[This message edited by Daisy1967 at 11:50 AM, January 6th (Monday)]
Thanks for the support DixieD
@Daisy1967, I think in my case, my BS is trying to communicate her despair and disappointment,
which is a product of my actions (infidelity/lying). I choose to continue and try to help her heal because I am responsible for my actions and I do care about my hurt BS. You might
do something different completely different. To each their own.
I went to work today and explained my situation to the guys at work. They were pretty supportive.
They told me "Take care of your family, a couple of months shouldn't be a problem."
That takes a big load off my mind. Now comes the real challenge.
Multiple EAs from the beginning, 1 EA after marriage
For both myself and my BS. As I start tuning into my problems with my ABCs (with the help of my IC) I'm can also help my BS with her ABC issues as well. Maybe, just maybe we can help each other heal.
It's been so busy and crazy today. Short post but I think its important to note this.
I can understand and did my fair share of anger, frustration, defensiveness and rationalization. No matter what people said on SI at the time, I was still angry but the key thing I did not see was that I was making it worse and hurting my
BS more and more each day. In my case it was the resentment I felt and buried inside my heart along with the triggering that was going inside me. My BS keeps asking, "What do you have to gain?" with respect to rationalizing and being defensive,
"You just made it worse all those years."
I was in that same place and it wasn't until my MC/IC started helping me dig into it did I begin to let go of My Story or what I call My Shit. He first confronted me firmly and told me that "Yes I have committed a very serious injury to my wife by i) being unfaithful first and ii) then lying about it after and then iii) by not fixing things with her."
He also saw understood my frustration and identified our cycle, although he wasn't the first MC to see it, he was the first to be committed enough to try to unravel it for us to see. In IC see revealed to me that I was triggering as well,
that I had a very important part to play in adding fuel to the fire. I thought that it was not my fault how bad my wife was triggering each time, that it was just her bad reaction. She was just misunderstanding me, that she doesn't get what
I'm trying to say and that it was her problem. I didn't see that I was invalidating her pain and suffering and that was what was making it worse. I yes, I too drove my wife nuts with my behavior.
On my side, I was triggering because I was being told that I am Nothing but a cheater. That I am horrible. Humans do not cheat so I do not deserve any human kindness. I am subhuman. I am doing nothing, all my work, effort, care, good will,
the low cost behaviors were nothing. That I am nothing. And that this message was reiterated in some part on SI as I posted by many members.
As I read the Non-Violent Communication book today, I realized that my IC is using a very non-violent form of communication in helping me understand what I did. He is communicating the same information but he has removed the judgement that triggers my inner child. My inner child has been told all life that I am not good enough, that I am nothing, and not human enough to be worthy of love. When I/my inner child hears all that moral judgement, basic wrongness or Violent Communication, I was defensive to protect myself,
it was instinctual and I was caught in my loop that I could not escape. So I defended, rationalized, felt misunderstood, got
frustrated and angry, thus hurting my BS more.
It was only until New Years did I start to drop My Story because I identified finally that it was not helpful. I am so sorry that it took me so long to figure it out and face it.
Just like the perfect storm, all the pieces kind of fell into place around New Year's Eve or you can see it as it all fell apart. All the stress, all the problems, all the therapy (MC/IC) and all the help on SI. I'm seeing things now for what they are. I am finding out who I am and what I've done, I'm healing my inner child, not ignoring him and I'm learning Non-Violence. The journey continues.
Thank you ALL for your posts.
"Be the change you wish to see in the world", M.K.Ghandi
[This message edited by wario at 1:13 AM, January 17th (Friday)]
Exercised my boundaries today by putting in time to read my book on non-violent communication on my morning drive. By saying yes to reading the book, it meant saying No to talking with my Nephew on my drive. My teenage nephew is very close to me and I spent my drives both to and from work talking to him recently. This was also to help support my sister-in-law who is a single mom. Its hard to say no to them, but I realized I do need the time to read because it really does help. However, on my drive home now when I talk to my nephew, I feel I am listening more and can respond to him better.
I find in general I am listening more to those around me and saying less. Trying to observe and try not to pass judgement as the book tries to teach is difficult for me. I observed that almost everything I say seems pretty judgmental. So for now I am trying to say less, and think less judgmentally before I speak. It is amazing how powerful words can be. They can harm so much if we choose to use harmful/violent language. I guess this book is trying to teach us to be at least be non violent or not harmful with our words so as to add less violence in the world. I think eventually I will need to learn to use my words in a more kind and loving way, I think that's where the empathy and compassion come in. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
For now another day, another lesson.
If anyone is still reading, my question is, "How have you or your WS cleaned up a trigger event/date, such as this?" "What are your experiences?" "What has helped?" "As a BS does the trigger lessen and go away as you heal or do
you just don't go there anymore?"
