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User Topic: Cemented to the past
uncertainone
Member
Member # 28108
Default  Posted: 7:25 PM, June 29th (Saturday)

I didn't choose to reconcile so found myself confounded by a question posed.

I understand how we are all part of our past. Our actions, and even other's actions, blend together to become our individual experience that helps shape us.

That said, what about when that experience becomes "cemented" locking both parties forever in one shared nightmare?

I was talking to an SI member about this today. I see some real heartwarming stories of reconciliation that are inspiring. It seems to me those members are fluid. While the past is very present, they've moved through it without anchors.

How can you grow while being permanently encased? Does there not come a time for both parties to just let go and not so much give up but understand that to stay together that horror will be the bond and the definition of one partner forever as a "monster" and the other as a victim"?

Does never give up mean accepting that dynamic as the best they can do because the other options are just too scary, upsetting, uncertain?


Me: 37

'til the roof comes off. 'til the lights go out. 'til my legs give out, can't shut my mouth


Posts: 6795 | Registered: Mar 2010
wincings_sparkle
Member
Member # 27129
Default  Posted: 9:00 PM, June 29th (Saturday)

How can you grow while being permanently encased?
As you know, Wal was angry for a long time. Looking at it from the outside, it would have seemed that I was "permanently encased". I was not. I worked on myself, waited for time to pass and held onto hope. Hope for a better future because I was working for that. For myself, for my children and even if Wal said he didn't want any part of me, he was still welcome in my future if that was his choice.
Does there not come a time for both parties to just let go and not so much give up but understand that to stay together that horror will be the bond and the definition of one partner forever as a "monster" and the other as a victim"?
I was the monster for quiet a while. Until I realized that Wal does not define me. The WS cannot change the BS perception of the WS, all they can do is change themselves into who they want to be and outgrow that perception. That takes time. You don't unlearn a lifetime of bad coping mechanisms and whatever else in 2 weeks, 2 months or even 2 years. It takes hard work, dedication and the ability to really question who you were and determine who you want to be. It took me 4 years before I was able to look at myself and not think I was hiding a monster behind "good behavior". What a shock it was to like myself again. To be proud of what I had accomplished.
Does never give up mean accepting that dynamic as the best they can do because the other options are just too scary, upsetting, uncertain?
Eventually hope will die. If forgiveness isn't something that you are working toward both as a BS and as a WS, then you do become cemented into an undesirable place. Forgiveness is the main ingredient in a successful reconciliation. I'm not talking about surface forgiveness. I'm talking about the deep down erasure of debt. Grace. I believe that both WS and BS have to reach forgiveness for all for Reconciliation to be complete. That means the A or A's, all of the pre-A stuff, the after A stuff, All.

A couple has to find a way to let go of all of the resentment that they harbor. That takes a level of honest with self and spouse that a lot of people have trouble with.

I believe I am babbling.

Anyway, "Never give up" doesn't have to be a bad thing. Being Stubborn isn't necessarily a waste of time. Hope carries you through and forgiveness is a worthy goal if both spouses are working toward it.


"When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free."
- Catherine Ponder
Me-FWW. BH-wincing_at_light

Posts: 1594 | Registered: Jan 2010
badchoice
Member
Member # 35566
Default  Posted: 10:26 PM, June 29th (Saturday)

""I was the monster for quiet a while. Until I realized that Wal does not define me. The WS cannot change the BS perception of the WS, all they can do is change themselves into who they want to be and outgrow that perception. That takes time. You don't unlearn a lifetime of bad coping mechanisms and whatever else in 2 weeks, 2 months or even 2 years. It takes hard work, dedication and the ability to really question who you were and determine who you want to be. It took me 4 years before I was able to look at myself and not think I was hiding a monster behind "good behavior". ""

W_s,

This is nice to read And gives me hope. Hope that in time, I will turn the corner. I feel like I am letting my BS define me right now, and its a role i am willfully falling into, and in a way I feel like us being separated HAS cemented us in the roles of villain and victim.

I hope as I grow and learn about myself, I will be able to lift myself out of that feeling.


Me: fWH/BH 46

Separated transitioning to D


Posts: 725 | Registered: May 2012 | From: L.A.
AFrayedKnot
Member
Member # 36622
Default  Posted: 10:06 AM, June 30th (Sunday)

I hope you don't mind a BS response.

There are no "monsters" there are no "victims". There are two imperfect people who fuck up. And some fuck ups hurt a lot more than other fuck ups.

That horrific bond is not the end its the beginning. It is the motivation to move forward for both sides. It is the reminder to stay vigilant. We don't celebrate death days we celebrate birthdays. There is a phrase used in my 12 step fellowship, "Never forget your last day using".

I hope to God that the past is forever cemented in both of our minds because I never want to be there again.


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: 2527 | Registered: Aug 2012
Lucky2HaveMe
Member
Member # 13333
Default  Posted: 10:42 AM, June 30th (Sunday)

Does there not come a time for both parties to just let go and not so much give up but understand that to stay together that horror will be the bond and the definition of one partner forever as a "monster" and the other as a victim"?

If one or neither partner does the work for R, then yes, the A will remain front and center with the labels well adhered. But if couples truly want to R, both need to take steps to grow together.

The A will forever be a scar on our hearts - both of our hearts. My FWH has as deep, if not deeper scars than I. And sometimes those scars get picked at, but the longer you are in R and the more work done, the less bleeding from that wound - a new bandage is placed over the leaky one and we move on together.

