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t/j Waiting for the other shoe to drop or dare to feel joy

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LA44 posted 9/25/2013 07:01 AM

I read a post today about being very happy in R and wondering if it will last. I too have asked myself this in great moments of happiness. If there is more to the story that will cause me pain. How can we be this happy? What if he does this again 2, 3, 10 years from now?

I recognized I might be able to shed some light based on a piece I just read in the October issue of O Magazine in which shame/vulnerability researcher, Brene Brown talks about daring to feel joy. pg. 76

She writes that when we are "overwhelmed by love, we feel vulnerable - so we dress-rehearse tragedy."

Pretty cool eh?

The problem is that worrying about things that haven't happened yet don't protect us from pain. Imagine if you worried every day for 5 years that your spouse would cheat. And then he did. How did that worrying help you? Did you feel less pain from all that worrying?

She says this and I think its amazing: We simply cannot know joy without embracing vulnerability - and the way to do that is to focus on gratitude, not fear.

And that joy, collected over time fuels resilience....

So...the next time you find yourself doing the "what if's" get off the crazy train and say, "I am feeling vulnerable." This will take you away from fear and allow you to make a conscious choice - you can either get back on the crazy train or you can re-board to the gratitude platform. And she goes on from there but hey, you can buy the mag and read for yourself!

Have a good day in R.

mchercheur posted 9/25/2013 07:08 AM

Agree LA44, but once again, it comes down to trust. I can control what I do but not WS.

We simply cannot know joy without embracing vulnerability - and the way to do that is to focus on gratitude, not fear.

So, that means we just have to let go. Very difficult to do, since my instinct is to protect myself in case it happens again.

LA44 posted 9/25/2013 07:24 AM

I think it means - for me anyway - that when I feel great happiness in our relationship that I should accept it. Be grateful for it, instead of going dark and catastrophizing. Instead of, "what if". So yes. To a certain extent, I let go.

Trust in my spouse grows everyday. He speaks, he does. He follows through.

ie: H said back in June, this will be a different summer. I will be there for you. For our family. Watch me.

And he did it. I turned the volume off and watched. He walked the walk. My trust and belief in him grew. This is just my own experience though.

I think the real key is trusting yourself. Trusting that you are in a good place. I trust that I am making the right decision by continuing in M with this man.

rachelc posted 9/25/2013 07:27 AM

I think also that a person needs to feel safe enough to be vulnerable. This might take some time to get to. heck, 1.5 years later, I'm still not there. My husband is not there 3.5 years out. That's how big a thing this is...
I'm not saying we're waiting for other other shoe to drop but we are tiptoeing cautiously.
In MC yesterday we talked about being vulnerable. The MC guaranteed we will be hurt. Not another affair maybe but other stuff. And that's how you love, you get up on the horse and trust, and forgive and be vulnerable. EVERY. DAY.
Because is there any other way to do this?

I get your point LA but the other shoe did drop in my case. That said, I think I can still love again with vulnerability.. some day.

Undefinabl3 posted 9/25/2013 07:43 AM

Very difficult to do, since my instinct is to protect myself in case it happens again.

Yes, but you can protect yourself without having so much worry.

You can always have your own credit cards, your own bank account, your name on your own car.

You can have a folder on your computer updated with lawyer names or a spread sheet of what you would want incase things went south.

You can position yourself in life in such a way that IF it happened again, you wouldn't be caught with your both your pants and underware down....IF it happened again, you would have your pants on with your running shoes in a box in the closet.

as a fWS, its really hard to live with a person waiting for the other shoe to drop. It feels like we are in this limbo where no matter what, it will never be good enough to even start to try and trust again. I wonder if the next thing I say, or the next thing BH triggers on will be the last time.

UMBL posted 9/25/2013 09:30 AM

Brene Brown has an amazing book called the "Gift of Imperfection" that my therapist gave me to read...I suggest it for everyone going through all of this...I love her work!

catlover50 posted 9/25/2013 09:37 AM

Nice post LA44. I know that I lived waiting for the other shoe to drop prior to Dday #2; I knew on some level there was something more. And boy did that shoe drop; right on my head.

But now I don't feel that way. Just last night (during our antiversary "celebration") I said that we would surely have tough times ahead, ups and downs, challenges, but that as long as we maintained our connection that we had forged over the last year we would get through it.

