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Grace and other things

Arfaj posted 2/10/2018 20:30 PM

I see so many people write about grace on these forums. They have grace. Theyíve gone through some transformative process where they know in themselves that they are enough, they accept, forgive, move forward.

MC talked about it today in different words.

But Iím still stuck.

I listened to WH describe his fantasies about AP tonight in MC. How much he loved the shape of her breasts and the softness of her body and especially how much her body wanted him. Every word stabbed. I keep thinking I canít break anymore and then he opens his mouth.

The MC said sometime in this process I will find my truth. That I will have found it when I not only ďknowĒ that I am good enough, sexy enough, enough, but when I also feel it. That it will happen when I not only know but feel in myself that WH is broken and that this is about him and not me or my deficiencies. That when I find it I will have a choiceó to live in truth with WH or without him.

The more we go to MC the more I feel I am grasping at straws to make this not be the deal breaker that I feel it is. Finding grace feels like an insurmountable task. I connect far more with the MHs and those who found freedom in D than I do with those that had the grace to R.

Is this what limbo is? Not having the strength to leave or be all in? To stay simply through inaction?

Iím afraid to let go.

JustDandee posted 2/10/2018 21:27 PM

I'd say this is what limbo is. I we t back and forth for more than a year on whether I was going to stay or go. I made up my mind that I will be the one raising my kid, not some other woman half of the time. So I adopted the "fake it til I make it" motto. I even told WH my motto. I went through the motions of a loving wife while sometimes seething at the disgusting things he had done. I'd look at my child and tell myself I'm not going to miss out on his life. Now in my case I have a remorseful husband who wants to make it work and who is doing his part to heal us. It would be different if he was not. I just had to decide for myself if it really was a deal breaker.

I too wanted to bestow that grace I've seen others use. Everything is a choice. You can choose to be graceful. Grace is very hard to give. But the point of grace is that the other person does not necessarily deserve it but you give it for yourself, your kids, to save your marriage, whatever the case may be. Even in what I'd consider successful R, I am not always graceful. Sometimes a snarky comment about his infidelity slips out. No one is perfect. Give yourself credit for being a good and faithful wife and mom. It's truly his brokenness that led him astray. You are enough, and if he doesn't think so, then someone out there somewhere will think so. You have to decide your path. There are consequences and rewards to each decision. It's not a decision you have to put a timeline on today.

Iwantmyglasses posted 2/10/2018 21:49 PM

Grace is many things. Just exploring the concept and giving the chance of R is grace

What in the heck is wrong with your MC? This is sick. Why would a professional put you through listening to the WS reminisce about their AP? I would not go back to that MS. It makes me think this MC is mentally sick.

[This message edited by Iwantmyglasses at 9:49 PM, February 10th (Saturday)]

Crushed7 posted 2/10/2018 22:16 PM

Theyíve gone through some transformative process where they know in themselves that they are enough, they accept, forgive, move forward.

Yes, in hindsight that can be a true statement. However, the process to get there is immensely difficult, incredibly painful and horrifically draining. It is hard work. I wouldn't trade it for the world because I am healthier and stronger than I've ever been in my life, but that path was absolute hell.

The MC said sometime in this process I will find my truth. That I will have found it when I not only ďknowĒ that I am good enough, sexy enough, enough, but when I also feel it. That it will happen when I not only know but feel in myself that WH is broken and that this is about him and not me or my deficiencies.

That is an accurate description. I like to think that it takes a while for the truth to sink into your brain and then even longer for it to make its way to your heart. That takes a lot of time and effort while being focused on your own healing. So despite the accuracy of your MC's words, this is part of what your MC is doing is crazy...

I listened to WH describe his fantasies about AP tonight in MC.

Why is the MC subjecting you to something which absolutely reinforces the lie that you were disposable, worthless and unimportant? That the AP was so much better than you and that is why your husband strayed? Listening to your WH talk about how wonderful the unicorns and skittles were in fantasyland isn't helping you to heal, to better see that the affair was a self-centered exercise in him gaining ego kibbles or that the AP was only a means for him to achieve a high not unlike a drug.

That when I find it I will have a choiceó to live in truth with WH or without him.

You need to heal. Part of that is seeing that the affair wasn't a commentary on you. Part of it is reclaiming the truth that you are important, valuable and worthwhile. MC, especially what you just went through, isn't helping and is actually damaging. You'd be better served in IC (individual counseling).

I'm seriously questioning why, several months after Dday, your WH is speaking in such glowing terms about the affair and the AP. By this point he should be seeing his own brokenness, that the affair was destructive, that he was just using the AP and that there was nothing special about the fantasyland he constructed. He should be coming around to feel remorse for the incredible pain he has caused you. Instead, he is just sticking the knife back into your heart.

The more we go to MC the more I feel I am grasping at straws to make this not be the deal breaker that I feel it is.

That is an excellent question for IC. And there are more. Why are you staying with a serial cheater? Why are you tolerating his apparent lack of remorse? Why are you afraid to let go? Why are you struggling with not feeling good enough? They will help you find the truth and begin to regain the knowledge that you are important, worthwhile, valuable and more than enough.

