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I broke emotional NC and screwed up again

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Alyssamd24 posted 12/16/2013 09:12 AM

Last week I had another dream about my AP....the dream left me in a funk and caused major anxiety. I reached out to a few other WS for help, but now am reaching out to the whole forum. I know I am going to hear negative responses but I need the reality check.

The dream triggered memories and thoughts of AP. Though I tried to stop them, I couldn't and actually googled him, looking for contact information and I'm not sure what else.

Although I did search him I DID NOT contact him and have no plans to....even as I googled I was telling myself that I knew contacting him would solve nothing and would only make things worse. I am glad I talked myself out of that but feel very ashamed and remorseful for even searching him.

Aubrie posted 12/16/2013 09:20 AM

Though I tried to stop them, I couldn't
Couldn't? Or didn't?

and actually googled him, looking for contact information and I'm not sure what else.
"I'm not sure what else". Really?

Have you told your husband about this? How did he take it?

Brandon808 posted 12/16/2013 09:44 AM

Suggest you journal this. Really deconstruct it.

1. I dreamed <fill in the blank> about AP
2. When I woke up from the dream I felt <fill in the blank>
3. When I googled AP I felt <fill in the blank>
4. I thought/hoped having AP's contact information would allow me to <fill in the blank>

What was the payoff?

DeadMumWalking posted 12/16/2013 09:57 AM

Alyssa: first I just want to say that it is very brave of you to post this without a stop sign. Brava.

You can't help what you dream, so don't beat yourself up about that.

However, you CAN help how you REACT to your dreams. Nothing MADE you google AP. Nothing MADE you look for 'not sure what else. These are actions that you CHOSE.

So what you will need to work on is choosing differently. Make a plan of action for when your thoughts 'go there'. Instead of googling (or whatever form of breaking 'emotional' NC), post here. Or go for a walk. Or punch a pillow. Or put on a favorite song (not associated with AP). Or have a hot drink. Or look at a picture of your family and remind yourself of your dreams for the future. Or .... whatever works for you.

Just like you chose the behaviors that led to your A, you are choosing behaviors that break NC. I wouldn't even minimize it by qualifying it as emotional NC rather than physical NC. As a BS, in my mind emotional NC is even more important than physical NC, but maybe that's just me.

In your mind, change goes like this:

can't => won't => will

Is it really true that you CAN'T stop those thoughts, or that you WOULDN'T stop those thoughts? Instead of the helpless victim (who can't do something), view it as seeing that you WON'T do it. You WON'T stop those thoughts. But then hey - you WANT to stop those thoughts, so you WILL. You need to choose healthy substitute behaviors for this kind of difficult time.

Make your shame and remorse work FOR you. Not all 'woe is me', but take this as a learning and growth opportunity to figure out how you can do better next time. (And there WILL be a next time.)

20WrongsVs1 posted 12/16/2013 10:24 AM

Went through the same thing four months out.

Make a plan of action for when your thoughts 'go there'

^^This. Instead of letting your fingers betray you, get up and walk away from the keyboard. You can't Google him if you're cleaning out DD's closet, or dusting shelves, or the million other constructive things on every mom's to-do list.

According to my therapist, what you just did may be a form of self-medicating. When you catch yourself having fond thoughts of your feelings. What's bugging you? Breaking emotional NC is a maladaptive coping mechanism. Figure out what hurt you're trying to soothe, and do it in a healthy way instead. That's the goal here.

SandAway posted 12/16/2013 10:35 AM


Having a dream about your AP is something you can't control. However, keeping that thought alive, letting it grasp your thoughts and drag you further backwards by acting on it IS something you can control.

As DeadMumWalking said; you have to work towards indifference. Every thought you have of your AP is destructive to R, to you and to your BS.

I agree with having a 'plan of action' if/when this happens again.

JustDesserts posted 12/16/2013 11:32 AM

We need a new acronym here on the Wayward Side: ID...."Indifference Day".

I search actively for hides.

I try to let go and allow it to tip toe quietly up and find never shows, or even RSVP's.

I do do the work. Not perfectly. And I'm not inherently patient. 3-5 years?!?! Aaarrgggg...

I created and projected and felt and luurrrved and fogged so deeply, and so completely (and delusionally)...that indifference sometimes seems like as much of a mirage and fantasy world construction as my affair.

In the meantime I'm working with my IC, among other things, to get out of the anger, resentment, and "I don't get xAP closure, ever" phase of growing up and healing my damaged, selfish self.

I'm mostly focused on being authentic and my BW. But, Alyssa, I struggle, too.

Indifference Day...I look forward to meeting you!


P.S. Gutsy post. That deserves a mention. This IS a safe place, 2x4's and all.

[This message edited by JustDesserts at 11:37 AM, December 16th (Monday)]

painfulpast posted 12/16/2013 12:47 PM

I'm a BS, but I have had to quit things before. It's hard sometimes. Just one peek, or taste, or puff, or whatever. It's very hard.

