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Thoughts on rehashing the past...

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brokensmile322 posted 9/23/2013 07:33 AM

Just wondering what any of you think about this when you are a bit further out from dday.

We are quite a bit a way from it. We are making progress, but I do find myself going back, rehashing what was already discussed, etc...

I am not even talking about rehashing this to my WH. I let it into my mind. Sometimes the letting in, progresses to talking to my WH about these things and more often than not, it ends in an argument. For the most part, though, I let it in just to myself and it ruins my day.

If it does progress to an argument, it mostly comes because I am upset about something, I cannot change what happened, his answer never changes and I hurt. It spirals.

So it seems like an exercise in futility.

Does there come a point when you just have to leave this in the past? I mean, not the whole thing, obviously we are dealing with this everyday. We have a game plan, we are better than we were, we aren't where we were then during the A. And my WH has changed a lot of things, how he does business, his contact with OW, his feelings toward OW, his awareness of doing business with random other women in the workplace, how he treats me, loves me, communicates with me...etc..

The thing is that he hurt me and I am starting to see that going back there is really not helping anything. It still hurts when I think about it.

So I guess my question is, is there a point when you decide you have to shut the door on that hurt. Yes it is there. Yes I acknowledge it. My WH does as well. Yes we have changed our whole way of being in a relationship, it is better. So for those of you further along, do you just accept it and not wallow in it? Is this an active choice?

I seem to be stuck in the I have to feel it to heal it thing. And you know, I have FELT it. I am now starting to think the feeling it all the time, the staying in it is not helping. What do you all think?

Silentthoughts posted 9/23/2013 08:32 AM

I don't have any advice, but I am interested in the replies. My bs is still so affected by what I did and it just kills me knowing he is still hurting so much. So I will be following your thread with interest.

I sincerely hope you find peace and joy again.

bionicgal posted 9/23/2013 09:00 AM

Brokensmile -
We are on the same page today. I am a full year behind you, but struggle with what are necessary conversations and lines of inquiry, and what is just pain shopping.

My H and I talk a LOT, and already we are visiting similar themes over and over, and opening old wounds over and over, and I think we are both hoping that this is a meaningful exercise somehow. I am not talking about learning details, but rather asking over and over what he felt at this point, or didn't at another one.

Like you, we are doing so much right. We are in MC, rebuilding our marriage, reading together, having amazing sex, and generally meeting each other's needs better than we ever have. At some point, do I just accept that my H took a 3 month selfish and destructive break from reality, and move on? (In light of the fact that he is remorseful, transparent, and willing to tell me anything I want to know?)

I do think there is more to learn for my H at this point from his actions, and he is working on that. But, I do wonder how much delving into the picky details of the A is good for me.

brokensmile322 posted 9/23/2013 09:20 AM

Maybe this is acceptance....

You know, it still hurts. There is no other way to look at it. What other answer could I hope to find except for the fact that we were not in a good place, he let someone else get close to him, he cared for her, he put other things before me at that time, he didn't consider my feelings and he betrayed my trust.

Period. Fact. It is what it is.

It is not that way now...

Is this acceptance? And once you accept it, there doesn't seem to be a reason for the nit picky details.

I can see talking about triggers when they happen and being comforted. This happens. So beyond seems dwelling on the fine details is not moving us forward.


[This message edited by brokensmile322 at 9:21 AM, September 23rd (Monday)]

bionicgal posted 9/23/2013 09:35 AM

I think that the acceptance part is key. I told my H that there were a 1000 betrayals during his affair. I know I need to know a lot of them so that I have the landscape, and he needs to share them so that we have a shared narrative of what happened.

But, do I need to know the password of the secret (now deleted) email account? These are the types of things that plague me. Is this useful Information? My H was living in a fantasy land, where he made massively bad judgments in all areas of his life. I feel like sometimes I am trying to get in his head and rewrite the past when we go through this. It is like we are watching a movie that we know ends badly, and I am yelling at the main character to do something other than what is in the plot.

That being said, he is seeing more places where his thinking was distorted then. . . He isn't foggy, but I do know that some conversations lead to a deeper understanding of what happened. I imagine when i am as far out from DDay as you are that they become increasingly rare, and perhaps you are creeping up on acceptance?

StillStanding1 posted 9/23/2013 09:35 AM

Oh wow. I totally can relate on this. I am a pretty empathetic person and can understand that the WS doesn't want to keep getting "beat up" if he/she is trying to make things right. I know that we BS's have the need to revisit and keep processing the hurt, but at what point is it unproductive and destructive.

