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Reconciliation Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: Details matter....big picture?
blakesteele
♂ Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 9:50 PM, August 27th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Okay, so here is my recent thought...been thinking this for about a month now (about my gestation period for me to actually believe I might have pieced together enough of others wisdom to grasp it well enough to believe it!) and want to throw it out here for others to chime in on....started this on a thread to Cantaccept...didn't want to highjack her thread....but her and I are on similar paths at similar spots....so it will come as no surprise to her where this thought was born from.

It is helping me to move away from the small, specific details of my wifes affair (how many times did he fondle you, kiss you, tell you he loved you, orgasmed, etc.) and view as big a picture as I can. For the better part of this year I dug for details...and got a lot of them. In some ways this was necessary so that I could step back and see the big picture (something our MC has been preaching for 4 months now)....and specific emails both during my wifes affair and during her fog helped make that picture possible, as did many uncomfortable question and answer sessions. To be sure it was painful....but, for me, it was necessary.


Each month since DD (11 months ago) I see the affair in a clearer light. It is not THE issue within our marriage...it really is a symptom of our marriage. The real details that ended with adultery being invited into our marriage came from within my fWW....in my case this was programmed into my wife during the formative years.

The details I speak of are the many ways in which my wife avoided conflict, avoided her feelings, hid and kept secret small details of her life, kept intimacy at a safe distance from where it could damage her... She kept this from me...but most importantly from herself. I really think my wife was so detached from parts of herself that she didn't recognize parts of herself...had a strong desire to profess she had no needs, that only weak people have needs, she could handle things on her own...wished I could do the same! Yep, part of our past.

This is why I believe the affair my wife chose to have would have happened regardless of who she is married to.

Yes, a partner has influence on the other (and parts of me and my brokenness added to a less then healthy marriage)....but it is the seemingly small details throughout the marriage that led my wife to adultery...and those details were many times just known to my wife...I was not privy to them. Sometimes she wasn't facing what was inside her either. Not out of meanness or spite...just did not know how to recognize this for the danger that it was. This is why I really believe my wife did not do THIS to me....I was not a player in how she coped with life....I was collateral damage affected by a bomb that was made within my wife before I even met her. Just like my poor coping mechanisms that led to a fear of abandonment was NOT a factor of who my wife was....it, too, was programmed into me pre-meeting her. It has played out with my wife just like it would have with Amy, Laura, Lisa, or anyone else. I was just as ignorant as she was with regards to my specific coping mechanisms and FOO issues.

We know better....so we should do better...right?

Now....what do we do with this new found wisdom?

Don't have a good answer other then we do the best we can....we start by looking at OUR details....see what we weren't facing, how we coped with life....and start there.

It sucks....but maybe if BS's can get enough details to really see the WSs affair in the big picture light it will make the details seem not so dreadful and you can process through that phase? And if WS can fully acknowledge that their BS had no control over their decision to commit adultery...maybe they can begin to open up to the BS and ask for help as they attempt to change what is sometimes decades worth of habits.

I went for a walk in the park tonight...cried in the middle of the ball field....so I still feel a great deal of pain even with this big picture idea....the details are still very much a part of our marriage now.

I do pray for my wife that she will have the courage to open her heart, to really face herself, to accept that not so good parts of her exist. I pray the same prayer for myself. In this regard I believe BS and WS alike are broken. The common brokenness I speak of is.....selfishness.

I have had strong selfish tendencies this past year. This is different then self preservation....one should protect oneself. What I am confessing is my desire to feed my ego, hurt my wife for hurting me, run away from a threat that is no longer there....

God be with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 10:01 PM, August 27th (Tuesday)]


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3686 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
ItsaClimb
♀ Member
Member # 37107
Default  Posted: 1:17 AM, August 28th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Wow Blake, a very thought-provoking post. Many part of this jumped out at me. I am going to stew on it a while before responding.


BS 46
Together 29 yrs, M 25 years
2 daughters 24yo(married with a brand new little daughter) & 19yo
D-Day 18 Aug 2012
6mth EA lead to 4mth PA with CO-W. I found out 8 1/2 yrs later

Posts: 967 | Registered: Oct 2012
TxsT
♀ Member
Member # 39996
Default  Posted: 1:46 AM, August 28th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I am sorry Blake....I can't find the words tonight to respond....long hard day here...even longer night.


Me: BS 50
Hubby: WH 53
Together: 32 years
Married: 25 years 09/10/2013
2 boys: 23&21
Dday: 09/11/2012
A length: 4+ years (yes years)
status: Ongoing Reconciliation :o)

Through thick and thin we will survive but he gets only one shot at it!


Posts: 605 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: CDN
blakesteele
♂ Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 2:54 AM, August 28th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

(((TxsT))) sorry to hear this....down turns are tough. I pray you found some peace....hang in there.

