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Just some ramblings...

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AFrayedKnot posted 9/17/2013 07:00 AM

Some big things are going on in my head and I though I would put them down here and see what others thought.

Last week was 1 year since the final truth Dday. We are just starting our second A season in R. We are in such a different place than we were last year, or ever for that matter.

A couple things happened this week which made me stop and think. The First was Saturday I woke up early. After a couple cups of coffee I sat down at Broevil's computer. I haven't done this in probably 6 months.

There was no nagging feeling or anything. It was more of a curiosity, "Hey let me see what she has been up to." Facebook, nothing weird. Email, nothing weird. Internet History, nothing weird. Keylogger....its gone!!! There was a moment of panic, then nothing. No gut wrenching. No paranoia.

We talked about it for a bit. I talked to some people here a bit. There could be any number of reasons it disappeared. Someone asked me if I was going to re-install it and I said NO. I am at peace without that safety net.

The Second one was yesterday. DD13 is back in school. DS3 started preschool. Broevil's IC was at an earlier time. All of those combined gave her 3 hours of free time in the afternoon. She sends me a message that she was going to use her free time to take a nap. Three hours of free time with no contact didn't even cross my mind. I didn't even question it in my head. I was at peace without the safety net of the kids or continuous contact.

What does all this mean???...Trust???...Acceptance???

Very early after Dday I was having a conversation with a friend. He really pissed me off. He said that the reason I was in so much pain over the A was that I had set an expectation of Broevil that she would be faithful, and that expectation was unfulfilled. "WELL OF COURSE I HAD AN EXPECTATION SHE WOULD BE FAITHFUL!!!!"

I think I am coming to an understanding of what he meant. I think he meant that I expected that she "could" be faithful. I didn't have a full understanding of her life experience, FOO, addiction, or patterns of her behavior. My expectations today are much more inline with reality. I think that if she is vigilant with work on herself there is a pretty good chance that she "can" be faithful. I hope she will, But I do not have an expectation that she will. I am being realistic about this.

Without that expectation, I am not setting myself up for the devastation of it happening again. I will be sad. I will be disappointed. But I won't be as crushed as I was this time around.

What I Trust is that I will be OK moving on. What I Accept is that I gave it my best shot.

So..what has changed lately??? The biggest struggle for me has been, "How to protect myself without putting up a defensive wall? How to commit 100% without setting expectations?"

Her faithfulness is between her and her God. It really has nothing to do with me.

For me, It comes down to being in the moment. Enjoying today for all it has to offer. Hoping for a future but not depending on it.

[This message edited by Chicho at 7:08 AM, September 17th (Tuesday)]

wert posted 9/17/2013 07:48 AM

Her faithfulness is between her and her God. It really has nothing to do with me.

Wow. Top Shelf.

You stated that as if looking forward. I felted healed when I realized that applied to the past as well. Her actions were not against me, but instead against herself. That was acceptance for me.

I don't fear another cheating spell for two reasons. First, I know it's not about me. Second, I understand that pain is the risk of love. Betrayal is the risk of trust. Getting taken advantage of is the risk of giving. Ying and the freaking yang.

Its not that it won't hurt, but instead pain is just part of the game. It's how we deal with it that matters.

take care...

hopefullromantic posted 9/17/2013 09:46 AM

The biggest struggle for me has been, "How to protect myself without putting up a defensive wall? How to commit 100% without setting expectations?"

That really is the crux of it after we process what has happened and come to a level of acceptance. How do we continue on with someone we now know is capable of cheating, even while hoping it will never happen again?

There is nothing wrong with having an expectation. The difference, I think, post R, is understanding that it is not our flaws that caused this to happen, but theirs. As you say, it had nothing to do with you. Whether she changes or not, you know that you have. You now know what you should expect from yourself, that you can move on.

That is huge, knowing now where we BS's stand with ourselves. We can't make another person change, but we can be prepared if/when they disappoint us again.

