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A question about "doing the work"

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avicarswife posted 9/2/2013 05:42 AM

We often talk about “doing the work”. I get that it is different for everyone but how do you measure or know if it is being done? What outcomes are the “yardstick” to measure it by? Are there any?

My WS has been in IC for over a year. His behaviour is generally different to how he was over the years before D-day. I have had no new revelations since May and mOW#2 confirmed most of his admissions and told me only a moderate amount of further detail. His behaviour now is caring, he tells me he is sorry, I am as sure as I can be that he maintains NC, I have transparency etc. He is very different to who he became – his depression is managed well with high dose A/Ds etc. Although he never raises the affairs, when I do, he patiently answers questions and even when I sense his frustration at the same questions he curbs it. He maintains the boundaries we have outlined together.

As far as the why – he has looked at it and tells me it was a combination of depression, a pattern of unhealthy behaviour, the need for validation and a combination of other things – including curiosity (we had been each other’s onlies). WH says any reason he gives me will appear like justifying and the truth is for me there will never be a reason good enough for what he did. It is something I am trying to learn to live with.
We heal at different rates and for me I am not sure if I will ever be able to make some sort of peace with it all. That being said – that is me not him. How does one measure if the work is being done? How does one know when their WS has explored their issues and delved deep enough to begin journeying to their own healing? .

Since D-day I have found I have more “issues” than I realised. Many were pre-existing but I seem to have developed one about trusting my own judgement when it comes to WH. Sometimes I feel it is all an act and that he won’t be able to sustain the “new model”, however again that is me and my issue.

How do other fWS know when they have delved deep enough? How do you measure “doing the work”?

devasted30 posted 9/2/2013 07:38 AM

Wow, good question. Hopefully, someone who's further into this agony will have an answer for us. I understand exactly how you feel. My WS is doing all the right stuff too, but..........

sisoon posted 9/2/2013 07:56 AM

The key indicators are behavioral changes, IMO, and you report seeing significant ones. The longer new behavior rules, the more trust I have. Also, since we're creatures of habit, I suspect that the longer my W uses the new behaviors, the less likely it is that she'll revert to the old ones. I think your mistrust of the 'new model' is something that will be tested and proven as tome goes on.

Questioning your own judgment sounds pretty familiar. (insert rueful smile emoticon here.)

The why is for him. I'm convinced no 'why' will ever make sense to a BS.

But we can't predict the future - deciding to feel safe with fWS is and act of love and an act of faith. At some point, one has to take a risk to R. Maybe that should be 'a lot of risks'....

Also, the WS has to do work, but so does the BS. For me, the more grief, anger, and fear that I process out of my body, the stronger I feel, and, I think and hope, the more clearly I see reality. That's what really lets me risk R.

GraceisGood posted 9/2/2013 08:06 AM

Sometimes I feel it is all an act and that he won’t be able to sustain the “new model”, however again that is me and my issue.

This may be "your" issue, but I wonder how much of a role in this your H plays. In our case my H was a different man prior to D-day, so the changes since are logical to question the validity of them and of course if they will stay or not.

If your H has made changes for the better then it is only logical that it will take much time for those changes to feel real and to be counted on to stay. I think the longer the WS behaved poorly in some areas and now has changed them the longer it will take to feel they are real. In our case it was over 20 years of me walking on egg shells in some areas that I supposedly do not have to anymore, but 20 years of ducking is hard to undo imo, I still flinch and even if I do not show the flinch, I still feel it inside and I have to deal with each time.

If I feel "settled" and accepting of these changes, sometimes I will awaken at night with my heart racing because I will realize that I am living like the changes are real and I know that they could disappear at any time and then where would I be if I let my guard down right?

Past behavior is to be the gauge of current and future behavior, right now the past is still larger than current, if I have to wait for their "time" to even out, then it will be 20 years before I am at peace with the new changes.

As far as doing the work goes, I think as long as you are trying to work on yourself continually then you are doing it. It is ok to take breaks, it is ok to move slow at times. I think that taking time every now and again to look back is good, I think many times progress is not "noticed" as it is happening, but it is seen when looking back and reflecting on yourself since D-day.

How does one know when their WS has explored their issues and delved deep enough to begin journeying to their own healing?

we can never fully know the depth of our WS journey really, so I do not spend my time "working" on that, I can only control myself, so I do not wait on him, I heal and work on healing irregardless of his pace. If I waited until I felt he was "safe" I would probably never do any work on myself. I need to work on making my life safe for MYSELF irregardless of him (and honestly it should have been that way from day 1 of the M, I should have never put so much into him, much of my pain of all this is my own doing really, I gave him way too much of myself, put my life on hold for him and our M, sacrificed when I should have been growing myself, expanding and blooming, but instead I gave our M the water and sunlight while I withered away. Now is my opportunity to come out of the winter my life was and enter the spring is should have always been.


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