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Reconciliation Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: Healing and Relationship Dynamics
AFrayedKnot
♂ Member
Member # 36622
Default  Posted: 7:44 AM, May 13th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I have been doing a lot of soul searching lately to try to understand my discontent and dissatisfaction. I read a post here over the weekend that hit me like an anvil.

This is going with the premise that the A's were just the tip of the dysfunctional iceberg. They were not a oneoff or an accident. It was a direct result of defective thought and behavior patterns that she has had for a long time, such as selfishness, impulsiveness, immaturity, compartmentalization, justification, conflict avoidance, low self esteem, isolation, and probably many others.

These patterns not only manifest themselves in the ability to have an A but their tentacles wove themselves through every relationship dynamic she has had. Our entire time together they have played a role in how we interact. They became the norm. They were expected. I'll be honest, many times they worked to my advantage!!! I could read her like a book. I even started suspecting an A a couple months before she met the OM.

Now, after many months of work, she is changing. She is becoming healthy and authentic. Her actions and reactions and even interests and hobbies are new and different. The more she is working the more of a stranger she is becoming to me. You would think this is a good thing, and ultimately it must be, but it is leaving me feeling lost. Who is this person? She is not who I fell head over heals for many years ago. Like I wanted the bad to disappear and everything else to stay the same. Its all tied together.

Its just happening so fast. I know all relationships evolve and people change over time. But when intense self work being done there is not enough time for adjustment. I am finding myself having to fall in love all over again with someone new.


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: 2551 | Registered: Aug 2012
karmahappens
♀ Member
Member # 35846
Default  Posted: 7:51 AM, May 13th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Wow that gave me goosebumps.

Congratulations for finding the source of the discontent.

We all need to grow and change, I hope the two of you can continue to do it together.


“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: 3788 | Registered: Jun 2012 | From: Massachusetts
brokensmile322
♀ Member
Member # 35758
Default  Posted: 8:18 AM, May 13th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage


Now, after many months of work, she is changing. She is becoming healthy and authentic. Her actions and reactions and even interests and hobbies are new and different. The more she is working the more of a stranger she is becoming to me. You would think this is a good thing, and ultimately it must be, but it is leaving me feeling lost. Who is this person? She is not who I fell head over heals for many years ago. Like I wanted the bad to disappear and everything else to stay the same. Its all tied together.

^^This is so insightful. And I totally understand, except I am the one (BS) who is changing and I feel as if I am leaving my WH behind in the dust. I am discontented as well because I am looking at my WH with different eyes and I do not like who he is very much.


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: 1426 | Registered: Jun 2012
tired girl
♀ Member
Member # 28053
Default  Posted: 9:30 AM, May 13th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think that this road is not always an easy road, nor a straight one. Often one partner is changing more than the other and is waving at the other one to hurry and catch up, lol.

Maybe this is where the 2-5 year thing comes into play? I do think there will come a time where it levels out a bit and the changes are not so drastic, but yes I do feel there is a period of re discovery with our partners. And like there is a whole new relationship. I have liked this aspect as our old relationship was so dysfunctional.

While it may leave you feeling a little like you don't have your footing, do you like the changes that it has brought to your life?


Me45 Him 45 Hardlessons DS 25,23,20
D Day 1/18/10 his 3/8/2012 mine
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt

Posts: 4677 | Registered: Mar 2010 | From: az
sisoon
♂ Member
Member # 31240
Default  Posted: 9:40 AM, May 13th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

This is SO great for SO, and you sound like your positioning yourself for it to be great for you, too.

It sounds like you're dealing with the breakup of an old system. That is, you and SO have developed habits for communicating and being with each other, some healthy, some not so healthy. As SO is healing, she's giving up some of the unhealthy behaviors and expectations, so the things you do and say in those situations don't work any more. In fact, your old actions may actually hurt your relationship.

IMO, Eric Berne's

Games People Play
and/or James & Jongeward's Born to Win would be good reads for you now, especially GPP. They may be out of print, but they're easily available, perhaps even for free at your library.

