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Reconciliation Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: Reconciling With Your Self
Ascendant
♂ Member
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 1:18 PM, April 3rd (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

A question to everybody-

How do you reconcile?

Not with your spouse, but first with yourself?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my worldview and how this infidelity garbage is really threatening it, and I cannot decide whether it’s a good or bad thing.

I’ve always been an optimist, more or less. I fully recognize that bad things happen to good people, and that the inverse can also be true.

However, I tend to think that most people, in the end, tend to get treated the way they treat others. I don’t mean it in the new age sense of ‘putting good energy out into the universe and the universe sends good energy back’ -kind of thing. I just mean that if you’re a terrible person, people are going to tend to not want to be around you and not deal with you…eventually you’re going to end up miserable and lonely. People are going to give up on trying to “see the good in you”, in the long run, and abandon you to your own shitty devices. People that are pleasant to be around are probably still going to draw in people who like them. Not karma, really, just social behaviors.

I’m stuck at a point where it seems like I can go two directions: I can accept that the world is a shitty, random place where my wife and friend can both stab me in the back without thinking twice, and both of them suffer no serious social consequences because no one “wants to take sides” or wants “to get involved.” I almost think that in order to reconcile with my wife, I have to adopt a new worldview: one that is perhaps more realistic, sure, but also seems more pessimistic. No one can be trusted. Everyone’s a potential enemy. It seems exhausting, frankly, to live life like that…and also…I’m not the one who fucked up. Why should I have to shift my way of thinking because of other’s terrible choices, you know?

The other choice would be to keep my generally optimistic view and live my life that way…generally trusting people not to betray me…but it feels a little rugsweep-ey. It feels illogical, almost as if that mode of thinking ignores the facts of my reality. It treats the affair as an aberration, something not indicative of people in general….but when I look around, it’s hard to believe that. Also, to keep this paradigm I almost feel like a divorce is required. As in, “Yeah, that terrible stuff DID happen, but…it probably won’t happen to me again. That woman I was married to was a special example of crazy.” I just have to wonder if this approach sets me up for failure somewhere down the line.

Tred said to me, “Welcome to cognitive dissonance.” He’s so right. I don’t know how to (or if I even can) reconcile the two modes of thought. Also, and this may be the part that’s REALLY bothering me, is that adapting a new worldview has further reaching implications than just my wife and I’s relationship (or others, if I were to ever be divorced). If I can’t trust other people to not hurt me, than shouldn’t I keep everyone at arm’s length *just in case*? Friends, family, etc.

So the real question is: How do I stay me? How do I stay true to the *me* I’ve generally been? If I previously liked my take on life, how do I keep that intact while still trying to reconcile with my wife? Before being able to fully reconcile with her, how do I reconcile with myself? Also, if I don’t come out of this whole process jaded, viewing people a little more suspiciously…have I failed in healing? Have I failed to learn a life lesson somewhere in there?


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2164 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
Neverwudaguessed
♀ Member
Member # 41884
Default  Posted: 1:26 PM, April 3rd (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I am sorry that I do not have any words of wisdom for you; I just felt compelled to let you know that I feel EXACTLY the same way as you do. I absolutely could have written this post word for word. What a mess betrayal makes...


BW: 44 Me
WH:48
DDay1 9-9-13 (18th Wedding Anniversary) 6 wk EA, 1 wk PA
DDay2: 10-25-13 EA/PA with same OW 12 1/2 years ago for 3 months
OW: XGF Predator who never stopped pursuing WH
DS 13
DD 11

Posts: 642 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: New York
painfulpast
♀ Member
Member # 41038
Default  Posted: 1:28 PM, April 3rd (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hi Ascendant,

I'm not sure reconciling with your wife is going to matter here honestly. If you divorce her, won't you still know that anyone, even someone you thought you could trust with your life, can and will betray you simply because it seems 'fun'? Yes, you will.

I was like you - in the abstract, I knew that bad things happened to good people. I just never really thought about those bad things being intentional attacks. I thought of cancer, car accidents, etc. Never did I think about someone I loved crushing me in the way my H did. That was too much, and yes, it changed my view.

We all change our views based on our life events. No one stays the same year in and year out. This A will affect you. It's one of the worst lessons life has to offer - the knowledge that trust is given far too freely.