I'll tell you what often works for me. It may not work for you, but it's worth a try, right?

You say you couldn't stop your mind from thinking of xAP. You want to keep your marriage, right? Why is that? And what is the worst moment you've had relating to the A being discovered. That one point that sticks with you. Maybe a feeling you had one day, maybe a look on your H's face, maybe the fear of not being with your children every day. Whatever it was, whatever was the absolute lowest low point relating to the A, think of that. When thoughts of xAP enter your mind, intentionally push that thought, that feeling, into your mind. Hold it. Keep it there. Remember the very real feeling you had that makes this the worst moment. Remember that this, this terrible moment, this horrible feeling, is because of your relationship with xAP. Remember all of the real damage and pain the relationship has brought into your life. Keep thinking of it until the urge to 'just one peek' is completely gone, replaced by 'I'm so happy I have my family".

Again, it may not work, but it's possible to get the brain to associate a thing, or place, or person with very negative thoughts and feelings. If you can get to this point, indifference is around the corner. You won't go from longing to indifference. You will go from anger to indifference. Anger at what this person helped you do. Anger at what you did to harm your own world. Anger that this person not only went along, but actively encouraged such harmful behavior. This person is not your friend. This person is another selfish, mememe, entitled person. You don't need that in your life. You truly don't.

I hope this, or something, works for you. Good luck, and as was said before, you're a very brave person for not putting the stop sign on this. Good luck to you. If you keep posting, and owning your actions, I think you're going to get through this and be very happy with the new, authentic you.

SuperDuperWonderboy posted 12/16/2013 13:26 PM

Have you given your husband access to everything? Including your computer? What is going to happen if/when he checks browser history and sees that you were searching for other man?

Are you going to cover your tracks? Are you going to delete the google history? He can track it if he is savy enough.

I know as a BS I would be pretty devastated to discover that the wife I was supposed to be reconciling with was still googling the other man. But on the other hand, finding out she was lying to me about her googling activities would also be a dealbreaker, and I would have bolted out that door.

So are you going to be honest? Or will this be another secret?

[This message edited by SuperDuperWonderboy at 1:27 PM, December 16th (Monday)]

kmom2662 posted 12/16/2013 13:29 PM

Painful past-- that's a great suggestion. I've been doing something similar. When I feel fed up or defensive about being transparent, or of answering questions about the A, I think of the day H had found a website I had been on and how it destroyed him. He emailed me that he needed to think, and didn't know when he would be back. I thought he was going to leave for good and have never been so terrified, or so grateful to see him again that night. That memory will keep me away from temptation and doing everything I can to repair things, for life. Nothing would be worth risking that level of pain again.

[This message edited by kmom2662 at 1:50 PM, December 16th (Monday)]

Alyssamd24 posted 12/16/2013 17:14 PM

Thank you for all the responses....painful past that is a teriffic suggestion and I am definitely going to try it.

I am not proud of my actions and know they were wrong, which is why I am asking for help. The advice I have received has been helpful and I am determined to change my thinking and destructive behaviors.

Yes my bh knows about it....he saw it in the history and asked me about it and I apologized for what I did and explained I did it cuz I was trying to get closure....but I realized that is something I will not have and don't need....I just need to put it behind me and move on.

Thank you for those who said I was brave for posting this w no stop sign. ....I have learned a lot from many bs on this site and enjoy hearing there thoughts no matter what they are

Mrs Panda posted 12/16/2013 18:11 PM

I did it cuz I was trying to get closure

No, you didn't.

You were curious about his life and wanted to see if he is happy with his life or struggling too. Maybe you are still jealous that he got away with it.

Deconstruct the emotions you had before you googled him.

Here's what you do. You assume he is blissfully happy. That makes you feel crappy, I get it, but it then you deal with it.

Alyssa honey if I had a nickel for every time I googled OM or tried to look at his Facebook pics or his friends pics, long after I was NC and had blocked him....

I always felt worse after.

NC equals no new hurts.

Closure? Doesn't exist. Closure means two people walking away, feeling good about how things ended. Please explain to me how anything as destructive as an A can end with closure.

You did it once. You will move forward. I applaud you for admitting it here.

[This message edited by Mrs Panda at 6:14 PM, December 16th (Monday)]

Aubrie posted 12/16/2013 18:23 PM

You were curious about his life and wanted to see if he is happy with his life or struggling too. Maybe you are still jealous that he got away with it.
Nail, meet head.

You will never, ever, ever have closure. You think there wasn't things about my AP I "needed" or wanted closure from? But think about it. What does it matter!? He is none of your business. His repercussions from the A are none of your business. His fallout and recovery are not your concern. You need to turn the focus off the outside sources and look at yourself. Pick up the mirror and take a good hard look. It's the scariest, but best thing you can ever do for yourself.

Don't sell yourself short Alyssa.

