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What has been the most helpful to get you through this?

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StartingFreshNow posted 7/25/2014 08:31 AM

Based on my signature you'll see I have struggled with this, but I have come a long way since the last broken NC.

My focus is on my husband and the pain he's suffering - the betrayal, the anger, the hurt, the doubts of himself and of me and of the world, the crashing down of life as he believed it to be.

I'm in a constant state of "arrows out" as my counselor refers to it where I am focused on him and helping him heal and showing him my commitment to him and our marriage and our family. I'm trying hard to rebuild trust with any chance I get.

I don't expect him to be moving on, I take full accountability of what happened. I sit and listen and validate what he tells me. This is all heartfelt and on my own. He needs a lot of physical attention (I don't just mean sex) and I do my best to give it to him.

Basically I'm doing what I "should".

However, as others know, it's taxing. It's tiring. It's exhausting. I'm not complaining - I want to do it and I need to do it after what I've done to him. It's not even a fraction of what he's going through.

I am just wondering what has been helpful to get you through the hard days? The days you think maybe it's all pointless and is not helping at all? The days your spouse is completely closed off to your efforts. The days you're exhausted and depressed and feel like you can barely function, let alone offer all of you to your spouse and his/her needs. How do you keep going?

I look at my kids and that helps, but it's going on 3 months now and I feel myself wearing down more frequently. I'm terrified one day I might screw up and have it kill all of the hard work I've done and progress I think I've made. I don't mean by contacting the AP, but I'm afraid I'll just stop focusing on my husband for a day, or two, or three and suddenly I'll be back to a selfish place and I know I'll lose him then. How do you keep going so you don't do that?

Thank you!

DrJekyll posted 7/25/2014 08:39 AM

Some of the things I do:

1.I have a vivid memory image of my BS face with the sun shining on it. I try to recall it and focus on it
2. I picture sunshine - trying to stay out of the darkness
3. talk with my BS about my feelings and my withdrawal
4. remind myself tired is not an excuse - if I could find time and energy to step out. than I can find time and energy to step in
5. when I am exhausted, I reach deep down inside and try to do more. - some nights passing out from pure exhaustion.

So you have to find that thing for yourself. I am a visual person, so i picture things in my head. Those help me. Play to your strengths. Remember this is a marathon not a race. Start looking toward the things that you will be able to maintain indefinitely. Hope that helps

ThatGuyNoMore posted 7/25/2014 08:52 AM

I fear the feelings of despair, that there's no hope for healing. Then I remember that even if my BW and I divorce, how I conduct myself through all this will determine how painful that end will be for the both of us and our children, how hard it will be for both of us to recover and heal separately afterwards. I can't ever allow despair to color my actions. I always keep that end goal in mind: healing. How will these words, these actions lead towards healing?

In those rare days when I'm feeling that way (and I'll admit to being foolishly optimistic), I will write about my negative feelings in my journal, or I might post here on the Wayward forum.

Some weeks ago, from mental and emotional exhaustion, I took a break from SI and journalling and reading self-help books. I watched a couple of dumb movies and read a few magazines for pleasure. I continued to provide support and care for my BW, however. That break recharged me.

StartingFreshNow posted 7/25/2014 08:53 AM

Thank you - I really like your 3rd item. As I'm sure many of you can relate to, I tend to internalize my thoughts and feelings which is a major problem in my situation. That was a great reminder that even though I might feel worn down, I can still practice what I need to and be open and honest about how I feel on those hard days (in a non-selfish way of course).

StartingFreshNow posted 7/25/2014 08:55 AM

ThatGuyNoMore - thank you! I like those ideas as well. I was just thinking about reading self-help books (as I have 3 coming my way right now) and how that might be a great time to pick them up. It's true - sometimes we need a break from the constant focus to recharge. And I don't mean using a recharge as an excuse not to nurture the relationship, but sometimes turning off the computer and watching a silly movie is a healthy option.

somethingremorse posted 7/25/2014 09:12 AM

I'm terrified one day I might screw up and have it kill all of the hard work I've done and progress I think I've made. I don't mean by contacting the AP, but I'm afraid I'll just stop focusing on my husband for a day, or two, or three and suddenly I'll be back to a selfish place

This is completely true. I kind of accept that I am going to live with that feeling. Kind of like a bad tattoo.

I try to live right, in the big picture sense. I know that I am going to slip up, but if I am honest and open and purposeful, than those little slip ups don't invalidate everything else.

Finally, both me and BW and our C's are watching me. These are safety nets for me.

StartingFreshNow posted 7/25/2014 10:09 AM

That's true - we ARE going to slip up. We/I just have to hope that when we do, it's forgiven. I know that's being incredibly selfish since I'm already asking forgiveness for the affair, but when I slip up I'll either get forgiveness or we'll be done, and that's not up to me and I have just have to accept that.

tired girl posted 7/25/2014 10:15 AM

What are you doing to recharge yourself? It sounds like you are in IC? Are you taking any kind of time for yourself to relax and recharge? Quiet time?

It is good that you are focusing so hard on him, at some point you need to start focusing on why you did this and start fixing you. Without doing that, you will not become a safe partner for him.

StartingFreshNow posted 7/25/2014 10:29 AM

Yes, I'm in IC but I've given up all of my "personal" time including taking baths (trigger for him). Occasionally I read a book when I get a chance or like last night I stayed up an extra couple hours and watched a movie alone but that's really few and far between these days.

It's hard on my husband for me to want to do anything alone right now, so I'm not asking for that time. I have asked for 10 min of "me" time each night but I haven't taken it yet - I guess I need to, that will probably help prevent burn out.

I just realized I never did figure out the WHY for me. I see a counselor for some issues but we've never focused on the affair or the why behind it. I actually just rescheduled my next appointment for earlier and that's the only thing I'm going to focus on. I'll tell her that I want to work through the why and fix the issues behind it and that's it - no other distractions until that's done.

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