So again - if you divorce your wife, would you go back to thinking all is right in the world? Or would you wonder about your next girlfriend, or wife? Would you wonder if they would cheat? Would you be a bit more jaded?

The more negative outlook on life is just one more thing that these As bring to us. We aren't the ones going around destroying people, and yet we are the ones that are punished by the deed - far more than the person that cheated.


The stones from my enemies, these wounds will mend
but I cannot survive the roses from my friends

Posts: 1898 | Registered: Oct 2013 | From: East Coast
lordhasaplan?
♂ Member
Member # 30079
Default  Posted: 1:33 PM, April 3rd (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

BTDT,
Its a bitch, it takes time, it takes work. In the end you see there is not one extreme or the other. But you must decide how much you want this to change who you are.
How do I stay me?

I wasn't aware your someone else. Your name change didn't signify some mystical change or out of body experience. We are the sum of our experiences both good and bad. it informs how we behave and allow others to treat us.


How do I stay true to the *me* I’ve generally been?
By looking at yourself and your behavior and seeing if you want to be that person. I'm not. I learned some lessons, I'm more self-aware, more show me actions than before. Its not bad it simply is... Its who I am now. I need to accept that life informed me, I was way too trusting and had fooled myself into thinking I had the world figured out.

If I previously liked my take on life, how do I keep that intact while still trying to reconcile with my wife?
Maybe you cant. Do you think you could ever have the same life? Same marriage? I don't want that shit. That marriage is dead and gone and I grew because of it. She either also accepts the new you or she is free to leave as well. My W can take her chips and run when ever she pleases, I figured out I have no control over her actions. if she doesn't like the new me, seeya!. This is all about YOU accepting that YOU were not who you thought you were and finding out who YOU are and accepting it. I am the kind of guy who would taking a cheating wife back.... wow never thought I would be that guy. I am. I am a guy who learned to be happy with healthy boundaries with everyone around me. Unhealthy people I have no time for anymore.


Before being able to fully reconcile with her, how do I reconcile with myself? Also, if I don’t come out of this whole process jaded, viewing people a little more suspiciously…have I failed in healing?
NO, that is reality! Your experience teaches you to be more discerning. Why is that bad. Life isn't unicorns and rainbows, people actually are out to screw you, on purpose, by accident, because they are broken etc. Being suspicious is healthy, necessary following a trauma like this. It's who you are and should be. Embrace it.
Have I failed to learn a life lesson somewhere in there?

I don't know have you? Stop holding on to the past YOU. be the YOU staring you in the face and learn about that guy, accept him. This is all about YOU. You will get there.

[This message edited by lordhasaplan? at 1:41 PM, April 3rd (Thursday)]


D-day: 5/18/10, lies and TT till (11/26/10).
No life should be passively relinquished due to the toxicity of others and taking steps to protect yourself may very well be the most important steps you will ever take.

Posts: 1908 | Registered: Nov 2010
Jrazz
♀ Guide
Member # 31349
Default  Posted: 1:37 PM, April 3rd (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think that actually subscribing to a worldview, whatever it is, might be part of the problem.

There's just too much chaos to put into one bucket.

I know that part of the way that our brain works is to sort, label, and organize into patterns so that we can feel more comfortable with our environment, but at the end of the day that's not going to save us from an errant golf ball or person with behavioral issues that only come out in very special circumstances.

Gotta kinda let go and let it all happen. When I read anything by Pema Chodron I feel like she's right, and this is pretty much what she and the larger part of the Buddhist community tries to teach. This used to be my tagline:

“We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don't really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It's just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy." P. Chodron

I think if you can get into this mindset, you're off the hook for having to define everything around you. The hard part is letting go of the feeling that you have any control of people or events. It's sorta embracing the cognitive dissonance, which can be scary for an optimist, but ultimately you're less prone to letdown.

[This message edited by Jrazz at 1:39 PM, April 3rd (Thursday)]


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

Posts: 17822 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
lordhasaplan?
♂ Member
Member # 30079
Default  Posted: 1:42 PM, April 3rd (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy." P. Chodron

I love Pema Chodron.


D-day: 5/18/10, lies and TT till (11/26/10).
No life should be passively relinquished due to the toxicity of others and taking steps to protect yourself may very well be the most important steps you will ever take.

