B:I want to yell and scream and rage at fWH. I want to continually remind him of the depth of my pain and the volume of damage he has inflicted on me, our marriage and our family. I want to remind him of the priceless treasure (our marriage) that he has defiled by his senseless actions. I want to spit in his face and kick him in the nuts every single time thoughts of the affair cross my mind. I want to see recognition and humiliation on his face when I talk about what he has done. I want to force him to acknowledge again and again, what a total arsehole he was. I want to hear him beg, I want to see him grovel. I want to watch him hurt as much as I am. (<= and it shames me to admit this! So please, go easy on me! And no, I don't ever kick him in the nuts, except in my fantasies..)
Now, how on earth do you reconcile A and B. Because, truly, deep down I want both of those things. I know that B is cruel, senseless, inappropriate… just… horrible. I know that if I continually hang around in B I am basically drinking poison and expecting fWH to die. B will not bring me happiness. I KNOW that, but it doesn’t stop me wanting it. I don’t want to want B. But I do. I want to be a better person than that. I honestly do. And, god knows, I try to hang out in A. But I get drawn back to B time and time again. How do I make myself stop this?
I often think that there must be some unfinished business that draws me back to B. There must be work that still needs doing. But for the love of life I don’t know what it is. We have gone over everything again and again. fWH is being open, remorseful, willing to talk, to do whatever it takes to help me get past this. I have talked, read, journalled, had counselling…..again and again.
Something I hit on last week that may explain it is that my emotions have not caught up with my head? In my head I have accepted the affair happened, I have worked out what is the better course (A, obviously) I have it all together in my head. But my emotions are still hanging around in B. Emotionally, I still sometimes want to retreat into denial and then when that passes I get caught up in B again. Emotionally, I am perhaps not ready to move to A. But I so badly want to be in A. I am tired of this. Really, really tired. I can see fWH is tired too, even though he tries so hard to be patient. Even the family dog is tired of it...
[This message edited by ItsaClimb at 2:22 AM, May 18th (Sunday)]
I have had those feelings as well. At times B was gaining over A...However I chose to tell my FWH just how I was feeling when I was in B. I let him know that this was how I was feeling about what he did and that I really needed to hear how he felt about what he did. Funny thing was that he listened.
He began telling me at times that he felt the same way about his actions.
When I heard the words from his mouth and knew they were sincere I lost the feeling B.
I was afraid to share my deepest anger with him.
I was afraid to give voice to bad feelings.
I was afraid to let my FWH know that I even had such thoughts.
I expected him to be open, and honest with me, but I still was not being honest with him.
I am so glad that I learned to share more of myself. We have much deeper discussions now and I no longer fear rejection of me! Best thing is B no longer haunts my thoughts.
((HUGS)) to you and your journey.
What you are describing is very normal. Time is really the magic answer.
You will spend less and less time in B and more and more in A. It happens gradually. After this happened for a long time and I finally got that I was mostly in A, I realized this was a pattern that was happening. I was mostly in A but I would slip to B, I realized that I was actually 'putting' myself back in B. It was a slight difference from before when it happened. I was afraid to be in A because I thought WH would forget or think I was 'over it', etc… So I realized that the reason I was in B at that point was my fear rather than my hurt. At that point, I made the choice to be in A. Does that mean I do not slip back to B? NO! I do and I suspect I will for a long time.
I hope that helps.
[This message edited by brokensmile322 at 8:12 AM, May 18th (Sunday)]
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."
WH says I want him to be miserable and I admit that part of me does want that. Whenever I see him in a moment of happiness there is a part of me that thinks "how unfair for him to be happy at all right now." Not very productive thinking I know.
Together 13 years, married for 8
So that was a setback...
Still, I really want to choose A as well. I can sense that it would be a relief to ME to choose A. Yet B is always there rearing its ugly head.
I think when we hear it takes 2-5 years to get past this and rebuild the marriage, it really means that for some of us, it will take five years and not two years.
Many of your posts resonate with me. I have these battles of heart and mind too. Looking back, I see that *slowly* I am spending more time in A. Every time I slip into B, I ask myself what kind of life I really want to live. I voice my feelings to H as calmly as I can and then try to move past them....so hard sometimes.
I think TIME is the answer we always get and never want. I get so resentful of the time lost cleaning up this heaping pile of dung....
I want to watch him hurt as much as I am.
My bet is that won't help. I suspect what you really want to do is to
stop hurting. When we're in the depths of pain, it often seems that the cure is to cause pain in the person who hurt us. Actually, I think, the pain stops by dealing with it directly.
That could mean yelling and screaming, but not 'You SOB!' Instead, it could mean yelling stuff at him, like 'I'm furious that you __________________!' (Fill in the blank with something he did.) It could mean telling him or someone else directly that you're hurting because of something specific he did. It could mean writing for yourself, 'I'm angry that/because _____.'
