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Two chapters in to "Not Just Friends" and this book hurts

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Prayingforhope posted 1/20/2014 15:37 PM

Okay, this may all be too fresh for me but reading this book hurts like hell. I'm through chapter 2 and just this quick I'm overwhelmed with how easy - WAY TO EASY - it was for me to start my own affair.

The book has the origins of affairs nailed perfectly and it hurts to read it; like being forced to watched the bloodiest part of a horror movie over and over again.

And then there's the "how to avoid fatal attractions" list which reads like a dissertation in everything I did wrong in my own marriage.

Great insight and advice but like my BS told me in our last MC session: "too little too late".

And now I realize the reason only the first two chapters of this book are hurting me so bad - it's written with the intention of SAVING and REBUILDING relationships impacted from adultery.

I'm alone, I'm separated, and my BS is exercising her right to NC with me...what good is this bloody book if only 1/2 of the party showed up to R?

I think I'm going to bookmark chapter 3 and start reading it when (if?) my wife talks to me again...

pointofnoreturn posted 1/20/2014 15:41 PM

If your BS doesn't want to R, you shouldn't stop working on you. :(

authenticnow posted 1/20/2014 15:44 PM

Because this will teach you how you got to that point, and help you develop healthy relationships in the future.

You have to feel it to heal it. As much as it hurts, you'll be better off for it. All you can do is work on you.

Prayingforhope posted 1/20/2014 15:55 PM

Thanks both, I agree...just tired on a Monday but the pain, as hurtful as it is from the stories in this book, is a 'good pain'. And I guess everyone who has lived a double life and experienced the hell of DDay knows what the other type of pain is...

Onto chapter 3...

Aubrie posted 1/20/2014 15:59 PM

Yeah, reading that book was like pouring acid into a gaping wound.

I vote to keep reading it. Slowly if you have to.

Whether your wife decides to R or not, you still have to live with you. You want to like who you are, regardless of who you are romantically connected to.

Kelany posted 1/20/2014 16:26 PM

Keep reading. It's painful because it's truthful. Regardless of what happens to your marriage, working on yourself will serve you better in the future. Please don't give up.

inconnu posted 1/20/2014 16:34 PM

I'm alone, I'm separated, and my BS is exercising her right to NC with me...what good is this bloody book if only 1/2 of the party showed up to R?

Because the book isn't about reconciling. It's about learning what good personal boundaries are. It's about learning why you were okay with what you chose to do, and most importantly, it's about learning how not to continue poor and destructive choices.

NoGoodUsername posted 1/20/2014 16:42 PM

This book is so brutal because it is true. It was the first infidelity book that I read and it instantly made me be able to see that my affair was nothing special at all. I felt like a stereotype; like some dumbass chump following a script. Yes, it hurt like crazy, but I learned.

Keep reading, there is good stuff in there. Don't be afraid to go back and use it as a reference when you need it. The information Dr. Glass provides is more than opinion, she actually did research and measured statistically.

Keep going, the way out is forward.

Prayingforhope posted 1/20/2014 17:11 PM

It's so true how much the truth hurts. Every time I'm angry, it's at me (eventually I realize that once I calm down). Reading this book hurts because it's like an ugly mirror looking back at ME. I realize all those horrible things my BS used to yell at me were TRUE.

And you're right about learning how to set healthy boundaries. I already know in just the little I've read how to enter into a relationship on much surer footing than previously.

Onward into the pain of it...

nevergiveup10 posted 1/20/2014 17:37 PM

I haven't read this book, but after reading this I'm going to buy it.

If/when she is ready to R, you will be ready. What I always told myself was the decision is out of my hands, but I would do everything I could to tip the scales in my favor.

Sorry you had a tough day, chin up brother.

AML04 posted 1/20/2014 17:58 PM

I just want you to applaud that you're reading it!

I read it way too close to dday and it was like razor blades to my heart. I want WH to read it too.

bionicgal posted 1/20/2014 18:37 PM

That book was a godsend to us. Good luck on your journey.

SisterMilkshake posted 1/20/2014 19:21 PM

That book was a godsend to us. Good luck on your journey.
If it hurts you to read this book, can you even imagine how it hurts a BS? There I was reading in black and white how my FWH's affair most likely unfolded. Oh gosh, was it painful. Owie, owie, owie.

Excellent book, though, full of truth and wisdom.

Kudos for reading, Prayingforhope. Next on your reading list may I suggest "How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair" by Linda J. MacDonald. Short and easy to read and full of tangible things you can do.

eta: quoted bionicgal because it was a Godsend to us, too.

