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blakesteele posted 7/16/2014 13:32 PM

As I approach 2 year antiversary from DD#1 it is occurring to me that I have not found a fully healthy way to grieve.

I see my journey like this....

Early on....I started to grieve, but then owned waaayyy too much of my wifes shit.

Mid-way....i started to grieve, but then anger and rage took over.

Now.....I grieve, but appear to be retracting into myself. Last night I took 30 extra minutes between work and getting home to just cry in my truck....finally found the courage to get home and hit the pool with my daughters and my niece that was up for the week.

Read about grief...and how it is a pathway to true compassion.

It appears I have a pattern of feeling grief...then quickly moving into something else. Often times this is task I can fix it, or busy myself in other ways to avoid it.

Any tips on how a person can just be still and accept that grief sometimes is just that....grief? Seems like I am missing it the same thing I have struggled with all along? Struggle with my ability to just be still and feel?

God is with us all.

Chinadoll30 posted 7/16/2014 14:40 PM

I am also very Unskilled at feeling/processing grief and other emotions. My therapist assures me that dipping the toe in like you described instead of rushing full tilt into it is exactly the way TO deal with it. Sometimes it's just too big to face head on. Sometimes we have to just spend 10 minutes with it, then getting back to life. It's not directly related to infidelity, but I've been reading an alanon book called "opening our hearts transforming our losses". A lot of good info on grief, even though it is addressed to families of alcoholics.

ladies_first posted 7/16/2014 15:42 PM

Last night I took 30 extra minutes between work and getting home to just cry in my truck

How do you differentiate between grief and depression?

Where are you on the spectrum?

<Initial Trauma -------------Limbo------------Mastery>

blakesteele posted 7/16/2014 16:26 PM

Thanks for the reponses....not sure where I am at really.

I visited with my wife on this....asked her about how she is grieving the damage she helped do to another family with 5 kids.

Her answer was like how I processed life....

Basically.....I am sorry for what happened and for the pain his wife is in, but I can't do anything about it.

And that is similar to how I have "done life".

I am sorry my parents divorced....was sad but did not grieve it. (according to multiple therapists). I reasoned I had no control so I will just move on.

I am sorry my dad abandoned me after the D....was sad but did not grieve it. I reasoned I could not do anything about it so I just moved on.

No grieving.....just moved on.

I am sorry I used porn in my sad about this and HAVE actually grieved it, but I also had the "benefit" of DOING something about that. (12 step program, letters and words to my wife, reaching out to male accountability partners, etc.). So when I have the power to change things it appears I can grieve. But when I am powerless I just move on?

What I am seeking is the type of grieving my therapists have encouraged me to do and what I hear about.....the type where you "simply" sit with the acceptance and all the pain associated with that, but refrain from trying to "fix it".

Damn....I struggle with this. I am seeing more clearly on how my task-oriented nature, while healthy in a strong-work ethic sense, actually hurt my own growth. Limited my ability to bond and attain mature intimacy. At the first sign of discomfort from my wife I would "get into action" and do do do. It might be kind gestures such as flowers or making it possible for my wife to have a "girls night out" or mean gestures such as minimizing her expression of discomfort or avoiding sitches that could produce painful feelings.

Therapist keeps telling me I have to greive more....uncover deeper pain.

Point in check. I requested another sexual fast recently....felt like it was healthy as sex with my wife is emotionally painful for both of us. Therapist engaged me on why I wanted this.....20 minutes later, tears wanting to fall, I understood my request was me desperately wanting to retract from pain and grief. She instructed me to lead my family and keep engaging in intimacy. It is painful, it hurts when my wife declines....but I also need to learn that "no" is healthy and does NOT mean abandonment is the next step.

My go-to method of really feeling the pain was to go to the remote farm house where the sex actually took place. I did this recently...but just felt that grief too?

Look....I just want to face and accept all the pain that is present NOW!

Maybe I have grieved and just hate that beat-up feeling I can't seem to shake?

God is with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 6:02 PM, July 16th (Wednesday)]

blakesteele posted 7/16/2014 16:33 PM

....I think I am somewhere between limbo and Mastery.

I think the 2 year antiversary has me a bit wigged out.

Find myself visting all other forums equally....including the S/D forum. Some of my original brat pack members have decided to D.

Am I afraid to grieve for fear I will find D is a choice for me?

