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Abandonment issues and perseverance

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blakesteele posted 12/9/2013 09:11 AM

I am a tenacious person...have been since the begining, according to my Mom.

I am a person with abandonment fears.

I am many other things as well...but these two dominant traits are what I have been focusing on lately.

I find it odd that people with abandonment issues typically DON'T persevere when hurt by another person. Initially I reacted to my DD in typical abandonment fashion....trying to comfort my wife, minimize the damage done to me and our marriage, cling to a toxic person at all costs, etc.

But, according to what I have uncovered, once that initial trauma has subsided...and acceptance sets in....I SHOULD withdraw from my wife per Abandonment modes of operation. "You cant hurt me if you are not around me" philosophy. I have accepted the actions of my wife and the damage it has done to me, our M and our family. I still spontaneously cry, but I have accepted what happened....happened.

I witnessed my brother go through this typical process with his wife and his D. He was upset for about 1 month, then shut down completely....and they D.

He has not looked back.

I was concerned about that when I first found the plane of lethal flatness....thought I might be shutting down completely and about to file for D....even sought legal advice.

But I didn't.

My wife suggested since I am a middle child there are factors in-play that temper my abandonment issues. I also think my tenacity, which pre-dates my FOO Abandonment thing, plays into this as well.

I sometimes wonder if my tenacity will blind me to what my M really is, and the possibility that what I am attempting to do is in vane...simply can't happen.

So I have thought about that.

Here are two things that are helping me deal with this anxiety.

"suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope"--the Bible.

While I have never been more uncomfortable in my life, I have never felt so complete. If it weren't so damn painful this could be viewed as an uplifting experience. The last word in that quote (hope) is a journey I just completed as I discerned what true hope is compared to what true cope is. Cope is a sucky state...that I will resist. Hope is more difficult, but is a state I choose to nurture. My abandonment issuses were born out of a need to cope with life. I can see how they got me out of a tough spot as a 12 year old boy, but how they have limited my maturity as a 42 year old man.....took my wife sleeping with another man to do this, but I am no longer blind to my coping mechanisms. It has left a very bad taste in my mouth anytime I get anywhere close to old unhealthy habits.

When asked for his secret to success, Henry Ford replied "When you start a thing, don't quit until you finish it".

I started a M with my wife....I intend to hold up my part in that marriage as fully as God allows me to.

What I wrestle with on THIS point wife quit her M to me when she choose adultery. It takes two to make a healthy M, but only 1 to make it unhealthy. My wife has shown me her ability to quit. She is attempting to show me she can do better. Adultery is the only sin that D is a valid option....but it is NOT a given that D must happen following adultery.

This post is more about me trying to gel up some stark differences in the feelings inside me...trying to find out what the true motives are underlying these feelings.

Reflective this morning.....mind movies won last night.....feeling aggravated this morning.

God be with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 9:23 AM, December 9th (Monday)]

sodamnlost posted 12/9/2013 09:22 AM

Just wanted to say sorry you had a bad night. It's tough living in this nightmare and trying to remain a Godly person. The worlds pull is so intense. The fleshly pulls of our own are even worse. Examining your feelings is never easy - the whole dying to self process sucks, even if the results are good.

Praying for God's wisdom and a peace that surpasses all understanding!

sodamnlost posted 12/9/2013 09:26 AM

I sometimes wonder if my tenacity will blind me to what my M really is, and the possibility that what I am attempting to do is in vane...simply can't happen.

You seem very active in your spiritual relationship - excuse me if I am overstepping my boundaries here. Do you feel God has spoken to you on this matter specifically? Weather to stay or leave I mean. I only ask because the above quote is a modern version of did "Did God really say...?" Garden of Eden tricks worked so well, why change them? Again not trying to step boundaries here - I just know when the world says to do one thing and God says another - this is an old trick that works that takes our focus off where it should be.

bionicgal posted 12/9/2013 09:28 AM

I sometimes wonder if my tenacity will blind me to what my M really is, and the possibility that what I am attempting to do is in vane...simply can't happen

Funny, I was thinking this exact same thing this weekend. Is my stubborness blinding me to things that I should see? Am I refusing to see my husband as it "really is?" I certainly have had to revise my view of him and what he is capable of, but I obviously don't want some rigidity of thought to keep me from seeing any warning signs, if you know what I mean. I also have abandonment fears.