[This message edited by SisterMilkshake at 7:22 PM, January 20th (Monday)]

Wayflost posted 1/20/2014 21:46 PM

I read it cover to cover within weeks. I need to read it again. It's really well written and thoughtful.

bionicgal posted 1/20/2014 22:19 PM

Just a bit of trivia...the woman who wrote Not Just Friends is Ira Glass's ( NPR ) mom.

And yes, Sister.... NJF ripped my heart out and kicked it around a little. But, it defogged my H pretty quick when he saw how ordinary he was. And for that, I am forever, forever indebted.

[This message edited by bionicgal at 10:20 PM, January 20th (Monday)]

Ascendant posted 1/20/2014 22:21 PM

I'd argue that NJF should be mandatory reading for any soon-to-be married couples. Every couple thinks "that'll never be us", but that book gives really clear instructions to make sure it won't be. Strategies, if you will.

Prayingforhope posted 1/21/2014 00:50 AM

@Facepunch, I keep thinking the same thing about mandatory reading for new couples. I never thought an A would hit my home, even less from my very own hands. What a difference it may have made to read this book years ago and be reminded that today, with all the factors this books call out, love in a marriage is not enough. It won't protect you from this...

@Sistermilkshake - "How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair" is my daily reference manual and thanks to SI reccos, I got hold of this early and it helped me through the holidays. This booklet is so important to helping me understand REALLY what my BS is going through (empathy!) at a very pragmatic level, e.g. "WS who fail at recovery say things like THIS..."

Great support and my chin is up!

DeadMumWalking posted 1/21/2014 02:13 AM

WH didn't get very far into NJF - he 'didn't like it'.....he said it was too 'simple-minded' and 'things didn't happen in that kind of cliched way'.

(Except that's pretty much exactly what happened in his case. Oh well.)

As you might guess, we are NOT in R......not my choice.......

Prayingforhope posted 1/21/2014 09:49 AM

Okay, made it through chapters 3, 4 and 5 and this book is getting better. Well, technically chapter 5 was better while 3 and 4 were a paincave as I had to relive AGAIN the trauma I put my wife through and understand in excruciating detail what she is going through and will continue to go through in her recovery process.

If this was a scorecard, on the "this books scares the heck out of me" column, I was shaken by:

1- the permanent scars left on the BS when too many sexual details are provided about the A. My BS knows EVERYTHING in every possible detail, so I had to stop and breath after reading this. She has sole access to my secret email account so she knows more details than even I DO at this stage.

2- Ambivalence towards R from one partner creates and feeds ambivalence into the other partner. I am going through this now, as I start with non-stop motivation to help, support and care for my wife during her trauma. No mountain is too high to climb right now...and she asked me to leave, gulp. That contradicts the point that 'constructive separation' can be healthy but that all depends on what stage I am in (I think the latter).

3 - Parents typically hold the longest grudges. I honestly don't know what her parents know, but they are strict people. If they know the details, they will hate me forever and the book is pretty clear that is a major hurdle to any chance of R.

That being said, on the "wait, there is HOPE in the process" column, I was pleased to read:

1- If the affair is over, the recovery process is straightforward. The book doesn't pretend it's easy, but knowing there is a process, knowing it gets better, knowing there is a conclusion to the healing process helps to know at this stage.

2- Honesty creates intimacy. So me being painfully honest about everything, my BS being honest about her ambivalence to R, me being honest about my whereabouts every moment of every day, all of that creates intimacy, i.e. it begins the new chapter if we're going to have new chapters. That is really good to read.

3 - The "questions to think over before you make any decisions" are THE BEST. They not only reaffirm the decision I have already made in my own recovery process, but can act like guideposts as those decisions are revisited and reaffirmed throughout ongoing IC and perhaps MC if we get there.

Onward to chapter 6....

SisterMilkshake posted 1/21/2014 09:58 AM

Those little quizzes are excellent, too. Really shook my FWH up. It turns out, from taking the quizz, that I was the more unhappy one in our marriage, the one more vulnerable to have an affair. That really surprised and shook FWH up. He thought I was happy with the state of the marriage. Oh yeah, I enjoyed how selfish you were, MisterSister.

The reason I didn't have an affair, we found out from another quizz, is because I have really strong boundaries. Which, of course, FWH had none.

Keep on going, Praying, you are doing good. I like your little list. As far as your BS knowing all the sexual details, just know that some BS's want and need to know every. little. detail. I am not one of those and I knew, for me personally, that would/could be damaging to our future sex life and I wasn't willing to take that risk.

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