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User Topic: I've been diagnosed with Gudunov's Disease. Is there a cure?
20WrongsVs1
♀ Member
Member # 39000
Shocked  Posted: 8:40 AM, February 12th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm having an attack of Gudunov's Disease. That's my therapist's term for "not feeling good enough." Pretty sure I've had it my whole life, but I suppressed it, masked it with bravado, self-medicated it away, or propped myself up on external validation such as attention from men (which has waned as I've aged) or academic or professional accomplishments.

My choice to have affairs taught me what the cure isn't, but what is the cure?

In part I was triggered by a post on SI, a BH giving his perspective of how his WW isn't doing enough. Objectively, I'm doing more than she...but is it enough? Will it ever be enough? Will I, can I, ever be a good wife to BH? Am I capable of filling his love tank? A few weeks ago, BH said he wonders why he's in this M, because he's getting nothing from me.

Let me be clear, this isn't about BH and what he's doing or saying or not. I know he loves me and that I (at least sometimes) make him happy, and I get that his statement came from a place of hurt, because he's comparing "20 now" to "affair 20." The way I was with the AP's? OMFG. Especially AP2, I worshiped him. Post-DDay when BH asked me about AP2, I gushed like a starry-eyed teenager. Making BH feel, understandably, "not good enough."

My affairs were medication for Gudunov's Disease, and the treatment seemed to work brilliantly. During my affairs, I felt *awake* for the first time in years. I felt beautiful, sexy, smart, desirable. Now I understand how wrong I was to look for external causes and treatments for Gudunov's Disease! I blamed BH for not paying me enough physical compliments. I quietly seethed that he criticized me too much, but if I dared criticize him it turned into WW III. I surmised that he'd never really loved me, he only loved that (unlike previous girlfriends) I never tried to change him, that I accepted him "as is." Prior to me and our M, BH had always struggled with Gudunov's Disease. He told me this morning that he can relate, and I know he can. It's crushing to acknowledge that I was one of few people (perhaps the only one) in the world that BH felt "good enough" for, and I destroyed that.

Again, my Gudunov's Disease is not BH's fault. Part of it is FOO, but even so...it's not their fault. It's important right now for me to feel this, connect with it, own it without shifting blame onto anyone. That's a totally new concept for me, and I'm not yet equipped with healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with it. Writing about it is cathartic, though, and I'm interested to see who else here can relate.

After some hesitation, I removed the stop sign because I very much value constructive, respectful input on this topic from all SI denizens. Have you overcome Gudunov's Disease, or are you struggling with it?


fWW: 42
BH: 52
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
"Between stimulus and response theres a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response, in our response lies our growth and our freedom." V. Frankl

Posts: 1103 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
KBeguile
♂ Member
Member # 38348
Default  Posted: 9:14 AM, February 12th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

20, you and I seem to be in very similar places at the moment.

I had a post on here recently about how I now realize the complete level of dedication and trust that Heart had put into me before I completely wrecked it. Now, I realize that there will probably be other people who want to put that same level of trust and dependability into me some day, and I feel ill-prepared to deal with that ... or the aftermath if I should fail.

I'm battling "Gudunov's Disease" in a very specific way: my As and the aftermath have conclusively demonstrated to me that I am capable of heinous and untrustworthy acts. Prior to that, my Narcissistic Tendencies propped me up, but that support is gone or mostly gone now.

I'm terrified of failing people now that I am keenly aware of my capability to do so. It's like this:

Before, I was a tightrope walker with a blindfold of Narcissism, so I had no idea that I was walking a tightrope. Hell, I'd show off, I was so spectacular, and I'd hear rousing applause with every trick I managed.

Now, the blindfold's off, and I'm aware that I'm performing a tightrope-walking act. I no longer want to appease the audience with trickery or show ... I just want to get off the damn tightrope and be on solid ground.

--
The "cure," as I see it, is "survival." There's as much an element of "time" to it as there is an element of actually accomplishing stuff. You, just like your BS, need time to heal from this jarring realization of yourself, and the more days you spend living life the way you want to live it, the better you will feel about yourself.


Me: fWS 32
Her: BS 35 (HeartInADustpan)
DS: 4yo
M: 7 years
DDays: 2012/11/14, 2013/02/05, 2013/03/09
-
"Everything that happens now is happening 'now.'"
"What happened to 'then'?"
"We passed 'then.'"

Posts: 788 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: St. Louis
atsenaotie
♂ Member
Member # 27650
Default  Posted: 9:43 AM, February 12th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hi 20 Wrongs,

Prior to me and our M, BH had always struggled with Gudunov's Disease.