That when I find it I will have a choiceó to live in truth with WH or without him.

Once you heal and come to know that you deserve to be treated with love and respect because of who you are, then you will have the strength to not be stuck in limbo and to move forward either with or without him.

I'd highly recommend stopping MC for now and just doing IC for you. You need to heal.

DebraVation posted 2/11/2018 02:56 AM

I'm in shock at what was discussed in your MC session. Your MS should be encouraging your WS to get over it and see it for what it was (nothing - a fumble with a piece of shit) not basically getting him to see it as great all over again. Good god. How is that good for either of you?

Dump that MC would be my advice. Get to IC instead.

demolishedinside posted 2/11/2018 05:54 AM

I wanted to tell you that our first MC retraumatized me. We detested going and I crashed hard after every session. I felt no hope and saw no way forward in those early days. He had WH tell me the words he said to OW during sex. Letís just say that night, I couldnít get off the bathroom floor. I was in deep trouble and scared Iíd hurt myself. I had to call off work the next day, as my face was so puffy that not even a ton of makeup could have hidden my pain. I stopped going to MC then and switched to a new IC altogether. We waited almost a year to start up MC again. I let him work on his crap first. Therapists are really just people and many of them are not BSs or trained in trauma or infidelity. They can do more harm than good. Please stop going to MC. Focus on your healing and see your own IC.

Arfaj posted 2/11/2018 12:09 PM

Thank you everyone for your concern over the MC. The MC did not pressure me into listening to WHís fantasies. In fact it was the other way around. It was my idea.

Someone in a different thread (I canít remember whose or in which forum) mentioned the importance of revealing fantasies so they couldnít be a secret and special anymore. And that if it was done with the BS, that essentially the BSís reaction would take any pleasurable associations out of the fantasies for WS. Quick way to kill fantasies.

I also didnít want there to be anymore secrets in our marriage, things that the AP knows that I donít, and things like that. And Iím sick of the slow trickle of information. We were already at a low point. I thought this couldnít make things worse.

The MC was right. You all are right. I was wrong. It was worse. And it didnít kill WHís fantasies in the slightest. If anything, judging by the update he gave me this morning, they seem to be worse.

I like this MC. I feel safe with him. Thatís something I struggle with a lot with counselors. He agrees that I need more IC for healing. He and WH have agreed that I can see MC one on one to work through some of my issues in place of going together for a while.

Iíve been trying to 180 and set very firm boundaries with WH while heís working on himself. No touching, no sex. I just canít deal with touch since finding out he fantasizes about AP every time we have sex. It is too much.

Iím at a low point in depression. Iím trying to focus on the kiddos and Iíve developed a safety plan for myself. Itís hard right now. I feel very alone. Thereís only one person off of these forums that I can reach out toó the rest of my friends left when they heard about WHís affairs.

Grace is hard. I donít know how people here do it. Iím going to keep chipping away at this roadblock Iíve hit, but it sure seems impossible at the moment. Thank you everyone for your valuable insights on this. I will meditate on your words and continue to work on it.

Why are you staying with a serial cheater? Why are you tolerating his apparent lack of remorse? Why are you afraid to let go? Why are you struggling with not feeling good enough?

As for why Iíd stay with a serial cheaterÖ First it was for love, then it was for the kids, then it was for a very specific safety issue that I canít go into on a public forum but that requires the both of us for now. Itís complicated. Everyone has their reasons, good or bad. I guess I fall into limbo and the fake it ítil you make it category until my safety reason is gone. And thenÖ then I have the freedom to make a choice that's best for me, I think.

The rest of these questions I still need to work on.

I worry about WH doing the work. His life still revolves around escapes and fantasies. If it isnít an AP, you can bet it will be video games or something else thatís more fun than reality. At this moment he's shooting spaceships online. Something tells me seeing his IC twice a week isnít going to help if he canít do the hard work and introspection outside of sessions.

Meanwhile the apartment is a mess, Iím a mess, there are errands, and the kiddos need some fun, so I better go take care of things.

Thank you all. Your responses really give me things to think about and that helps a lot.

Crushed7 posted 2/11/2018 16:01 PM

I like this MC. I feel safe with him. Thatís something I struggle with a lot with counselors. He agrees that I need more IC for healing. He and WH have agreed that I can see MC one on one to work through some of my issues in place of going together for a while.

Given your other clarification, this sounds like a good scenario -- you have someone that you feel comfortable with and who has clarity around where you need to be guided to. Go jump into your own healing journey!

The rest of these questions I still need to work on.

I'm not looking for you to justify your decisions at all -- only to be aware that self-examination is an important part of your healing and in formulating what your path will look like going forward. Especially with the opportunity to get IC from your existing MC, it looks like you will do exactly that.

I worry about WH doing the work. His life still revolves around escapes and fantasies.

Then you know what you'll be looking for out of him. The "I worry" component of your sentence will likely change as you progress in your healing.