Meanwhile, I'd suggest you confront your issues head on, if and when you recognize them. I guess I'm suggesting that you stop, tell SO that this used to work and doesn't now, and see if you can figure out how to handle similar situations now. Also, working some communication difficulties out in an MC session could be helpful.

It's not easy, but it is rewarding. Look at it this way: you've spent a lot of energy over the years helping SO to compensate for bad thinking and feeling. Now you have to spend some of that energy to learn new ways of behaving. Once you've done that, you'll have all that energy available for fun and/or productive activities.


fBH (me) - 70, 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: 9909 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: Chicago area
AFrayedKnot
♂ Member
Member # 36622
Default  Posted: 9:57 AM, May 13th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

do you like the changes that it has brought to your life?

Many of them yes absolutely. Those are mostly the ones that involve the kids, extended family, and the world in general. And some that involve us.

But there are other changes that just make me think that who she was when I met her was just false advertising.

you'll have all that energy available for fun and/or productive activities.

I think, this is where the stumbling block is currently. She seems to be just as much of a stranger to herself as she is to me. I am trying to live with my expectations in the realm of realistic. So when I ask questions about hopes, dreams, interests, fantasies, ect, she is unable to give any input. I feel like it is a waiting game for her to figure out what she wants in life before we can decide if we are on the same path.


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: 2551 | Registered: Aug 2012
ItsaClimb
♀ Member
Member # 37107
Default  Posted: 12:29 PM, May 13th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

This is a tough situation. Like brokensmile, I am in a similar position but probably more from the other end.

I have come to a couple of conclusions in my sitch, not sure if they would be helpful to you, but here goes:

1. I have to keep reminding myself that although the change we are going through is often uncomfortable, it is positive and very necessary change, so the discomfort is worth it. Kind of like being on a diet or exercise program

2. Time. It's going to take time for the dust to settle after all of this upheaval and only then will we really be able to make decisions about all of this. As much as I committed to R and we are working towards R, only time will tell if that is truly possible. It's a waiting game.

3. A healthy marriage is only possible when both spouses are healthy. So although I am inclined to keep looking back longingly at the comfort I found in our marriage before all of this, the fact is, it wasn't a healthy marriage at all. So although this feels weird and new, it's a whole lot healthier.

4. At the moment it is all about change, adapting, feeling a bit like strangers, rubbing off the rough edges.... in time we will reach a point where we will (hopefully!) reap what we have sown now. In other words, I feel there will be a reward at the end of this. The slogging is happening now, the reward comes later. Patience.

5. Our relationship has been so shaken up by all of this - the infidelity, the roller-coaster, the changes we are making.... it would be really weird if we didn't feel a bit freaked out right now. I reckon that feeling odd is perfectly normal at this point.


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: 928 | Registered: Oct 2012
bytheboard
♀ Member
Member # 37741
Default  Posted: 12:41 PM, May 13th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

(((Afrayedknot)))- your posts always amaze me in their depth and insight. This really struck home for me as it is exactly where I am with my SAWH:

when I ask questions about hopes, dreams, interests, fantasies, ect, she is unable to give any input. I feel like it is a waiting game for her to figure out what she wants in life before we can decide if we are on the same path.

I keep reminding myself that this is part of the process of reconciling with an addict, the addiction stunts ALL growth- intellectually, personally, spiritually, morally etc. and thus the addiction eats the authenticity and whole ness right out of the person. In the absence of the addiction, the person recovering must catch up for all of that arrested development. It is maddening waiting to see what will rise from the ashes.

This is what I am waiting for... To see who my husband will fill that empty with and if that person will be somebody compatible with my life path. It is so painful and anxiety provoking to wait for this in the wake of infidelity. I just really want to reach out and offer some support to you on this journey. Thinking of you!


