Not looking for advice necessarily but just sounding off.
we had a fight over something very, very stupid
Give and take are a normal part of every marriage. Fighting over stupid things tells me that:
1. You don't know how to communicate well with each other (poor emotional intimacy)
2. Neither person wants to admit they are wrong (strongly attached to their own point of view to the point of stubbornness)
3. Each person involved in a power to struggle to have their emotional needs met over the other spouse.
At that point, I found myself questioning yet again if staying with him was the right thing to do.
Once I realized that I am responsible for my own happiness did I start to see things differently. I started looking within for things that would trigger anger and cause me to suffer. I stopped blaming my wife, other people, or my circumstances as the causes of my suffering. By eliminating blame, I took back the power to have control over my happiness and peace of mind.
I feel like yet another shield goes up to protect my heart.
Once you're able to see that you cause your own suffering, you no longer need the shields. You begin to realize your spouse suffers just as much as you do and have the same motivations as you...to be happy and avoid suffering.
This is where love takes hold. Instead of being angry over petty things, or problems from the past, you learn to show loving-kindness and/or compassion. It took me awhile to get there, but I now prefer having a calm mind and a happy wife instead of winning some petty argument. If being right means I have to suffer or make my wife suffer, then I don't need to be right. I just let it go.
So sorry for what you are going through.
[This message edited by HardenMyHeart at 9:45 PM, July 14th (Sunday)]
Once you're able to see that you cause your own suffering, you no longer need the shields.
I would disagree on this. Yes we can dwell and make it worse but I certainly didn't ask to be betrayed. I am suffering, daily, because my Husband, who I trusted and loved, chose to step outside our marriage and betray me. I *DID NOT* cause this suffering. HIS actions and his ALONE did. You bet your ass I need shields, he hasn't earned back trust yet.
Maybe I am just having a bad evening?
Each fight, each disappointment makes it harder and harder for my heart to stay in the game.
I get...After all your WH did to destroy your heart and cause you extreme pain (suffering YOU did NOT cause BTW...No,we do not always cause the suffering in our lives) you would expect that he would dedicate his life to making you happy. You would hope he would refrain from creating more disappointment in your life.
Do you feel like your WH has been remorseful? Do you believe that he is truly sorry? Are his actions showing you that he wants R, that he wants to save the M?
I am 2.5yrs post Dday and, although I do not have too many bad days now, I no longer question whether I should remain in my M. My WHs daily actions let me know that this is where I want to stay.
It sounds like your WH needs to work harder at showing you that he is remorseful, that you don't have to doubt his love for you, that he appreciates your effort in R. Storming out and slamming the door does not accomplishing this.
The truth hurts, but I have never seen it cause the pain that lies do.
Was the argument about something relating to the A or something he had done to make you question his commitment to your M?
If not, was it was just something that a couple without "our issues" would argue about? I find that too often we as bs's think so much about what our WS should be doing to make us feel better that we forget that every couple has fights. It doesn't mean we don't love each other. It means that everyone has opinions and sometimes their opinion is different than ours. Its normal. Personally I don't want my DH to agree with everything I say just because he hurt me. I want real emotions, real opinions. Yes, I want him to respect my feelings and I respect his. However, sometimes things can get heated and tempers will fly. But I would rather have REAL emotion than FAKE emotion any day. If he doesn't agree with me about something, non A related, its not the end of the world or the end of our relationship. Its us trying to get our life back and be a normal couple. I don't want a yes man, I want a man that has his own thoughts, and if that includes him getting really angry sometimes so be it...its not like I never fly off the handle about non A related things. I have red hair and the temper to go with it...
This is just my opinion... don't shoot me
I would disagree on this. Yes we can dwell and make it worse but I certainly didn't ask to be betrayed. I am suffering, daily, because my Husband, who I trusted and loved, chose to step outside our marriage and betray me. I *DID NOT* cause this suffering.
