The bad thing about feelings is they change.
Facts don't change.
Fact is my wife fucked another man. Fact is my wifes choices to commit adultery caused me pain, caused her pain, and damaged our family....her AP did the same thing. Fact is my wife is no longer choosing adultery.
Feelings associated with those specific, unchanging facts are all over the place!!!!
Feelings are indicators, not dictators. Thinking back in my life...when I made choices based solely on feelings, often time they did not work out very well....like impulse buying, lots of buyers remorse.
Upon getting in touch with my feelings of anger....I tried to re-write my history with my wife. That I somehow acted foolishly when I asked her to marry me.....tried to discount why I asked her. Tried to make it into this half-hearted, spur of the moment action. As I sat with this feeling I gathered facts to support it. Facts did NOT support that feeling. And yet, I had that feeling still.
Feelings are REAL.
As I find some balance within me returning I feel more balanced about my marital history with my wife. See that much of it was NOT a lie.
Damn....the pain is still intense at times. I still spontaneously cry. No new facts have come to light in 8 months....and yet my feelings of pain, anger and sorrow coming from my wifes choices are still present.
I am learning to sit with these feelings, feel them, express them to my wife....and when I express I keep my statements mostly contained to how I feel....I don't tell my wife how she should feel or how she should respond. I expect her to do the same. If she responds to me doing this with sarcasm....I try to respond with how THAT makes me feel.
I stumble, she stumbles, but we are learning what it means to recognize and feel feelings and yet refrain from acting upon those feelings so quickly. My wife pre-A was good at ignoring her feelings. I ignored some of my feelings pre-A too, but I also was quick to act on my feelings...too quick. Hardly sat with my feelings at all really. Neither was healthy...both are throw backs to FOO coping mechanisms.
It appears to me one of the struggles of this journey is dissolving coping skills and replacing them with processing skills.
It appears to one of the bonuses of this journey is dissolving coping skills and replacing them with processing skills.
Still working on the wisdom to meld feelings with facts.
It is said the longest journey a man undertakes is the one between his heart and his mind.
God be with us all.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 11:08 PM, January 4th (Saturday)]
Couldn't have said it better. Although at times I find it VERY hard to control my feelings...especially the negative ones. And then they do dictate my behaviour.
One day at a time.
I still struggle with when to act on my feelings.
I like and learn from analogies....let's see if it works here;
If a tiger came into your yard you would FEEL nervous. You felt you were in danger, well before that particular tiger was aggressive to you. Fact is tigers are meat eaters. Fact is a tiger in your yard is out if the ordinary. Fact is this tiger has NOT been aggressive towards you......yet.
I don't think it foolish to act on your feelings and move indoors BEFORE more facts (like the tiger charging you) are present. This is a time where if you wait for the facts to align w your feelings, it may be to late to protect yourself.
Kicker is......much of our real life feelings are not generated in the situation I just described. We usually have time to gather lots of facts.....check those against our feelings, and then choose an action. Feelings, many times, don't require immediate actions..... they have to be recognized, but don't have to act on them.
This is where I think a fWS disconnects from a BS. We have been mauled by the tiger that us adultery....many of us were gathering facts to understand the "uneasy" feelings within us pre-DD. THEIR adultery-tiger has made them nervous.....but they were safe inside when that tiger mauled us . We both experienced the same tiger run-in, but have very differint experiences associated with that same tiger.
Some WS refused to accept how badly we were mauled....choosing to look away instead of help us. We learned to do triage on ourselves. The fact is when a WS chooses to continue to lie, continue to nurture their A instead of their M....it causes us to FEEL the most awful of feelings.
Facts support feelings in this case. We then make choices.
This is where the term "gift of R" came from. A BS has been mauled by our spouses. We decide if R is possible. It takes two to make a M so I get the WS can choose to accept the gift or not. Fact is they already threw our original gift in the trash when they accepted another in our place....and did it, in my case, in very intentional manner.
Now we have historical facts on what adultery-tigers can do. No longer is the deep pain a hypothetical possibility....it really happened.
Upon my DD I chose to ignore the facts and feelings of what was happening....I paid the price by choosing to react in a very unhealthy (co-dependent), self destructing manner. I IGNORED BOTH THE FACTS AND THE FEELINGS! That's all in me........a mistake I will not soon make again. But fact is, I did this.
Hind sight is 20 20.
I sought a therapist out for heightened anxiety issues....when my wife was in an affair but before my DD.
My feelings were indicating something was wrong......I just failed to consider all of the facts that could be under my feelings.
At some point.....actions must be taken. A person with wisdom makes better choices than an ignorant one.
