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rachelc posted 11/3/2013 14:17 PM

I think many of us BS struggle with this. It's such a humbling experience. What? I need to work on myself?

One thing holding me up, I don't want my spouse to have the new and improved me. What? You stabbed me in the back and I'm charged with becoming a Better person?

Anyone else struggle with this? Ideally, the spouses should want to be on the same team. I can do this superficially all day long. In my heart though. I can't do it. Yet. I wonder if this becomes a choice! Or do wait for the feeling?

Marathonwaseasy posted 11/3/2013 14:36 PM

I have no choice. My usual coping strategies just don't work any more. I need to be the best I can be. I need to be a stronger version who won't go down the codependency route again. I will not be destroyed by this so I have to heal.

toughernow posted 11/3/2013 14:49 PM


This has been a thought in my head all through R (just over 1 year now). I have struggled with this.

The way you have phrased it has given me a new perspective.

One thing holding me up, I don't want my spouse to have the new and improved me.

I have certainly had this thought, many days. He had a great woman, and a great marriage, and he chose to piss it all away for a cheap thrill. Now I am supposed to pick myself up and dust myself off, and most difficult of all I am supposed to try to be the woman I was before all of he can have that wonderful wife back? ...And this is how my thinking goes.
Now seeing you, post it here in black and white, I think I can now begin to see that I don't need to do that for HIM, but why would I deny all of the other people in my life, who have loved me well (Mother, Friends, Children) the strongest most beautiful and joyful version of myself ? Why should I deny myself the pleasure of going through life with HER?

Yet I wonder if this becomes a choice! Or do wait for the feeling?

YES! Both I think! I am going to make the choice to feel good about myself again, and wait for the good feelings to return.

Thank you rachelc. You gave me the kick in the pants I needed today.

[This message edited by toughernow at 3:23 PM, November 3rd (Sunday)]

blakesteele posted 11/3/2013 15:12 PM

I like what was mentioned about abandoning my old coping mechanisms and actually addressing and processing life in a mature fashion. I was NOT the "great" husband I thought I was. I had great qualities but also some unhealthy qualities too. This is wisdom my wife and I can both glean from this experience, should we chose too. Our inabilities to process life during our formative years is very much "in-play" in our M. We just never were still enough to recognize that fact or become aware of the danger our M was in.

I am changing for myself. The fact that my wife may benefit from this is the icing on the cake. It appears I had a wound from my formative years that I did not process. I am doing that now. It does SUCK to be charged with doing this while I process through the pain my wife inflicted on me.... But if I don't, the risk of adopting a "victim mentality" for life increases . And accepting that alternative is more uncomfortable then the pain I am currently in.

I get your reluctance surrounding your he gets a better it is a reward for some dreadful behavior ( some exports say adultery is among the worst pain a person can inflict on another).

Gently, your husband is not the only one who will benefit if you achieve new, healthy, permanent growth. Our kids, our extended family members, friends and co-workers, even complete strangers will benefit from this.

If we set into motion a mode of self improvement and are committed to radical honesty and living could that do anything but improve the small amount of the world we have influence over? If we resist this change and we don't see our own weakness's, our spouses are not the only ones that will suffer.

It is said that love is the purest, strongest motivator of healthy change we possess. I pray for all affected by adultery that they open their hearts and learn to love again.

As a BS their are times I feel my heart is nothing but scar tissue....very contracted, ugly, and lacking feeling. But, at 14 months out I see this feeling was a truth of the moment. My heart is still vibrant and desires to love again. I can see it is not as scarred as I once believed .

May God be with all of us.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 3:32 PM, November 3rd (Sunday)]

rachelc posted 11/3/2013 15:30 PM

You know, I've been working on this for 3.5 years. I'm a better friend, mother, daughter and employee. But I don't give that joyous compassionate person to him. Just can't. Yet.

blakesteele posted 11/3/2013 15:40 PM

(((Rachel's))). I don't have this mastered yet. I get what you are expressing. Do you feel you can be fully loving and vulnerable to your children while still having the ability to hold back from your husband?

I ask in seriousness. I think I am a very simple man...don't believe I can be both of these at once. BUT I read where some people, particularly se women can "multi task emotionally" my whole post may only resonate with simple people.

God be with us all.

painfulpast posted 11/3/2013 15:42 PM

You should be you, always. If you are angry with him, then that's what he'll see. That doesn't mean you aren't the joyous compassionate person, it means he isn't bringing that out in you. Well, I should say his presence puts that side of you to sleep. It isn't his job to make you happy any more than it was your job to make him happy.

toughernow posted 11/3/2013 15:43 PM

I've been working on this for 3.5 years. I'm a better friend, mother, daughter and employee

The pain has not been for nothing.