BW: sparrow 34
WH: 45 SA(regretswhatidid)
DDays: 9/3/12 ,9/10/12 ,9/12/12 ,10/01/12 ,12/03/12,more TT same events 2/24/12
3x ONS= 2CL hook-ups,1 on TDY
46 Craigslist Ads, AFF, chatrooms,
4EA w/past partners
4 kids

Posts: 53 | Registered: Dec 2012 | From: Virginia
Jrazz
♀ Guide
Member # 31349
Default  Posted: 1:14 PM, May 13th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think, this is where the stumbling block is currently. She seems to be just as much of a stranger to herself as she is to me. I am trying to live with my expectations in the realm of realistic. So when I ask questions about hopes, dreams, interests, fantasies, ect, she is unable to give any input. I feel like it is a waiting game for her to figure out what she wants in life before we can decide if we are on the same path.

Well that hit ME like an anvil. So perfectly put, AFK, and I completely understand it. It's one thing to have hope in the work they are doing, but it means that they are a completely new person and that's a whole other mountain to process. How can we know or trust someone who is getting to know themselves from the ground up? I guess we can have faith that they are starting their foundation in goodness... but it's still a bit scary. Totally get it.


You will have bad times, but they will always wake you up to the stuff you weren't paying attention to. - Robin Williams

Posts: 16774 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
AFrayedKnot
♂ Member
Member # 36622
Default  Posted: 10:07 AM, May 14th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I guess we can have faith that thebecausetarting their foundation in goodness

(Sigh) yep

But we can also look for evidence.

My dad was never a big fan of SO, mostly because of a situation early in our relationship but he was nice and supportive anyway. After he found out about the A he was furious and wouldn't even look at her. To the point I had to sit him down and tell him R was my decision and he needed to respect it.

Last week he was visiting. He pulled me aside and told me "I'm really starting to like SO. You picked a good one!!!"


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: 2551 | Registered: Aug 2012
Rebreather
♀ Member
Member # 30817
Default  Posted: 10:36 AM, May 14th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Many times when both or just one partner get healthy, they realize it was the dysfunction that held the union together. It's scary to just work your process and not know what the outcome will be. There is no guarantee we'll get healed and still want to be married to the same person. It may no longer work for either partner. In the end though, better to be healthy and strong and be set free. IMHO


Me BS
Him WH
2 ddays in '07
Recovering.
"The cure for the pain, is the pain." -Rumi

Posts: 6347 | Registered: Jan 2011
AFrayedKnot
♂ Member
Member # 36622
Default  Posted: 10:41 AM, May 14th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

And that there is the hit^^^ isn't it!!!


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: 2551 | Registered: Aug 2012
5454real
♂ Member
Member # 37455
Default  Posted: 10:53 AM, May 14th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

AFrayedKnot,

Interesting dilemma.

But there are other changes that just make me think that who she was when I met her was just false advertising.

Part and parcel of the A not?

I am finding myself having to fall in love all over again with someone new.

Good thing you're already married to her. Sounds like you approve of the changes and....


"I'm really starting to like SO. You picked a good one!!!"

so do others.

R is a wild twisty road. Acceptance that the old M is dead and a new one has taken its place is very difficult. The changes a WS makes to improve themselves are often drastic to behold. The WS is now oh so different than the person we thought we married.

Personally, while interesting(read tough) to adapt to, I view it as her growing into her full potential. Casting aside the *brokenness* that limited her to such poor choices before. I support her in her process of growth. I want what's best for her. I took vows to that effect.

Still not easy though.

Great post. Thank you for the insight.


BH 51, WW 42
DS 23(Mine),SD 21,SS 20(Hers),DS 9 Ours, DGS 3, DGD 1 mo
D=Day #1 5/04EA (Rugswept)
D-Day #2 3/10/12, TT til 3/13/12
Married 10yrs
“I have no love for a friend who loves in words alone.”
― Sophocles, Antigone

Posts: 2665 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: midwest
Jrazz
♀ Guide
Member # 31349
Default  Posted: 3:52 PM, May 14th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Many times when both or just one partner get healthy, they realize it was the dysfunction that held the union together. It's scary to just work your process and not know what the outcome will be. There is no guarantee we'll get healed and still want to be married to the same person. It may no longer work for either partner. In the end though, better to be healthy and strong and be set free. IMHO

Wow, that was amazing Rebreather. So much to think about.