We are trying to explore this in MC and I think it was the first time I really got to see with my eyes and feel how much I had hurt my BS. I hurt her so much and she's still hurting now as she talks about it and that's 20 years ago. I honestly don't know I can make this better, I can't undo this. What am I going to do? What is she going to do?
So many questions. So many feelings. But I'm still going to try to figure this out.
This was all part of what we now call his psychotic break period. He says he doesn't remember that quetsion re what would you do at all. He really was in some kind of strange altered state and it led up to his confession a few days later. (Anniversary is the 27th, DD was the 1st.)
In any case, you can see that the anniversary is a tough period for me. Moreover, it was our 25th, and we had always talked about doing a big party for our 25th. Clearly that wasn't on the table. So what did we do? Essentially, something totally different -- complete break with the past. WH booked a hotel, hired a sitter, and we went "away" -- actually, just downtown, but given that we have kids, we don't often have opportunities to just wander around the city. Booked into the hotel, drank champagne, had sex, laid about. Got dressed, went out, put our name down at yet another restaurant I'd been keen to try and then walked around, enjoying the city while waiting for our table. And we had a great meal, went back to hotel, had more sex... yadda yadda yadda...
Now, all of that is very individual. This is the kind of thing *I* enjoy. You know your wife (or ought to) and you know what kind of thing she's always wanted to do on VD. Make it happen. Something different and special. Rose petals on the bed -- whatever. Go all out. What have you got to lose? But I think the key thing here is 1) attention to what SHE wants and 2) doing something totally different.
Thanks, I'm going to move this to a new thread for better visibility, thanks for still reading.
I came home from an IC session where I had tried to unpack my infidelities back in 1995. I shared with my therapist who is my MC as well how I had been trying to recall my emotional state back when I was in my early 20s over this weekend. It was incredible how naive, oblvious and resentful
I was. My life was a mess back then as well, it just sort of continued that way as I finished school. So much compartmentalization, so unaware of who I was and the damage I was causing around me, so much denial of myself and a complete lack of boundaries and self-respect. I realized I had no business being in a relationship back then, hell I didn't even like myself, how could I expect someone else to like me or for me to even care about another other than on a very superficial level. Just clueless. I've pretty much
tried to pack that young Wario away, deny the existence of him along with all the pain I caused my BS.
Fast-forward to tonight, I'm talking to me BS about running away from all this cold weather to the Caribbean for Valentine's day, of course we are going to have to bring our toddler. That is what she really enjoys, the warm weather, the beach, the sun, the drinks, the food, etc. Then it goes south as she tells me I'm using my daughter to fix my mistakes by making Valentine's into a family vacation. Its supposed to be about us, not about family. That you can't go back, that "You just don't do what you did". At that point I realized, she's triggered about talking about the cleaning up the trigger (Valentine's Day).
Time to be aware of what you are doing and saying. Use non-violent communication, non-judgemental observations and try to understand what she is trying to communicate to me. It is different now, because when I'm calm in the midst of the shitstorm, I can see the anger, the verbal jabs for what they are, its the pain that I caused, the consequences of my cheating and dishonesty. I wish I could just hold her and tell her everything is going to be okay (like I do for my daughter) but I can't do that yet, she's still just too angry. I can just say I'm sorry and not try to add to the suffering.
I'm not sure if we are going to make it even to day 1 of the 100 days. Very discouraged, its even more so when you are giving it your all and you still flop. Hope tomorrow is a better day.
Trying to be the change I want to see in my world.
I wish I could just hold her and tell her everything is going to be okay (like I do for my daughter) but I can't do that yet, she's still just too angry.
I think your doing quite well wario.
Keep at it.
"Do not say a little in many words but a great deal in a few." Pythagoras
There are two kinds of people in the world.
Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.
It's been a rough day, I guess there have been worse in the past. It's just that now that I am calmer, I can look at it a little more objectively and see more despair in the situation. I know I am changing my behavior and reaction to triggering but the outcome is the same. So frustrating.
Today, as I was trying to talk with my BS as calmly and non-violently as I could, I did not seem to help at all. She even told me I was being aggressive. I think I was pissing her off by saying, "Okay that's an opinion", or "That's a judgement", or "That's a conclusion" before telling her what I was hearing from her. I was hoping that in trying to listen and get what she was saying it would help, but it didn't. So frustrating, so I silently identified the parts of the communication that were helpful and not. There were a couple of times I just had to walk away for a few minutes. I hid in the closet and just tried to let the frustration pass and not let it become anger. I went to the bathroom and literally banged my head against the wall, just trying to knock the anger out of myself and calm down. I was getting caught in the anger, it was so hard to remain grounded. I was so stressed out, because I was supposed to be working from home, not spending my time in verbal conflict with an angry wife. But it is what it is, that is what I have earned with my infidelities and dishonesty. I tried my best to remain calm for the most part, try to be understanding, tried to listen. I don't
think I said anything hurtful, but it is a bad situation nonetheless.