Posts: 1908 | Registered: Nov 2010
GotSoHosed
♂ New Member
Member # 42980
Default  Posted: 1:56 PM, April 3rd (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Good Post!
You want to believe people in general are or want to be good but how will you ever know if you made the correct choice to reconcile. A few years when the dust settles they are still the same person that burned you the first time.
I caught my wife and brought it to her. It took that cocky look she always had and turned it to a wet puppy as soon as I told her we need to get a divorce. Now she wants to go to counseling as she still to this day lies right to my face.

Posts: 11 | Registered: Apr 2014
brokengirl37
♀ Member
Member # 42530
Default  Posted: 1:59 PM, April 3rd (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Very well said lordhasaplan and Jrazz...very insightful.

I am also a very big optimist...and the A has certainly opened my eyes. I was way to trusting and been burnt so many times in my life, not only from friends but from family as well. The last straw was my H's A. I am finding a little more clarity everyday, it sucks having to become this jaded person, but I know that I have to be in order to protect my heart.


Me: 38
WH : 40
2 Boys Age 10, 13
D-Day Feb 16 2014
OW: My Co-worker

Posts: 70 | Registered: Feb 2014 | From: Canada
Jrazz
♀ Guide
Member # 31349
Default  Posted: 2:04 PM, April 3rd (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I am finding a little more clarity everyday, it sucks having to become this jaded person, but I know that I have to be in order to protect my heart.

I don't think it has to be about being jaded...

I used to think that if I didn't kill myself trying to make someone happy that I wasn't loving them. It turns out that letting go of some things isn't selfish - it's healthy.

Jaded is thinking that everyone's going to hurt you. Letting go is NOT worrying about what's going to happen because it's just going to happen anyway. It's easy for me to type, but I'm an insanely vigilant person when it comes to interpreting people's intentions so it is a TON of work to actually practice what I preach.


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

Posts: 17822 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
Ascendant
♂ Member
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 2:31 PM, April 3rd (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I tried/started "When Things Fall Apart" and became uninterested quickly, after about halfway through. Maybe I'll give it another shot.
The hard part is letting go of the feeling that you have any control of people or events.
This is so hard. Unbelievably hard. A large part of the codependency stuff I've been trying to work on for a long time is related to control and/or the lack of control. And it's the sneaky kind of desire to control..it's less about "I want people to do what I tell them 'cuz it benefits me..." and more about "I want people to do what I tell them they should because it'd be better for them...."I struggle mightily with people who complain about the same issues day in and out but never makes changes to resolve it...*sigh*

I know this post doesn't necessarily connect to the original one, but I feel like it does connect to the responses. Thanks to everyone who has responded so far.


[This message edited by Ascendant at 2:32 PM, April 3rd (Thursday)]


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2164 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
brokensmile322
♀ Member
Member # 35758
Default  Posted: 3:00 PM, April 3rd (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Ascendant,

What I think this post is really about is acceptance. Acceptance that two people whom you trusted and loved betrayed you. The romantic bubble that you had surrounding your life pre A, shattered when this all came to light. Like a balloon, you cannot un-pop that reality. And that is your harsh reality now.

Where does that leave you? It leaves you with accepting that this is your new reality. That just because you believe in someone and place your heart in their hands, there is no guarantee that they will honor it. It is the chance you take in love and friendship.

Their betrayal and deception had NOTHING to do with you. Once you come to believe that you will feel a load lift from your shoulders.

As far as how you view the world moving forward, well you do that with acceptance as well. The romantic notion you had of the world is burst and now you have a realistic view instead. You trusted and you were burned. You can decide that no one else is worth trusting again and close yourself off, change who you are to be cynical and mistrusting of everyone believing that everyone is bad OR you can trust YOURSELF. You can decide that although this situation sucks, it will not define you and will not change you into someone cold. You will decide that you do believe that there are good people in the world and there are deceptive people, broken people, etc…. There are both. And sometimes decent people make really bad, selfish decisions. But you will trust yourself to be wiser next time, either with your WW or with another. Next time; however, you will know that you will not break, that you will be more aware of the possible signs of an A and you will trust yourself to trust your instincts. They are better honed now.

You choose, Ascendant. But it all comes down to acceptance, IMHO.