I continue to struggle with the pain of my third DD...finding my wife lurked his FB page over the last 2 years. Discover was 4 weeks ago, the last time I know she lurked his page. Her response is her feelings and motivations surrounding this activity has changed....but I have not been privy to that change. I am left with her word as to how her journey has looked thus far regarding this activity.

I put my oldest daughter in my spot regularly....envision her at my age in a M like I am in and choosing as I am thinking of choosing.

Often time this helps me make healthy choices.

With this FB lurk is still not clear to me. FB lurking a cause for D? No. Were IM sent or other forms of "checking in" with him deployed? I don't know. Is the original A or a new one (or a new false-intimacy choice being made) up and going? I don't know.

Trust is a choice.

Forgiveness is a choice.

Healing is a choice.

Love is a choice.

R is a choice.

D is a choice.

Where does grieving fit in? How do I choose to grieve? I even tried blocking out a set time to "be sad"....didn't work.

Lots of choices. Appears many of those choices for me are daily, hourly and even minute by minute still......and I am almost 2 years out.


whattheh posted 7/16/2014 16:56 PM

Your wife doesn't sound as transparent as she needs to be so you can heal and trust again. I would be very upset if I had found out that my fWH had been looking at OW info... it would put me back to the beginning and he would be held accountable and have lots of explaining not just saying that his thoughts had changed on the matter...

[This message edited by whattheh at 4:57 PM, July 16th (Wednesday)]

blakesteele posted 7/16/2014 17:52 PM

Thanks whattheh. I see what you are saying....and that is an area of work for her. We visited on this last night....lots of things to work on.

What I am seeking from this post is guidance in how healthy people grieve.

I appear to have my own "skills" at avoiding painful surprised at some of MY internal "revelations".....such as a sex abuse thing and how I took on shit that was not mine to take on. It appears I would rather assume that shit then to admit it hurt me and grieve that fact.

I'm starting to think it's just this profound saddness that is now a part of my life. Maybe I am expecting too wailing and shaking. Maybe grieving is more "passive" then I thought it would be? The pain is so strong....shouldn't the grief be.....more active?


[This message edited by blakesteele at 5:59 PM, July 16th (Wednesday)]

rachelc posted 7/16/2014 18:22 PM

more "passive" then I thought it would be? The pain is so strong....shouldn't the grief be.....more active?

Blakesteele- the sitting is so painful sometimes that I reach for anything I think is healthy- books, hanging here, more IC, etc...
But when nothing helps you realize oh, I just have to go through this. There are no shortcuts. Those of us who grew up fast and had to fend for ourselves think we can hard work our way through it with our usual tunnel vision. It just doesn't work that way.

I keep asking myself, when will I feel better? I mean like really really good. There is no magic pill. Just grief and tiny steps forward.


blakesteele posted 7/16/2014 18:48 PM


......I guess I knew the answer to this post well before I posted.

Thanks for the kind nudge.


hopefull77 posted 7/16/2014 18:49 PM

I am pretty sure the way I handle grief ESPECIALLY the things I can NOT change is to get busy....move on and try and be/feel normal....
the morning my father died at age 11 I started calling all his was like 6:30 in the mother was sitting next to me forwRd 46 years later my mother dies I go to her house (across the street) sit with her body ...make a few calls run back home because middle son has a formal that night ....I try and help him get H though is sitting with my mother waiting for the mortuary to come....
dday....I see his phone....boom I am out of the house and end up at the cemetery where my parents and sister are...I actually laid down with them all and felt a weird sense of peace....this event was going to be too big....and I needed rest...
I think we put too much emphasis on what is 'healthy'...everyone grieves there own way....infidelity is
it's own breed of pain....and honestly it is hard to accept and rationalize

Sorry if this doesn't make sense but...just my thoughts
I wish us all peace

rachelc posted 7/16/2014 19:10 PM


the morning my father died at age 11 I started calling all his was like 6:30 in the mother was sitting next to me stunned

hopeful, I had no idea. I'm so sorry....

end t/j

blakesteele posted 7/16/2014 22:18 PM




FixYou71 posted 7/17/2014 00:09 AM

Blakesteele, Thank you for this post and the responses that followed. I found myself relating very much to much of what you said.

I found myself thinking 'shouldn't my grief/turmoil/angst/broken heartedness feel lifted since I have already grieved so much?' At times I feel like a failure because I feel like I should be making faster progress. And then I was reminded by Rachel's post that grieving is a process and not a means to and end. I needed that. Thank you for this discussion.

blakesteele posted 7/17/2014 04:18 AM

Your welcome FixYou71

This isn't the first time rachelc has kindly nudged me like this.....

