What part of your grieving feels unhealthy to you? The fact that it hasn't resolved itself or fixed the problem?
The more I think about it the more I wonder if I am confusing "unhealthy" with "not-my-old-normal". By that I am referring to the parts of the rest of your post that talk about going about "doing and fixing". In the past when something was uncomfortable I would either avoid it (ie: my wife distancing herself from me or expressing the slightest bit of discomfort) or attack it head on (ie: debt stress and I would get intense about eleviating it or work stress and I would work work work until completion).
Like all things....it is not all bad or all good. Parts of my old ways of interacting with life were good....but parts were not.
I struggle with finding a balance.
Adultery has me diagnosed with PTSD-like symptoms....one of which is polarizing what the hell is going on in my life. I think I am at a point where those symptoms are subsiding but the "new normal" still feels "different". I think this post is me wondering if I shouldn't try something different.
Which is why rachelc's nudge is sooooo warranted! I need to just be still damn it!!!
Does your body feel relaxed or tight?
Mostly tired....but I could describe it as relaxed. Deflated? Depressed? possibly.
Do your pains subside or strengthen?
pain is subsiding....profoundly sad. Strenthening? My third DD was a strong increase in pain....destroyed most of the trust I had in my wife. Did it for two main reasons. First, the obvious one.....OM still has mind-realestate inside her. Sucks, but what doesn't about this trial, eh? Second, that feeling and realization is identical to how I started this journey....my wife SAYING she was committed to me, our family--playing the part expertly. She did this while I was in anxiety therapy the summer she spawned her affair....I was not aware of her affair at the time and was seeking everything within ME that was the root of this unsakeable uneasiness. She smiling and comforting me...while she nurtured and fed her affair with the precision of a surgeon.
It is no surprise to me NOW why after her IC sessions she was reporting to me things like "I am just not having the ah-ha moments you are" and "I just process things differently than you.". The pain of this recent betrayal is deep.
But I know I have healed some because of how the day of my 3rd DD rolled out.....so very different than the first two. And it has everything to do with how I interact with life NOW.
And this is where my therapist has been so very helpful. She continues to remind me of my "new normal" and how I have changed for too much to go back to the old coping mechs I comfortably used for decades. She also shows compassion for me when I eye those old coping skills and try to wrap them up as "different".....she helps me unwrap them and face the fact of "dang, that is too close to what I already had and don't want."...then I refocus and lean forward.
Sunvalley....you are NOT one of my original brat pack members but you have become a solid supporter for me. Thank you.
As a child I learned to put on a brave face, ignore the pain and DO something and more specifically - do whatever it takes to make sure I never have to be hurt like this again.... enter co-dependency BIG time
You ARE one of my original brat pack members....and have continued to follow my journey and I, yours. We are so very similar. the above quote from you is so SPOT ON!!!!!
This is why my 3rd DD was such a victory for me. I was able to keep the pain in site (didn't rug sweep), leave the shit where it belongs (on my wifes plate), and proceed forward to interact with the many other parts of life outside of my struggling relationship with my wife. I am no Jesus, but I am so much healthier than before.
"I may not be where I want to be....but thank God I am not where I was!"--Joyce Meyers
Sunvalley and Itsaclimb....you are both on my SI specific prayer list. Thank you so much for your continued support.
God is with us all.
Am I afraid to grieve for fear I will find D is a choice for me?
You need to examine divorce in relation to your life as it is now, new promotion, new school year, Year 2. Pros. Cons. But give your considerations a firm deadline. (You can choose to revisit your options as often as you like.) Limbo, by definition, is the ambivalence of standing with one foot it both camps. So you have to make a conscious decision: At the present, _____ is best for Blakesteele.
Last night I took 30 extra minutes between work and getting home to just cry in my truck.
If it's depression, then I suspect grief and sadness will be easier than joy and laughter. This may be your "season" for grief, but I find it's difficult for joy and grief to grow simultaneously.
I requested another sexual fast recently....felt like it was healthy as sex with my wife is emotionally painful for both of us. Therapist engaged me on why I wanted this.....20 minutes later, tears wanting to fall, I understood my request was me desperately wanting to retract from pain and grief.
What happens when you reach toward your wife for comfort?
