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Reconciliation Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: Commitment as it related to happiness.
blakesteele
♂ Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 5:16 PM, May 3rd (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

A recurring theme on SI is happiness.

WS report they were searching for happiness and THOUGHT they found it in their AP.

BS report they would give anything to be happy again.

I struggle with the concept that happiness is a valid goal.....believing it is more a product of intentional efforts in achieving other goals, such as serving others, improving oneself, completing challenging tasks, taking part in your favorite hobby.

Just read something that I think worthy of sharing.


"Breaking your wedding vow reveals the truth about your character. It says you are not a person of integrity; your word cannot be trusted. Without a strong commitment to personal integrity, you cannot be happy with yourself, and if you are unhappy with yourself, you cannot be happy with your spouse. While you don't realize it, your unhappiness is not coming from your mate; it's coming from inside yourself
."

NOTE: this is not a passive aggressive attack on fWS's. This resonated within me as I face how I broke my vow to wife. Truthfully, how we both failed to honor our vows long before my wife's affair. Now....I don't think it was intentional....more like ignorant and fear based. Anyway, I have had glimpses where I see chinks in my integrity. I am coming face to face with some new-to-me revelations showing how my integrity affected my internal happiness.

I am learning what true commitment is.....both to my wife and to myself. Fear, which was largely subconscious in nature, has influenced me to deny and deceive myself most of my adult life. Abandonment issues and codependent cycles "hid" some painful but true inner struggles.

I am learning new ways to "do life".

I am hopeful a by product of this learning will be happiness at a level I have never experienced. I pray I will experience intimacy at a level I never knew before too.

Still can't wrap mind around happiness as a primary goal......any thoughts?

God is with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 5:38 PM, May 3rd (Saturday)]


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3671 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
AFrayedKnot
♂ Member
Member # 36622
Default  Posted: 5:23 PM, May 3rd (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Great Quote!!!!


BS 39
fWS 36 (SurprisinglyOkay)
DD DS
A whole bunch of shit that got a lot worse before it got better.
"Knowing is half the battle"

Posts: 2586 | Registered: Aug 2012
blakesteele
♂ Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 5:56 PM, May 3rd (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The book continues.......

Upon discovery of adultery you can take either of two distinct directions. One, of course, is divorce. This is the way most accepted by today's culture. But over and over I find that couples who stay together and work through the issues that led to infidelity build marriages that are often much stronger than those that have not faced such a major challenge. Though awfully painful, the process builds character, which every happy person must have whether married or not."

Note that he doesn't single out one spouse or the other as he references the act of building character (integrity being a part of character).

A common theme on SI is a desire to process through this and come out better not bitter.....regardless of marital status.


180 was a start of this journey from me. I, like many BS's, had to first shatter my unhealthy connection to my wife.....she was toxic while choosing adultery. This turned my attention internally....and I was shocked at what I found.

21 months later I am learning how to turn back towards my wife.....but it is different now. I have more integrity and are of stronger character now.....with guidance we are doing much healthier things. My wife has more integrity now and is of stronger character too.

I have faith happiness will be a part of our M in the future, but it will be a fruit of our labor....not a goal into itself. KWIM?

Peace.


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3671 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
sisoon
♂ Member
Member # 31240
Default  Posted: 5:57 PM, May 3rd (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Breaking your wedding vow reveals the truth about your character. It says you are not a person of integrity; your word cannot be trusted.

I have difficulty with this. One can't R with a person who can't be trusted or with a person who lacks integrity, and the way this is stated, I just don't see any room for redemption.

I think this part of the statement needs to be reframed. JMO & YMMV.


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: 10089 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: Chicago area
blakesteele
♂ Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 6:34 PM, May 3rd (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hi Sisoon.

I see your point.

Having read this author before, and taking the whole quote in its entirety I think he is saying that breaking vows is a large flag waving....indicating something is bad wrong within. BUT that all is certainly not lost. Change can occur. Furthermore, it will occur in those couples who both step up and take charge of that part of the M they control--themselves.

21 months out here I see this starting to happen in our M.

It is painful.....but is healthy.

Thanks for the stellar support since my beginning of this journey.

Peace.


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3671 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
AFrayedKnot
♂ Member
Member # 36622
Default  Posted: 7:09 PM, May 3rd (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Integrity is something that can grow through practice and inventory. Once you start to feel what its like to really live it there is no going back.


BS 39
fWS 36 (SurprisinglyOkay)
DD DS
A whole bunch of shit that got a lot worse before it got better.
"Knowing is half the battle"

Posts: 2586 | Registered: Aug 2012
blakesteele
♂ Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 7:12 PM, May 3rd (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Well said aFrayedKnot!

This author is BIG on personal accountability and the power we each have to change.

Similarly he regularly urges one to look inside themselves if they are quick to blame others for their lot in life.


Peace.


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3671 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
sisoon
♂ Member
Member # 31240
Default  Posted: 12:03 PM, May 4th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The quote obviously triggered something in me, and I'm not sure what.

