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Vulnerability....and hell.

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blakesteele posted 9/19/2013 21:41 PM

So I have been taping into this whole vulnerability thing...it appears this is the main key to intimacy. The flip side is...it is the main key to getting hurt!

The trick for BS is to have the courage to be vulnerable again. I am finding this courage...

C.S. Lewis writes....

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to be sure of keeping your heart intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully around with hobbies and little luxuries, avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safely in the casket of your selfishness. And in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will not change, it will not be broken. It will become unbreakable, impenetrable, and irredeemable. The only place outside of heaven where you can be perfectly safe from the dangers of love is hell.

End of quote.

It appears to me that, as a BS, our hearts have already been broken....doesn't really make any sense to me to wrap it up and protect it now....

Actually, never made any sense for me to wrap it up and protect it pre-A either.

Sure, I had plenty of thoughts of how my life could have played out differently had I NOT married my wife or she NOT said yes...but that doesn't change my situation now.

I am finding the courage to be vulnerable....and finding new and healthier ways to do that (not FOO based as I did pre-A). It is tough and scary...but is less tough and less scary with each day.

I hope to continue to post positive experiences with regards to my R and journey to being vulnerable....but that dang roller coaster is still running.

God be with us all.

blakesteele posted 9/19/2013 21:46 PM

If you are new into this experience....NOW is NOT the time to be vulnerable. I don't think C.S. Lewis is pitching this idea....to keep getting hurt. The Fog, trickle truths, and the affair itself needs to be squarely behind you before vulnerability is even a consideration.

Trust me....I tried to be vulnerable with my wife immediately upon DD. But I did this in unhealthy ways as I tried to apply MY poor coping mechanisms instilled in my via my FOO issues. Much work must be done to change how vulnerability is expressed in a healthy way...or at least I had to do much work to get it there. Honestly, it is still new and I am learning still yet....but I am committed to this process.

Peace be with us all.

Lostinthismess posted 9/19/2013 21:57 PM

From which text are you quoting C.S. Lewis? I'm always looking for a new read. I'm desperately trying to figure out if I can even stay in this marriage. All the basic affair books are trite and repetitive to me at this point.

brokensmile322 posted 9/19/2013 22:16 PM

Ahhh, Blakesteele, I love where you are heading....

You had a recent post about intimacy, HB and sex. I did not respond to that post. I had much to say, but I wasn't sure you were ready to hear it.

And then this timely post about being vulnerable.

I am pulling a quote from your post about intimacy....

It's not great to say....but I have had to view intimacy with my wife as "just sex" due to the pain her affair has caused me.

And it seems you may be ready to hear what I have to say....

I believe you may work through your intimacy issue with your wife when you come to point that you are willing to be vulnerable, vulnerable through those acts. And.It.Is.Hard. It requires courage.

You are still in the casket, wrapped tight because it still hurts....but you are struggling with being there...but you are finding the courage.

Perhaps you have answered you own question from your prior post? Something to think about, for sure...

blakesteele posted 9/19/2013 22:56 PM

((((Lostinthismess)))). Yeah, I read lots of infidelity books....very repetitive reading, but that is one way I learn, so not a waste. But, like you, I desire more now.

"Four Loves" is the book this is from.

((((Brokensmile322)))) one of my original brat pack members.....I appreciate your tact and timing. Though I like to believe I would have been open to your nudging then, I am more open to it now. I am close to unwrapping my heart again. Thanks for your continued support.

God be with you both.

VeilLifted posted 9/19/2013 23:48 PM

A friend and I just finished a book study at my church about vulnerability. The title of the book is Daring Greatly by Brene Brown (I think that's the right author)

The book is not about infidelity, but my friend and I found it to be very relevant to what we are going through dealing with infidelity.

blakesteele posted 9/20/2013 03:59 AM

Thanks veillifted...I had ordered that very book last week....my wife asked if I could order this book last night (she had no idea I had ordered it).

Thanks...I look forward to reading it.

OnAnIsland posted 9/20/2013 04:18 AM

Brene Brown Ted talk on vulnerability. Check it out. I am wtg for that book too from the library.

FeelingMN posted 9/20/2013 08:11 AM

The problem for me is when I allow myself to be vulnerable, open up about my feelings as a BS, its met with a brick wall of shame by WS. Last night and this morning for example. Feeling isolated after a opening up is like touching a hot stove top. When it happens repeatedly, how and why would we want to do it at all?

brokensmile322 posted 9/20/2013 09:47 AM

I have watched the Brene Brown talks. I can say I was not ready to hear them when I first listened.

I just went back and listened. I am purchasing this book today too.