This is a process.....all of this is. I am grateful for fellow SI members that are patient and nudge me again and again.

It's amazing how sharing your story can help others write theirs...and vice versa.

God is with us all.

still-living posted 7/17/2014 04:45 AM


This is attempting to control:

... owned waaayyy too much of my wifes shit.

This is feeling hopeless, not being able to control:

Mid-way....then anger and rage took over.

This is not a bad thing IMO. It needs to happen. It makes you stronger. A trauma happened to you. It's ok to let yourself feel it. It hurts.

Now.....I took 30 extra minutes between work and getting home to just cry in my truck...

In order to trust my wife, I need to trust myself first, believe in myself
In order to love my wife, I need to love myself.
In order to save my marriage, I need to be willing to loose it.
In order to be happy, we both need to change, to believe in right things, not control ourselves into doing right things.
Loving my wife is seeing myself through her, believing in us, happily, not controlling.
I needed to understand why my wife did it, in order to believe she is changing and not attempted do it again.
I need to believe in myself, should she fail, allow myself to be vulnerable, know that I will be ok.
Most importantly, my wife needed to work on herself, and change her beliefs, and be remorseful. Without this one, there is no new marriage.

[This message edited by still-living at 4:47 AM, July 17th (Thursday)]

sunvalley posted 7/17/2014 05:04 AM

blakesteele - to me this sounds like a normal, healthy grieving process

Early on....I started to grieve, but then owned waaayyy too much of my wifes shit.

Mid-way....i started to grieve, but then anger and rage took over.

Now.....I grieve, but appear to be retracting into myself. Last night I took 30 extra minutes between work and getting home to just cry in my truck....finally found the courage to get home and hit the pool with my daughters and my niece that was up for the week.

This is grieving. In your post I see initial shock, denial and bargaining (self blame...if only I did this, etc), anger and now depression/self reflection. Keep in mind it's not a linear cycle, and these stages can all intermix. What part of your grieving feels unhealthy to you? The fact that it hasn't resolved itself or fixed the problem? I ask because I am also a fixer and grieving isn't about fixing anything, it's about reaching acceptance and growing in the process (IMO). We cannot fix this, we cannot control this or the Ws future actions, it cannot be undone and so we have to deal with the emotions buried deep inside us from it. Ones that our analytical minds don't even allow us to feel or recognize. When I first started with IC she wanted me to feel where the grief hit me in my body, physical signs of grief. At first I wanted to use my mind, wander through the thoughts, but she said to just feel where I had pain and through this those physical symptoms would actually reduce. She also told me to accept my emotions as they come up, welcome them instead of fight them - allow them to be heard, so they stop screaming at me. So much to grasp for the analytical mind!

I think when you sit and give yourself time to grieve it's less about analyzing the whys, less about what the WS did, less about how to fix it or wondering if it will resolve, less about allowing the mind to wander...all these things are in a way reinjuring us, reliving experiences that are in the past and cannot be undone, trying to rationalize the irrational. It's about just turning the brain off for a bit and feeling what the body is trying to tell you. It's about just recognizing the pain instead of stuffing it back down deep inside ourselves. Some people journal but I found my analytical side would just write facts instead of emotions, some talk to friends and IC to just get it all out, some meditate and I find this works better for me to just feel the pain rather than analyze it. You'll have to find what really works for you to just feel the pain and recognize what emotion it's bringing up in you. It's not about seeking answers, its about feeling the emotions and acknowledging them so they don't try to overwhelm us. I find now when I start to feel teary eyed, then I recognize 'oh there's something important here' and I focus on it, allow myself to feel that pain instead of taking a deep breath and wiping my eyes, stuffing it back down inside for another day. Those tears are emotions coming to the surface, ones I don't even recognize until I really focus on them and once I do, they usually subside much more peacefully then if I try to fight them.

IMO you have to allow yourself to feel what you're feeling. There will be times that you feel things that are not loving and compassionate towards your WS. There will be times you feel things that make you want to run away from them and never come back, or question your decision to R. But if you fight these feelings and don't acknowledge them, then what happens? they stay buried within us, leading to fear, anger and resent. We can't just focus on the emotions that keep us on the path to R and acceptance, we have to accept all the emotions to truly grieve the experience. Accepting an emotion doesn't mean it will become a reality, it simply means you acknowledge that it is within you...all your emotions are ok to recognize, even the hurtful ones although from experience I would advise that anger does not ever end. No matter how much of it you get out, there will always be more of it acting as a shield to your vulnerability...I found this one out the hard way around 8-10m out. I know there are days I don't know if we'll make it in R. Those days are ok. He did something terrible and my fight or flight response is reminding me of that. It doesn't mean I'm not still committed to R, it just means I have fear in me - an emotion that is OK to have. Once I recognize that fear, it stops plaguing me and making me feel overwhelmed.