[This message edited by brokensmile322 at 3:02 PM, April 3rd (Thursday)]


Me BS 42 Him WS 44
OW Coworker DDay April 7, 2012
EA on a slippery slope...

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. ~Viktor Frankl

"When you are happy, you can forgive a great deal."


Posts: 1541 | Registered: Jun 2012
DixieD
♀ Member
Member # 33457
Default  Posted: 7:19 PM, April 3rd (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

However, I tend to think that most people, in the end, tend to get treated the way they treat others.

I look at it slightly different, that people get treated as they allow themselves to be treated. I allowed and accepted poor treatment. I had to reconcile with myself about that.

And it's the sneaky kind of desire to control..it's less about "I want people to do what I tell them 'cuz it benefits me..." and more about "I want people to do what I tell them they should because it'd be better for them...."I struggle mightily with people who complain about the same issues day in and out but never makes changes to resolve it...*sigh*

Oh this is so me!! I've learned a lot about control and my need for it through reading about codependency and about being a child of alcoholics. Classic stuff. My need for control was not for how it benefited me, except in a skewed KISA sort of way, but mostly it was a way for the world to be a safer more organized place.

I see the difference in myself since I came to SI. I used to post quite a bit and give opinions on what people should do. Now, I rarely post. I don't have the same inclination to post and I don't have the same opinions or need to express them.

As I told a friend the other day, I've gotten a lot more quiet. Except with my parents. I still give them opinions, and they continue with the same issues day in and day out and never resolve anything or try to make changes. The oldest (most dysfunctional) habits are the ones that are the hardest.

That struggle with control will be something I have to work on forever probably. But when I actively bring it to my awareness and try to accept and let go (even though it seems like letting go wouldn't be an action), my life opens up more.

Good luck with it Ascendant. Not easy.

[This message edited by DixieD at 7:31 PM, April 3rd (Thursday)]


Growing forward

Posts: 1767 | Registered: Sep 2011
kansas1968
♀ Member
Member # 32214
Default  Posted: 8:11 PM, April 3rd (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Trust but verify.

I know exactly what you are saying. The affair has changed me in ways I would have never thought possible, and some of it not good. I will never completely trust another human, but is that bad or good? Beats me, but that is just how it is now.


Me - BS
Him - FWS
DD - December 14, 2010
Married 43 years 1/14/2011
Affair lasted 7+ years
Affair had been over for 2 years before I found out. OW sent me a letter.

Posts: 1319 | Registered: May 2011 | From: Kansas
ItsaClimb
♀ Member
Member # 37107
Default  Posted: 2:25 AM, April 4th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Brilliant post, thank for posting. I have felt the same about my outlook in general.

I think what it boils down to, for me anyway, is that I have to accept that shit will happen. It's the nature of the world we live in. Whether I trust/don't trust, allow myself to be vulnerable or hide away forever - life will go on and shit will happen. The bottom line is that by trusting or not trusting I can't control how others will behave or treat me, they will ultimately do what they want to do regardless. All I can control is whether or not I am strong enough to cope with the shit life throws at me.


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: 1022 | Registered: Oct 2012
lordhasaplan?
♂ Member
Member # 30079
Default  Posted: 7:53 AM, April 4th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I look at it slightly different, that people get treated as they allow themselves to be treated. I allowed and accepted poor treatment. I had to reconcile with myself about that.

yes, this one took real time. But so true for me.


D-day: 5/18/10, lies and TT till (11/26/10).
No life should be passively relinquished due to the toxicity of others and taking steps to protect yourself may very well be the most important steps you will ever take.

Posts: 1908 | Registered: Nov 2010
still-living
♂ Member
Member # 30434
Default  Posted: 6:06 AM, April 5th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I gained a Mr. Smith perception of society and humans after DD, -humans are a virus.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Na9-jV_OJI

I think changing as a result of our spouses having an affair is inevitable. Its like a drunk driver permanently crippling us, or someone murdering a person we love. It was unfair and wasn't in our life plan, but now it is and its a permanent part of our history. I say don't fight the change, but be smart about how you change. Bitter, angry, - obviously not a smart choice. Know that there are people living in our society that have gone through worse but somehow still manage to find happiness. This is because happiness is a choice. It involves love, gratitude, forgiveness, hope, being vulnerable, trusting yourself, etc, etc. It involves reconstructing our beliefs and views and trusting them. Keep the faith that you will find happiness. It takes time to reconstruct. Don't give up. Happiness IS achievable. Keep learning and building and validating your new plan.