I helped my Mom to the point of exhaustion
When we grow up fast...we miss some vital steps. Most of those steps were meant to grow us, mature us emotionally and spiritually. I see this as a common trait amongst many on here. I keep this in mind as i want to retract from the world....I remind myself that I have girls to shepherd. And healthy shepherding is far more than just providing the physical needs....there are very real, just as needed emotional and spiritual shepherding that I am charged with providing to them.
Your Mom being bitter for 35 years post D? That is my Mom too. Her first bit of advice for me after my first DD? "Well, thats just how relationships work...they don't last". I have watched time and again both my Mom and my Dad "love" their relationships until one thing happens then its "We are done....goodbye!". In a nutshell this is the modeling I have experienced. I see you swimming upstream too. This CAN be done, but it is a struggle.
Keeping busy, keeping the mind off the pain and the event that caused it, doing anything but feeling....
What the therapist means when she/he is saying to sit with the pain is just that. Just sit. Blank our your mind and allow yourself to just feel. Concentrate on the parts of your body and how they feel. Close your eyes, blank out your thoughts, and concentrate on how your legs feel, how your feet feel, how your heart feels, how your chest feels, are you tense in your back?
If you feel tenseness or something somewhere, then find a way to soothe that tenseness. The body holds our pains. When you find out where you are holding your pain, then you can start to release it.
I found pain in my chest area (the heart, well duh!) It actually hurt to take deep breaths. It got me to thinking about how my heart had been hurt. I allowed myself some thoughts about what had been done to me, but more importantly, I allowed myself to soothe myself. I told my heart it would be okay. I told my heart I loved it (that brought the tears). It was hard, it was painful, but it was healing.
There are all kinds of ways to grieve. I've done the crying in the car on the way home also, and that has been a good release.
.I just want to face and accept all the pain that is present NOW!
Are you familiar with the 5 stages of grief by Kubler -Ross....
Most people will have to work their way thru those states, and many times we go back and forth between several of the stages before we finally get to acceptance. Working thru those stages takes time. You are in this for the long haul, but try to look at it this way....it is a life lesson. You are learning, strengthening, gaining wisdom from all of this. The most important of life's lessons are not those that come to us easily.
ETA: I was working on this post when you posted your last couple....
She continues to remind me of my "new normal" and how I have changed for too much to go back to the old coping mechs I comfortably used for decades.
[This message edited by NaiveAgain at 9:13 AM, July 17th (Thursday)]
I think for the "fixer" types the whole "be still" feels impossible...but I think I am learning how to do this actually I think I am being forced into it because it is the real way through this pain!! Patience is not an adjective one would use to describe me!!
About 5 months into this trial I was at a local cafe at 5:30 am. Only other patrons were a couple in their 80's. My food was brought to me, I closed my eyes and prayed....most of that prayer was for patience as anger was building to rage over my wifes choices.
I opened my eye and the elderly wife was standing at the edge of my table.
She tapped my book, which was face down on the table, and said
"I bet your table-mate does not talk back to you!"
I smiled and glanced at her husband sitting across the room from me....he smiled. It felt good.
Then her next sentence was chilling.....
"You know, I used to pray for patience but God just kept sending me trials, so I quit praying for patience." Believe she said something like "peace be with you" or "God bless you"....something kind and christian based, but I can't say for sure.
I was in shock.....she walked away. I don't know how long I stared into nothing.
I do remember looking over to the table and thinking..."I want to buy their breakfast for them". The table was empty....the elder patrons no where in sight.
It was one of a handful of chilling moments I have experienced since this trial started.
There is no easy way through this sometimes, we have to let ourselves feel the hard stuff, and gently walk through it.
This is the right answer.
This is a tough one, isn't it.
I have literally cut down 90 foot tall ponderosa pines with the tops on fire as we fought western wild fires and had LESS fear then than I do now....doing exactly what you KNOW to be the right answer.
My spiritual journey is helping....I am, like you say, being forced to do this. Having zero ability to control my wifes journey, to "make" her remorseful and turn from her old coping skills has left me at "the end of myself".
It is at the end of oneself that you have a choice. I can turn inward and become bitter and depressed, or I can turn to God and accept all of the love, grace and mercy Jesus died to afford me. Even that is not a linear process for me.
