if you really expect a big moment from a birthday. Nobody feels some great joy from a birthday when they've grown up and moved out of their parents' house. They smile, they laugh but THEY'RE FAKING IT. So stop fearing disappointment and start looking realistically at that date - it's just a day on the calendar and, if you're like me, it's work, it's feeding kids, helping with homework if they're younger, same-old. Learn to view it differently, as in making others feel good that day rather than making it about you. It's freeing. Wake up and say "I can eat cake today without guilt!" and let that be the happy moment, cause really, that's what it is.
Never again will you feel like a little girl running in circles about to explode from anticipation on your birthday, and fun and getting all the gifts when you're 7 years old, and having friends come over to play with and blowing candles and being a little star. Just doesn't happen when you're an adult. So let that go, like letting go of the string of a helium balloon, and without such expectations of what can no longer be (like Christmas and Santa when you were 5) you no longer have disappointment.
Because..YOU'LL NEVER EVER AGAIN FEEL THAT WAY, after you're an adult, unless it's a rare moment. Birthdays aren't that big a deal when you can buy your own toys and don't have to wait a year to get them.
A birthday is a song, a cake, people in your family who tell you they love you. Maybe a co-worker saying happy birthday.
That's it. And that's all it should be, and your job (most years) is to make your family think they've made you happy that day, even if you're bored out of your gourd or worried about work or whatever.
When we're grown up, we see our birthdays as allowing others closest to us to show us they care, and graciously accepting it as if a piece of cake and a song - or even a gift - mean something, when the day feels like just another Wednesday or Friday in the year. Just that someone cared to sing that stupid song, that's all that is important, and to be grateful someone does care enough to sing it to hope to make us happy for a moment. I am older than you, and am grateful for the people I have because when I turned 50, my kids left for college and my relatives and friends started dying.
I understand the anger at the WS. But try to lessen expectations of holidays and birthdays. They aren't magic, just a little food, some songs, sometimes prayer and a few people we love. That's all, but it's more huge than we realize how precarious life can be.
[This message edited by Heavy Sigh at 3:02 PM, April 27th (Saturday)]
But truly, I believe "faking it" is what got me and my H to a vulnerable place many years ago which in turn led to the A. So...that's not something I am going to risk doing again. Even for bdays! There are only 4 of us in this family - most of them live a plane right away - so when my kids give me a card they wrote out, I love it. I cherish it. They are still little.
In spite of being in my 40's, I have watched friends lose battles to cancer and watched dementia take loved ones away. I get that my bday is precious. That it is a gift. I really do. But I have some bad habits picked up long ago and who knows why. As mentioned in my note - I have cancelled simple movie dates with my H out of the blue. Just because. It's not fair of me.
I have to re-train my brain in this regard and I have to do it under the new reality that there was my life before the affair. And my life AFTER the affair but this one thing about me has existed for a long while.
Doesitgetbetter: I think I will do the Grat Journal again. I did it two years straight - 5 things, every day. And yes, like you some of my things were: coffee, sunshine, no traffic, etc.
I think I need to focus on gratitude while I figure out what drives me to sabotage.
[This message edited by LA44 at 3:53 PM, April 27th (Saturday)]
It was before I had any suspicions, but had been constantly shut out of any activity and conversation, especially that day when he acted irritable if I so much as asked if they wanted anything to drink, and it was just a kid art project I was shunned from it, and felt like my final straw, so when he said it's time to go out, I said, "Why? You don't want to spend time with me or talk to me anyhow.. . my anniversary gift to you is that you won't have to do either of those things." Then I made a sandwich and grabbed a book and went nowhere, except to the bedroom to read a novel.
Different reason. Different occasion. Similar response to yours.
[This message edited by Heavy Sigh at 4:13 PM, April 27th (Saturday)]
The best thing to do in my opinion is to talk it out. Explain that even though you do appreciate the great things he's doing now, the gifts and all the loving gestures...you are still dealing with having your world collapse,knowing your husband, your best friend betrayed you and this has cut you deep. 5 months is in no way enough time to be "back to normal"
5 months can't undo it.
I go through bouts of this and H understands for the most part. Most of the time he is clueless because heis not thinking about the A or her at all. I'm the one who relives it in my head at the strangest moments!