We both know that any more infidelity is a dealbreaker, so I don't need to worry about that anymore. I know what I'll do and how to handle it.

Now we can focus on building the best present and future possible.

Scubachick posted 9/25/2013 10:06 AM

Thanks for sharing that, LA44...,I really needed to read that today.

blakesteele posted 9/25/2013 10:22 AM

Nice post LA44.

I think Brene is onto something here. I am getting glimpses of my wife and I's future together....feel a new love for her as I "see" her in new lights....I enjoy this feeling overall, but also suffer painful glimpses from our recent past together. Pain causes fear...and I still have some fear of being hurt I still need to process.

We have one of Brene's books on vulnerability now...another should arrive today.

Funny....neither my wife nor I heard about her until 2 weeks ago. First, I heard of her and ordered a book from her. Then, 4 days later my wife called me at work and asked if I could order a book for was the exact same book I had just ordered. I heard of Brene on wife read about her on a blog site she rarely visits. No coincidences.

Vulnerability.....fear......two things I am processing....appears one cannot exist in the presence of the other. Really feeling I have the courage to learn and live vulnerably....because the pain of living in fear is greater for me then the pain of being vulnerable.

Change occurs when the pain of same over-rides the pain of change....and that process is a solo venture.

God be with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 10:24 AM, September 25th (Wednesday)]

meplusfour posted 9/25/2013 10:26 AM

Reading Brene Brown has given me some insight and has helped in my healing process. I have read The Gift of Imperfection and am in the process of reading her latest, Daring Greatly. I find that these books are not quick reads because after each chapter, I tend to become introspective and look at myself and how I can improve my state of mind and improve my reality. I do agree that you need to have worked through some of the initial fears and healed from your emotional injuries before these books may be of assistance.

Sending everyone joyful thoughts for today.

LearningToRun posted 9/25/2013 12:00 PM

Her TED talks are awesome

LA44 posted 9/25/2013 12:34 PM

Hey blakesteele, I know I posted something last month about her notion, "chose discomfort over resentment". Wouldn't it be nice if you heard about Brown via me!

I don't even have a book of hers yet but did listen to a TED talk - thanks LearningtoRun for posting that reminder.

However, maybe this is a sign bc today after I posted this I did receive an Oprah email (stop rolling your eyes) that Brown will be doing a 6 week e-course on the Gifts of Imperfection. I am sure if you go to her site or Oprah's web site (under Super Soul Sunday) you will find more info. there. It starts Oct. 20th. Whose game?

I also think too blake that she is saying the vulnerability and gratitude can also go hand-in-hand. Chose that over fear. But its tough, man. It really is. Hey! Just last week I was rifling through my H's computer looking for....something. I was on the crazy train and instead of saying, "LA, you are feeling vulnerable right now", I chose to stay on the train. It was not a great day.

But yeah - what Un3 says is so right on.

Yes, but you can protect yourself without having so much worry.

t/j: glad you had a great anti-versary Catlover!

[This message edited by LA44 at 12:34 PM, September 25th (Wednesday)]

blakesteele posted 9/25/2013 12:53 PM


Yes, that is a BIG hug....which hardly shows the gratitude I have for you posting this link. Brene really understands vulnerability. I thought I was vulnerable within my marriage pre-A. I was wrong.

Grace and mercy to us all.

blakesteele posted 9/25/2013 14:01 PM

Hi LA44...I do remember your discomfort over resentment post. That played a part of my interest in Brene. There was also an article in Oprah magazine on here that reference Brene as well.

Funny thing is I watched that Ted video....could relate more to the "before Brene" more then the "after Brene"...the "Brene" that desired to sort life out, fix things, measure things, assign order to things. But I have a thirst to move that relation to the "after Brene". It seems to make more sense...appears healthier. By that I mean more in line with what the oneness in marriage is to look like....what it means to be emotionally connected, emotionally available.

It was comforting to here her say SHE sought professional help for a year as she made sense of this all.

Be cool if I could get some of her wisdom via her book and avoid the length of time it took her to attain her wisdom.

I am simply shocked on how little I knew about what a healthy, intimate relationship looked like.

God be with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 2:04 PM, September 25th (Wednesday)]

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