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Advice on self-sabotage?

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Arnold01 posted 9/17/2013 14:25 PM

Today is 12 weeks since D-day. fWH and I have made a ton of progress and are early in R. Things are going so well that last weekend I actually had a wonderful, fun, loving, happy weekend with fWH and the kids. I thanked him on Sunday night for everything he's doing to help me heal and to support me, and the weekend reminded me that our life together can be really great if we keep at it.

Then Monday rolls around, and the doubting started to creep in. What if he's telling me how much he loves me (and he doesn't really mean it)? What if the sweet love note he left me was just 'going through the motions'? What if when he says he wants to be married to me forever, he's really just with me for lack of a better option?

fWH is doing everything right, and I have absolutely NO reason to think that he's deceiving me now. It almost pains me that my unconscious is taking all these great moments and sabotaging them with doubt. I'm putting thoughts into his head and in the process can't even enjoy the good moments we're having.

Have any of you experienced this, and if yes, any advice on how to live in the moment and stop taking his genuine and good efforts and twist them around in my head?

OldCow18 posted 9/17/2013 14:33 PM

Wow. You are in such a better frame of mind than I am. I just read your story on your profile and have a similar situation and timeline and I am still in devastation mode. Spent the last 2 nights with the gut wrenching sobbing going on.

I am still completely suspicious of WH's actions, I still have no idea if he's telling me the truth, if he is here just because it would be too difficult to leave. Shoot, I'm not even 100% sure he didn't take the A underground.

He deserves your doubt. It's still so new.

krazy8516 posted 9/17/2013 14:37 PM

What if he's telling me how much he loves me (and he doesn't really mean it)? What if the sweet love note he left me was just 'going through the motions'? What if when he says he wants to be married to me forever, he's really just with me for lack of a better option?

Oh. My. God. I go through this daily! I'm 7 weeks out from d-day, and I wouldn't say my WH is the "model of remorse", but he is trying, and things are better.

He has given me no reason to believe he's not being 100% honest with me, and completely committed to this marriage, but I still can't help but ask myself those very questions every. Single. Day.

Over the weekend, WH went to the bathroom to "pee" (side note: he used to text OW from the bathroom). After a few minutes he had not emerged from the restroom, and I immediately thought "Yeah, right, pee! Is he texting her in there?!" Then I walked out to the kitchen and saw his phone on the counter. Oops. Sometimes a pee is just a pee.

Anyway, my point is, I think for both of us, d-day is still so fresh, that it doesn't matter how much progress we have (or think we have) made. Only time will tell. We will continue to have our doubts and mistrust for a long time. It's normal and it's healthy.

But... I can understand what you're saying. It probably makes our WS's discouraged and wondering if we will ever get past what they've done. I guess I don't have any real advice for you - I'm still trying to work on this issue myself.

Just letting you know you're not alone, and offering you a ::hug:: for your struggles.

naivewife posted 9/17/2013 14:39 PM

I agree that the phase you're in sounds perfectly normal. I think I'm only beginning to move out of it at 6 months. I'm not sure it's self sabotage as much as self defense. You will move out of it naturally as your mind begins to feel more safe, as mine seems to finally be doing. Don't rush yourself, don't beat yourself up. You suffered real trauma and your brain and emotions are slowly recovering.

kickboxer posted 9/17/2013 14:45 PM

At 9-10 weeks out, I'm sitting right in the middle of this exact same scenario.

I have no idea how to stop the spinning...the mind games...the fears that take your heart hostage...

I'm sorry I don't have any wisdom to impart. Just know you aren't the only one.

soconfusednow posted 9/17/2013 14:56 PM

Looking at the different posts here I think I could have written any of them. I'm right there with you.

I do need to learn to keep my mouth shut, unless I have proof, instead of spinning a web with my thoughts which usually are false suspicions.

musiclovingmom posted 9/17/2013 14:59 PM

Yesterday was 13 months for me and I had a meltdown. My H even asked this morning what happened to us because we were doing so good. The good news is that it's been almost a month since I've had a moment like this. Time does help. Also, have you talked to him about how you are feeling? Having those (repeated) conversations with my H where he continually reassures me that he wants me, chose me and loves me help. They also help him to step up his game a little while I'm feeling vulnerable. For example, he knows why I'm feeling down today and even though he is working out of town right now, he sent me a text to remind me that I'm the one who stole his heart. They kind of cheesy, cutesy stuff he used to say to me before he was neck deep in his A's.

Rebreather posted 9/17/2013 15:03 PM

I don't think this is self-sabotage at all.

I liken this to your reptile brain, or maybe your savannah brain. Your subconscious mind has a job and that job is to protect you. What is the single biggest danger to your brain right now? Your wayward spouse, yes? Therefore, your brain is just doing its job. I remember feeling like I was literally being jerked by a leash when I would let go.

First, listen to it a little bit, because sometimes it has something to tell you.

But then, I found success by just talking to it (does that make me crazy? talking to my subconscious?). Anyway, just reassure yourself you are safe, you are not under attack, etc.

It takes T I M E for your brain to settle down and reassess the threats. Considering this a normal stage.

sisoon posted 9/17/2013 17:04 PM

Agreeing with Rebreather, but using different words...