I think you're wants align very well to each other.
It seems like, as usual, time is the answer.
I keep thinking, "but for heavens' sake, I am nearly TWO YEARS out! Why do I still feel like this? Why am I still on the roller-coaster? What is wrong with me?"
In fact, if I stop to think, I am less than 1/2 way through the 5 years that it will probably take me to heal from this... And knowing me, it could take a lot longer than the estimated 5 years
Sisoon, thank you for that advice. I think that is a technique I need to look at. I am big on yelling at him in very general terms... I think it would probably help if I addressed the specific issues that were really hurting me at that time. Thanks for that.
It's a conundrum.
Time and consistency on his part, showing you it's safe to be person A will do the trick.
Maybe you should have a heart to heart with your FWH and read him your two options and tell him that you are trying to make a decision. This will allow him to realize that you are still hurting and maybe he will understand what is going on inside of you even better. Maybe you should even show him your post so it will hit home even harder with him. At some point I think it would be best for you to draw a line in the sand and commit to option A. It would be the best for you.
To take path A it is giving up on the wanting/needing justice. Which I know I will never have. There is no justice for the couple that is reconciling. There just isn't. Nothing equitable that our FWS's can give or do to give us that feeling of justice. It is total surrender to accepting what they have done and giving up our want/need for justice.
Path B is the path that still wants and needs justice. To have the FWS pay some kind of price for what they have done to us and our marriage. This is holding onto what is impossible. Also, really think about what you have written.
I want to hear him beg, I want to see him grovel. I want to watch him hurt as much as I am.
Yes, I agree, the dirty four letter word, time, should help with these conflicting wants.
"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak." ~ Homer Simpson
However I chose to...
And again in the third reply.
At that point, I made the choice to be in A.
And again in the fifth reply.
Still, I really want to choose A as well. I can sense that it would be a relief to ME to choose A.
And again later.
I wrote my wife a letter describing how I have chosen option A
I can remember making a choice to rebuild a marriage. I've never regretted it. But the choice I made before that was to be the best person I could be for myself, my family and my friends. I made the choice to be happy. I knew I was going to be happy.
You have choices to make too. Choosing to be be happy and knowing that YOU have the ability to make that happen is a great start. Then you'll decide what other choices to make that support your core choice of building a great life for yourself.
SisterMilkshake is spot on - justice and R can't coexist. You forgo your "right" to payback when you forgive. But for me, forgiveness wasn't even really about him. It was about releasing myself from pain.
It was a full year after DDay that I finally had one month without going into B territory. And it felt so amazing. I hadn't fully realized how exhausted I was from a year of bouncing between A and B. I forgot what it felt like to be even keeled, calm, hopeful. I still go into B, but not for nearly as long and not nearly so often anymore. Because I just don't have the stamina for it. And because it feels so good to be back in control of my life.
This Buddhist lecture on forgiveness was my turning point -
She talks about the seductiveness of righteous anger, how it's easier and more comfortable to lash out than to deal with discomfort of dealing with it within yourself.
One other thing that helped - after a while, I was able to see that fWS was dealing with deep shame and self-hatred, that he struggled between A and B himself. It took a while for him to talk about it - before forgiveness, I was in no state to hear about *his* troubles. That's probably as close to "revenge" as I'll ever get - and it doesn't taste as sweet as you'd think.
Persona A is vulnerable. Persona B is unapproachable, and therefore, safe from more trauma. But of course, also not open to love.
^So true. I think my retreat into B is often prompted by concerns for "safety" - fear of being hurt or abandoned again.
Sister Milkshake you raised something that I have posted about before - I have some trouble with feeling that in a way justice hasn't been served.. you know that feeling that "he got to have all the fun of an exciting new relationship, while I was home caring for his kids, betrayed me in a big way and what does he get? A wife that is working hard to become a better person and a marriage that is even better than it was before!" Where's the justice in that? Logically I get it.. I know that's not how it works really. But yeah, there is that selfish little immature girl in me that sometimes thinks like that. That part of me is very rooted in B.
WeHadItAll - thank you, thank you, thank you... that lecture was amazing! I so needed to hear that.
In one part of the lecture, Tara refers to a Cherokee legend about an elder instructing his young grandson: “In each human heart there are two wolves battling one another—one is fearful and angry, and the other is understanding and kind.” When the little boy asks, “Which one wins?” his grandfather replies, “Whichever one we choose to feed.”
Love that! And it ties in with what Gman1 and WarpSpeed mentioned in their responses. Basically, it comes down to a choice.
Your character is what you do when you think no one is watching.