I Am Strong! I Am Beautiful! I Am Smart! I Am Worthy!
I don't post often but read just about every day and I believe you don't have to post to get advice. Just reading has helped me immensely.
[This message edited by SandAway at 9:40 AM, June 27th (Friday)]
Guns don't kill people; Affairs kill people
He asked why and I told him it was because I feel like I don't get good advice.
How are you defining "I don't get good advice?" ie: lack of responses? Advice you don't agree with?
I feel because of my status I don't get the advice I need.
You mean because you are GF and not wife? Or because you were the wayward party?
I don't know. I love reading SI but I feel when I write iits not the same.
I had to simply read for months on end before I got comfortable enough in my own skin to post from a place of honesty, and also to hear with honest ears. Hoping that makes sense.
If reading is helping you grow, heal, and learn then use SI for that purpose.
However, if the only reason you are holding back from posting is because you are somewhat timid or fearful about putting yourself out there and not being heard or understood, I would gently encourage you to work on that part of yourself by continuing to post MORE (not less).
You are so young, and no doubt have a beautiful soul that needs nurtured. You must trust that opening up and being vulnerable will bring light into your heart. I'm way older and tried for many years of my life to either hide or run from pain. Hiding and running accomplishes nothing.
Be vulnerable in your relationships, but most importantly with yourself. Hugs to you!
ETA: SI is one of the very few things that has HELPED me heal from my affair in a meaningful way.
[This message edited by sunnyrain at 9:49 AM, June 27th (Friday)]
SI has helped me in a lot of ways. I think one of the most important lessons I've learned was about validating yourself and not seeking outside validation from anyone. If you know you are doing something good and feel proud, that is enough for me now. Before I was wanting someone to pat me on the back.. Or tell me I'm pretty or whatever I was "needing" at the time. It took me a while to understand it completely and being able to fill my own bucket. My unhappiness was on no one but myself.
Another was learning about boundaries. How to set them and what they meant. I had zero boundaries. I over shared all the time. Now I like to think my boundaries are firm. Still need to be worked on here and there but I'm aware now of what it's all about.
I read some of your previous posts. You got some good advice. No one ever pointed out your age or girlfriend status if that's what you are referring to? I'm not going to get tough on you here but I have a feeling you need to work on self validating. You are enough. No one here or your BBF can help you with that. Be proud of how far you have come and what you have accomplished. Work on your goals and being the best you possible. Don't worry about pats on the back or anyone noticing your work.
Keep going. You're on the right path but maybe need to check yourself a bit and make sure you are staying the course 100%
Overall, SI has been a huge help to me and has directly contributed to the fact I still get to be married.
When I came to SI over a year ago, I was in a semi-open marriage. Some of the comments BH and I got out of the gate here on SI? Not real helpful, for example, "How is this cheating if you're in an open M?" Guess what, he is just as hurt as anyone else.
So, I get having a "different situation," but IMO SI saved our M. I hope you will stick around.
I tt so much in the beginning and when a trigger would come I would try to stop it. I held back on timelines thinking I was protecting BH, but I learned that is was only hurting him and me. I took in everything that every WW and BS had to say and made it into a postive even if it wasn't what I wanted to hear. The 2×4's helped. But what has helped me the most was being completely honest with myself , IC and going deep down within me to find my whys and fixing what is broken in me.
When I got here, I didn't get it. I was still being defensive. I would post, expecting to get yelled at or get bad advice. I challenged those here to "do their worst" and braced myself. I did bad things and I was ready to be yelled and go on the defensive.
I'm going to go ahead and quote one of the responses I got (Thanks, tired girl):
"This wayward forum is an awesome tool, one that you can choose to pick up and use, or one that you can just choose to blow off and not ever really see the value of. Your choice. But if you are really going to ever get rid of your wayward thought processes, you need to start with putting down the defensive posture and start listening. No one here is out to get you. We have all walked the road that you are walking. We are here to help you."
