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Did you fake it till you made it?

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neecee posted 7/24/2014 20:50 PM

I'm just figuring out what to do when I am so "caught up" in my own head with the thought of my WH having sex with another another woman. We are in R, and when he first came Bach home it was great, we missed each other terribly. We had amazing sex, long talks, we really were reconnecting and I was trying to "think ahead" and focus on our future together. I was happy that my WH has vowed to do whatever it takes to prove he is worthy of my love.....but then there's that thought that slowly seeps back into my brain, I do my best to keep it at bay,but it ends up taking over and my head goes back to that awful place and I suddenly feel like its an impossible journey to R, and that I'm only filling myself. Then I'm STUCK!!! stuck in this thinking that just won't let me breath. So what do I do? Allow these feeling to go on for days and days and days? How do I get out of the rut? Its overpowering. My "thinking ahead" is no match for this awful past. Do I "fake it till you make it" force myself to be kind to my WH, hug and kiss him and know that my heart will soften. I'm really struggling here. I keep getting advice to "allow these feelings to come, feel them"...WHAT DOES THAT MEAN???
These feeling, they're coming, and I feel them. I just don't want to wallow in them. I dont want to be stuck in this mindset that sets us back and makes me miserable. What helped you when you were stopped in your tracks and sent off the rails? Did you fake it till you made it???

healingroad posted 7/24/2014 21:14 PM

I didn't. I tried for a while during false R, but after that came out I figured I wasn't going to bother faking anything anymore. Since she wouldn't fake it either (at least not convincingly) we didn't make it.

I think there's room for a little FITYMI but a BS really shouldn't bend over backwards for R. It's hard enough without playing games.

FixYou71 posted 7/24/2014 23:16 PM

Many BSs at your stage in R have felt just like you. In the early months, even with a remorseful spouse, the grief is overwhelming to the point of taking over your life. I spent hours locked away in my room sobbing. Hours up at night sobbing with my face in a pillow and laying on the floor next to our bed because laying next to him hurt so bad. I remember times the grief was so overwhelming that my chest would hurt really bad and I literally thought my heart was being physically damaged and I was going to die from heartbreak..
Yes, you do need to feel it. Those emotions serve a purpose. I do think we need to be careful to try at times to give ourselves a break and find a distraction. You are mourning. You are normal. I know it feels very ABnormal.
The recommendations I've read here vary but most say find something you really enjoy. Nature, bike riding, hiking, a good comedy, reading, gardening, crafting etc. Or pamper yourself with a salon appt. Or a pedicure.
I'm sorry you're so overwhelmed. It sucks, I know. You WILL get through this and this is no reflection on you. You are normal. Just take it one day at a time. That's all you can do (besides working on yourself in IC, reading etc.)

Crushed15Feb13 posted 7/24/2014 23:44 PM

I remember times the grief was so overwhelming that my chest would hurt really bad and I literally thought my heart was being physically damaged and I was going to die from heartbreak..

This is exactly the way I felt. Exactly. I'm still not sure my heart wasn't damaged.

I have been generally open and honest with my feelings. Not to say there isn't room for a little faking it, but I'd be concerned if I was faking too often. You need to honor your real feelings, too.

FixYou71 posted 7/25/2014 00:26 AM

Crushed, This is why I love SI. There is comfort in knowing you're not alone and someone else gets it.

KatieG posted 7/25/2014 00:31 AM

It's awful, horrible when that happens. I also had the panic of wanting it to stop and spiralling downwards. There's really no way out. If you push the feelings away they will come back. You have to go through them.

Writing stuff down helped me to get stuff out. I never read them again but just the process of writing seemed to calm me a bit.

RidingHealingRd posted 7/25/2014 00:37 AM

Fake it till I make it? Never did I do that, never did I want to do that. There was no suppressing of emotions during my journey...ever.

I absolutely understand how overpowering the emotions are and how they can set you back but to get through them you must deal with them.

When you engage in "fake it till you make it" what you are doing is suppressing your true feelings. Word of warning, those feeling will resurface, often with a vengeance. If you want to free yourself from the feelings and emotions then you need to deal with them. If you can do that then you have a far better chance at achieving acceptance.

[This message edited by RidingHealingRd at 12:37 AM, July 25th (Friday)]

Alex CR posted 7/25/2014 05:18 AM

Almost five years out and the first year I couldn't have faked it with my H even if I wanted to. But I did fake it around family and colleagues. I kept up a good face 'cause I wasn't sharing my personal trauma with everyone. I kept it to a couple of close friends and that was it.