I understand why you would disagree with me. After D-day I felt exactly as you did. However, I dug deeper because I wanted to understand what actually causes emotional suffering. I found that blaming my suffering on external things was a trap. It did not make me feel any better and all it did was make me angry at the things that caused me to suffer. I realized by placing blame on things beyond my control, I was taking away my own power to change the way I felt. It didn't matter if the anger was generated by the affair or someone cutting me off the freeway; I needed to find a better way to respond than anger and stress. I wanted to a have a calm, peaceful reaction, to no matter what the external situation was. If I could do that, than I wouldn't need "shields" to protect me. My mind would have the power to do that for me.
I discovered that all emotional suffering is generated by our fears. I further realized that we all have two basic fears:
1. Fear of losing something
2. Fear of not being good enough
When our WS has an affair, it strikes at the heart of these two basic fears. Our reaction is usually, anger for the pain they have caused us, and anxiety as we stress over the future of the marriage. Based on this way of thinking at things, I began to see that it was MY fears, and not external events, that were generating the emotional pain and suffering.
The affair forced me to confront my greatest fears. When D-day hit, I was deeply in love with my wife and thought I was a good husband. I could not understand why she would rip my heart out and risk destroying our family. My normal way of handling things was falling apart, as was my world. The anger and anxiety was consuming me from the inside. Once I realized I have the power to control the fears, my life started to turn around. Whether it was the affair, a mean boss, or an abusive mother, I learned I could control my reactions and maintain a calm mind, even though the thoughts coming into my head were not pretty. I learned to create a calm space around my mind, even in the midst of chaos. This allows me to react with wisdom, instead of anger.
So now I try to stay mindful in the present. I seek the beauty and joy in a world full of suffering. If you are angry, you can't see the beautiful moments going on around you. They are always there, but you need a calm mind to see them. I would much rather have a calm mind in the present moment, then give way to anger due to something that has happened in the past (and no longer exists), or stress about a future I have no control over.
A book I often recommend that helped me start thinking outside the box was:
The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
ETA: This youtube video illustrates some of what I am trying to say:
[This message edited by HardenMyHeart at 3:27 AM, July 15th (Monday)]
The evemt was non-A related. It had to do with where I was going to store a jacket in our camper getting ready to go home. His memory is getting bad and he was afraid we would forget it if I placed it where I was going to. I was planning to put other stuff in the same place that there was no way to forget it. He raised his voice that we will forget it, I huffed and tossed it on the other bed. He slammed out the door. Nothing big. I will agree with Hardenmyheart that it was emotional immaturity on both of our parts. We have struggled with working on talking over the last few years, but are getting much better at it. We used to never "fight" and up to point of A had less than 10 fights in our marriage. While at one time I was proud of that, I realized it was a bad thing. We were not being open and honest about our feelings and not tackling big issues. We would both just "suck it up" and deal with what was bothering us.
Shattered, my H has been extremely remorseful and has worked hard to help me heal. I do not think there is anything he would not do to make it all go away and restore what was. He is truly a changed man and a better person. The pain has been intolerable at times. We each have our own pain we endure. I barely survived mine in the worst of it all...literally. Healing has come very slowly. I had let my guard down when we started to R only to have the TT and a second Dday hit after I believed him. Of course it crushed me. Now...it seems like my shield stays on hyper-alert. Ready to raise it at a moments notice. This event, raised it immediately. I haven't been able to totally let it go.
Hardenmyheart, you have given me some things to think about. I have tried to make myself more responsible for my own emotions. The first step was when I asked him for a divorce when I was finished with his A and decided I deserved more. That request pulled him temporarily out of his fog. I have taken more control of my emotions, but still struggle with that.
I am not sure if I will ever get to the point of questioning staying. Which then makes me wonder if I can ever restore the love to a similar level as pre-A. I do love him, but not at the same level as pre-A. I am ok with the relationship we have built since the A, but it is not the same one as pre-A. To me it is one more of companions on the same journey. Happiness comes more frequently now.
I sincerely appreciate each response. I do miss my old life/self/relationship pre-A.