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A Couple Things I Have Learned

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TimeToManUp posted 8/24/2013 07:42 AM

I just thought I would share a few things I have learned in the hopes that perhaps some of the newer members might learn from my mistakes.

I realized that I HAVE been doing my best all along. I really was. I was, however, not doing anything to make my best BETTER. I had limited tools in my arsenal. I had limited knowledge of the subject. I hadn't really dug deep within myself.

Since I am currently at my daughter's hockey practice, let me put it this way:

If she were playing in her first game, she may be putting in the best effort she can and doing everything to the best of her ability. In this isolated moment, that is all you can expect of someone; win or lose, someone's best effort is all you can expect. But let's fast forward 10 games. She is still giving her best effort, still doing the best she can with her abilities. All you can ask for right? Well no, not really. What did she do with all of that time in between the first game and the tenth game? There were eight other games between that first game and now. There have been countless practices in that time. There have been countless opportunities to work on her weak points, whether they be skating backwards, stick-handling, passing... So yeah, all you can ever ask of someone at any given time is to do their best, but as time moves on and you string those moments together, your BEST needs to get BETTER.

Another thing that has been realized: listen to your BS. Yeah, it really is that easy (at least the concept). A thread my BW started in Recon brought some interesting thoughts to light. Often, we are suspicious of the easy path. Nothing in life is easy, how could healing your BS POSSIBLY be easy? So when they tell you to "Just do this," or "Just do that," you don't believe it. There's no such thing as a free lunch, right? Surely there's a trick, a scam, a catch of some kind. Really? Just do THAT? When does the trap get sprung and tar and feather me? Surely the solution is more complicated than that, so I am going to find a different, much more convoluted solution. Well guess what? It was that easy. You have to believe it. Don't be afraid to take the simple path. Which leads to my final point.

You have to let go of past hurts. You do. All of those lingering hurts, doubts, indiscretions are keeping you from trusting your BS. That lack of trust is what is keeping you from taking the easy, obvious path. They are telling you to do it, but history is telling you that it won't make a difference. Guess what? This doesn't compare to anything else in your shared history, so history has no part in the process. If your BS is trying to R, then you need to trust that they are telling you what they need to do so. I know in our case, that moment really began as more of a challenge, like I was calling her bluff: "Oh yeah? I don't give you the time you need to feel your emotions? I get frustrated and angry when your hurting? Well OK, tough guy, let's try it YOUR way then!" So guess what? I did try it her way. And things are better. Well fuck me.

So really, I know I use the word "easy" a lot. The concepts themselves ARE very easy. Following through (CONSISTENTLY!) is far from it. But the better you are at these concepts, the better your chances at a successful R. Remember, the best effort, even with consistent improvement, does not guarantee R. We threw away that feeling of security a long time ago. But I think any WS who truly loves their BS and is truly remorseful would rather go down swinging.

(As always, typed on my phone... I apologize for rambling and/or typos.)

ccw82 posted 8/24/2013 10:35 AM



I know I am the BW, but I am also trying to learn how to R. I believe your advice can go to either the WS or the BS.

My WH and I are still so early in the process since DDay. OMFG it hurts most days! In fact, it hurts so badly that I'm about to give up and ask him to leave today. I just can't take the pain anymore, and no matter what he says and does, it doesn't seem to be enough to fix what he's already done.

Let me ask you: how do you let go of past hurts? How do you trust again (asking as the BW, of course)? What did YOU do for your BW to help her heal?

P.S. F-Yeah, hockey!

TimeToManUp posted 8/24/2013 15:05 PM

I guess the first thing I would say about letting go of past hurts is to just really think about it; what is more important to you, bitterness about your past or hope for your future? The past can only hurt you as much as you let it. It's over, you can't change it... It may have left scars, but scars don't hurt. Scars remind you of the event, and you may remember the pain, but it is not truly hurting you. When you let it go, so goes the pain. They can also remind you what not to do, so that the injury is not repeated.