But I do remember getting tired of the wallowing...of wanting to stop feeling the horrible pain, the rage. As I started to heal, I wanted control of when I would fall apart and when I wouldn't. I wanted a choice and didn't want every potential good time with my H ruined by the thoughts circling in my head that, for me, were becoming destructive to my healing and our work at creating a new memories. I wanted to stay and have fun with him, laugh with him and get back to that connected feeling. It wasn't going to happen if I was defensive and always ready to punish him.

I journaled, worked with my IC and used the STOP sign, a lot. Would yell out loud or in my head, STOP! over and over and eventually it became easier to stop those thoughts. I'd make an appointment with myself to think about them, write about them or talk about them later that day or that week when it worked for me and life became smoother. And I'd keep that appointment with me and I did work through them when the timing was better for me.

I guess you could say that's suppressing the emotion, for the moment. But for me, I got tired of the negative emotions over his betrayal ruining all my moments. Life is short, and I was approaching 60...I don't want to waste a moment of the life I have left being miserable and wallowing in a past I can't change. I can change my future, though, and was ready for life to be better, to be enjoyable, to laugh without that pit in the stomach and that pain in my heart interrupting every happy moment with the words, "I wonder if he did this with OW?" or 'don't forget he's a bastard and he broke your heart".

I worked at making it after getting through the first year or so by putting those emotions aside until I could deal with them so I could enjoy the moment I was in. It was a process and took still does.

But almost five years now, life is sweet and I'm happy I put those feelings aside when it suited me and faked it and then dealt with them when I was ready. I made a habit of making it and enjoying my life again. Everybody's journey is different, but life is short and the only moment we really have is the one we are living right now.

Hatemyhusband posted 7/25/2014 05:28 AM

You are too early to push your feelings aside. I'm only 8 mo past DD. I can tell you, the first 3 months for me were hell emotionally. Don't hide your feelings but I suggest not expressing them to him immediately. Take time to feel them, tell him u need space and talk when u are ready

My life went like this:
-folding laundry. Moment of disbelief and wonder in my head. H seeing my sadness and asking if I'm ok. I'd respond "yes I need space". I'd elect to go for a drive if I felt I couldn't get space (kids). (Plus I didn't want to keep breaking doen in front of kids). Id park somewhere I was alone. I'd cry. Scream. Think. Gather myself when ready. Go home. He'd ask if ok. I'd respond, yes and I'll share another time
Sometimes I'd share. Sometimes I wouldn't.

H always wants to help/fix it and many times I just needed to let it out and not talk about it.

Feel it. Express it (here, to friend, family and occasionally to H) thrn get it together and find positive in your life to put in ur head. I gave myself time to feel but not allow her to remain in my head. She took away too much of my time, I wasn't allowing that much more


neecee posted 7/25/2014 07:01 AM

Thank you all for your words of advice and encouragement. It helps tremendously. I dont want to push my feelings aside or suppress them. I know I have to go through this process. Like ALEX CR said, I dont want her to steal anymore of my happiness and give her that much access to my thoughts. This A has robbed me of so much already and I really don't want to waste my precious life stuck in a ditch revamping the whole A in my head. Its to draining. I'm just trying to figure out how not to allow these feelings to take up residency in my head for too long. i was much better at doing this is the first few weeks, but sometimes it just comes at me like a wave in the ocean and I've been treading water for so long that I am tired and weak and cannot overpower the waves crashing over me and pushing me underwater. I can't let this A take anymore of me. I have to learn to conquer these thoughts and let it take over my life. I want to work on our future together, WH is doing all the right things and I want to enjoy him and us. We are trying to navigate this crazy train as best as we can. It just feels hopeless sometimes when you happiness brings sadness along. Its so crazy and confusing to say the least. He is the love of my life and the man of my dreams but at the same time he's the person who brought me to my knees and caused me pain that is immeasurable. Crazy. I know what I need is time. Ugh! I appreciate all the helpful advice. SI is the best thing to come out of this shit storm. I dont know what I would do without it.

rachelc posted 7/25/2014 07:50 AM

The thing about this awful phrase is that a lot of therapists recommend it. Our MC says, act like you trust and the feelings will follow. It didn't work that way for me. And it felt like I was abandoning myself.
Agree with RidingHealing on this one.