To commit 100% without setting expectations....You know what that is called? Unconditional love. We live in the moment, we make peace with ourselves for loving a spouse we know is very capable of hurting us again. But we love anyway, because we are stronger now. Even if the love is unconditional, it doesn't mean the marriage has to be. We can walk away any time, knowing that we tried, knowing we will be ok.

ItsaClimb posted 9/17/2013 12:36 PM

Thank you so much for this post. Wow! Really resonated with me. Especially this:

Without that expectation, I am not setting myself up for the devastation of it happening again. I will be sad. I will be disappointed. But I won't be as crushed as I was this time around.

and this:

Hoping for a future but not depending on it.

Food for thought!

Knowing posted 9/17/2013 12:53 PM

Oh wow, I totally get the 2nd part of your post. It does sound like you are expressing acceptance and trust (in life and yourself). What a nice place to be!

catlover50 posted 9/17/2013 13:43 PM

Well expressed, Chicho. Sounds as if you are in a very good place.

I am close, I think. We are doing better than we ever have as a couple and my H is a revelation; never knew he could be this way. My acceptance has come partly from realizing that there is really nothing I can do to prevent this from happening again; he needs to "affair proof" himself. Sure, I work at being the best wife I can be, but I always have and that didn't prevent anything. It's on him.

And, like you, I will be fine either way. Rather be traveling this fine new road with him, however!

Wishing us all the best!

naivewife posted 9/17/2013 14:04 PM

Thank you for posting your very worthy ramblings, Chicho. I read this just after returning home from a very tearful MC session. We are hitting the 6 month mark, and I really let it all pour out today, about how I want to close the book on the A itself, the obsessive details, the TT, and walk away from OW, to have her no longer be a daily topic of discussion in our home. I said I want to move into the next level, whatever that is. I think your post lays out beautifully, where I'd like to go with my healing. I hope I can be writing a very similar post six months from now.

[This message edited by naivewife at 2:07 PM, September 17th (Tuesday)]

Afraid2LoveAgain posted 9/17/2013 14:40 PM


Isnít it odd when you reach this plane? My Un-ex and I divorced in 2001 and reconciled in 2008. That seven year ďbreakĒ changed me profoundly. I married again (and divorced again), watched my daughter get married, became a grandmother twice over. I learned to be alone. I learned to like it. When the Un-ex and I became friendly again, I had no desire to check up on him. I was not invested with him any longer. What had happened so many years ago was old and the hurt had faded. I didnít want to rehash it and, even though I will admit I still sometimes do have a trigger, they donít have the power to level me anymore. Iím not Afraid2LoveAgain! I am strong and healed and like myself very much. If Un-ex decides to betray trust and hurt me again, oh well.

I love him. I enjoy his company. And, oddly enough I do trust him. But if he were to betray that trust again I would not be the sad, destroyed woman of 12 years ago who went to therapy twice a week and had to be spoon fed by a very worried 20 year old daughter. I would hurt, probably cry. Then I would dust myself off, say ďhis lossĒ, and go on with the very wonderful life that I have. Iím very glad that my life includes him now. But he is no longer my life. And, I think this is a much healthier relationship. We are truly equals. He understands that I demand and deserve a certain level of consideration and respect and that he will practice these levels or he will be gone. I am the embodiment of ďLove Must Be StrongĒ.

Over the years that we have been back together there have been many times that I have had a chance to look through his computer, emails, phone, etc. Early on I did. He never once questioned my right to do so or was offended. He knew that he had this one last chance to establish trust and that he was in a very delicate state of grace. He knew the slightest misstep would bring his grace tumbling down and destroyed. Now, I never look. Itís not so much trust in him as it is trust in myself that my intuition will tell me if things arenít right. Iíve learned to trust my gut. And if the gut starts talking to me, Iím going to listen.