For example, if an electrician starts working in a breaker cabinet, and doesn't bother checking to see if the panel is still hot, he may get zapped. And if he gets zapped, he may get zapped badly, if not fatally. If that incident leaves a scar, he is going to see it everytime he goes to pick up a screwdriver and go back to work. Unless he is a total fool, he will put on his gloves, grab a meter and make sure the panel is dead before starting work. The scar did not hurt, but it reminded him of a painful time. Sometimes he may think back and wish he had always done the right thing, hadn't messed up and scarred himself. And other times it serves to make sure he doesn't do that again.

Don't so much forget those hurts, because they hurt for a reason. But let go of the power they hold on you. Do what you can to make sure they are not repeated.

Conversely, it is possible that the wound was so great that no amount of safety measures or protective equipment ever makes the electrician feel safe doing that work again. And after such a traumatic event, who could blame him? Some people will just nver feel safe again, and that's OK. You are allowed to walk away. But if you really love your H, and you want it to work, he needs to gove you the equipmmt you need to feel safe and you need to be able to shake it off and get back on the horse.

Sorry, I think I missed a couple points at the moment. I am at Six Flags waiting for my D and her cousin to get off of a roller coaster.

ccw82 posted 8/24/2013 17:46 PM

<<bows down to you>>

That is some solid advice. I do love my H! More than anything. Right now I guess the wounds are still so fresh, they are healing and it hurts. I know it takes time, but I wish I had some emotional painkillers or something to get me through this! I am scared, so freaking scared of what he could do to hurt me in the future.

The problem I have right now is that I don't know WHAT he could possibly do to help me through this! He is doing everything he should -- NC with the porn, prostitutes, and other stuff he was involved with; total devotion and focus on me (and our kids); overly attentive and loving; cutting back on his hobbies and outside activities that took him away from his family.

What else could he possibly do to help me heal? What other equipment can he give me to make me feel safe and allow me to get back on the horse?

NoGoodUsername posted 8/24/2013 23:45 PM

Fine post there. I'm kind of feeling like I'm spinning my wheels of late. I'm going to try to get some use out of your perspective.

TxsT posted 8/26/2013 11:17 AM


I have just printed out this thread to give to my RWH. You know of my recent quest to relieve him of some of his own pain. I love the analogy you brought up with hickey(CDN here). But your words ring so true, for BOTH partners. Had we BOTH not dropped the ball on making are marriage better I doubt we would have ever gotten to the new reality of having an A stuck in our marriage. I was just as much at fault but what really surprised my H is how much he was at fault too. Over time he projected all of his sadness and anger about our sagging marriage onto me and his mind somehow decided that he deserved to have an A because our marriage was lifeless in his eyes and heart. What he didn't bargain for I think was all that he did or more importantly didn't do to help the situation get to where it had. He couldn't handle knowing he too was at blame for his own downfall!

We both now hold our new beginning together as a precious seed, one that we will never allow to go fallow again because of not tending to it. The honesty and hopefulness we both share is the best gift we could have ever received.

This past weekend I was able to give my hubby a gift that I didn't think I would ever be able to give again. I gave him the gift of trust, all be it small, to go out by himself when I needed to go back to our hotel room and sleep. He knew how worried I was about bestowing this gift and I made it clear to him I needed him not to SCREW IT UP. It has taken a year to get back to this but, as hard as it was to give my trust, I realized that at some point in time I just had to make that leap of faith. I hope my gift to him will be another key in helping him resolve his own issues and dissolve some of that horrible pain I know he feels every day about what he created.

I enjoy reading your words. Thank you for being who you are and posting your deepest feelings. I see how far you have come on your own journey and it is special that you are able to reach both WS and Bs's alike.


TimeToManUp posted 8/26/2013 15:06 PM

I am overwhelmed to see the impact my words have had. I truly am. I do want to clarify one point, though: No matter what issues were present in your M pre-A, there is no excuse to go outside your marriage.

I don't want it to seem like I am blaming the BS in any way. I DO, however, believe that if a BS does want to reconcile, there is a certain amount of letting go that must transpire. All of those little and big things that hurt each other over the course of the relationship will only hinder your efforts at best. I am at work right now, so I don't have too much time to respond. I just wanted to make it clear that no matter what issues were present, it is never the BS who is to blame for an A.

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