Don't beat yourself up over this. I know we all do but you are still only a few months away from Dday
DD 6/26/10 (he broke down & confessed)
DD#2 3/14/11 H in OW's car
TT 7/1/11 (NC broken, through emails)
I equated having a great time with my husband with having forgiven him and absolved him of his affair, which I hadn't - and I had very ambiguous feelings about R. with him.
My IC told me how important it was to build positive moments with my fwh, but I just couldn't do it for a long time.
Oh, and my d-day was close to my birthday, and it took YEARS before I could feel ok about it.
My advice is to scale down events around special occasions and even more importantly, adjust expectations. It probably won't be great for a while. You are still bruised from a really bad experience.
Special occasions are hard. I think about all the times I was unaware that he was cheating while blowing out candles.
It's as if you're expected to smile and pretend that life is just peachy swell when you're living in such turmoil.
Then I'll wonder if my H is thinking "hey!! She's doing great!! Maybe she's over it and we don't have to talk about it anymore."
It's crazy. They destroy us and yet we feel guilty when the enormity of it overwhelms us.
Don't be too hard on yourself. Your world has been altered and adjusting to this new reality takes time.
One thing I thought of after reading BlakeSteeles recent post on the R forum is that I do have control issues (not saying he does but his note gave me an aha moment).
One mind movie I constantly go back to is catching them. ie: If I had showed up at the conference to surprise them and had front desk let me in and what do I find? My H sharing a room with her. I imagine them being out at the function and I would take all of their clothing - ever last stitch, whatever alcohol they had in the room, her make up and DUMP it in a full tub of bathwater. I think I have this reocurring image bc it makes me feel in control. And prior to this, I had to control everything. Now, I am vulnerable. Not a comfy spot for me.
I probably feel "out of control" on my bday (now moreso then ever) bc certain things are in hands of others. I have NO PROBLEMO with family/friends having bdays. In fact, I LOVE to shower them with attention.
In any event, the last couple days have been much better in terms of my head space. I know I seriously burn up one week before my period. I started seeing a Naturopath last year at this time to help with this and so much better off for it.
Can't even imagine the bad brain without my supplements and tinctures helping me through this!
SO between control issues and doesitgetbetter's comments, I am going to investigate AND i will go easy on me given that I am only 5 months in.
LA44, nothing you did or said caused the A. Your husband was broken inside. Having an A is proof of lousy coping skills, poor choices, sexual compulsion or personality disorder, but not a symptom of a bad M.
We are in R.
Everything triggered me and I just felt worse and worse to the point where I yelled at a driver for coming too close to me at a sidewalk and almost got into a fight. I stopped myself just short of destroying my life even further.
Yup, special occasions suck now. In my head, they should be happy times. After they cheat, special occasions feel fake.
I have cancelled simple movie dates with my H out of the blue.
Why? "Just because" is not an answer. If you want to get to the bottom if it, you need to dig. I think you know exactly why. You want him to beg. Or cajole. Or persuade. You want to be in control.
Or you were angry and wanted him to feel bad. Or guilty.
Do you do this to other people? To your parents? Siblings? Friends? Coworkers?
Mondays are tough for me...particularly so after a decent weekend with my wife. I think you are reacting the same way. I personally think we do this to remind ourselves that we were hurt badly...and we need to protect ourself by reacting so negatively to remind ourselves that we WERE hurt. Crazy, but at least I think this is part of it for me...childish really. My wife KNOWS she hurt me badly...she is smart...she is not rug sweeping...intellictually I know I dont have to do this, but emotionally I do this. sigh.
This is part of the process...but I dont think it is particularly helpful to really learn what R is....but dont think you are wierd for reacting this way.
Ah...yes...control issues. I am not a typical control freak, but I am also one of those people that just cant be slightly involved in something....if I am involved I am volunteering to take on plenty of what needs to be done...and love it!
It is hard to admit, but this experience is also highlighting what I need to work on.
Counseling is a must for us. And while I dont always like what it reveals, so far it has been spot on. I am modifying what I can inside myself...not for my wife but for me.
The changes within myself, while feeling not-natural...do feel actually BETTER for me.
Keep journaling, be patient wiht yourself. It is nice your husband is patient and supportive...you are gonna make it.
I dont think the A was a deal breaker for you...you are very close to DD. I am 9 months out...not great, but a lot better then I was 4 months out.
God be with us all.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 5:49 AM, April 30th (Tuesday)]