My pastor has said over and over
"Blakesteele, I know you. You are the type that "gets it", takes his sins to the alter and leaves them with God. Thanks him for the salvation. Feels good and solid about that. Then, as I turn to go I think "You know what, I can do more and God is super busy....let me just take these few items and work on them a bit more, lighten Gods load".
That is the way I have "done relationships" all of my adult life. It follows that my personal relationship with God starts out like this. However, it doesn't have to be that way...doesn't have to end that way. He desires it to be different.
I have today to change that. I have changed. I am still hopeful my relationship with my wife can further change.
Part of that requires me to walk with pain and just.....walk with it.
What you are describing IS grieving!
You keep searching for a solution to grieving, a way to DO it, because, you reason, there must be something else to it, then just FEELING it.
What you are describing is grieving.
I have watched time and again both my Mom and my Dad "love" their relationships until one thing happens then its "We are done....goodbye!". In a nutshell this is the modeling I have experienced.
See. This is what you are fighting. This IS what you are swimming up stream against. You SO don't want this to be you.
This CAN be done, but it is a struggle.
Yes. It CAN be done. BUT only when two people are fighting to do it, to fix it, to change it.
What exactly are you grieving right now? The A or the new found reality that your WW wasn't being as honest as she said she was, that the OM still is in her head, that she was still being a bit deceitful….
even now, she isn't elaborating on her feelings about her perusing the FB page. This is not R behavior.
To me, it seems that you are in so much pain right now because you have a whole new set of 'truths' to come to an acceptance about.
You seem to be right on track and 'doing' what you should be doing--- yes, you need to feel it and give it it's own time and space, but you also need to keep living, keep putting one foot forward. This is normal grieving.
From where I am sitting, it doesn't seem like you are fighting feeling the grief as much as you are fighting what the past few weeks might mean for you. ^^This is what scares the shit out of you, IMHO. To me, this is what you are afraid to examine, not the intimacy or grief.
Hugs Blake! You are on the right track.
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."
What you speak of is where I have traveled to since the inception of this post. That is....not struggling to greive, but struggling to accept that my wife continues to choose actions that cause all involved new pain.
I am facing a very new-to-me reality with regards to my marital relationship. Just like I "see" parts of my parents in me and feel the pull to "do as they do"....I clearly see the same exact pressures and pulls within my wife to do as her parents have done....see very clearly how her life choices mirror those of her parents in many ways. And, like me, I see her trying to swim upstream against them too. I have a strong desire to see more of her struggles.....and pray that that "sight" stops coming in the form of DD's. KWIM?
How can two people broken so similarly (sexual sin used as false intimacies on BOTH sides of our M) be struggling so hard to heal? Shouldn't we find some common ground from which to build a new marital foundation?
I am more aware NOW that I have learned to grieve....but the pain simply has not stopped. It hasn't because my wife has chosen to not stop it. Her decision to lurk FB, decide what I and cant handle, walling others out, choosing to continue to subscribe to "I got this all on my own"...all of that is tending her garden in the same manner in which adultery was eventually produced. My last DD WAS a DD...it WAS identical to my other 2. While my wifes words say it was oh so different, the facts and feelings surrounding those facts ARE identical.
A part of me really really wanted this to be different. Placed too much emphasis on how I interacted with this "event" and not enough...."realism"??? as to what it really says about my wifes committment to her M and her family. But is that really my issue to dig for? It is in that this is my wife and my helper to nurture and model relationships to our daughters. I put my oldest daughter in my place...and still struggle to have crisp visions as to what is the most healthy way to proceed.
Its like she is skating just close enough to the line of "deal-breaker" to medicate her pain via more false intimacies to an "acceptable level" but not over it into "deal breaker" land. KWIM?
Is full on adultery still a part of her life? My gut says no, her words say no. Is infidelity still being chosen? Yes. Yes in the same light that using porn is infidelity. She is taking what needs to stay within our M and giving it outside of it. If it is like other false intimacies....stopping the lurking is just the first step. It takes 4-6 weeks to clear your mind enough to consider yourself free from its influences. I doubt she has ever gone that long without "him" being in her mind. Yeah...that sucks. But I must face this pain.
Is it enought to D? No. Is it condusive to R? No. Is she trying to change? Yes.
Brokensmile322....you are one of my original brat pack members. I appreciate your continued support and thoughtful interactions.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 9:13 AM, July 18th (Friday)]