I'm going to write a post about our interaction with the AP and AP spouse this weekend that brought this to a head a little. It remdinded me that we do choose our reality to some extent.

plainpain posted 12/9/2013 09:31 AM

blakesteele, I completely relate to this on virtually every level.

No wisdom or advice - just my own reflections to add. I look at my H as a broken human being, and I understand brokenness. I know that I could D in clear conscience before God. I also know that if the situation was reversed, and I were the one who trashed my life and the lives of the people I love, I would want to be forgiven. Abandonment issues, fierce loyalty, fear of failure and extreme empathy. I have absolutely been guilty of not seeing my marriage or my H for what they were. I wonder sometimes now, too, if I aren't simply reconstructing a new narrative based on the same things. Cope vs. Hope. Something to definitely reflect on.

blakesteele posted 12/9/2013 09:36 AM


Aaaahhhh to be a Godly person.....

Another truth I have discerned about myself....I was NOT a Godly person. Did things that were very displeasing to God pre-A. I am choosing differently NOW, as is my wife....thus, my hope.

The fleshly pulls of our own are even worse.

Wonderfully stated. Sobering fact.

This is why it is so critical for all involved in adultery (any sin really) to find marriage-friendly people for support. Left to our own accord I don't see how a regular joe like myself could HOPE to do anything else but give in to our fleshly pulls.

My wife and I agreed to no sexual gratification outside of us as a couple. This was a brand new way of living for me.....not proud of this, but stating it to make this fact. Portions of society, groups of men I work with, would support the view that "porn is not destructive, it is normal for ALL men to look at why fight it?". My wife shared this view as well.....

I see just how destructive this societal view and subsequent actions on my part are to intimacy.

the whole dying to self process sucks, even if the results are good.


This is why I have trust in my tenacity. It, combined with my growing relationship with God, has and will continue to enable me to abandon old, unhealthy but comfortable habits and form new healthy ones.

It is said it takes 30 days to break an old habit and to start a new one. The breaking old habits within me is going fairly well.....the developing new habits with my wife is going okay. This makes sense to me....the more people you involve in change, the more challenging it will be.

I see process's at work changed....if it is a 2 man crew change is pretty smooth....if it is the entire 62 employee group that is to be changed, it is far more challenging.

Changing a marriage post-A is like trying to change your work force with workers who have stolen from the company. Don't think many companies would sign on for that...they would just fire the employees!

But "marriage" is unique....God intended it to be this way. It is NOT a company work force....view it as such to your own peril.

Thanks for responding.

God be with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 9:38 AM, December 9th (Monday)]

blakesteele posted 12/9/2013 09:46 AM

(((plainpain))) (((bionicgal)))

Thanks for the support.

Am I refusing to see my husband as it "really is?"

In a way...I think both my wife and I refused to see each other as fully as we could have. Dont think it was malicious in nature....just uncomfortable enough for us to engage our coping mechanism and fool ourselves back to a comfortable level. KWIM?

The fact that you are asking yourself this question, and I am asking myself this question NOW gives me some confidence that we are on a path away from what we did before. This question would simply never have been brought up in pre-A blakesteele's mind....I was that blind and ignorant.

I have absolutely been guilty of not seeing my marriage or my H for what they were.

Yes....we both did this here too. It cheated us out of opportunities to mature our intimacy and achieve healthy balances within our M. We both regret this comfortable but destructive (or at least limiting) modes of operation.

Thanks for chiming in guys!

God be with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 9:48 AM, December 9th (Monday)]

blakesteele posted 12/9/2013 18:19 PM

Sodamnlost....sorry to leave you hanging. (I am still working on listening before I speak...your question to me failed to register).

I am growing feel God is interacting with me, but He has NOT indicated to me what I should do in my M. So I look to the bible and see what it has to say on the matter. Adultery is the only God sanctioned reason for D and destruction of a family.....think this is because at that point the M and family have ALREADY been destroyed. But it is clear a choice is still an don't have to D.

So I look for answers in the bible NOT directly tied to adultery.

No bible expert here....but it is clear to me that God instructs us to look forward, focus on making good decisions in the present, and don't concentrate on hurts and failures of the past. Satin wishes us to concentrate on our past....likes to remind us of our failures and short comings. By doing this we loose hope....and without hope we limit our growth...fall short of our potential. Fail to complete what we were meant to complete.