TheIrishGirl posted 7/25/2014 10:20 AM

I'm not faking it. Just recently I'm allowing the happy times to happen without immediately going to the 'this would be better if he hadn't been an ass', or if we're in public thinking, 'we must look like a happy family to everybody here... If only they knew'.

Now, if I'm in a good mental space, I'll initiate the hug/kiss/hand hold/smile at him. If I'm not, I don't. But it feels good to feel the good moments, rather than to recognize the potentially happy moment and yet not feel it because I'm too hurt/angry/upset.

Not sure how clearly that all came out. But since I think we're on similar timelines, I figured I'd share.

justme1264 posted 7/25/2014 12:47 PM

My WS used to say she was FITYMI. I think for her, she was trying to break her impulsive habits of acting on her feelings, instead of using her head. It didn't work in the end, because she wasn't truly remorseful.

I don't suggest you FITYMI. I don't at all suggest you allow yourself to be harmful or vindictive towards your WH either. I suggest you learn to express what you are feeling and saying in a constructive, but heartfelt way. Keeping all the feelings and thoughts of a BS inside, and FITYMI instead will only bring you more pain and eventually resentment. You could try something like this:

"John, I am having a very difficult time dealing with thoughts and emotions which bring me a great deal of pain. I can't stop thinking about what you did during your affair, the other woman, and what it means. What I am feeling I can't even find the words. I feel disgust for you, what you did, and it scares me because it is turning into hate. I am confused and talking about it, getting it all out, is difficult because frankly, I do not trust you with such vulnerability. I don't trust you will be there for me when I need you mot anymore, and that's your fault for betraying our marriage. After all, you tossed my trust and stomped all over my vulnerability when you screwed another woman. I need help, from you, from others, but mostly from myself in order to get through this. I don't have the answer if I can stay married to you or leave you. I don't want to have that kind of responsibility. What I want from you now is your remorse. Otherwise, I deserve better and you are wasting my time. I am choosing not to fake how I feel, or smile at you when in reality I want to hit you. But, I want to treat you with kindness and integrity. I will continue to tell you how I feel and you do with it as you see fit. I am learning to figure out what boundaries I need to have now that you dropped this bomb on our marriage. It will take time."

I dunno, I just typed this out. It may or may not help you. As a BS and having gone through several false R, I can only share with you what I learned. True remorse is key. True remorse will see you through your difficult day and help with the better days. I look back and I am proud of how kind, gentle, and loving I was to my wife, despite the horrific things she was doing to our marriage, and how horribly she treated me. I was and still am the bigger person. My love was genuine and mature. I didn't need her to earn my love, I gave it to her as a gift the day I said "i do." But she did have to earn my respect. Without true remorse, this is impossible and will eventually lead to D. True remorse will take your pain and absorb it. It will allow you to feel the shit you are feeling, talk about it however you need to, and even let you go if you cannot stay. True remorse will move mountains to repair what was broken. True remorse will put the choice back into your hands as the BS because the A took that choice all away.

I wish you the best on your R journey and hope your WH is the man you deserve.

[This message edited by justme1264 at 12:57 PM, July 25th (Friday)]

kate0421 posted 7/25/2014 17:09 PM

You've gotten some good replies already, but I will chime in. In the beginning there were times i wanted to just be happy. So everyone "potential" moment of happiness I would notice I wasnt, I would wrap myself up in the thought of it not working out. It's so so hard to stop thinking about the future outcome and live for the day.
I finally sat down with WS and told him that just because I am willing to give us a try and give him the opportunity to show me he has changed, does not mean I will decide to stay in the end. Because honestly I was unsure if I could stay even though I desperately wanted to. Once I did this I felt relief, I didn't feel so obligated to see our future happiness.
I don't believe in faking it. It wouldn't have worked for me even if I tried. I wear my feelings on my sleeve. If I wasn't in the mood to touch and hug, I wouldn't. If I felt like giving him a kiss or hug I would. I've even asked for a hug when I needed them. At first he was affraid to approach me because he feared how I would react. There were times when we would be intimate and I was really in the mood, and then boom .. trigger and I would just start to ball and he would hold me.

What you are going through is so normal. My heart hurts for you because like many BS, we have all been where you are right now. Try your best to slow it down, you don't have to make any big decisions right now about your future ( for me it would have changed daily). Allow yourself to process this trauma.

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