I'm not saying everyone needs to be nice but there is something to be said about posts that to me cross the line. We know we fucked up or we wouldn't be here as waywards. I don't need to post each time about what a fuck up I am.
Do you really know this, or are you trying to bargain yourself into a lesser state of ownership?
All the great choices you have made in your life, are yours to own fully. Even if you multiplied your good deed to the power of 10, they still could not eclipse the A. Nor can the A, take away the good choices and good deeds you have done.
As a wayward they already say that yes we fucked up, are fucked up and we are also the parent picking up your kids from camp and making dinner for them, helping you through a tough time with your spouse or family, teaching your kids, cleaning your teeth, your office assistant etc.
Who is they? Who is this "they" that says these things?
You may think I am asking some kind of off base non-relevant question, however there is a legitimate purpose behind that question.
You don't need to answer it. Just mull over the concept of, who this "they" is and why you feel they are defining you a certain way.
Worrying about how you appear to others, how they perceive and define you is something you have zero control over. You don't get to decide how others define you. You can argue forever with this nebulous group of they, and it will be a complete waste. You only get to decide how YOU define you. In order to do that you will need to strip away some of the defenses you have built.
Get humble with yourself. Part of the reason the AP still seems like an OK fellow, is because of your concern about being labeled/defined, and the resistance against lowering yourself to that unthinkable place. That unthinkable place, holds the key to your transformation.
Pride is getting in the way of remorse and humility, and keeping you in the fog.
Pride won't allow you to lower yourself. Pride builds a false sense of self, that is easily damaged, offended and in a constant state of defense.
Humility will allow to lower yourself, while still preserving your self respect. Humility builds self love. Get humble so you can clear the fog and get back to work building that honest, strong sense of self.
You may not have consciously chosen the words "deep down and still" but they reveal a great deal about how you see yourself.
Deep down I am still a good person
Before you can claim her, you are going to have to do the work.
Dig deep down, past the pride, past the defensiveness, through the bad..(.all the stuff Walkinoneggshelz refers to), so that you can build that good person up and define her for yourself.
Confused...there's SI members all around you who are like lighthouses - shining their beacons into your fog. Trust them. They are a safe haven, built on solid ground, and have seen and weathered thousands of storms.
Row, row, row your boat...
Start making lists. Words on paper can be very powerful.
What are the 3 top reasons why you are not with AP right now?
What were the top 3 things that made you marry your husband?
In an ideal world, how would you spend your days?
How does your H contribute to the quality of your life?
Who are the top 3 people in your life whose company you enjoy? When was the last time you saw them or had a night out with them?
confused43 - I just wish I could get rid of the wishy washy me and start to focus, although focus has always been a problem for me unless I really really want something.....that's what worries me.....I'm not there yet really really wanting my marriage to work. I do "want" it, just need to feel it more inside of me.
Hello Confused43 Ö It seems to me that you are really hanging tight onto your user name. You were obviously in a state of confusion when you joined and to a great degree, months later, its obvious that youíre still feeling confused.
Confused about your feelings. Confused about what steps to take. Confused about who you are and where you are going. Being there is understandable, its called the WS fog but sooner, rather than later, you need to walk out of the fog and into clarity.
In the quote above, you state, I just wish I could Ö I want you to pay attention to that phrase. I wish. Itís a juvenile approach to dealing with lifeís problems. Wish for a magic wand that solves everything without having to break a sweat, without having to do any soul searching, without having to any hard lifting in the marriage. Donít get me wrong. I understand the gut wrenching desire to wish for the magic wand and reverse time to the pre-A era. You see that being wished time after time here on the ws forum. But wishing and hoping and scheming and dreaming is not going to fix your mess.
You know you have a problem focusing. You recognize that at a certain level you are passive and wishy washy. Well, as AA says, acknowledging our problem is the first step and it seems that you have done that. Now, all you need to do is continue with the other 11 steps in the recovery process.
Canít focus? Well, start off with a white board in the kitchen, den, on the computer that puts the message, There is no want, there is only DOĒ in front of your face every day. Make a TO DO list that pushes you forward. Sit with pen and paper and write things down. Make a schedule. Pick one task and get it done before you move to another. Healing is not going to happen by wishing for focus. Healing will happen when you decide that you need to either shit or get off the pot. Go and visit http://www.creatingfocus.org
confused43 - I'm not there yet really really wanting my marriage to work. I do "want" it, just need to feel it more inside of me.
Can you see the disconnect between this statement and a previous one that saysĒ Now I want that (passion) even though my affair is over but not sure I can feel that with my husband. How do you feel the excitement when it's not there?Ē
Well, you get what you put forth. How can he be passionate when you had an affair? And yes, you may argue that you had the affair because you were lacking passion but youíre into a very circular argument here that you can never win. Yes, you want the marriage but itís not the day to day marriage that is broken, itís the magical, passionate, madly in love marriage that you want. And the only way to get that is to pour yourself into your marriage. With wild abandon and passion. I think that when you do that, you will see passion being returned.