God be with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 10:37 PM, December 9th (Monday)]

HurtButHopeful? posted 12/9/2013 19:17 PM

I too have abandonment issues and a whole slew of other issues that reared their ugly faces due to the trauma of the A.

"suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope"
Since the A I have learned that I lack true character, and have lacked it all my life. What is good in me is only because of Christ in me...seriously, I mean that. If left to myself I am selfish and self seeking. It is so difficult to die to self, and let God lead. My flesh always wants to take over.

I've also had to deal with my own unforgiveness. I just don't want to forgive. I'm afraid to forgive, I don't have it in me to forgive. Because I lack character I hang on to an offense like a torch.

I always appreciate your posts, blakesteele. I wish I had your IC.

blakesteele posted 12/9/2013 22:30 PM


My IC was good on anxiety and abandonment issues....not so good on infidelity and the trauma associated with that. I no longer see her.

Truthfully, your post is my post.

I, too, was shocked at my character weakness. I, too, did very selfish things pre-A in my life...big one was pornography. I thought since my wife knew about it, viewed it occasionally with me, and I did not use it in place of sex with my wife it was okay. I know see it was a very selfish act on my part. It also plays in to my abandonment provided a false intimacy that is.....safer? I have done a 180 on this and see porn in the destructive light it belongs in.

I now understand more about myself. It is a shocking thing....for a 42 year old man to meet parts of himself he had no idea existed.

It is said we are all broken. I am getting a first hand glimpse of what that looks me. You are too. This is a good thing.

I've also had to deal with my own unforgiveness. I just don't want to forgive. I'm afraid to forgive, I don't have it in me to forgive. Because I lack character I hang on to an offense like a torch.

The fact that you recognize this about yourself shows a strength within you. Truly weak people don't recognize their weakness.

You are most in danger when you feel strongest. Paraphrased what my Pastor has told me several times. This is true. My wife thought she was immune from adultery...never thought she would choose it. Her perceived strength was her real weakness.

I tackled forgiveness with a vengeance. Read two books specifically on forgiveness, the types, how to get there....blah blah blah. I did this in less than 5 days!

5 weeks later.....forgiveness came to be as a whisper. I sat with that feeling for 2 more weeks before I visited with my wife on what I had achieved. I used that time to figure out how I got to forgiveness. It was so soft in nature, so peaceful....I almost felt screwed out of something. Just seemed like as chaotic as my journey had been forgiveness should have come in with a BANG!

It did not....

I could not retrace what led me to forgiveness....wish I could as I would love to pass this on to others who struggle with it.

What I have come up with is that I did not achieve my goal of forgiving my wife....God brought it to me.

Be still...and know that I am God.

I believe God changed my heart. Not blakesteele, not IC....but God.

I have no other explanation for this....and it came well after I exhausted all I could do.

It is said that God only uses broken vessels. I am surprised at how shattered I had to be for God to work within me.

So.....hang in there.....try to keep hope alive. if God could show mercy and grace to will surely receive it as well.

.....maybe you already have and you just need still.

God be with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 10:35 PM, December 9th (Monday)]

blakesteele posted 12/9/2013 22:48 PM

I will say forgiveness did not stop the pain or sadness....I still spontaneously cry at 16 months out.

Keep challenging yourself. I have learned that uncomfortable is generally a good thing....means I am growing. Comfortable raises flags within me now.

My wifes affair...your husbands affair was comfortable. I remember my wife telling me the time she spent with her AP was....easy, took no work, was comfortable.

All sin is easy.---fellow SI members tag line.

To be sure I have days where I desire EASY! And we are meant to find and experience joy in long as we do it within healthy boundaries.

God be with us all.

HurtButHopeful? posted 12/9/2013 22:51 PM

My H also thought he would never commit adultery. And he (and I) didn't believe in D. We agreed we would get counselling if things ever got so bad. Then his own FOO came in, he felt sorry for himself an entitled, and gave up on our M.

I knew of my own weakness and guarded myself from temptation. I didn't pray for my husband, because I didn't think I needed to. I always thought he was "teflon." Now I know he is suceptible to temptation just like I am.

In our weakness, He (God) is strong. I guess He had to show us our weakness, so He could show us that with His help, we are strong.


blakesteele posted 12/9/2013 23:00 PM

Pre-A...if my wife told me she had found a running partner and it was a man I would have supported her 100%. In my mind my wife was immune to the temptation that snared her. So I totally get what you are posting.

Thanks for responding....enjoyed your insight and comments.


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