Alyssamd24 posted 12/17/2013 04:37 AM

Thank you Aubrie and Mrs Panda. ...I know you are both right.I appreciate your comments

painfulpast posted 12/17/2013 04:49 AM

Hi Alyssamd24,

I'm really glad you liked my suggestion. Now a favor? If you do get to try it, could you post here and let me and others know if it worked? I'm sure others have this same issue, and if this works for you as well as me, then maybe it would also help others when they find themselves in this situation?

Of course, I'm also curious if it's just my strange brain that works this way

Thanks, and again, I think you're going to find your way through this. I'm pulling for you.

Trying33 posted 12/17/2013 05:18 AM

Alyssa.. I can totally relate.. I almost did the same thing this week.. the only thing that stopped me is knowing that my H would see it in my history and that it would set us back. It was fear of hurting my H that stopped me and fear of not being able to handle what I saw.

Perhaps it may have something to do with our stage of healing? I know our d-days were almost at the exact same time..

I thought I'd break down what made me even think about checking him out on google as I have zero intention to contact him and although things with H aren't perfect, I'm certainly on the path to happiness and we've been "ok" lately considering where we're at in our R.

Here's what I came up with:

I'm stressed right now because we're travelling and I need to pack for everyone and I can't find stuff..
I'm trying to keep up with all the other mum's at school and attend all the children's xmas parties etc but I'm overwhelmed and tired..
I feel like the monotonous task of tending to the kids is getting me down especially as my H has been working late..
People seem to expect a lot of my time and when I explain I'm busy they tend to get moody and I don't know how to handle that..
I've just done a course last week for which I'm trying to complete an assignment and only get time after the kids go to bed..

My momentary desire to google AP was most probably due to all the above reasons and not because of my marriage. This is new for me to understand as I always used to attribute it a "bad M".

Rather than deal and reach out for support or communicate, it feels easier to escape in my head into another world than to speak to H and tell him I'm struggling. I'm expecting him to do what he always does and tell me off for being so "incapable" and "complaining"

... but maybe he wont.

Unagie posted 12/17/2013 12:09 PM

. I almost did the same thing this week.. the only thing that stopped me is knowing that my H would see it in my history and that it would set us back. It was fear of hurting my H that stopped me and fear of not being able to handle what I saw.

The fear of destroying yourself further should have been what stopped you. Also what do you mean fear of not being able to handle what you saw? Why do you still care about OM enough that something you see will be able to evoke a reaction other then repulsion? I think both you and Alyssa need to read Maia's withdrawal guide again. Also all the things you listed as "reasons" sound like life. If everytime life gives you a challenge you need to escape instead of handling it then you have deeper problems that need to be worked on. Honestly as waywards most of us have problems that go much deeper then we think.

I will not reiterate what has been said as you have received amazing advice. I do want to say that you have grown and you are trying to learn and grow more. That is great to see.

Alyssamd24 posted 12/17/2013 14:12 PM

Thank you Unagie. I appreciate the support....I know I still have a lot of work to do.
Painful past,
I do think your method makes sense....I have thought of my lowest point of the A and will think of it when I need to...I have also thought of some good thoughts and memories of my BH and our DD that I can replace the thoughts with.

And yes when I try it I will let you know! !

Trying33 posted 12/18/2013 04:17 AM

Why do you still care about OM enough that something you see will be able to evoke a reaction other then repulsion?

I'm not sure but I hate the fact that I even think like this, but I do. It's not that I miss "him" or that I don't have remorse because I do. It's more an issue of wtf happened to me during those days of the A? Was it really all in my head? Am I that gullible and stupid? How did I even think it was real at the time? What's wrong with me?

Needless to say, I've still got tonnes of work to do as I admit that nearly 3 years of my life were fake and fantasy and a total waste of time and energy which I should have been putting towards my M. I feel very guilty and sad about this.

And as for feeling "stressed" with my real life issues and wanting to run away.. agreed.. there has to something deeper there. It's stupid to feel overwhelmed with the realities of life. Can it be as simple as finding better ways to cope? Stop trying to be such a superwoman?

Alyssa, I always follow your posts and think you're doing a great job in your journey thus far.

Unagie posted 12/18/2013 04:57 AM

Trying I remember seeing an old coworker some time after DDay, the only one told the whole story. She told me OM cried when he was told what had happened to me. My first reaction was horror, horror that he knew anything more about me and an immediate demand that she tell him nothing else and keep it professional. She immediately agreed although we are more acquaintances now then friends and i only speak to her about work on the rare occassion she calls. My second reaction was disgust, because it was so easy to see through him now and how could I have been so foolish before. I know hands down that I did what I did, including the flirting over the years because of depression, anger and insecurity that I did not know how to cope with. There are periods of dry years where I did nothing then something would happen in my relationship or work or both and boom I needed a hit and if XSO couldn't understand I sought validation elsewhere when I needed to look within.

Its hard to admit the horribleness of what we've done. Its terrible to admit how weak we were when we needed to be our strongest and some days will be harder then others. Do not let those actions define you. Allow them to be the driving force that helps to mold you into something that you can be proud of. The first step is to accept what you were and what you did. The next is to change it.

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