I canít believe that Iím saying this. Even if I could go back to 2000, before his adultery, I donít think I would. Iím in a much better place in my life, happier with myself, and I think our love is stronger and truer. I practice radical honesty and the Un-ex tries. We also have a Policy of Joint Agreementówhich is just the greatest thing ever. I recommend it for every relationship that you have rather it be kids, spouses, or neighbors. I wish I could use it with my co-workers, but Iím afraid that would mean that we never do anything. I donít agree with all the Harley principles, but radical honesty and joint agreement work great for us.

To finish this long ramble (hopefully not a t/j, though) his adultery, our divorce, the long years of not being together taught us how important we are to each other and we learned how to work within our relationship to make it better. We had never ďworkedĒ on our marriage before, hadnít needed to. Our 20-something years together had challenges but we had always met them together. When he blew up our marriage, he nor I had any tools to fight for reconciliation. Now, we have the tools, but I would just put them back in my tool box and move on.

sisoon posted 9/17/2013 17:17 PM

Your post boggles my mind - it's so rich in thought and feeling that it'll take time to take it in, but it's worth taking in, for sure.

The pain of the A is, in part, due to expectations that turned out to be unrealistic, but it's also due to loving our partners. I think that if we BSes didn't love our WSes, our pain would be a lot different and, probably, a whole lot less intense.

'Unrealistic' expectations are just part of a very complex story.... I think I'm posting this because I take that 'expectations' line as a criticism, and it's not valid. I hope that's my problem, and not anyone else's.

Rebreather posted 9/17/2013 18:08 PM

I don't fear another cheating spell for two reasons. First, I know it's not about me. Second, I understand that pain is the risk of love. Betrayal is the risk of trust. Getting taken advantage of is the risk of giving. Ying and the freaking yang.

I hope this isn't too much of a t/j, but I really like what Wert has here.

For me, this was a profound place of healing. It wasn't that I doubted my ability to take care of myself and all of those layers. It was the literal fear, terror, of going through this again. The first time leveled me. I thought if I went through it again it would be unrecoverable. My own mental health wouldn't be able to recover.

But time and work, I got to the place that I knew I could take it again. And like Wert said, I'd be ok. It wouldn't hurt so much. Losing that fear allowed me to release some of my remaining walls and move even further into Recon.

AFrayedKnot posted 9/17/2013 18:11 PM

Yea sisoon, it pissed me off too. Its been running through my head for the last year and a half. I took it as realistic vs unrealistic too.

Given the right set of circumstances all expectations are unrealistic.

It more about expectations vs no expectations.

sisoon posted 9/18/2013 06:54 AM

I think you've raised a really important issue. We're all here because of infidelity, but that's just the proximate cause.

I believe my W would not have cheated if she hadn't met ow, but her core issues were a big unrecognized obstacle in our M, and those issues most likely would have shown themselves in some other disaster if ow hadn't come along. Note: she was aware of the issues, but a) she was so scared of them that she couldn't do much to resolve them, and b) she didn't think they could be resolved anyway.

She was a time bomb, and still is, to some extent.

My W won't cheat again, in all likelihood, but the issues are still there (although she's in the process of resolving them).

We're reconciled as far as the A goes, but our M isn't yet where we want it to be. I'm not looking for perfection - I just want to get to the point where she and I are confident her core issues won't sabotage her and us again.

(And then there are my own issues.... )

AFrayedKnot posted 9/18/2013 07:18 AM

I agree 100% with the time bomb. I think it might have been w_a_l who posted once about the A being the tip of the iceburg.

In a way (I can't believe I am saying this) I am grateful that it happened so the entire iceburg could be seen and hopefully addressed. Its not the tip that sinks the ship, you know.

lucy17 posted 9/18/2013 07:31 AM

I am so glad I saw this today. Sometimes I feel powerless and vulnerable. But with some reflection, I can honestly say I too enjoy his company and love him deeply, but would be okay if he chose to end our marriage. I can love him and choose not to be hurt by him again. Great post, Chicho. Thank you.

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