Facing your inner demons is scary. Some people want a quick fix and only hear what they want to hear. Some embrace the challenging questions.
On my darkest days, in my darkest hour, just lurking in here was a comfort. There is a certain kind of peace watching the sea of tortured souls move in and out like the tides.
It's all about expectations. At first I spewed out my story expecting a solution to a problem. "Here's my story. Now, tell me what to do to fix everything." But it doesn't work that way.
You read, or you don't. You post, or you don't. Maybe you read something that makes you feel better. Maybe you read something that makes you feel worse. At the end of the day, what matters is how you feel inside.
It really makes me smile to see those that are selflessly donating their time to help. As new waywards stumble in here all panicky, legs shaking like bambi, yelling "What do I do? What do I do?", I can see all the old salts shaking their heads. The first thing you do is calm down. The next thing you do is read, and then read some more. Thankfully there have been some strong people here before me who've made some awesome articles and an awesome FAQ.
I've only been here 2 months and I'm already shaking my head. "Help me! What do I do?" Well, have you read any articles or older posts? No?
Well, go do that.
It totally reminds me of the simpsons when Ned Flanders' hippy parents take him to the psychologist and say "You gotta help us, Doc. We've tried nothing and we're all out of ideas!"
It may not seem like it, but life goes on, and we're all going to move forward with our lives, one way or another. Maybe we'll calm down, and read, and listen, and understand. Maybe we'll blow it off and go back to hurting ourselves and each other.
I, for one, am proud of the work being done here. I'm saddened that it took my own unfaithfulness to bring me here and if I can make any kind of difference now that I am, that only helps me to be a better person I think.
I would imagine that there are a lot or families here (mine included) that in the beginning stay together only for the kids. And some of those feelings may be coming across to you. Again those post responses would be based on their own feelings and life journey.
I tip my hat to you and your BBF. This is a hard walk. It is hard to do the work and make the commitment with so much on the line. The messes of divorce and child custody, investments, etc. But to choose to go through this without all of those things complicating the relationship is very brave. It will take a lot of determination and dedication.
Maybe something that could help. (This is something my BS and I do) We read SI together and then discuss the scenarios and feelings. What comes with that is I understand my BS feelings better on some things. And she can understand my feelings better on some things. It helps us to learn, grow, and heal together.
I hope that you stick around, and keep reading/posting. I learn as much now from other people than I do from my own postings.
Wishing you the best on your journey.
"If you don't eat the elephant in one bite, it might trample you while chewing"
ME: WH HER: BS (holesinmybucket)
I do not PM with Women
Is SI really helping you?
My short answer is yes.
My long answer is that SI will help you only to the extent that you let it. I am one that feels you don't have to post a lot to get a lot from SI. I have been here just about 4 years now. I can quite literally count on one hand the amount of days I didn't open up SI and do some reading. That's a whole lot of reading SI!
In the early days, I would only post when I had issues that pertained to my particular situation that I needed to work out. Most of the time there were other waywards that were going through similar situations that I could pull information from and learn from their threads. You can see that my post count is pretty low for someone that has been around as long as I have.
I have used SI as a great source of information. Better than any self help book I have picked up because these are real people going through the same thing and they get it like no one else can. I have had plenty of people post something to me that didn't quite fit what I was really asking, but amongst those posts are some real jewels.
I have been challenged here. Made to think about things from all angles. I have considered SI my saving grace in times of desperation. I have used SI as a sounding board when I just need to work a little something out. I have found humor here. I have found heartache. I have found a great deal of compassion and support. I have felt a strong sense of community. Just like any close knit environment, we don't always agree. But I think that's great because it forces you to really think about your process if you don't let your defenses get in the way of it.
I have seen people come here looking for others to agree with them and commiserate. When they were challenged they left in a huff. I have seen the light bulbs click on. I have seen the empathy. I have seen stubbornness and entitlement. I have seen genuine remorse. I feel that at this point, I have seen it all.