Sorry to ramble, but hopefully some of this makes sense. It's been a long process for me to even figure out my emotions, to even feel them. I am trying not to overwhelm myself with looking at the big picture and instead focus on now. Yes, I have FOO issues that have led to my coping mechanisms and increased my pain in this situation, but there is already so much to digest from the As that I chose to focus on the pain that is present right now...tackling a lifetime of hurt and understanding each and every injury or heartache is overwhelming at best. I recognize that I put up walls because of my past, I know that my FOO issues added fuel to the current fire because the As touched on old pain, but my current situation to grieve is the As. I know some IC will feel that it all has to be grieved together, but I am trying to just focus on the here and now with a realization/recognition of past traumas that have shaped our recovery instead of delving into all of them at once. When I read your posts, I get the sense that you are perhaps trying to analyze and explain all of it, looking for answers as I have been doing as well, instead of just allowing yourself to genuinely feel the hurt, betrayed, vulnerable and whatever other emotion you may feel from the aftermath. Grieving doesn't necessarily give us an 'end result' quickly, it is a process and any grieving you are doing is releasing some of the emotions buried within you. Focus on how you're feeling at the start of the grieving time and at the end of it. Does your body feel relaxed or tight? Do your pains subside or strengthen? Acknowledging those pains you feel, should help them subside. I know it does for me, but it took me a long time to 'get there' because it's not a brain thing, it's a heart/emotional thing.

ItsaClimb posted 7/17/2014 07:03 AM

I really struggle with grief. In fact I really struggle with allowing myself to feel any negative emotion except anger. My usual modus operandi is "I don't get sad, I get mad" Up until D-Day my daughters had only ever seen me cry once. I went through the deaths of various family members, some of them very dear to me, completely dry-eyed... it's scary!

This infidelity thing has cracked something open inside me and now I am inclined to start crying at the drop of a hat, but even so, I am not sure I am feeling the deep grief that lurks beneath the surface.

As a child I learned to put on a brave face, ignore the pain and DO something and more specifically - do whatever it takes to make sure I never have to be hurt like this again.... enter co-dependency BIG time.

Those patterns I learned in childhood are so entrenched that it is very, very difficult to learn a new way of dealing with things, a new way that involves acknowledging my feelings and sitting with them.

blake I think you are on the right track. I think you need to keep doing what you are doing and simply be aware.... Every so often stop and evaluate what you are feeling, think about what you are feeling. Just try to stay in touch with what's going on under the thoughts, the reading, the posting, the sleeplessness, the.... whatever... That's what I am trying to do - some days with more success than others.

rachelc posted 7/17/2014 07:38 AM

aw guys, I don't even think of what I do as a nudge, just a sharing of my own experience.

The emotions that were brought up by infidelity seem very similar to the emotions i had as a child when my Dad had an affair and left for this woman. while I couldn't do anything about it as a child - I helped my Mom to the point of exhaustion - I can do something about it now. And that may mean just survive it and not pay it forward to the rest of my family like my Mom did with 35 years of bitterness.

hopefull77 posted 7/17/2014 08:46 AM

I think for the "fixer" types the whole "be still" feels impossible...but I think I am learning how to do this actually I think I am being forced into it because it is the real way through this pain!! Patience is not an adjective one would use to describe me!!
H and I started taking yoga...this has been pretty darn fun and so helps with focus...
Thanks everyone who posted really helps reading others feelings...
onward and forward everyone...

tired girl posted 7/17/2014 08:49 AM

Often times when we are getting busy or trying to fix, it is because we are actually trying to avoid how these feelings "feel". They are uncomfortable and we want them to go away, so we will do something to fix that. I am one that will stay very busy in order to avoid. I did it just this past week, old coping mechanism. I am getting better at recognizing I am doing it, and when the feelings finally hit, I was down for two days. I had to just sit with them and process them.

There is no easy way through this sometimes, we have to let ourselves feel the hard stuff, and gently walk through it.

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