There is a struggle that I am having and I'm not quite sure how to handle this. It's not really something that I see people talking about around here but I'm sure that I can't be the only one dealing with this.
Essentially, it is a matter of figuring out how to embrace and work through this soul-crushing remorse and own what I did to my wife, marriage and myself while also working on ways to be authentically good and strong and build honest measures of self esteem.
I cognitively realize that these two categories are complementary to one another in the long term but figuring out how to work both sides at the same time is stumping me.
Building things about me and in my life to take legitimate self-esteem from is going to be part of what I must do in order to get away from my problems of external validation and all of the charismatic overlays that I used for so long. Also, if our marriage is going to survive, my wife needs to see something in me worth her interest.
At the same time, I am committed to having the full emotional experience of the wrongs that I have done. Living the pain of what I have done to us; grieving the loss of what I had with my beloved wife and really working to understand her feelings about the ways I betrayed her are part of the process of healing and growing.
How the in the world does one build honest worthiness while looking your own unworthiness in the face?
There is only so long that you can declare your faults and cry mea culpa before that becomes the narrative for both of you. By the same token, moving on to build the "new you" without delving the badness that you are trying to expunge is just a matter of trying to plant a new garden on top of a cesspool.
I know, there are no magic answers. I just needed to get it out for a moment. I wish that I had never done this. All that I want out of life any more is to be worthy of the love of my wife, cats and myself. Everything else is gravy.