Maybe it's that it's hard to be with the one who did so much damage and see her as a full-fledged human being capable of redemption.

Maybe it's that R goes more smoothly if we BSes stay mindful of our WSes' redeemability.

Maybe it's that I'm wondering when I'll consider my W to have redeemed herself. Have I already done that? Is it too soon?

Maybe it's that it's so hard to find language to describe what we're going through.

Maybe something else....

[This message edited by sisoon at 12:04 PM, May 4th (Sunday)]


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: 10089 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: Chicago area
LA44
♀ Member
Member # 38384
Default  Posted: 1:39 PM, May 4th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I struggle with the concept that happiness is a valid goal

I do too blakesteele.


I guess I cringe when I hear people say, "I just want to be happy." I think, so what are you doing about it?

A family member was really going on about life and how this wasn't working and that wasn't either and I said, "I saw on the news today that they are looking for more volunteers at the hospital. Helping others often provides great happiness." She looked at me like I had two heads!

On another note..

This resonated within me as I face how I broke my vow to wife. Truthfully, how we both failed to honor our vows long before my wife's affair.

I said this once on here shortly after D-day and I got slammed. But I did break vows. Honour? Cherish? I was not doing those things very well or with consistency. Now that I am, our happiness level has risen.

Just some random thoughts


Me: 44
He: 47 WH
Married: 15 years
D Day: December 2012
Affair: Fall 2009 - Dec. 2011
R is not linear

Posts: 2287 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: Canada, eh
hopefull77
♀ Member
Member # 43221
Default  Posted: 2:09 PM, May 4th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

This is such an interesting post...I am really listening to all your responses...
for me this personal journey has been a huge growing experience...
I have had to face childhood issues that I had very cleverly stuffed away...by the time I was 11 my sister had died and then my father...so I was young when I had to face the fact that people leave you...but until my H's A no one 'left me by CHOICE'... what I did was try and always be GOOD so everyone could be HAPPY...I thought if they were happy I'd be happy...
the integrity thing is a tough one...on dday I threw my husbands all time favorite quote in his face...'the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior'
again thanks to everyone for your thoughts on this thread


me-BS
him-WS
3 adult children 1D 2S
married-1977
LTA 09-2010 - 11-2012
D-day - 11-11-2012
status - reconciling and very hopeful
"Let Go of Control; Let God's Life Flow" ...Richard Rohr



Posts: 516 | Registered: Apr 2014 | From: sunny california
LA44
♀ Member
Member # 38384
Default  Posted: 2:18 PM, May 4th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

what I did was try and always be GOOD so everyone could be HAPPY..

As the daughter of someone who drank himself blind until I was 9, I can relate to this. Being good meant one less problem for Mom to deal with. My sister on the other hand...she could care less!


Me: 44
He: 47 WH
Married: 15 years
D Day: December 2012
Affair: Fall 2009 - Dec. 2011
R is not linear

Posts: 2287 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: Canada, eh
blakesteele
♂ Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 2:22 PM, May 4th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

(((Sisoon))). I see you are working in something.....keep posting. I am interested in where this trail takes you.
You have led me before, am all for more guidance.

(((LA44))).....that second quote you had in your post? I kinda wondered if I would get slammed too. Thanks for your understanding what I was speaking to....and that I was not taking any credit for my wife's affair. The honor and cherish are two areas if work for me. I am enjoying this work and look forward to maturing more in these areas.

(((hopefull77))). Dang! Your response could be mine!!!! Some recent realizations about my childhood are tying together some loose ends. Loose ends that I either talked myself into believing I maturely dealt with them or surpress we them completely. (Probably a combo of the two). A mode of operation I just observed in my older brother. The whole conversation left him a bit confused and shocked too.

Thanks for the support. Keep posting....you will find we have your back.

God is with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 3:03 PM, May 4th (Sunday)]


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3671 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
karmahappens
♀ Member
Member # 35846
Default  Posted: 6:20 PM, May 4th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Breaking your wedding vow reveals the truth about your character. It says you are not a person of integrity; your word cannot be trusted.

I have difficulty with this. One can't R with a person who can't be trusted or with a person who lacks integrity, and the way this is stated, I just don't see any room for redemption.

I agree with Sisoon here.

Sometimes we get lost along the way. We make bad choices, take a road that shouldn't be traveled,forget who we are supposed to be,

It does not mean we cannot be trusted or we lack integrity. It means we need help, direction and guidance back towards the path we fell off of.

We ALL have reason to stray, from our M, from our selves. from our truth. When we have difficult times it is vital we have others who will call us out, make notice of our wrongs and help guide us back to the path we know we are supposed to be on.

To believe otherwise is to accept that I am "better" than someone who has stumbled, and for me, that is unacceptable.


“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”
Anaïs Nin
Me: 45
Him: 47
Dday 8/2007
We have R'd

Posts: 3800 | Registered: Jun 2012 | From: Massachusetts
AFrayedKnot
♂ Member
Member # 36622
Default  Posted: 6:30 PM, May 4th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Maybe it's that I'm wondering when I'll consider my W to have redeemed herself.