[This message edited by still-living at 7:42 AM, April 5th (Saturday)]


BH(me)47
WW 47 FOO Issues
DDay 11/09 Coworker
High School Sweethearts
Married 06/91
8 months TT
Sons 19 and 14
Recovery is constructing a pyramid of inference from which to see clearer.
The process involves using the reflexive loop.

Posts: 777 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: Ches
eachdayisvictory
♀ Member
Member # 40462
Default  Posted: 6:29 AM, April 5th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Just wanted to add that I love this thread. Ascendant, as I read, surprisingly my face turned to a, kind of, hmmm, smirk? I wondered why, and thought; you put into words one of my biggest struggles that I could never articulate as well as you have. I went back to my journal and found about 3 months worth of writing where I examined exactly what you described. I even lamented bringing my boys into such a disgusting world where I now believed ALL people were capable of such horror.

I also struggled with acceptance in this respect; if I accept that my H was a good man who made choices that were so hurtful, don't I have to accept that I too could do the same? In that line of thinking, I sank into a deep despair.

The work that has helped me has been described eloquently by the other posters here. To release any definition of purely good or bad people. To live in the present, to judge our M and R by actions (including mine, not just H's) and not on the past.

Wow, this is tough. Know what I'm taking away from this? Another reminder that a BS who Rs successfully and the 'right' way is truly the strongest and most amazing person. lordhasaplan said it well with "I'm that guy who took back a cheating wife", but I think "we're those people who are amazing and strong enough to live through the biggest devastation of our souls, and find our way back to ourselves and a new, real love and relationship."

Jrazz, I wrote that quote down from Chodron in my collection of inspirations from SI. Love it. Will let it marinate with me today.

thanks amazing people


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

Posts: 380 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: nova Scotia, Canada
refuz2bavictim
♀ Member
Member # 27176
Default  Posted: 6:57 AM, April 5th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Along the lines of the other amazing thoughts shared here, I want to add this

If I can’t trust other people to not hurt me, than shouldn’t I keep everyone at arm’s length *just in case*? Friends, family, etc.

For me it was accepting that they may hurt me at some point. In fact some of them will. They are sorting themselves out, not sorting me out. I must take risks to connect, but that doesn't require me to change.

By letting go of my own expectations of them, I don't have to worry, I just have to respond to it on the basis of who I *am* or who I *will be* at that time.

My reconciliation with myself definitely helps me reconcile with others in this regard. Though I find it hard to practice this, when I have allowed myself to become overly attached to my own expectations of others and situations. To be jaded is to be weighed down by our negative expectations. When I detach, I go back to my natural state of optimism.

If optimism is your natural state, I doubt you will be able to remain "jaded" for long. It takes a great deal of energy to be anything other than who and what we are.


BS:ME DDay: 7/18/09 Last of TT 7/11/10
MOW's EA/PA all were my "friends" but one


Posts: 2372 | Registered: Jan 2010
rachelc
♀ Member
Member # 30314
Default  Posted: 7:10 AM, April 5th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

If optimism is your natural state, I doubt you will be able to remain "jaded" for long. It takes a great deal of energy to be anything other than who and what we are.

Oh boy I can relate. After my affair and I was trying to heal and doing a lot if reading I discovered that the next spouse most likely to cheat is the BS. I warned hubby about this. And I thought to myself wow. If that happens I will NOT handle it well.
Cynicism is my natural state. Still true but now I own it as me.


his Dday: 2/10 but TT until 7/11
my Ddays: 1/12, 4/12 broken NC 12/12

me (WW/BS): 48
him: (BS/WH)52
4 kiddos in mid 20's

The conditions we face do not define us. They remind us of who we are and who we want to be.


Posts: 5261 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: Midwest
refuz2bavictim
♀ Member
Member # 27176
Default  Posted: 8:32 AM, April 5th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

quick t/j

rachelc, it's interesting you view cynicism as your natural state. I don't generally see that from your posts, especially when you are working to help others.


BS:ME DDay: 7/18/09 Last of TT 7/11/10
MOW's EA/PA all were my "friends" but one


Posts: 2372 | Registered: Jan 2010
Topic Posts: 20

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