Your post resonated with me. I do not know that I ever had Gudunov's, but as I recall FWW was the first (?) person I ever felt completely relaxed and at ease with. She adored me for who I was, and that was a wonderful feeling. With my parents, employers, and even friends I felt my value as a person was based in my value (in services, support, etc.) to them. I now know looking back that much of this dynamic with FWW and I was driven by her BPD tendencies where she "adopts" the interests of the other (me) person.

Our M was dysfunctional, with me trying ever-harder to be good enough for FWW to love me, and her having a hole that no amount of affirmation and support could fill, and a barrier up to prevent any emotional intimacy with another person resulting in her feeling un-loved. After dday I was destroyed, to me it was the final proof that I was a failure. I wrote apology letters to FWW identifying all the things I knew I had done that had upset her or any of her friends or family. I spiraled into a numb depression for about 3 months that I remember very little of.

Then, work with my IC began to take hold. I read books, attended IC, found SI, and gradually came to realize and accept that I have value just for who I am. During the time just before dday and then continuing after I began to recover I had been in the process of finding activities and interests to fill the gap left by FWWs withdrawal into her A, and then the chasm left after dday. I did volunteer work, I picked up new responsibilities at work (and ultimately a great new job), I expanded my social network, I returned to hobbies I abandoned when I Md. In doing all these things I found I was successful as a person, and people did appreciate me. A few friends and co-workers went out of their way to take care of me and cover for me while I recovered the first few months after day. I realized I did not need FWW in my life, and that after the betrayal and TT she was certainly not in a position to determine if I was lovable or not.

It's crushing to acknowledge that I was one of few people (perhaps the only one) in the world that BH felt "good enough" for, and I destroyed that

There was a lot of retrospection after dday, and looking back with help from my IC and the scales off my eyes I could see the dynamics. I understood and believed that I was nowhere as imperfect a person as I had believed. One of my great growths in accepting the As and healing from them has been the development of a strong self-esteem within me. I no longer worry if I have done enough to be valued by family, friends, or even employers. I focus on being the best atsenaotie I can be, confident that I have intrinsic value, and if a person does not see my value that says more about them than it does about me.

FWW still struggles with this. In her version she feels responsible for having everybody get along. Not just everybody in a family, but at her work, at a wedding with xs and people who do not like each other, and any group she is a part of. She is a care-taker on over-load and feels responsible for everyone else getting along and being happy. This is one of the areas IC is still working with her on.

Recognizing and accepting you have an issue is the first step, and you are there. Next is learning new ways to perceive and process relationships with other and your own self-worth is the next step, followed by practicing and implementing these new perceptions and processes.

My affairs were medication for Gudunov's Disease, and the treatment seemed to work brilliantly. During my affairs, I felt *awake* for the first time in years. I felt beautiful, sexy, smart, desirable.

I believe this was true for FWW also. While she denies it now, she always looked very happy with a big smile in pictures. She was successful keeping weight off. Since dday she is again struggling with weight, more depressed, rarely happy. She knows not to reach out with flirting or attention to get affirmation from OM as she did most all of her life, but she has not yet replaced this coping mechanism with anything sustaining. She has aged multiple years for each year since dday. She felt attractive, smart, and powerful in her As. She says now that she felt awful and knew it was wrong, but I remember what she said in the early days after dday. It is my sincere hope that through IC, her reading, and the improvements in our relationship that she too will find some of the self-confidence, self-esteem, and comfort with herself and the emotional environment around her. That she will feel attractive, smart, and powerful as herself.

Best wishes on your journey,
ats

[This message edited by atsenaotie at 9:48 AM, February 12th (Wednesday)]


LTA BS 53
M 1990, dday 10-5-09
Separated and Divorcing

Posts: 4113 | Registered: Feb 2010 | From: FL
Althea
♀ Member
Member # 37765
Default  Posted: 9:50 AM, February 12th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I recently finished John Bradshaw's Healing the Shame That Binds You, and have been recommending it all over this site. It is actually getting a little uncomfortable BUT the whole last part of the book is suggested ways of overcoming Gudunov's or what he refers to as toxic shame. Some of the things resonated with me, others not so much. Some of his suggestions include, self affirmations, light hypnosis for reprogramming your thoughts (e.g. think of a time where you didn't feel good enough. Tap two fingers. Then think of a time where you felt great, something that made you feel wonderful. Tap two different fingers. Repeat. Then when you have a bad thought, you tap the fingers and the gut feeling of not good enough is replaced). Anyway, what I loved about this book is that he spends a great deal of time helping you to identify WHEN you are feeling not good enough, which isn't always clear. The breakthrough for me was a passage where he says that when you find yourself raising your voice in an exchange with someone, stop yourself and examine your feelings. Why are you defensive? What are you feeling about yourself in that moment, or what are you reacting to in what the other person said. Having a simple tool like that to unpack those feelings was really eye opening. As was his view that perfectionism was another face for toxic shame. I spent my life as an overachiever and hand't spent much time thinking about why that was or that there might be something wrong with pushing myself that way.