Trying not to bite the hook. (reference to Pema Chodron's book on anger). Thanks again for reading and commenting.
[This message edited by wario at 3:06 AM, January 15th (Wednesday)]
Good job on continuing to post and grow.
No longer together
"To be loyal to myself is to allow myself to grow and change, and challenge who I am and what I think."
By the way things have since calmed down a little, the tension level at home has reduced. OK, I'm going to rewind to yesterday afternoon. I was feeling frustrated, misunderstood, stressed and fearful of the situation (I didn't like where it was going). I am also aware that my BS is feeling angry as well and expressing it very aggressively (she doesn't like the situation as well). The overall feeling is a building up of anger (for both of us), for me its probably associated with the failure of the situation. There is nothing wrong with being angry for both of us, I'm not angry at anybody, I am just feeling angry, its just a feeling, its about the situation but it will pass, sometimes its a short time, sometimes its a lot longer. What I needed to do was make sure I didn't do anything negative out of anger or to lash out. The other thing I find is that it is easy when I start getting angry to bring up my Story, that is the defensive bullshit, the victimizing of myself, this isn't helpful and it just builds up the anger very quickly to a level where it is unmanageable and it becomes inevitable that I lash out. That is why I am trying to be aware of my anger, acknowledge it and feel it for a moment (hopefully only a moment) and drop my Story. Go back and try to address my lack of understanding, communication or alleviate my stress and fear, that is to fix my situation and hence the situation for my BS as well. I think that is the approach that seems to be working for me. Taking the higher road would be to transform that anger through awareness and show empathy for the suffering we are both under. I guess I'm still struggling.
Unagie, sounds like you have an agreed upon structure for communication. That's good but we aren't there yet, at least not when Triggering is happening, I guess that is something to address in MC.
Once again, thanks for the comments.
I'm going to order than anger book you mentioned. What you were going through during that trigger was pretty similar to how I've felt more times than I would care to say even if I could count them up.
Hope you're having a good evening. Take care of yourself.
It has been a tough couple of days with this last trigger, seems to have returned to calm. I see that I am handling Triggers very differently now. I used to really feel fearful of them. I focused so much on not doing the "thing" that would mess up "my world", I guess I communicated a very defensive "vibe", one where I was ready to justify my actions. I followed orders and didn't make any decisions at home on my own for fear of causing a Trigger in my BS. This made for a very tense situation, it was stressful and gave my BS even more reason not to trust me. It must have felt very dismissive, dishonest and just plain unloving to her how I was conducting myself around her. Like she was a bomb ready to explode. Nobody want's to be treated like that, I no longer want to live like that, it stressed us both out and probably drove us both crazy at times.
Now I see Triggers for what they are. Negative reactions due to the history I have created for my BS. They are a product of my cheating/lying and the way I dealt with it afterward. However, they are also a product of the world around us, from what I see, I can't control them, I can't keep them from arising. I have to deal with them as they come and not deny that they are happening so that I can keep my world clean and trouble-free. As a conflict-avoider, that is exactly what I did for the past 6 years. Now with some awareness, some empathy developing and some better communication skills, I'm learning to "ride" the Trigger and help to ease our suffering as it rolls through our lives. I still suffer a lot through them but now my BS is not alone in her suffering through the Triggers. Its the shit from my cheating and dishonesty, I am going to try to clean it up now rather than run away and call it roses.
Not doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome. (the inverse of Einstein's qoute)
I lied to my wife for years to protect myself, my idea of the relationship, basically my world. I did it because that was what I knew and I ignored the thought of the consequences and the harm it did to my BS and my soul. As my wife questioned me throughout our relationship the burden of lying just got snowballed, with time I could not bear this burden and eventually told her the truth slowly TT-style. Now we have to deal with the truth, the betrayal and how to live knowing you can't go back.
Lying is not easier than telling the truth. Its easier to tell the truth because you don't have to fabricate or hide anything. Its a protection mechanism that doesn't work when you are in a relationship with someone. Ironically, I don't lie now, because its easier, because I don't want to harm those around me. I realize now that the safest thing for me is to have people around me that I trust and who trust me.
Anyhow that is my two cents,
I am TOO OLD to keep up on all of the stories, KWIM? Hell, I have a problem figuring out where I left my car keys most of the time! So telling the truth, to all people at all times, is just plain selfishly, the simplest.
With a few "I don't want/feel comfortable discussing that's" thrown in.
D-Day, June 10, 2012