My dad walked out on my mom, brother and I when I was in 6th grade and I never understood why really. He had been a stay at home dad (injured so out of work) and was very close to my brother and I. To have him just disappear was complete devastation. It turned from spending so much time with him, to a phone call on holidays. He had moved across the country. When I entered 9th grade he moved back to town, only to disappear again when I was 20. We have a very strained relationship now that pretty much consists of keeping up with each other on Facebook. :/
I just realized that during the time of my WH A...I was feeling completely abandoned by him emotionally. By choosing the A, he did abandon me. That is a hard pill to swallow especially with him knowing that is my greatest fear I carry with me. He was in such a selfish place at the time. He does realize that his actions were abandonment, and he has been very remorseful since DDay when he snapped out of the fog. It just makes me sad that the person I trusted my heart with, gave every part of me to, could do that to me. I am pretty sad today.
I wrote a few days ago about the similarities between him and my dad, but the one thing that is different is my dad has always kept running when things got uncomfortable. It took my WH doing a really shitty selfish thing, to realize that he can't (and doesn't want to) run anymore. It will take me a long time to believe this, but I love him and I am hopeful that if he really wants this, and wants to change, he can become a better man and a healthier husband for me. He's got a lot of work to do to get to that point, but I see him trying. I know I can't fix him, so I am trying to focus on me and my healing. I start my first IC session next week and I am really looking forward to it. Thanks for reading my little post, just wanted to get some thoughts off my chest.
"Reconciliation means working together to correct the legacy of past injustice." - Nelson Mandela
So fears are completely natural to have. I still have this deep seated fear that he will do this again someday... how could I not based on his past behavior?
And yet..... I know that if he should walk away in the future I somehow would be ok. You would be too- because of the things we have all been through. We are so much stronger than we want to give ourselves credit for....
I can say one thing..... while I have this fear I will not let it rule me!!! It is not allowed to take over my life or it could destroy me. I have things in place to ensure should he walk again I would be ok... I have a good paying job, our house is financially stable, I have cc's in my name only (though I don't run them up due to this fear of someday not having the money to pay them), I am comfortable in my own skin and know I would be alright once I conquer that initial fear.
The hardest part for those of us who have been abandoned it realizing it could happen again... out of the blue.... because this last time (and some of the others like when engaged) 'I' thought we were blissfully happy and things were great- obviously he thought otherwise- or he wouldn't have walked away.... the fear keeps me today from maybe investing 100% as I had in the past...... and that hurts me- the fear that I am holding back some because of what he could do to me in the future.
It is truly sad that our pasts influence our today's and our future so much... I often wish I had a magic eraser that could wipe out those memories so my brain and heart could move on easier.... we can only focus on us and get ourselves to a healthier place.
It's not logical. I can take care of myself now. But, I guess that fear is deep-seeded. I wonder now if its the being wanted thing.
There are books out there but they didn't seem to help.
[This message edited by rachelc at 1:46 PM, August 21st (Thursday)]
rachelc - I do hope that in IC I can work out these fears. I do feel like deep down it's a feeling of being unwanted. I have low self esteem because of this, these feelings from my dad leaving when I was so close to him. Like I wasn't wanted. My WH keeps reminding me how much he wants me, how special and valuable I am and that he was an idiot for getting so absorbed in his own pain that he forgot to take care of me. I think he has been a bit CoD in our relationship because he has really always put me first and my happiness, and never focused on making himself feel better which led to a downward spiral for him too. I don't want my fears of abandonment to rule me forever. I want to feel confident enough in myself to know that WH wasn't abandoning me because of something I did wrong, it was because of something deeply wrong within himself that he is working hard to heal.
it also seems, in some sense, as if I have already gone through this process of forgiveness and that it has increased my capacity for empathy. At the same time, I need to recognize that my WBF is not my dad, their issues and processes are not the same.