My WH and I still have a long road to go in our discussions and self-analysis. But like you, I know we will eventually get to a point where we need to move forward. Not rugsweep, or put a bandaid on the wound, but say "we've stitched up the wound, applied antibiotic, now it's time to wait for the healing". Yes, we will always have a scar. The wound was incredibly deep. But if it wasn't a mortal wound for us, we've got to step back and let it heal once we've done all the first aid we can.

Sorry, I work better in analogies sometimes... Hope that makes some sense. I just don't know how to know when I've reached that point. Hoping I'll "know" at that point. Yes, I guess that is when we turn the corner and come to acceptance. I'm hoping it's a more peaceful place...

ETA: we were cross-posting. Yes! This ....

My H was living in a fantasy land, where he made massively bad judgments in all areas of his life. I feel like sometimes I am trying to get in his head and rewrite the past when we go through this. It is like we are watching a movie that we know ends badly, and I am yelling at the main character to do something other than what is in the plot.

[This message edited by StillStanding1 at 9:41 AM, September 23rd (Monday)]

catlover50 posted 9/23/2013 09:54 AM

I am one day prior to our 1 year antiversary and I have mostly reached acceptance.

I truly don't think I am gaining any more insight by continuing to hash over, either in my own head or with my H. I still think about it daily, but it usually doesn't hurt anymore.

What I do is try to change the subject in my head. My best strategy is to do or plan something fun or sexy for us. If I'm home I may change the sheets and freshen up by the bedroom, plan a fun dinner. Maybe I'll go shopping and buy some nice wine, etc. Planning a romantic trip together is fun. Sometimes I just play the piano or dance around the living room. If I'm at work there is plenty to distract me; get to some of those neglected projects, etc.

Early on I know that I needed to go there; now I try not to. If something is really pressing I will sit with it for awhile and ruminate, but usually I can let it go.

brokensmile322 posted 9/23/2013 10:00 AM

See, and for me, one of the key pieces was finally put into place in this whole thing....

And that was my WH's view on the OW and her role in this whole thing. And yes, I can focus on the fact that it took him 1 1/2-2 yrs to finally come to that conclusion. I can be angry and focus on that.

Or I can celebrate the fact that he was open enough to go to MC, to hear what the counselor said and to change his opinion. I can be happy that he loves me to still be here, to have made changes, to have never once wavered on the fact that he wants ME. I can realize that we have had some dark, ugly times through this whole thing. If we did not love each other, if we did not choose each other, neither of us would still be here.

And I can also see that part of what took this long for him to see this about OW, was our dragging our feet to find a new MC. After the first one, I did not think we could find one that would help. I called in a moment of desperation and a feeling that it was a last ditch effort. We kept having the same argument about OW. It took the MC to put it into a slightly different way for my WH to hear me.

So this past week, I chose to stay in the angry mode. To stay in the thoughts that it took him forever to realize that the OW is an enemy.

It was a horrible existence. We went to MC, we discussed it. Leaving the session, I was very unsettled and upset.

My WH and I processed it and came to a good place. And then this weekend, thoughts would race back to a certain event...and I would say to him..."Well what about when you did x.y.and z."

Truth is, we have already discussed that. Yes he did do x,y,z and he hurt me by doing it. There is nothing more to say about it then he is sorry and to hold me.

This is why I am coming to this place...

I am fighting my mind to go back to these pieces, these single events and then fight. There is nothing to fight about anymore. Does this make sense to anyone?

brokensmile322 posted 9/23/2013 10:06 AM

Thank you Catlover.

What I do is try to change the subject in my head. My best strategy is to do or plan something fun or sexy for us. If I'm home I may change the sheets and freshen up by the bedroom, plan a fun dinner. Maybe I'll go shopping and buy some nice wine, etc. Planning a romantic trip together is fun. Sometimes I just play the piano or dance around the living room. If I'm at work there is plenty to distract me; get to some of those neglected projects, etc.

^^These are some great suggestions. And if I am reading it correctly, this is acceptance. You change the conversation in your head.

I like that. I hope others will come with more suggestions to or insight, but your post helped tremendously. And based on the other comments, I am not alone!

catlover50 posted 9/23/2013 10:34 AM

You're welcome!

struggling3 posted 9/23/2013 13:01 PM

You will get more to a point of acceptance. I will tell you that at over two years out...I can still get myself worked up over either thoughts or something that happens that I can totally blow up in my head. My MC gave me this advice on a paper to try to make some sense of it.

Practicing Cognitive Monitoring

A = The event. Something someone has said or done to upset you, or anything upsetting

B = What you are concluding and saying to yourself regarding "A" above

C = What you are feeling in response to "B" above

D = Your reaction to "C" above

The common fallacy is that "A" caused "C". The fact is "B" causes "C".

