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User Topic: Separating "then" vs "now"
♂ Member
Member # 31240
Default  Posted: 12:04 PM, January 30th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I understand this phenomenon by thinking the actions were in the past, but my feelings are in the present.

Also, I think I experienced so much pain from the A that my pain-processing circuitry got way over-loaded, so that it takes a whole lot of time to process all the pain - way longer than I thought should have been necessary, but how could I know that at the beginning? IMO, the pain overload is the norm; it's very common, in any case.

No matter what, though, recovery requires distinguishing between 'then' and 'now', but you have to take into account the thoughts and feelings that keep coming from past actions.

My experience parallels other who get deep into R - as I process my pain, the actions that caused the pain recede into the past, and I live more and more in the present.

[This message edited by sisoon at 12:13 PM, January 30th (Thursday)]

fBH (me) - 70 (22 in my head), fWW (plainsong) - 65+, Married 45+, together since 1965
DDay - 12/2010
Recovered, not yet fully R'ed
I share my own experience because it's the only experience I know, not because I'm a good model.

Posts: 10383 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: Chicago area
♀ Member
Member # 39667
Default  Posted: 12:05 PM, January 30th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Bionic - have you read "Not Just Friends" by Shirley Glass? There is a lot of insight in there as to what goes on in the minds of everyone involved in an affair (BS, WS and AP). It's pretty interesting and honest. I'm in no way making an excuse for what your WS said was the reason but all WS have to have some sort of explanation for themselves about what they are doing. Otherwise, they would never be able to carry it out. The book said that as the affair heats up, the boundaries of the WS begin to diminish and blur. Then the self justification comes into play. Essentially, they have to allow this to happen in order to be able to have the affair. One line is crossed and it makes it easier to cross another line. And so on. And then it's too late to turn back. It was fascinating to read and I really think it's accurate and it was helpful to understand the mindset of people involved. The description of the mindset of the AP, particularly the OW, was interesting.

The author's career was spent researching infidelity and counseling couples affected by infidelity, so I have to believe that this is an accurate description of what happens in the play books of most affairs.

I would really hesitate to find out the gory details. Once you know them you can't un-know them. Is it really going to help you heal? I can't see how knowing the descriptions of everything they did together in bed can help you. For me, the worst part of this situation has been the lies and betrayal.

BS - mid-40's
SAWH - mid 40's
Kids - 2 elementary school aged
Getting tons of therapy and trying to "work it out"

Posts: 910 | Registered: Jun 2013
♀ Member
Member # 42185
Default  Posted: 12:46 PM, January 30th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Wow, this one grabbed my attention. I am experiencing this as well. I can be calm, present, and fully "in the moment" and then one thought, just a little one, bubbles up and I am transported back to the "then" and all the pain and fear and memories/stories that "then" brings.

Digging for more information is a concern for me too. My D-day was not that long ago (2 months ago) and I think I am still coming out of the shock of it all. As the shock wears off little by little and I realize that this is reality, I start to have more questions--timeline, things that were said, etc. H and I had a session at MC last week where I asked him a list of questions about how the A started and I learned some details that brought me back to square 1. My H doesn't really understand my need to know these things. He says he thinks I'm looking for proof of the ways he hurt me. Maybe I am. But I think I'm just trying to make sense of it all. One of the hard parts (oh that list is long!) is that these details prevent me from being in the "now." But I honestly feel that if I don't ask then I will keep spinning my wheels. Damn catch 22.

Morhurt: don't be mortified with yourself. I've found myself turned on by my H and our situation at the most inappropriate times and conversations since d-day. I am trying not to judge myself for these feelings. Sounds like your H was there for you in that moment. I'm glad for you.

Bionicgal: thanks for bringing up this topic. Helps to hear other perspectives.

Karmahappens (and everyone else): thanks for the hopeful words. This forum is really helping me. I don't think I've ever posted so much as an online review before, let alone my deepest fears and pain. Grateful for the chance to learn from others and vent a bit.

BW: me (38)
WH: 43
OW: false "friend"
D-Day: 11/29/13 (4 month EA discovered); 12/19/13 (discovered was also PA); TT thru 2/14
Married: 2001; Together for nearly 20 years
2 beautiful young kids

Posts: 554 | Registered: Jan 2014
♀ Member
Member # 41825
Default  Posted: 8:16 PM, January 30th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

bionicgal, I appreciate you putting words to an issue I've had a tough time articulating. If I've said, "but at the time . . . " once I've said it a million. I do not understand why the present does not squash all that once was.

Although I found out about the A 2 years ago, the A ended in spring of '06! I mean, come on, that was a long time ago! But as we all know, time doesn't matter. Hearing that sometimes their time together was passionate or that he thought he loved her, well, that can reduce me to an unrecognizable sobbing mess. Even though the reality of Now is that he is not the same guy, he does not think or feel any of the things he did then, and even he is bewildered by the whole nightmare.

It's almost like having a bruise and you keep poking at it to see if it still hurts.

But somehow, since just before we entered the 3rd year of R, I find that my desire to poke is lessening. In fact, I'm getting to the point when I think about "at the time . . ." and I do not get that emotional rush that makes me feel like I'm going to surely die. It's like I'm developing this calm attitude that says "it happened - it is what it is - and it's over and in the past." Maybe I'm finally making peace with the betrayal and all its insidious details.

Never did I ever think I could get to this point, but I think it's happening. Then again, I may just be exhausted. But I'll take this over those awful feelings any day.

I pray that you can get to this point, too. It certainly seems like you are doing all the right things to get there. (((bionicgal)))

Me: BW (47), WH (48)
Married 24 yrs, 2 teenagers
DD#1 01.20.12 When diagnosed w/STD
Told it was 15 mo. PA that ended 6 years ago
DD#2 04.06.14 Truth: PA was 2yrs/8mo
Separated for 6 weeks
Reconciling and healing now

Posts: 201 | Registered: Dec 2013 | From: southeast USA
♀ New Member
Member # 42273
Default  Posted: 10:41 PM, January 30th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I just want to say thank you to bionicgal for sharing and to everyone who commented on this post. I needed to be reminded tonight that this is a process and sometimes I'm going to feel like I got this handled and other times, I won't. Doesn't mean I can't do this, doesn't mean reconciliation isn't the right just means, I am having a hard time now and I need to address that the best I know how. Thanks again.

Posts: 9 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: GradSchoolGirl
♀ Member
Member # 40032
Default  Posted: 12:46 AM, January 31st (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I found in the end it was beneficial to know the gory details as hard as it was to hear and process. But everyone differs on this.

As my fWH answered questions and gave details it helped him to really see how stupid it all was for one thing. I think the telling has helped him as well as me. A lot of my questions centered around what he was feeling and that made him do a lot of introspection to get to the answers.

It was also important to me that there should be no more secrets. And I know everything he does about OW.

We at a year after dday now and things are improving.

[This message edited by whattheh at 12:49 AM, January 31st (Friday)]

BW- mid 50's (me)
fWH-late 50's
M 33 T 35
DD-Early 2013 PA 2010
In R but I have PTSD...

Posts: 569 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: USA
Topic Posts: 26
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