That's what you were given. It's what we were all given, the chance to open ourselves up wide to the possibility of becoming greater than we were. It's not the route I would have taken to get here if I were actually given a choice, but it's the one I was given.

I don't know if you will be able to extend this gift to him eventually, hell I don't know if I will be able to extend this gift to my fWH, but in the meantime we take our victories where we can.

[This message edited by toughernow at 3:45 PM, November 3rd (Sunday)]

rachelc posted 11/3/2013 15:56 PM

Good point tougher. I should be happy I am this person to others.

Blake- I feel I can do this for my kids as they are out of the house and there isn't much action where we're all together..,,

blakesteele posted 11/3/2013 16:44 PM

Thanks for answering my question rachelc....I understand your situation better.

AML04 posted 11/3/2013 18:39 PM

I said this to my WH the other night. Sometimes I feel like if we come out of this better, it's a reward for his infidelity. That's a hard pill to swallow. I want to be the happy, loving, woman I was but I don't feel like he's earned her yet. Of course he has no idea what to do with the sullen, withdrawn, angry, analytical woman I've become.

[This message edited by AML04 at 6:40 PM, November 3rd (Sunday)]

wert posted 11/4/2013 08:53 AM

I struggled with this. I came to terms (or continue to come to terms with it) it this way. They are my values, my actions and this is who I want to be. That is mine. Yep she gets the benefits, but so do I. I am not choosing those things for her but for me. To be honest the whole world gets a better me. That's pretty cool.

take care...

Bikingguy posted 11/4/2013 09:02 AM

I certainly understand your point. I have been exercising more and eating better the last 1.5 years (only 10 months spend as a knowing BS) and lost 25 pounds. Am in the best physical shape in many years. I am also trying to improve my self esteem. Ironically as I do, I find myself more disappointed and disgusted with WW and her actions the last 15 years. I hate to sound arrogant but I have begun to question why I am staying with such a broken person?

Dance4Me posted 11/4/2013 10:22 AM

Four years out and I struggle with this topic very much so! I thought I was pretty awesome before he cheated. I had a pretty good sense of self, and had decent self esteem. On dday - and with four months of TT, he broke me completely. For me, it is difficult to become a so called "better person", when I thought that his cheating had nothing to do with me. But now that he cheated, his actions changed me for the worst! I hope I make sense.

I tell him that he had me at my best and cheated, and now he loves me even more despite me being at my worst - a fallout of his behavior that I can't seem to change no matter how hard I try.

Such a messed up situation - and I totally understand how you feel.

HoldOnHope posted 11/4/2013 11:10 AM

Thank you, Rachel, for posting this. I struggle with this. A lot. Every day... A LOT.

It was helpful to read everyone else's replies :)

crazyblindsided posted 11/4/2013 12:56 PM

In the early days after our first DDay I kept thinking WH would heal me and when he wouldn't (because we were in False R) I basically had to heal myself. I give myself 98% credit for it too

I realized today in a conversation I was having with WH where he was seeing the glass half empty and I refused to see it that way. I saw it as half full and I realized today that is how I see most things. I had to find my way back to myself and love myself. I am a survivor! We all are!

Rebreather posted 11/4/2013 13:24 PM

Here is where I came to be, after feeling the same way and utterly resentful that *I* had to change and do work to get through this nightmare.

Regardless of what your wayward spouse may or may not deserve, don't you deserve to be the best version of yourself? Healing isn't for anyone other than you. Sure, maybe someone else gains some ancillary benefits from whatever personal growth in which you've been forced to partake. But you get to decide who that person is. You don't have to share your changes with anyone other than the one that actually deserves it. If your spouse doesn't deserve all that you've done? Then you have an answer to a different question.

blakesteele posted 11/6/2013 05:04 AM

Well summarized rachelc....kind of ties into biking guys response as well. Good to "hear" from you biking guy....been a while.

As I think about our marriage...specifically, as I spent time in IC...I was "forced" to ask myself tough questions. "Why was blakesteele willing to stay in a M that was unfulfilling?" "Why did blakesteele react so poorly (ie: no rage, overly compassionate to my wife) upon my DD?".

As I answer these questions my counselor warned it is tough work. You may find out you are not compatible to your mate. My wife may decide she doesn't like the way you change...who you become.

How do I balance this concern ? My wife is also changing and growing. I think this is a key to R....recognizing change on both sides is needed. If a BS is truly completely healthy then the inequality between them and their BS will forever be a blocker to R....just not sure how such a relationship can grow into a healthy M.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 7:08 AM, November 6th (Wednesday)]

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