The self-sabotage is expecting to rebuild trust in 12 weeks.

Being betrayed is a big trauma, which means lots of grief, anger, and fear have just been dumped onto you. It takes lots of time and lots of work to process those feelings.

Being betrayed destroys - or should destroy - your ability to trust yourself to figure out who to trust.

Think 2-5 years from the last hurt for recovery and for R. You might do it faster, but probably you won't. If you try to speed the process, you'll slow it down. The pain is awful, and it's natural to want to get through it as fast as possible, but really, the fastest way to get to R and recovery is to go slow.

My W has been exemplary as a remorseful FWW for over 2.5 years, and I'm just beginning to trust her deeply again; we still have a way to go. I hope your process is shorter than mine has been, but - go slow, feel your feelings, don't push yourself, and don't worry about how long it takes.

(((Arnold1)))

Chefj9 posted 9/17/2013 18:33 PM

Looking at the different posts here I think I could have written any of them. I'm right there with you

I am 5 months out. I talked about this in MC today. One day I believe him, the next I'm wondering if I'm getting "played" like he claimed to have played the OW #1 and OW #3. He swore undying love and devotion to them, even proposed to one. What makes me different? Is this choice easier or is it more for the kids? I will say days that I feel totally suspicious of him aren't as often. I'm just giving it time.

Chefj9 posted 9/17/2013 18:37 PM

Looking at the different posts here I think I could have written any of them. I'm right there with you

I am 5 months out. I talked about this in MC today. One day I believe him, the next I'm wondering if I'm getting "played" like he claimed to have played the OW #1 and OW #3. He swore undying love and devotion to them, even proposed to one. What makes me different? Is this choice easier or is it more for the kids? I will say days that I feel totally suspicious of him aren't as often. I'm just giving it time.

Arnold01 posted 9/21/2013 18:19 PM

Thanks to all of you for the thoughts. It helped tremendously to know that I'm not alone. Based on your comments, I started a new approach. And that was - anytime I started doubting and questioning - to force myself to think about a recent and really loving thing that fWH did for me. So far that's helping me keep my thoughts in perspective.

sisoon and rebreather, thank you so much for the insight about my no longer knowing who or what to trust. I'd been wrestling with the idea of 'trust' because my husband is doing everything right to show me I can trust him. It was your posts that made me realize my bigger trust issue is with myself - trusting my own instincts after my whole world was shattered. I'm letting that process of rebuilding unfold and not trying to rush it, and in the meantime having this insight has been hugely helpful for me and for my fWH.

Appreciate the thoughts from all of you.

AML04 posted 9/21/2013 20:56 PM

OP-I find myself doing the same exact thing. Sometimes I wish I could just push it out of my head and enjoy what's happening now. The hard part is, I don't think I've even fully processed it yet!! My emotions are still all over the place. Try not to be so hard on yourself. If your H truly loves you, he'll understand or at least be patient enough to try.

Rebreather/Sisoon-I know this isn't my post but I could've written something very similar, thank you for taking the time to comment and give advice.

lucy17 posted 9/21/2013 23:25 PM

Arnold01-Thank you. Thank you for posting this. It is just what I needed. 2 weeks ago at MC I rated myself on a scale of 1-10 as a 9 (truly!) and then the next day fell apart and haven't crawled myself back to even a 5 yet. I feel guilty for that. Like I am purposely trying to prolong it--the dreams, the mind movies, the spiraling. Last night on our date we saw her and today he left for a week to go hunting so no cell coverage. I'm a mess. It's crazy to me that the person who comforts me the most is the one who caused the pain in the first place. If I can't be happy, it's nice to know I'm at least "normal."

blakesteele posted 9/22/2013 06:35 AM

1 year out...starting to trust again...a little.

Mondays.


Mondays still suck. Seem to suck no matter how the weekend rolled, but good weekends don't lessen the bad Monday.

It is such a predictable pattern that I requested we don't set MC sessions up on Monday....usually too low and angry to really get much from a MC session.

Perhaps it is our minds way of telling us....yeah, the weekend was good, but remember how this person hurt you? Really up for that again?

You are not self sabotaging. Kudos to you to even be at the spot you are at so early into this journey. Did you ever experience a Rage phase?

God be with you?

Arnold01 posted 9/23/2013 19:33 PM

blakesteele, thanks for bringing a smile to my face today. I had a down moment midway through work (after a long, difficult, but ultimately good conversation with fWH last night), and I thought of your post about how Mondays suck. Yes, they do, but hey - it's nearly Tuesday now!

And on your question about rage, no, I haven't been through a rage phase. Anger, yes, and disgust at how pathetic my husband's behavior was. Disgust to the point where I wonder if I can ever deep down respect him again. But rage, no. I do wonder if the rage is going to show up one of these weeks or months and hit both of us like a ton of bricks. Hopefully I'll manage to skip rage, but we'll see.

Anyway, thanks for your thoughts. They help.

topperoff22 posted 9/23/2013 21:26 PM

This is absolutely me! I do the same thing! I want to be in that place too. I will follow this thread. i am only about two months out now. My husband is trying really hard. I don't know you but I hope it is OK to say I'm praying for you.

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