Itsaclimb...thanks!

God be with us all.


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3686 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
UKlady
♀ Member
Member # 39058
Default  Posted: 3:35 AM, August 28th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

blakesteele yes this is it for me totally.

Sometimes after reading posts on SI I think that I should have more worries/concerns than I do - and believe me I've had plenty as we all have BUT accepting these crucial things for me has helped.

The real details that ended with adultery being invited into our marriage came from within my fWW....in my case this was programmed into my wife during the formative years.

Although this ^^^ is not true for everyone it is definitely true for my H. After DDay when my H was groping in the dark to try to find reasons for his behaviour all sorts of things were bandied around - the fact that we didn't talk about sex any more, the fact that he had too much time on his hands....., the fact we'd been trying for a baby but weren't communicating, the birth of my niece..... However, after him starting IC with a particularly good C (not the first he tried) he finally realised that it was nothing to do with me and all to do with him and severely crippling FOO issues resulting in very similar behaviours to your wife. The compartmentalisation you also describe fits the bill too.

So for me, coupled with some excellent MC, his realisation of how his inability to deal with conflict has emotionally stunted his growth plus other non dealing of FOO issues, I am in a better situation than others knowing that his A would have happened regardless of who he was with.

Does this help? Yes, long term I think so. Short term, not always. There's still that thought, those images so difficult to bear that he 'did it', shared that most intimate of experiences with another person BUT it wasn't about me, he didn't do it 'to me' and he is learning now to deal with the damaging behaviours and how to ensure he will be safe in the future.

I do still have very bad days where I feel so 'un special' and still mourn our previous pre-A life but I take strength from reading this kind of post which speaks volumes. Again I feel humbled by the help and support I have found here in SI.


Me: BW 45
Him: WH 48
Married: 6 years, together 9 years
D-day: 3 January 2013 - he confessed.
A: June-Dec 2012
No children.

Posts: 153 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: UK
cantaccept
♀ Member
Member # 37451
Default  Posted: 5:32 AM, August 28th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

It is a bit uncanny or maybe not how we seem to struggle with the same issues. There are so many similarities to this experience though, that I guess it is bound to happen.

I was struggling so hard with seeing "the big picture" yesterday, letting go of the details. Trying so hard to convince myself, in my heart, not just my head, that it had nothing to do with me. It had to do with his internal coping mechanisms.

Then last night, I found out about the porn. He had promised back in February, no more. I trusted, blindly.

It was a couple of months ago, but I just found out last night. It sent me back down so deep. Deeper because of his attitude, defensive, condescending.

He thought that I should be thankful that it has been 2 months. It was shocking to me because I didn't know before, I trusted. It felt like my trust had been broken, like he didn't care that it would hurt me.

Now something new to focus on today.

I hope you can find some peace with seeing it as the "big picture". I kept thinking yesterday that is the path, make it less personal.

This is all so very hard, hard to distance it from yourself when it causes such deep pain.

Yes, he would have done this regardless of who he was with, or they would have left him. It is not about me either. But still, I search for my defects, what did I do wrong, what could I have changed? Not good, not true, but the subconscious is a hard thing to overcome.

I have been praying. Looking for that higher power.

Strength and peace to us all.


Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.

I would now like to be known as Can!

dday October 21,2012
dday December 20, 2013
wh boots5050
attempted R, it was all a lie

Divorced 8/5/14


Posts: 1345 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Connecticut
eachdayisvictory
♀ Member
Member # 40462
Default  Posted: 6:19 AM, August 28th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Wow, I can't believe how much of everyone's story I can relate to. I love the discussion here about the 'big picture', I feel like a failure every time I get caught up in the details or the sadness, or when I keep the other woman in our lives by bringing her up. I don't know, I think that all betrayed partners who are working on this survival have to be the most amazing, insightful, strong and loving people on this earth. I never imagined that I would experience a test of character like this in my lifetime, but for the majority of the time now - I feel proud of myself. I can even appreciate the struggle my husband faces as he does not get to feel proud of himself very often now. It's amazing though, when I see how low we both are during a terrible question-answer session or some discussion, I will tell him that I am so hurt, but also proud of him for this work. I feel so much better when I can snap out of pain and do something good. I think a lot of the fear that resides is about the uncertainty of the future, so I'm working on accepting that we are both trying right now. I am trying not to need to know that we will be ok, that this will work, but it's so hard.
___________________________
me: 33
him: 34
married 9 years, together 15
affair: 2 years 3 months
discovered: feb 11, 2013
kids: 2 boys, age 2 and 4

[This message edited by eachdayisvictory at 6:21 AM, August 28th (Wednesday)]


me, BW: 34
FWH: 35
Dday: Feb 2013
LTA for 2+years
children: 2 boys age 3 and 6
Reconciling

Posts: 379 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: nova Scotia, Canada
SecondHelping
♂ Member
Member # 36796
Default  Posted: 6:25 AM, August 28th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Wow, very insightful and somewhat along the lines of how I should feel. I want to get there, but still can't.