So I ask you, what is it you are looking to get from SI? What kind of support are you looking for? The kind that takes you in their arms and rubs your back and says 'now now, everything will be ok' or the kind that will challenge your thought process and be real with you? Some people just aren't ready to get real. You have to want it. It's the same line of thinking as quitting smoking or losing weight. You can't be successful unless you want to make the change.
I hope you stick around. I hope that you work on yourself while you are still young. I wish you well.
Regarding advice here on SI : Take what you want and leave the rest...
While this is standard advice on SI, it turns out that you have to actually figure out the whole "what you want" thing when you read and post here.
This is one instance where SI actually hurt my recovery, but it wasn't SI's fault. Explanation: when I first registered here and started looking for advice on how to recover from my affair, I was nowhere near ready to begin healing myself. I posted the obligatory "Help! What should I do?" type thread, I got great advice (in hindsight), but I was really wanting someone to say something that I could parrot back to my BW to make everything better and forgotten. During that time, I cruised the JFO and General threads every waking moment, looking for terrible stories about infidelity to make me feel "better()" about what I had done to my BW, as there were stories far more terrible than my own out there. I used those stories to soothe myself to sleep at night, rather than to help me fully comprehend the level of damage I had done to my BW and my family thorough my infidelity. These terrible stories (not mine, of course ) kept me feeling good about myself (really?!?!), thinking that I wasn't *that* bad of a cheater. The fact of the matter is that this is truly what I *wanted* from SI at that time, and I really wasn't ready to deal with the fact that *I* was the problem here, or at least a major part of it.
It wasn't until my BW's discovery of OW#2 7 months after DDay did I really change my way of thinking, and truly, my entire life. For those 7 months, though, I wanted to find someone at SI that would magically make this all better with as little work as possible on my end. I had a login name. I posted a few stories or topics, and got some life stories off my chest. Wasn't that enough for my BW? Can't she forgive/forget now? Wasn't that enough for me?
In the years since that time, I've now relied on SI to "check" my way of thinking, to help identify any flaws in my thought processes, and to lend some insight into infidelity-related topics. It turns out that I've learned a lot about myself, but it wasn't really because of posting at SI, or reading wayward threads at SI. In desperation, I read threads about crappy counselors, fired my IC at the time, and got myself a damn fine IC. I've been working with him every 2-3 weeks for the past 2.5 years now, and this is where most of my life changes have occurred; SI is often referenced at these sessions, though. I'm in a good spot now.
Where does SI help me the most these days? Oddly enough, still in JFO and General. Reading those threads is so painful to me now, where they used to be soothing to my fucked up way of thinking. I can't imagine inflicting this pain on my BW and my family ever again, so reminding myself of the damage that infidelity causes on a near-daily basis actually helps me, quite significantly. I don't have to post to get that help, and I'm guessing your post will continue to draw many of "us" non-posters in here, Matilda (as it has). I'm a firm believer that true personal recovery and healing has to happen in a SI-independent manner, however.
Yes, reading SI helps me tremendously. NOW. My BW and I often read threads together in bed at night, making comments to each other and addressing components of my affairs that may be related to those threads. As the quote above implies, however, SI is simply a tool that can be used to "fix" things according to your current desires. How are you going to use it?
JMHO, of course. Take what you want, and leave the rest .
Part of me feel like an idiot writing all of this because I don't have the best grammar, so I don't feel the smartest. Sometimes I feel like u would be stupid and no one wants to hear it. It's like when I'm in a meeting and I express something and people roll their eyes like I said something stupid.
Overall I do find SI helpful but not writing just yet. Even writing this is hard. Also, BBF feel like I rewrote how I saw SI. I have told him it is helpful which is true. But then the other night I told him it wasn't and he felt I was justifying SI just like I rewrote how he "never cared" when all he did was show he cared. I will be sticking around for a long time. Hopefully, one day I will come out and face my fear of writing out here as often as everyone else has.
Thank you all again for your time. I really do appreciate the time you spent writing how you feel. Thank. You.