For me, I would add an if/ to the when...and lo and behold....the ultimate question of R


BS 39
fWS 36 (SurprisinglyOkay)
DD DS
A whole bunch of shit that got a lot worse before it got better.
"Knowing is half the battle"

Posts: 2586 | Registered: Aug 2012
blakesteele
♂ Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 8:45 PM, May 4th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

To believe otherwise is to accept that I am "better" than someone who has stumbled, and for me, that is unacceptable.

Good clarification Karmahappens....I think I better understand where Sisoon was coming from.

I tried to convey that this integrity, this commitment is needed from but often lacking within BOTH spouses.

God knows how I bent and broke vows....how I lacked integrity throughout my marriage. Yes, I had great qualities and did the best I knew how....but I was so very ignorant in some of my ways. For the record, I believe my wife rather blindly and ignorantly stepped onto that slippery slope.....I don't even think she was fully cognizant of how unhappy she was internally. I think she kinda knew, tried to look to me as her source of happiness or unhappiness....but then just got......lost? I used porn....had regular sex with my wife the entire 15 years...I lightly wondered why I used porn, looked at my wife, decided since we were having regular sex and all my buddies used porn...I was fine. It wasn't until I stopped using it that I found the internal pain that had not healed. And that pain disrupted true contentment, happiness. But happiness is not my goal as I move away from porn....my goal is to heal what is broken in me that made porn a regular part of my life. An off-shoot of that work should result in a happier life.....it already has! Recently more pieces of the puzzle that is blakesteele have revealed themselves to me.....shocking really, but healthy. Surprised how deeply some internal pain is buried.....

To be sure...shortly into her A she was aware of her actions....but the sin had already got a hold of her. The taste was too much for her to resist. Lack of boundaries combined with the new found thirst was more than she could handle. Though her FOO issues told her she COULD handle this.

Boundaries are one of the key components that kept me from full on adultery. I used porn....didn't think it was bad, didn't need boundaries to protect me from something I didn't consider a threat. I allowed myself into similar temptations and hurt our marriage.....and myself.

I see strong similarities within me with that of my wife....even without the affair as part of her choices.

We were very independent in spirit.....both lacked real knowledge of how to do healthy relationships. We had some kick ass masking skills that made us appear to be that model couple at BBQ's and other gatherings with our peers. But those only helped to confuse us more....we would use our own masking skills as proof we were not in any danger, that our relationship was healthy.

We are both figuring out how to grow our character, mature, improve our integrity.

Hope that helps further this discussion on integrity and character issues.

It almost appears to me that a persons character is not static....it is either improving or reducing. Daily choices determine which way the needle moves.


It just seems like if "happiness" is the primary goal.....why wouldn't porn, adultery, buying a Ferrari, etc be what we all do? It would make us instantly happy.

God is with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 5:16 AM, May 5th (Monday)]


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3671 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
blakesteele
♂ Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 8:55 PM, May 4th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Oh....and that internal pain that is buried deep? It pre-dates our relationship....going back to our childhoods.

This is just one way that confirms adultery is NOT a result of an under-serving marriage or incompatibility. It really is a solo act unto itself committed by someone hurting deep inside. So was my use of porn....had zero to do with my wife or how satisfied I was with our sex life....it was covering pain I had before I met my wife.

Hopefully I am effectively explaining that I DO agree with KarmaHappens....that I am no better or worse than my wife.

Lots of words.....hope they convey my thoughts effectively.

Peace.


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3671 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
hopefull77
♀ Member
Member # 43221
Default  Posted: 9:44 AM, May 5th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

this particular life changing event has forced all those "stuffed away" issues to the front of the line...(and I always wanted to be first in line!!!) Some people deal in different ways...we ALL have FOO issues...we were raised by people who were raised by people etc...it's how each of us handle them...some better than others obviously but because I have faith in humanity and the better good I have been able to S.L.O.W.L.Y. dig my way out of this horrible hole my husband AND I dug...@ blakesteele we too were the "perfect couple" and we were told this CONSTANTLY...and guess what I believed it...so I happily went on living status quo...didn't think I/we needed to worry about anything...ha!
anyway what I'd really like to do is share with you all an article by Richard Rohr ...he is a deep thinker and very often I need a dictionary to read some of his work ...he makes me think... I'd love to hear from any of you on this particular one about discharging your loyal soldier it is very short a few paragraphs...
again thank you all for your wise words
http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Richard-Rohr-s-Meditation--Lacking-True-Rites-of-Passage.html?soid=1103098668616&aid=w7UCpV06e7o
I hope it comes across as I am a digital immigrant for sure!!!


me-BS
him-WS
3 adult children 1D 2S
married-1977
LTA 09-2010 - 11-2012
D-day - 11-11-2012
status - reconciling and very hopeful
"Let Go of Control; Let God's Life Flow" ...Richard Rohr



Posts: 516 | Registered: Apr 2014 | From: sunny california
Topic Posts: 17

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