Thank you Blake for posting this...perhaps embracing vulnerability is a key thing missing for me as well.

cantaccept posted 9/20/2013 11:05 AM

Boy are we on opposite ends now, but I guess that could change at any time also.

I agree that to love is to be vulnerable. It is a choice to put your heart, your emotions on the line. To let the one that hurt you "see" that vulnerability is a risk.

To R I believe it is a necessary risk. I think it is necessary from both the bs and the ws.

Today I have decided to step back. I cannot afford to be vulnerable anymore. It is causing me too much pain.

To expose yourself, be vulnerable after such terrible hurt and betrayal is a gift to the ws. It is a way of opening the door to forgiveness. It is saying I still love you, I want to forgive you, please help me. To ask for help, to say exactly what will soothe you is being vulnerable. It is saying, no asking, do you love me? do you care enough about me? do you care enough about me to help me?

To be ignored, to be blamed for hurting, to be blamed for asking, to be accused of not looking forward, that makes vulnerability dangerous.

Sorry to t/j, as you can probably tell, it has been a very rough couple of days.

rachelc posted 9/20/2013 11:42 AM

at this point, there's just no way... but there would be no way with any relationship right now..

I think we first start by trusting ourselves.. and not worry about it until we're good with that.

brokensmile322 posted 9/20/2013 11:51 AM

I agree. And I think Blake was right in qualifying his answer by saying being vulnerable is not for those fresh after dday. Or even for those of us months, years, etc... into this, who aren't ready for whatever reason.

I suspect that Blake was coming from a spot where he could be teetering on the edge of being vulnerable again. Being vulnerable does not mean being naive to what could happen.

I think being vulnerable after infidelity is a choice one makes with eyes wide open. The first time around most of us just fell into love, into the relationship, into the routine without any thought.

I think if you asked any one of those SI'ers who have fully R'ed, there came a point where they were ready to be vulnerable again, to let go and they made that choice based on the actions of their WS.

Just my thoughts, not there yet. I do know I want to be vulnerable and love like that again. At this point in R, I am not sure it is with my WH yet. We are trying, but I am not sure we are winning.

Hugs to all!

blakesteele posted 9/20/2013 15:02 PM

I think being vulnerable after infidelity is a choice one makes with eyes wide open. The first time around most of us just fell into love, into the relationship, into the routine without any thought.

I think if you asked any one of those SI'ers who have fully R'ed, there came a point where they were ready to be vulnerable again, to let go and they made that choice based on the actions of their WS.

Yes...there is a point where this decision has to be made. I am, like brokensmile322 rightly pointed out, right at this threshold and am moving forward.

For a long time I thought being vulnerable was the same as being weak. I thought this because of the pain I experienced...thinking if I were stronger I would not get hurt.

The truth is being vulnerable is not a weakness...it is a strength to let your guard down and willingly engage another in a relationship. Real relationship weakness comes from LACK of courage...walling oneself off in an attempt to protect yourself. Walls work both ways...keep people out, but keep you in (isolation). We are not designed to be isolated.

I also agree that many of us, including my wife and I, entered into love and marriage quite blindly...and that is natural and not "bad".

We now know better...our eyes are wide open. The question is do we both have the courage to be vulnerable with each other. For me, the answer is yes. To have a healthy marriage I believe it takes both husband and wife to answer "yes" to this question.

Due to FOO issues it is new territory for our marriage...something that this trial has educated us both on. We knew about our backgrounds but failed to give it careful consideration and how it was at play within our relationship.

I am confident that this new, intentional way of living will give me the strength to do one of two healthy things with the rest of my life. First, it could enable my marriage to achieve an intimacy many will just dream of...an intimacy that I never knew was possible (still not sure what that is going to look like, but think it is an ever evolving intimacy and NOT an arrival point).

Second, if my marriage ends it will give me the strength to survive and thrive into another relationship...or not. Most importantly here is that it will keep me from repeating the same cycle.

Regardless, when I successfully gather the courage to be vulnerable within my cherished relationships (specifically as a husband and a Dad and as a servant to God) they will grow exponentially.

To be sure, I am learning as I go through this...but my thirst for knowledge is growing and I feel momentum gaining.

If this was not so painful, I would think this a cool experience.

God be with us all.

crazyblindsided posted 9/20/2013 16:48 PM

I do know I want to be vulnerable and love like that again. At this point in R, I am not sure it is with my WH yet. We are trying, but I am not sure we are winning.

Yep I am here too. My WH does not show enough consistent remorse so it is impossible for me to be vulnerable.

Not an easy task after infidelity that is for sure.

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