One of the other very interesting points he makes (and I'll stop here, I promise) is that people with toxic shame gravitate toward one another. This has certainly been true in my marriage. It may be that you and your BH might both get a lot out of this book. Although I will concede it is not an "easy" read. The style isn't the most fluid and the content isn't the easiest on an emotional level. My WH seems to have been stuck on page 30 for a couple of weeks.


Taking it one day at a time.

Posts: 452 | Registered: Dec 2012
20WrongsVs1
♀ Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 10:25 AM, February 12th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

So glad I removed the stop sign. Thanks for the detailed, thoughtful comments, y'all.

She felt attractive, smart, and powerful in her As. She says now that she felt awful and knew it was wrong

ICR to how Mrs. ats may feel...embarrassed, ashamed maybe?...to admit this uncomfortable truth. It was difficult for me to write just now, because I worry that it'll be misinterpreted as me fondly reminiscing about the affairs, or pining for AP.

It is my sincere hope that through IC, her reading, and the improvements in our relationship that she too will find some of the self-confidence, self-esteem, and comfort with herself and the emotional environment around her. That she will feel attractive, smart, and powerful as herself.

Amen.

Prior to that, my Narcissistic Tendencies propped me up, but that support is gone or mostly gone now.

KB, good riddance to bad rubbish! Terrifying, though, walking this tightrope without a net, isn't it?

hopeful10 when I read Nonviolent Communication by Rosenberg, I couldn't stop evangelizing about it. I'll pick up Bradshaw next.

One of the other very interesting points [Bradshaw] makes is that people with toxic shame gravitate toward one another.

Possibly the best thing my therapist said to me, in one of our first sessions, was that I love BH and marrying him was not a mistake. In those early, foggy days, it was exactly what I needed to hear. She said something similar (to the quote), that it may have been our damage that attracted us to one another. That someday we would heal together.


fWW: 42
BH: 52
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
"Between stimulus and response theres a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response, in our response lies our growth and our freedom." V. Frankl

Posts: 1103 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
KBeguile
♂ Member
Member # 38348
Default  Posted: 10:30 AM, February 12th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

KB, good riddance to bad rubbish! Terrifying, though, walking this tightrope without a net, isn't it?

That's putting it mildly...


Me: fWS 32
Her: BS 35 (HeartInADustpan)
DS: 4yo
M: 7 years
DDays: 2012/11/14, 2013/02/05, 2013/03/09
-
"Everything that happens now is happening 'now.'"
"What happened to 'then'?"
"We passed 'then.'"

Posts: 788 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: St. Louis
AML04
♀ Member
Member # 39682
Default  Posted: 12:45 PM, February 12th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I have always felt like this UNTIL I met WH. With him I always felt good enough even if I didn't with others or in other areas of my life. I thought no matter my failings he would always love me. After the A I'm definitely struggling with this again.
I think he might struggle with this as well so thank you for posting. I'm going to share with him to see if any of it resonates.


Me-BS Him-WH DS 5/12
T-13 M-9
DDay 5/26/13, TT through 8/13
2.5 yr EA w/co-worker, PA 12/12 to 4/13.
Hopeful for R

Posts: 842 | Registered: Jun 2013 | From: MA
inconnu
♀ Member
Member # 24518
Default  Posted: 8:33 PM, February 14th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Have you read any of Brene Brown's books? I think her The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are might be a good fit for you.


Say what you wanna say and let the words fall out...honestly
I wanna see you be brave

Pretty pretty please, don't you ever ever feel
Like you're less than, less than perfect


Posts: 12144 | Registered: Jun 2009 | From: TX
LiedtoLucy
♀ Member
Member # 39246
Default  Posted: 2:33 PM, February 15th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

BS here-

I am feeling the Gudunov's Disease more than ever. MY WH, also gushed about his OW on d-day. Not intentionally. But, in an effort to tell the truth. He was in love. He could tell her anything. They had the same views on everything. She "gets" him. He has NEVER felt a stronger connection with anyone EVER.

It still hurts. He hasn't taken back all of those words, but says he was an idiot and that he does not want her. Says he got caught up in the fantasy of it all. But I think if he could take those words back or at least tell me he was wrong about all of those things specifically, that it would help. Otherwise, I am afraid that I won't ever "live up" to OW. How could I?


LTL

Me: BS
Him: WH
OW=UW or Ugly Whore- cow of WH
UW claims to be pregnant w/ WH baby and I HATE her for it.
DDay: 4/23/13
Together: 14 years
Married: 10 years
Kids: 3 beautiful boys. Ages: 8, 4, & 19 months
Trying to R-Some days are


Posts: 173 | Registered: May 2013 | From: Southeastern U.S.
Topic Posts: 9

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