I just feel that your ambivalence is apparent to your H and to yourself. You really need to make a decision about where you want to go and the person you want to be. Being indecisive is a cop out. Your afraid of the hard decision and the tough choices but if you really want to be an authentic person, you have to start making the hard decisions.
If you really really donít feel "it" in your marriage anymore, then your choice is fairly simple, either you work on it like its the air in your lungs or you let go. Wishing for a solution is not the same as being the solution.
Wisdom from Gamine - Make a decision and discipline yourself not to waver. Don't be someone who stands for nothing. Stand for what you decide and back it with the full force of your character and conviction. DECIDE. CHOOSE. COMMIT. PERIOD.
[This message edited by HUFI-PUFI at 11:02 AM, February 13th (Thursday)]
This is related to the second point, wanting to feel wanting your marriage and feel passion for your husband inside. You will not be able to tell what you want and feel until you are OUT of the fog. It's not your husband's job to get you out of the fog or get you to know what you want. That is the work you need to do. It is also not your job to decide if you are good enough for him or not. He gets to decide what he wants, and you get to decide what you want. That is something for you to communicate about with each other. After my Dday I felt like the loving things I did were not authentic enough, and that he deserved better. He DID deserve better, but HE got to decide if what I was doing was enough for him at any stage. I worked as hard as I could at being authentic for ME as well as for HIM. This is still a work in progress, but after 3 years I have actually had experiences of feeling authentic inside and knowing I was communicating that to him.
I was lucky in never doubting that I did want our marriage, and unlucky in being so messed up that it has taken that long to start to be the person I thought I had been and want to be from now on. The outcome I have now depended on my commitment to do the work, even though I didn't know how I would be capable of it. Day by day, minute by minute, living through the shame and the blankness, remembering that my husband saw someone good inside me and wanted to be with me. I just had to keep putting one foot in front of the other. His staying was not weakness, it was strength, knowing what he wanted and being willing to fight for it. But he said clearly that if I could not do the work, he would eventually leave to preserve his own emotional health.
Every person is different, but we all share a lot as well. You have gotten a lot of different feedback and advice that you can take and fine tune as you shape your own process. Congratulations on what you have done so far, and don't give up on yourself at this early point. What has kept me going is my commitment to persevere. I hope you will do that too, whatever the specifics of your issues and work.
my mind knows what it needs to do but my heart still isn't sure. I can't feel it yet
For me, I think this defines the difference between regret and true remorse.
You just aren't there yet, perhaps don't understand what you really did, maybe never will.
My wife thought she knew. Then, one day leaving a counseling visit she had been somewhat subdued in, she just literally started shaking. That day, in counseling, MC, she started to understand what she had really done, and on the way to the car the enormity of her actions and the pain she had inflicted hit home. Keep in mind, thus was 9 years after the affair, and she had been to counseling before during this time. She had been reading. She is very intelligent. She knew a lot.
But, she just didn't get it.
You could be the female version of my WH. I swear he went through the exact same thing.
I do understand why you wouldn't want to share ALL of your thoughts regarding your "waffling" with him. That you want to do it here. I get why people are arguing that choice.
I will just say this: My WH DID tell me how difficult the "choice" was for him. Told me months into "R" (?) that he still loved BOTH of us. But that he had chosen me. How he was grieving. How it wouldn't be "fair" for him to move back in where the kids and I would have to watch him moping and grieving over her.
I cannot tell you how much this devastated me. He took that knife he had already jammed in my back and kept twisting and twisting. When I didn't think I could possibly hurt anymore. That honesty HURT like Hell. Still does.
Even if you don't say it, he will suspect it. Your choice on how to deal with this.
My only advice: If you can't get past the AP, let your H go. You're not doing him some great favor by sticking around if he is your second choice. But, if your true remorse comes slowly (and I do believe this is possible), whether you tell him your current feelings or don't... When you DO finally feel differently, be sure to address your new feelings directly with him. Tell him how you got to your new understanding/feelings. Tell him what you've learned. How you've changed. Why you don't think that way anymore. Tell him and tell him often. No BS deserves to live their life thinking that they are a second choice or back-up plan. If he's strong and decent enough to accept the pain you inflicted on him, you owe him the respect and love to heal those wounds.
If you need time, tell him so, but assure him that you want to commit fully to him. Show him your progress. Don't make him wonder.
Let him decide if you stay or move out. Period. The book "How to Help Your Spouse Heal" insists that the BS gets to make this choice. My WH immediately asked our MC if that was "necessary"... his needs were still the most important at that time. It infuriated me. Still does, actually. (Sorry if I'm getting a bit triggery in my response.) I just want to help you navigate this foggy period by perhaps shedding a little light on your BH's reality from someone who's BTDT.