I went for a walk in the park tonight...cried in the middle of the ball field....so I still feel a great deal of pain even with this big picture idea....the details are still very much a part of our marriage now.

I still do this every day. Today is going to be aa very particulare bad day for me (Because of the details that I know). fWW is doing her best to help me and answer all my questions.

We don't deserve this, no matter what problems we brought to the M.


D-Day 1: Feb 1990 (2 yrs into M, kissing and a hickey)
D-Day 2: 3 Sep 2012 (3 month EA/3 week PA)
BS 49- Me, fWW 43- Her (Amibroken)
OP- Deputy Chief of Police from the town next to us! (Age 37)
Married 25 Years, Together 28
3 Kids (17, 14, 11)

Posts: 487 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Delmarva
ItsaClimb
♀ Member
Member # 37107
Default  Posted: 6:46 AM, August 28th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks so much for posting that blake. I have been mulling over it on and off all morning. I think I had more-or-less gotten to the place of being able to see the big picture, but I hadn't given voice to that, or acknowledged it.

The way I see it, we start off by figuring out WHAT we are dealing with – gathering information, questioning the WS, mind movies, investigating the AP, figuring out the circumstances that allowed this to happen, analysing where our marriages were at that point, where the WS’s head was…. Stuff like that. And of course, processing the pain that all of this arouses in us, dealing with grief, anger etc.

THEN, when we are far enough along in the process and have reached a level of maturity in our recovery…then we are ready to see WHERE this fits in our life-story, how it fits into WS’s life-story, where it fits in our marriage. We are ready to see the big picture. We are ready to make some sort of sense of it all. (Not that A's ever make sense, but YKWIM?)

For me personally, I don’t think I was ready to see the big picture until now, round-about my 1 year antiversary.

For a long time I was stuck in the ohmygosh he did WHAT? Who with? Where? When? WHY? Were her boobs bigger than mine? Down the rabbit-hole kind of thinking! But it was part of the process… and I still visit that mind-space quite frequently… But NOW I am starting to see the big picture. It’s still not a pretty picture, but it is a little more manageable and a lot more mature and rational.

Next step I would guess is “Where do we go to from here?” This is what I am dealing with, this is how it fits into our marriage, and our lives, so how do we now go about making it work?

Thanks again for this thought-provoking post.


BS 46
Together 29 yrs, M 25 years
2 daughters 24yo(married with a brand new little daughter) & 19yo
D-Day 18 Aug 2012
6mth EA lead to 4mth PA with CO-W. I found out 8 1/2 yrs later

Posts: 967 | Registered: Oct 2012
catlover50
♀ Member
Member # 37154
Default  Posted: 8:01 AM, August 28th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Well thought out blakesteele.

And also true in our case, IMO. I actually realized fairly early on that it wasn't about me, or even about the OW, but about my WH. The process of his trying to figure out who he is and what he can give and deal with the damage done to him is a long one.

And I still deal with the pain in spite of the fact that I don't feel it was done TO me in his mind. That I didn't even factor into the equation. Yikes! Perhaps that's most painful of all!

I'm getting better at focusing on the big picture and improving our communication every day. He is trying really hard but still has his own triggers. Just this am I asked him a question as gently as possible and he felt attacked and became defensive. Instead of going for a run we spent an hour until he could come around to realize that just because he FELT attacked did not mean he was BEING attacked. That's quite a concept actually. Just like for years he felt that I was trying to control him. Our various counselors have been trying to help him back away from his lifelong knee-jerk reactions to things, to stop and reconsider, ask a question, etc. Tough to change a lifetime of this. But that is what we are trying to work on these days.

Good luck to all of us!



Dday -9/24/2012
Reconciling

Posts: 1731 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: northeast
TxsT
♀ Member
Member # 39996
Default  Posted: 9:23 AM, August 28th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Blake....the hug was very appreciated! It was a long, hard, hellish night. Thankfully it has not carried over to this morning and my husband actually read my post from last night.

I hate peppering him with those nasty WHY questions. I hate not having control over this.

T


Me: BS 50
Hubby: WH 53
Together: 32 years
Married: 25 years 09/10/2013
2 boys: 23&21
Dday: 09/11/2012
A length: 4+ years (yes years)
status: Ongoing Reconciliation :o)

Through thick and thin we will survive but he gets only one shot at it!


Posts: 605 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: CDN
blakesteele
♂ Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 11:32 AM, August 28th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

This is all so very hard, hard to distance it from yourself when it causes such deep pain.

