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Am I avoiding or processing?

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GraceRunner posted 10/9/2013 17:32 PM

My BH feels like, because I am serious about NC with xAP, that I have somehow not processed my feelings about the OM and therefore I am still vulnerable to an affair.

Because we live in the same town our paths cross once in a while. I'm serious about NC - not even eye contact. I do get nervous when I'm in the situation having to avoid contact. I go out of my way to avoid being in the same area or any type of contact.

BH feels like if I were to truly process it and deal with my feelings then I would have no problem facing xAP and would have a sense of peace and control. I know the affair won't restart. I know I have no desire to go down that path again with xAP or anyone else ever again. But at the same time I feel certain safeguards are necessary. xAP and I have proven to be toxic to each other. I KNOW what a slippery-slope feels like and I don't want to get anywhere close to it. I guess I do have a bit of a fear that I am still vulnerable somehow even though I don't believe I am. I read on here about affairs that restarted after a year or two or even 10 years later. I'll bet those people thought they would never do it again too. So I feel like I'm being smart about recognizing a potential vulnerability.

Also, I feel so strongly about NC because I think it would show disrespect to my BH and myself to be nonchalant about it. I also fear that xAP would take any type of contact as some type of invitation to restart and I don't ever want to deal with him again.

Does it sound like I have not processed this all the way? I read on here that the goal is to get to indifference. Does that mean that if I have contact it wouldn't bother me and therefore I have processed it all? In some ways I get that my fear or nervousness implies some type of "power" the affair or xAP has over me and I don't like that.

I'm curious how other WS and BS feel about this and if there's more I should be doing to process.

Skan posted 10/9/2013 18:43 PM

NC No Contact No Further Hurts.

Yes, indifference should be your ultimate goal when you see your AP, tinged with a flavoring of disgust at your actions, however that can be accomplished with total NC. There is no need for you to "prove" to anyone that you are completely over the AP by getting anywhere near her.

That's sorta like proving that you're not an alcoholic anymore by sipping from a bottle of vodka.

My 2 cents worth.

harrypotter posted 10/10/2013 06:59 AM

I think the thing that sticks out to me in your post is the nervousness that you describe. You imply that you are nervous because you don't want to have any contact with xAP so that they don't mistake that as grounds to try and start things back up. I know that you feel that's a non issue for you but it kind of sounds like it is. I agree that NC means NC and processing this can be accomplished without contact. Maybe talk to your BS about why you don't want to make eye contact or anything and what your feelings are when you do see your xAP, if you haven't. Maybe they will be able to tell you what type of things he thinks you could do. Remember that he is not a mind reader so telling him what's going on is best.

unforgivable5 posted 10/10/2013 09:24 AM

I think its great you are recognizing a potential vulnerability. I believe its those WS's that don't recognize it, or try to ignore it, that often times fall back into affairs.

Maybe the fear or nervousness isn't necessarily about the power xAP has or had, but about being face to face with what has caused so much pain to you and your BH. Anger, disgust, regret, remorse. These aren't fun emotions. They are hard enough to work through on your own, but probably ten times harder when there's the potential to be near the source of thse feelings.

So anyway, I may be off base. Just my 2 cents. I agree that ultimately we want to get to a place of indifference. There is strength and comfort in that. But you can't rush it or fake it.

GraceRunner posted 10/10/2013 13:53 PM

Skan, I do feel indifference tinged with disgust in general towards xAP. It's just when I am in proximity that I get nervous. Are you saying that a WS is like an alcoholic - once addicted, always addicted? I am hoping and believe that I can work through my issues so that wayward patterns are not a monkey on my back for the rest of my life.

harrypotter, yes the nervousness is really the issue. I am trying to communicate the reasons behind it but guess I don't have it all worked out yet. I have lost a lot of confidence in myself this past year and I think the nervousness is one of the fruits of that loss.

unforgiveable5, Thank you! That makes a lot of sense to me. Being near xAP puts it right in front of my face and it is overwhelming facing all those demons at once. I don't want to hide from it though, I do want to face my demons... And then ultimately CRUSH them, grind them under my shoe, chew them up and spit them out

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