I loved my WH enough to give him the time needed to fully extract his head from his derriere. But it did untold damage to me. More damage that needs to be healed now. But he did figure it out. Not as quickly as I would have liked. But he's becoming the man I knew he could be.
I now truly believe we have the potential to have a truer deeper more authentic love than either of us knew possible.
I wish you the very best. I really do. And I send my wishes for strength and peace to your BH.
Yes, you want the marriage but itís not the day to day marriage that is broken, itís the magical, passionate, madly in love marriage that you want. And the only way to get that is to pour yourself into your marriage. With wild abandon and passion. I think that when you do that, you will see passion being returned.
This, or something to this effect, is often stated on this site and this forum. I don't think many newbies really believe it. It's a tough sell, especially when there are kids and years or even decades of dormant passion.
My experience might be unique, but the above has been 100% true. For whatever reason, my wife and I decided to pour ourselves back into the marriage "with wild abandon and passion." And what has resulted is a passion that neither of us thought was possible 18 years and 4 children after we were married.
Seriously, there isn't a newlywed couple out there that has a thing on us. We'd give any couple a run for their money in the passion department. It started with HB, but there's nothing hysterical about it now. It's just how we do things. This from a marriage that has been dormant in the passion department since around 1998 or so.
If you really want your marriage to work, give yourself to your spouse completely - heart, body and soul. There's no guarantee that your spouse will reciprocate, but you have nothing to lose. And if he or she does reciprocate, the rewards are amazing.
Many on this site, particularly BS's, bristle at the notion that a marriage can not just survive but even THRIVE after betrayal. It's counter-intuitive. But some do. We don't have to let bad things in life defeat us. Having a great, revitalized marriage in no way justifies or excuses the horrible behavior that serves as a catalyst for growth and change - I think we can all agree that there are healthy ways to achieve the same goal. But as the saying goes, just because life gives you a pile of shit doesn't mean you have to wallow in it.
And life will always give you a pile of shit from time-to-time...if not a broken marriage, then something else. The lesson is to not let it define you.
Your need to hold onto the idealized version of the AP as still being a "good person" is difficult for me to respond to without swinging a bit of a 2x4, so in deference to the forum we're in, I'll let the waywards help you along with that.
Sal1995 - Many on this site, particularly BS's, bristle at the notion that a marriage can not just survive but even THRIVE after betrayal.
I think the notion that the marriage is thriving or has improved BECAUSE of the A is what many BSs find insulting.
Committing totally to your marriage, digging deep within yourselves to find your weaknesses and being willing to work on them, the decision to be true partners who are willing to protect themselves, each other and the marriage, the determination to bring passion back into your relationship, etc. All of this could have been accomplished WITHOUT the added pain and complication of an affair. It may seem like a minor point, even a technicality, but it is an important point to the BS - at least to this one.
Tact is for people who aren't witty enough to be sarcastic.
First, I do want to say what a good thing you have done no matter what the future holds for your M. I am only on like page 3 of this thread & keep thinking to myself that your BH has not hit the anger phase yet. So while you may think he is letting you off too easy right now & are not sure you respect his attitude.....I think you need to be prepared for his anger when it hits. You may then wish for the "letting you off easy" phase to come back.
This is also the time when he may want lots more details. (or not...everyone is different & he may never want to know more)
Also, can I suggest something that may be more beneficial for your R process?!?! And I may be wrong here but I feel that you may need to put stop-signs on your posts for a while where only waywards can respond. Not saying anything negative about the betrayed people responding, as I actually empathize with both sides when reading their replys, but I feel that you need only the wayward help at this time, until you are further along in your withdrawal from you AP!?!?!
Then later, maybe you would be ready to get the shit from the betrayed side more & not feel so defensive????
And again, betrayed responders, please do not take offense. Just trying to help "Confused" out with her healing process. I understand where you are coming from but I am not sure she is ready to hear it from that side yet?!?!?
Any waywards out there that can help elaborate on this or just point-blank say I don't know what I am talking about.....please step forward. No hard feelings......this is just the jive I am feeling from "Confused's" responses to the betrayed posters & I worry that it will discourage her coming back for help.
"Confused".....you have come so far & are doing so well, & there are so many people here who can help you. The one thing I have noticed about reading the wayward side though.....the wayward responders will call you out on your bullshit, but they have BTDT so it is easier to take than getting the flack from the betrayed side stating scumbag, etc., etc., etc.
JMO....& I am known to be wrong from time to time. LOL
Sending hugs & strength yours & your BH's way!!!!
Hang in there & keep posting!!! We care & want to help!!!