Iím at a low point in depression.

I'm so, so sorry. It makes dealing with everything so much harder. If you haven't yet, consider seeing your doctor to inquire if there might be something to help get through the upcoming months. Understand that this will likely just be an aid to help you do the other work needed to heal and step out of the depression that the situation has thrust upon you.

Grace is hard. I donít know how people here do it. Iím going to keep chipping away at this roadblock Iíve hit, but it sure seems impossible at the moment.

It is easier said than done. And the advice comes from hindsight -- after months or years of struggle to get there. We did it by taking a day at a time and by having support (especially SI). Remember that you have people here who understand the hell that this is and that care about trying to help you move forward.

In some ways, your story sounds like mine -- staying together with a serial cheater (later diagnosed as a SA), battling very deep depression and struggling with thinking/feeling that I was enough. The one key area that was crucial to my healing was reminding myself regularly that there were things to be thankful for and to enjoy (although "enjoy" is a very relative term in the midst of depression). For me, sunset ended up being the first thing that penetrated the darkness I felt surrounded by and was the 5-10 minutes of a day when I could experience the thought that all was not lost. Over time, I was able to be thankful for other things or even go do something just for myself (a walk outside, a favorite drink, a warm bath, etc.). If this sounds like something that could help you, then start keeping your eyes open for the gifts hidden in plain sight that you are worthwhile and that life has more for you.

((Hugs)) We are here for you. You will find your grace someday, but lean on us during the journey to find it.

[This message edited by Crushed7 at 4:03 PM, February 11th (Sunday)]

Notthevictem posted 2/11/2018 16:12 PM

Who the hell said you had to go through this with grace?

Can you take a shit with grace?

Why the hell should you hafta go through this gracefully?

You don't. I mean you can, but you don't have to. Going through it with grace... who does that help?

I went through it with sadness and anger and pain and a shitload of more pain and anger and sadness. Top it with some shame and bargaining and shock and did I mention pain?

You wouldn't expect grace from a gunshot victim, would you?

Sure, it sounds like a great thing, but it seems an awful lot like something said in church regarding other folks problems that you don't wanna think about. 'Oh she went through that with grace'= 'I don't wanna think about her problems and don't feel like I have to because she looks like she's taking it well'.

NOBODY takes this well.

strugglebus posted 2/11/2018 16:14 PM

I don't think that there is enough grace on gods green earth for me to go through that MC session. If nothing else know this you are brave AF and strong beyond measure. If he knows the hurt he has done to you and still thinks of the AP fondly- he has sent you a message that his head is still planted firmly in his rear and he has no empathy for you. I hope he wakes up and starts to change sooner rather than later.

[This message edited by strugglebus at 4:17 PM, February 11th (Sunday)]

ISurvivedSoFar posted 2/11/2018 16:36 PM

Arfaj - you are stronger and dare I say more graceful than I could ever be.

Grace defined: do honor or credit to (someone or something) by one's presence
How in the world can you not think you are doing this with grace because you are! Please know that not only are you showing grace to your WS, but grace is also shown to ourselves. We need to have the grace to be present, to move forward despite our trauma, to look at the good despite knowing all of the bad. You Arfaj, are the epitome of grace.

I don't know that I showed any grace to Mr. ISurvived when I told him to get out and leave for good. We ended up staying together but the road was nothing short of rocky. Transformation comes from these awful places, from seeing the ugly, the trauma, the places that are uncomfortable. When we go there, we learn where we don't want to be and we move towards the place that is better. That's when we realize forgiveness is for us not them. That's when we realize we are enough despite them. That's when we understand that moving forward is much better than looking back and if we know more moving forward, we make it our mission to do it in a way that creates a better life.

You are there, you are right on the cusp. You are in the muck and that muck will catapult you to higher ground where the grace you have already shown will grow inside of you and you will gain the strength you need to determine your boundaries, your needs and whether or not you can be with your WS. There is no shame in either decision because the grace you've shown already is more than enough; it is plenty.

Maisindu posted 2/11/2018 21:17 PM

It scares me to see your MC is putting you through this. You and only YOU should be the one to decide what details you want to hear. I've heard plenty of experienced counselors advise not to get too many graphic details. They will only make mind movies worse. I know I did want to have all the details but I've found out in this cases more is not necessarily better.
And that man really needs to focus on you and your M, and take off those rosy colored glasses. I think he still isn't seeing OW for who she really is.

kaygem posted 2/12/2018 12:09 PM

I just canít deal with touch since finding out he fantasizes about AP every time we have sex. It is too much.

I am R leaning on this forum, in life, in my own life.
HOWEVER, THIS would be a deal breaker!!! He fantasizes about his AP during sex? Nope. No way. Not remorseful and you have nothing to really work with here.

I mean, I understand that things pop into peoples heads, memories and stuff...but if he is literally fantasizing about his AP during sex with you then he is still in his affair.

And, Even though you asked for it, I still think the way he spoke his fantasies out to you was cruel.

You need two people all-in to R. I'm afraid you just don't seem to have that here.

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