Without intentionally making the decision to do so, lately I have been forging my own identity. I have been looking inward, focussing on my own issues, on my personal wants and needs, on who I am and who I want to be. This is challenging for someone like me, who became part of a couple at the age of 17 and who has been part of that couple for 29 odd years. I can barely identify myself in the relationship. In my head, we are a couple, I am not an individual. To me it seemed fWH and I were like conjoined twins, sharing the same life-blood! It has been excruciatingly painful to separate us. But as I said, I never made a conscious decision to do so, but on a deep level I have been slowly but surely untangling my identity from us the couple.
Now that I have begun this process of separating and emancipating my own identity, I am beginning to realise that I don’t need fWH as much as I thought I did. On a practical and financial level I still depend on him a great deal, but on an emotional and soul-deep level I find that I can stand alone. This surprises and excites me! I have found a new pride in myself and a new confidence and joy in my own presence. But at the same time I feel a deep, heart-wrenching sense of sadness because, in finding myself, I have somehow severed ties with who we were for all those years.
Now I am trying to figure out where this leaves me, where this leaves us. Now that I identify so strongly with me, is there still an us? Can our relationship cope with the new, stronger, independent me? Do I still want to be in this relationship, now that I am wiser and stronger? So many questions still unanswered....
[This message edited by ItsaClimb at 12:53 PM, December 11th (Wednesday)]
I have started martial arts and surprise myself with my "power"! Every day I work on me....hopefully I will heal a healthier happier person.
I think finding our identity can definitely be a good thing that comes out of a horrible situation, for those of us who got lost in the relationship.
In my head I know it's a good and necessary thing for me to do, but there's a part of me that is grieving too.. I still long for that innocent feeling of being so in-tune with someone, so immersed in our union that I couldn't imagine not being a part of that relationship.
I wish you the best:)
I relate to all of it....especially your closing paragraph of questions!!!!
My wife did a hugging exercise with me a while back. She had us both stand near but not touching each other. We leaned slightly in and hugged for over 20 seconds. Neither of us were supporting the other, but we were connected.
We don't do this exercise much...but it reframed my view of the.....two becoming one....idea God has for marriage.
I have since read up on this relationship and believe you are.....SPOT ON!!!!
My counselor has told me as I go through this process of change my wife may have difficulty with who I am becoming. At first I thought I had lost myself....and in some regards I have. What I am discovering is that I found those lost parts pretty quickly on.....but am maturing parts of me that never existed before. Parts of me that stopped growing at age 12 that need to mature in order for me to attain healthy mature intimacy.
I have hope that my wife is maturing in similar fashion and that we will find us both on stable footings by ourselves, while embracing each other.
Great post....thank you so much ItsaClimb!
God be with us all.
I have found a new pride in myself and a new confidence and joy in my own presence. But at the same time I feel a deep, heart-wrenching sense of sadness because, in finding myself, I have somehow severed ties with who we were for all those years.
I believe I did this when I realized my wifes adultery killed our original marriage.
I have since read a book that mentioned a process called....SHATTERING. It is what takes place upon extreme betrayal. It is a healthy process by which you separate yourself from person causing the trauma completely. It has flavors of 180 but different. It is said shattering is complete when you walk away from that person and the fear is gone.
Truthfully, that book was written from the perspective that the person who had inflicted the trauma on you is no longer a part of your life or world...so a direct tie to adultery where you are offering R to the person that inflicted the trauma onto you is not a direct one.
That is where real remorse is required of the fWS.
This is why I have no doubt that if my wife chooses to keep another relationship a secret I will file for D and our M will end.
Such a different perspective over that which I had just 16 months ago.
It sounds as if you have completed your shattering stage.....a stage this book says is one of the most painful stages. I haven't been through all of the stages yet, but can attest to this shattering being a VERY painful process. You have no idea how much of our old marriage I WANTED to believe survived my wifes adultery....
I have given up all hope for a better past. The present is where our time and energy is best spent. Those questions you asked? All good, valid questions, but they don't have to be answered NOW. Keep track of them, and pray for the clarity to know when it is time to answer each of them...they will each have their moments. There are no coincidences....everything has its time.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 6:30 AM, December 12th (Thursday)]
just wanted to clarify.
I am working on this as well. I am a SAHM so my identity is very ingrained in my family and my husband. On dday, I realized just how vulnerable I was… It was one of the most scary things ever.
I realized that I had no job, no money really, no way to make it and no credit. Talk about eye opening!
I have been trying to work on me as well. It is a process. It is so true that changing you, changes the relationship as well. I am hoping that it will change the M for the better, though.
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. ~Viktor Frankl
"When you are happy, you can forgive a great deal."
I am also a (mostly) (like 90%) SAHM. So, how do we work on forging our own identity? I'm just not sure where to start. I wish we all lived near each other so we could have meetings.
I'm trying to get out of the house each day but with limited cash it's hard. I AM able to get away without the kids. Ideas? Besides exercise, I'm not sure what I can do to reclaim my own special identity.
After the second DDay, I started to do it again... but when he was not doing the right things, when he was pretending to be remorseful but still lying, I finally started to detach the idea of "me" from "him."
I'm still not totally there yet, but I'm working hard on it. Sometimes I have trouble with: how do you share a life with someone but not lose yourself? Logically I can answer that, but emotionally it's difficult for me.
I do know it wasn't until I really started paying attention to me that my WH finally decided to step up and do the right things. Unfortunately, it also led to enough TT about the A that it felt like a third Dday. Fortunately, finding myself has allowed me to step back and take the time to think about what I really want, what's best for my family, and how to handle being who I am.
Thanks for this post - I'm still learning and reading this has me thinking again.
Currently in Limbo, possible R. WH says he wants R. I'm not convinced.
While you are leaning too heavily on the other partner, or on your union, rather than on your own identity, you are not a good, strong, equal partner...In my head, we are a couple, I am not an individual
This rings true for me as well. We have been married for 26 years, and a couple for 31- My entire adult life. Somewhere along the way, I allowed myself to get lost, and became wife and then mother. On dday, this reality hit me hard. Suddenly I had to face the possibility that the person I had become was terrified of being alone. Not so much anymore. I don't necessarily want to end my marriage, but I am alright doing so if he acts out again. When I reached this point in my own healing, my H finally, finally, finally pulled his head from his ass and started doing the work he should have been doing all along. It's just too bad it took a couple ddays and two years of TT to reach this point. Getting to this point has taken so much work and soul searching, but it feels so good to be able to say it, finally.
As for your question,
Can our relationship cope with the new, stronger, independent me? Do I still want to be in this relationship, now that I am wiser and stronger?
If your H has your happiness and best interest at heart, he should be thrilled with your growth. Have you asked him how HE feels about the new you?
The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”
― Ernest Hemingway
Over time, you come to reaize that you are stronger than you think and that having a plan B...life without him...is the only thing that really makes you feel safe. No matter what, we are changed. We can't go back! I DO feel a sad sense of loss for that "couple" we were, but that relationship (at least the one I thought we had) did not really exist and now to view my world wthout th blinders, or rose colored glasses kindahas me in awe o what my life could and should be.
Now that I have begun this process of separating and emancipating my own identity, I am beginning to realise that I don’t need fWH as much as I thought I did.
I think realizing this makes the marriage more
real. I need to know that my staying in the M is my choice.
Do you share these feelings with your WH?
The WS doesn'tgo throught this process and in their minds, I think, everything has just returned to normal.
Great post Itsa!