I keep comparing him to my dad, but I keep coming back to this realization that my dad never admitted fault or blame for anything. Never appologized for being absent in my life, never could admit to my mom when he was wrong in an argument. It does strike some similarities with WH...but the thing I am learning about WH (now that he is finally cracking open and letting me know his inner deepest fears, desires etc) is that WH is CHOOSING not to run away anymore. He is making a step towards change. His outlook on everything is shifting. He never believed in himself and now he does more and more day by day. An example, one of WH biggest anxieties was his job. He worked there 7 years while trying to attend school full time. It was a dead end job and he was treated like shit but he stayed because we needed the money. I found a job posting for a job in his field (Sports/Athletic Training) of study, and at first he didn't even apply because he just didn't believe in himself. SOmething sparked him to apply right before DDay and he got the job, and comes home in such a positive mood everyday (despite what we are going through). I am so happy for him in this regard.
So anyway, sorry for the tangent. He is wanting to change and become a better man (unlike dad) and is carrying the weight of the A, and holding me up and supporting me in a way I never knew he was capable of. It makes me wonder where this was these last several months, but in a way I am glad he had this wake up call because it means we have a chance of having the M we both have always dreamed of. (Not saying I am thankful for the A at all, he could have had this realization any number of ways).
I have been asking myself how is it that I am so strong, when basically my biggest fear (abandonment) was realized by WH. You're right I think. I have already found forgiveness for my dad because I know in my heart he didn't do it intentionally to hurt me... I think it does help me to be more empathetic to WH in this situation.
Age 12...Dad abandoned us too. (affair and financial issues). Your post resonates with me.
Age 22 I flew out to the east coast with my then GF now wife to visit him.
His first words when we were alone?
"What do you want from me?"
My answer then....."Just to get to know you."
I struggled with my hurt for decades...my wife soooo tired of hearing about it. I was spinning in circles.
About 1 year post-DD....in IC....I had this revelation.
The answer to my Dads question was NOT "Just to get to know you."......the real question was.......
"Why did you not want to know me? Why did you not want me?"
30 years.....this was buried 30 years. I knew something was not well within me....but I did not get to the heart of it for 30 years! No wonder I was spinning in circles.
Sadly, my wife and your husband could not have chosen a more painful way to hurt us then they did. Yes, I know neither intentionally did this...but it was a real consequence.
Gently....you will most likely find as I have. The pain of our spouses betrayal rolls quickly back and attaches itself to the betrayal we felt as that young child. You can't tease them apart...must heal the whole enchilada.
It CAN be done.
It requires much work and facing the inner hurting child that you have most likely spent a lifetime appeasing via coping mechs or ignoring all together.
I have added you to my SI specific prayer list.
You are not alone...this is not a small thing. Don't minimize.
God is with us all.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 4:16 PM, August 22nd (Friday)]
My WH has wanted me to get into IC for a few years because of these feelings I have regarding my dad, and it's sad that it has taken this A to really get me in there. I need to get myself as healthy as possible, so I can contribute on my side to a healthy marriage. If WH can meet me there, and get himself healthy, I think we have a fighting chance. I am looking forward to healing myself and moving through this pain I have carried most of my life. (((hugs)))
Keep VERY aware that any of the struggles you had in your pre-A M are ABSOLUTELY NOT a contributing factor for your husbands choices to have an affair.
I struggled to keep this in mind....IC was an absolute must. You could have been the most wacked out, depressed, angry person in the world....and he had plenty of other options before choosing as he did.
Having said that......dang how I wished one of us would have had the insight, courage, forethought, whatever to REALLY break out of our respective "orbits" before adultery was incorporated!
Keep posting......while this abandonment issue is uber painful, it will NOT kill you. And that is what 12 year old Blakesteele believed...so he did the only other thing his little mind could reason--he denied he was in any pain because of it. Boyishly thinking "Yeah, I'm in pain...but don't want to look at it. I can live with this "little bit of pain" but if I slow down and REALLY look at it, I will have to accept it....I will die." (at least thats my story)
You WILL be healed.
Keep the faith.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 4:41 PM, August 22nd (Friday)]