One way we gain wisdom is from making ignorant choices and examining what happened.
My wife and I are BOTH gaining wisdom from our ignorant choices. I pray we all are.
Fact is when we asked or agreed to marry someone....that "someone" always had the potential to hurt us. I just never considered that to be a real fact.....I trusted my wife to NOT hurt me in this manner. I certainly trusted her to STOP hurting me once she realized she was. She chose not to stop. She has now, but the fact us she chose to continue to hurt me after she had facts to support that she was hurting me and her family. Fact is, upon my DD, I allowed this to continue.
Those are historical facts.
Facts of the present are we are choosing differently.....feelings are still up and down....but the facts under those feelings have changed. I believe this is where T I M E comes in....our feelings should align with our new facts as we use our newly acquired wisdom and learn R.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 6:51 AM, January 5th (Sunday)]
The "justification phase" that allows, in part, adultery to be chosen is when a WS "creates facts" to allow them to THINK they are working with facts so that they may act as their feelings are wanting them to....but the facts are not as they imagine them to be.
IF at any point real facts were to take hold, if real logic were employed....A would die on their own.......and that DOES happen. Not my experience, but have read about it.....seen a few post about that here.
Therapist said "adultery is illogical in nature." And "adultery is crazy making" because it is chosen with false-facts and lies. Sense of something is made when facts and feelings line up. This can't happen with regards to adultery.
IF the fact was a WS was indeed in a "loveless marriage" there are healthy ways out if that. MC or D could be chosen .
If the fact was a WS was married to an alcoholic....AA, rehab, interventions, D could be chosen.
If the fact was a WS was denied sex.... Therapy, non-intercourse sex, D could have been chosen.
Fact is WS choose to be M. Choose adultery based on feelings and no facts and before discussing this with there spouse.
Fact is......adultery is far too common. Feelings are being used incorrectly....as dictators.
And the results are horrific.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 7:09 AM, January 5th (Sunday)]
Is this not a fitting definition of adultery? A fitting definition for almost all sin?
Peace to us all.
Or something like that. It always makes so much sense when she says it to me... And then I lose the poetry of it when I leave. But it helps me still. She reminds me to look at my own actions for indicators of how I truly feel.
Good topic Blakesteele (I almost called you BS, haha)
Feelings are being used incorrectly....as dictators.
And the results are horrific.
And the results are horrific.
You nailed it ---
Wh FELT alot of things .... now he gets to live with and FEEL the consequences, however painful he might find those consequences.
For some reason when I first read your post and skimmed the other responses I had myself and other BSs in mind. And then I was doing dishes and thinking about the path and the puppy... and it hit me!
My H wandered off the path to follow the puppy! He saw the puppy chasing butterflies and thought it looked like a welcome distraction from the drudgery of the path and veered off.
I have a feeling that that's actually what you were talking about from the beginning but I guess I can be a bit slow.
Thank you for sharing.
Anxiety , anger, saddness, joy, confidence, secure, insecure .....all feelings are indicators. If you act JUST on feelings.....JUST "follow the butterfly because it feels good"....the results may not be as long lasting or permanent as you imagined.
I use the word "imagine" instead of "thought" on purpose. I did because, while I don't think my wife spent much of anytime "thinking" about the consequences of adultery, she spent lots of time "imagining" what how she will feel the text time he texted her, ran with her, fucked her.
Back to me.....I used porn. I didn't "think" about the consequences, but I did "imagine" what I might view next, how I would feel the next time I orgasmed.
Kicker is..... To nurture a healthy marriage....to be in a M as M is intended to be..... BOTH of us could have used those feelings correctly, boldly faced them (we both ignored them), addressed the underlying facts that drive them so a balanced life could have been achieved .
How many times has it been said that the struggle on this journey is finding a balance?
I believe living life intentionally can be just as enjoyable as one lived just for ones feelings...... And facts appear to be present to support that a life in this type of M is actually BETTER!
We are not there yet.....but this intentional way of living......using feelings as indicators that the facts of a situation either need work or are lined up to confirm a choice can be made and growth can now occur!
[This message edited by blakesteele at 6:18 AM, January 10th (Friday)]
We are living prof of what love, marriage is REALLY all about. This is true love. Be proud and at peace. You are all living your true values...that is EXCEPTIONAL....
Don't for a moment think that their bad action is any reflection on your worth....put thought after feeling...notice the thought before the feeling....think clearly and let this be the guide for true return to love, true reconciliation....Feelings indicate, but clear thoughts are the best guide for actions...this can in turn changes feelings...to good reconciliations.....
It's hard, but not impossible.
hang in there everyone...me among you all...