Practicing cognitive monitoring is a simple two-step process that requires you to: (1) change how you are thinking about "A", and (2) also to change your tendency to resort to irrational thinking, such as jumping to negative conclusions, filtering, catastrophizing, engaging in emotional reasoning, personalizing, drawing conclusions based upon all-or-none reasoning, etc.

Please remember that you may not be able to control "A" but you definitely can control your thinking about "A" and thus change how you feel and to react.

Hope this helps a little. I find it helps me to not go to a bad spot over a thought. Not saying it's not normal for it to continue to cross your brain but I'm finding it easier to push it away before I let it escalate.

brokensmile322 posted 9/23/2013 17:24 PM

Thank you Struggling!

Ok. Let me see if I get this...

When there is an 'event', I have a thought about that event. My thought(s) about the event affect my feelings about the event. And then I have a reaction to the feeling I am having.

Ok. So bear with me...

Obviously, when I think of an event, I tell myself something...

Am I supposed to tell myself something different?

I get this process because I can totally see how it progresses, but I guess I am asking what am I supposed to do with that?

I guess I should be doing what cat lover is doing in a way and change the conversation in my head. Lol!

If you could also give me a hypothetical of how I would see it in the past and then how I should see it after doing this, I'd appreciate it.

Or maybe I am misunderstanding...HA!

broken0912 posted 9/23/2013 20:04 PM

Well, I am still trying to find out the details of what happen (and what matters most to me is what they said to each other and little secrets they may have had and what they said about me & us & our marriage, what he felt & thought before during & after - also at what rate and how the A progressed.) He still has yet to give me those answers. Yes I continue to ask the same questions, not only to process the A and wrap by brain around it so I can see a fairly complete picture and file it in the back.

What I read in a book and truly believe is the reason I keep asking the same questions over & over is also to see if I get the same answers, which often times I don't and my trust is shattered all over again. Also the couple in the book said BS had to talk about and ask about the A until she was Done with it, however long that took. She realized one day that she was bored with the topic, and then knew she was ready to move on. I will try to keep a positive attitude and practice self-care, but will not beat myself up for my feelings, need to talk, or ask questions, anymore.

For me, I thought I would be fairly over this within a year. NOT SO, but of course, I have had very little from FWH. The levels of betrayal in my circumstances seem to make this the worst possible A I can imagine. There are only maybe 2 things that could have made it any worse. So I cannot expect my recovery to happen as quickly as I would have hoped. His lies went on a total of 8 yrs, not including the little lies that have killed me again over the last year.

My thought is if he feels he is being punished, that is on him and that I deserve at least as long as the lie lasted to heal from this at my own pace. I refuse to rush myself anymore, but will no longer stay focused on him and now know whatever he says or does can hurt or help the healing, but I am in charge of my own healing and he can come along on the journey if he chooses.

[This message edited by broken0912 at 8:05 PM, September 23rd (Monday)]

Gr8Lady posted 9/23/2013 20:21 PM

I think of it more as acceptance that it happened. It won't go away, will it? The action still occurred.

My analogy is like this you get a cancer diagnosis. It is agonizing information, more than you think you could ever deal with, but it did. Once the diagnosis is processed, you learn how to deal with it, move forward, and have a life. The diagnosis is
STILL there you just accept. Occasionally you will hear of someone receiving the same diagnosis, you again recall the agony of discovery. You feel compassion and empathy for them. You aren't living in the past, just reflecting.

Does that make sense?

struggling3 posted 9/24/2013 06:50 AM

So I find that I need this more in response to something that is happening in the present and I find a way to link it in my head and then trigger like crazy. For instance, one time I saw my H take a look...then a double take at a very good looking woman. I had myself sick within minutes...linking it up to "why am I not enough" thoughts and the such. That is more the kind of situation that I feel it helps with. I'm not so much talking about trying to change the way you think about the affair. Unfortunately the TIME has to take care of that. I know the feeling of trying to rush that....especially if the rest of the marriage is feeling really good as mine is right now. I had a small meltdown driving to work yesterday...just couldn't push the hurt still sucks and I'm over two years out now. Best of luck with it all. Let me know if you find a good way to expedite the

2married2quit posted 9/24/2013 09:23 AM

I'm at acceptance, she isn't. She doesn't want to accept that it's part of our history. She would rather dissolve the marriage then deal with this for a lifetime. But that's what a coward does.

I'm over a year out (much like you) and we don't talk about it THAT much anymore, but it is the subject of our conversations. The before, the after, HIM and also the fallout. So it is the under neath subject. IT doesn't go away easily.

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