You will have bad times, but they will always wake you up to the stuff you weren't paying attention to. - Robin Williams

Posts: 16774 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
Ascendant
♂ Member
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 4:08 PM, May 14th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

All of that was good stuff, AFK. This...
Like I wanted the bad to disappear and everything else to stay the same. Its all tied together.
...really resonanted with me.

I worry, sometimes, that my wife is going to be healthy and that either (a) I won't be attracted to the authentic her because it was the brokenness and/or neediness that I was attracted to on some level or (b) that the authentic her will find me lacking in some way.


"The thing that always seems to be shocking to wayward wives is the simple fact that the man you choose to reconcile with is not the same man you cheated on." - a friend.

Posts: 1993 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Illinois
AFrayedKnot
♂ Member
Member # 36622
Default  Posted: 4:29 PM, May 14th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Ascendant-
As for option (b)...fuck that shit!!! Better men than us have never been made!!!!


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: 2551 | Registered: Aug 2012
Jrazz
♀ Guide
Member # 31349
Default  Posted: 10:13 PM, May 14th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

As for option (b)...fuck that shit!!! Better men than us have never been made!!!!

I miss you, man!


You will have bad times, but they will always wake you up to the stuff you weren't paying attention to. - Robin Williams

Posts: 16774 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
brokensmile322
♀ Member
Member # 35758
Default  Posted: 5:59 AM, May 15th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage


Many times when both or just one partner get healthy, they realize it was the dysfunction that held the union together. It's scary to just work your process and not know what the outcome will be. There is no guarantee we'll get healed and still want to be married to the same person. It may no longer work for either partner. In the end though, better to be healthy and strong and be set free. IMHO

Wow! This is so awesome. I guess that is where I am. I am changing and healing and the glue that held us together is slipping. I don't think my WH sees or feels this the way I do. I have been fighting it, trying to get him to see that we could lose it all if he doesn't recognize it, but maybe that is my need to try and control. I can't control if he heals the way I do or 'in synch' with me. Maybe I just have to let it be.


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: 1426 | Registered: Jun 2012
sisoon
♂ Member
Member # 31240
Default  Posted: 12:41 PM, May 15th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

If it means anything, Ascendant, I know those outcomes are possible - but I can't control the outcome. I'll just have to adjust.

(I suspect that most of us have healthy and unhealthy bonds with our spouses/SOs. I also believe that most of us have preponderantly healthy bonds. Removing unhealthy bonds may shock our Ms, but our Ms will probably weather the storm. I have no data to back this up except my own M, so these are just my opinions.)


fBH (me) - 70, 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: 9909 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: Chicago area
wert
♂ Member
Member # 34478
Default  Posted: 1:01 PM, May 15th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I suspect that most of us have healthy and unhealthy bonds with our spouses/SOs.

When I was in graduate school a girl and I were talking about how to get rid of free radicals in the body. Ya, I know great date conversation. Anyway, after a couple of beers she looked at me and said, you don't want to get rid of ALL the free radicals, right? It was meant as a larger point about radical thoughts, differences and free thought.

I am not a big fan of the word healthy. I think more in terms of authentic and connection. Health for me may not be healthy for you. I mean don't get me wrong, I know there is unhealthy dynamics, especially surrounding abuse, neglect and drugs. That said, I think "healthy" just as slippery a slop and any other. Staying connected and being authentic through ALL the changes (A related or not) is critical to enjoying your life with someone else. At the end of the day why I make commitments.

Change is scary. So is walking down street sometimes. I don't know, I just think sometimes people get to deep into and it becomes mental masturbation or something.

Take care..great topic.

wert



Posts: 1421 | Registered: Jan 2012
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