Thanks cantaccept...counselor has pushed me to do just this. I have said many times to my wife how much easier working on our marriage would have been if we had been given the opportunity to do this BEFORE adultery. Kicker was, we did enter MC before I knew anything about her affair...in my mind I was not too proud to reach out...dont feel I needed the kick in the stomach that was her affair to dedicate resources to our marriage. sigh.

After DDay when my H was groping in the dark to try to find reasons for his behaviour all sorts of things were bandied around - the fact that we didn't talk about sex any more, the fact that he had too much time on his hands....., the fact we'd been trying for a baby but weren't communicating, the birth of my niece..... However, after him starting IC with a particularly good C (not the first he tried) he finally realised that it was nothing to do with me and all to do with him and severely crippling FOO issues resulting in very similar behaviours to your wife. The compartmentalisation you also describe fits the bill too.

UKlady....this is so the process we have gone through...though my wife is not ready to fully accept that FOO is totally to blame. She says by doing so it seems like she is blaming her parents....so we are still not "there"...but appreciated your wisdom. We are searching for a new MC...wife will stay with existing IC, which was also our MC. Perhaps this will help us like finding the right one helped your husband. I am glad to hear he is improving!

And also true in our case, IMO. I actually realized fairly early on that it wasn't about me, or even about the OW, but about my WH. The process of his trying to figure out who he is and what he can give and deal with the damage done to him is a long one.

Catlover50...I have known for a while you figured the above out early on...and it served you so well....which is one of the reasons I follow your posts. I am trying to gain wisdom from you rather then the painful first hand way I have done it in the past. I am in the process of seeing what my wife can and cant do with herself and our marriage. It is not an ultimatum type of situation...more of one to see if she has the fortitude to really change how she copes. I have asked her before...."Do you have the fortitude for this?". Meaning, do you have the ability to override your FOO issues to move yourself away from the parts of you that made adultery an option for dealing with life?

A tough question I know...but aint none of this easy.

I still think back to when we were dating and she told me more then once. "I know I want kids, I just don't think I need a husband". That statement has so much different meaning to me now. What she was telling me was "I want to be a mom, but have seen how my mom and dad hurt each other and I dont want any part of that.".

We both have intimacy issues....I ask myself this same fortitude question frequently. So far my answer has been.....yes.

But there have been very shaky moments. And this is normal...I see my regular SI members doing the same thing.

Eachdayisavictory...I see you have also noted the above observation.

This is truly not for the faint of heart. It is, however, made easier when you see just how unique your situation is NOT. If it were unique we would not say things like "I could have written that post!" and we we would not read books that have case studies that you could put my name in for the husband and my wifes name in for the wife....and that would be OUR story. This fact comforts me.

There is power in numbers....am very grateful for the number who I interact with on SI.

Thank you.

God is with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 11:37 AM, August 28th (Wednesday)]


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3686 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
cantaccept
♀ Member
Member # 37451
Default  Posted: 11:47 AM, August 28th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I say this to h all the time. If you had been this nice to me before the a, I would have been thrilled, it would have been more than enough for me.

Now I feel the bar has been raised. I have been examining our entire marriage and have seen the truth of it. I want an honest, equitable marriage. I want more now than I ever knew was possible.

We tried MC also, twice, the last time 2 years ago, the therapist refused to see him any longer. Told me to get out of the marriage. I stopped going, thought I had 2 choices, accept him as he was or leave. I chose to stay, to hope for change, to appreciate the good and excuse the abuse.

Now I look back and wonder,"what was I thinking?", "how could I treat myself so badly?".

Today as I have been reflecting on the porn. After he left he threw sex in my face, or our lack of it. It wasn't my choice. It was his, he chose porn over me. He never initiated with me. How could I initiate when I couldn't even speak without being attacked.

I am feeling really angry right now. Set an appt. with IC for 4 today. Thought it was better to vent to him and try to gain some clarity before I see h tonight.


Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.

I would now like to be known as Can!

dday October 21,2012
dday December 20, 2013
wh boots5050
attempted R, it was all a lie

Divorced 8/5/14


Posts: 1345 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Connecticut
Rebreather
♀ Member
Member # 30817
Default  Posted: 12:04 PM, August 28th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hmmm, it is interesting for me to read this right after Joeboo's "taking it personal" post. I think they are a little related.

Once you can look at the affair from the 10,000 foot level, things can feel less personal. Your effort turns toward a different kind of healing. Instead of that immediate triage of stopping the bleeding and binding the wounds, it becomes more recovery care. Then later, when you can see it at the 30,000 foot level, it becomes more long term care. I guess if we are in Recon, we hope not to get to the assisted living level. LOL


Me BS
Him WH
2 ddays in '07
Recovering.
"The cure for the pain, is the pain." -Rumi

Posts: 6449 | Registered: Jan 2011
Topic Posts: 14

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