And that is my profound, philosophical speech for this week!


Indian wisdom says our lives are rivers. We are born somewhere small and quiet and we move toward a place we cannot see, but only imagine. From Tending Roses

Posts: 6013 | Registered: Jan 2007 | From: WNY
authenticnow
Moderator
Member # 16024
Default  Posted: 10:43 AM, June 30th (Sunday)

There are no "monsters" there are no "victims". There are two imperfect people who fuck up. And some fuck ups hurt a lot more than other fuck ups.
Exactly that.

We are not cemented in this any more than we are cemented in anything that is part of our history, good or bad. It is part of our story and we tackle it, live with it, learn from it, and continue to love and act as a couple...we live and we move forward.


Take up your space (and do it well).

"That's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt."


Posts: 36633 | Registered: Sep 2007
uncertainone
Member
Member # 28108
Default  Posted: 12:27 PM, June 30th (Sunday)

I hope to God that the past is forever cemented in both of our minds because I never want to be there again.

That's what I was wondering, Chico. If it is aren't you always there? The question I was asked was if the BS tells the WS they'll never love them and never open up to them again. They're just there because they themselves can't face the fear, humiliation they think leaving will bring how do you "work through" that? Reading the pain, rage, hatred (at times) that's posted here in "vents" I find it hard to believe the holder of those feelings just purges then goes "back to regularly scheduled events".

Once someone becomes so representative of the worst pain some have ever felt does that encasing yield?

I don't know about forgiveness but I could absolutely see acceptance. I would never be able to accept a monster. When one became that to me there was no web redemption for him.

I do believe there are monsters. With every brutal choice one can get closer and closer to that place using their own darkness to guide them there. That's not label specific. You see what "you" are truly capable of when tried.

I just don't see how two people agreeing one of them is that being and coming home every day to that doesn't really speak of more commonality than one might want to admit to.


Me: 37

'til the roof comes off. 'til the lights go out. 'til my legs give out, can't shut my mouth


Posts: 6795 | Registered: Mar 2010
unfound
Member
Member # 12802
Default  Posted: 12:48 PM, June 30th (Sunday)

... some real heartwarming stories of reconciliation that are inspiring. It seems to me those members are fluid. While the past is very present, they've moved through it without anchors.

fluid is that last word I'd use to describe any post of mine about our reconciliation . in words or effort or journey or present time.

the "anchors", both as a couple and individually are there. we've learned that we can cut the rope or let out infinite slack when that's not possible. the latter sounds like constant effort, but really, it's in the choices, big and small, that we make everyday that keeps the A anchor from ripping our sails trying to fight against things neither one of us can change. it may seem fluid, and most days now it is, but it didn't happen quickly...the learning process was rough, but it was/is a choice we both made and make.

Does there not come a time for both parties to just let go and not so much give up but understand that to stay together that horror will be the bond and the definition of one partner forever as a "monster" and the other as a victim"?

...and speaking of choices...

the bond we have is not one based on the horror, but what we've become since then plus the positives of our past. I don't know how a successful R is possible, or even any relationship, when the common bond is based on something so destructive.

yes, there was a time he was a monster, and I saw him that way. yes, there was a time that I was a victim, and he saw me that way. it wasn't until we could see and accept ourselves and the labels we put on ourselves that we could choose to change. in order for us to stay together, we had to each change not only our personal and percieved definitions of ourselves, but be willing to recognize and accept the new, earned definitions of each other, both within our own selves and for each other. if one of us didn't, then I don't believe we'd be in a healthy relationship now.

Does never give up mean accepting that dynamic as the best they can do because the other options are just too scary, upsetting, uncertain?


I can imagine that giving up/giving in to that dynamic would be a very hard decision as well. I think that's why it's so important, no matter if you're a WS or BS, if you R, S, D or in limbo, healing yourself and believing that no matter what, you'll be okay is the most important part of not just life after infidelity, but just ... life.

*wincing, I see your babble and raise you a ramble


ka-mai
*******************
From time to time, I do consider that I might be mad. Like any self-respecting lunatic, however, I am always quick to dismiss any doubts about my sanity. DK

Posts: 14823 | Registered: Nov 2006 | From: mercury's underboob
aesir
Member
Member # 17210
Default  Posted: 1:05 PM, June 30th (Sunday)

UO, last night I had a lengthy post typed in here, then I abandoned it when going back to quote from your post. I was afraid that I had completely missed the point and was answering the wrong thing. Turns out that I was right about being wrong.

I think your conclusions about the circumstances you describe are absolutely right. I would question how often those circumstances actually occur, despite the frequency of their portrayal. We all know that people can write and talk about what a monster someone is and how they are a victim with great regularity (ironic that there is a potty humour double entendre there), but it takes a lot of effort to maintain that attitude consistently. At the risk of invoking Godwin, I remember watching something on History, and in one scene Hitler was playing with some dogs. I kinda had to smack myself when I realized I was thinking happy thoughts about the dog playing fetch or something.

I'll see both your babble and ramble, and raise you a tangent.


Your mileage may vary... in accordance with the prophecy.

Do not back up. Severe tire damage.


Posts: 14924 | Registered: Nov 2007 | From: Winnipeg
20WrongsVs1
Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 1:05 PM, June 30th (Sunday)

Why does the outcome of the M impact the definition of the partners?

to stay together that horror will be the bond and the definition of one partner forever as a "monster" and the other as a "victim"

Following this logic: I'm a monster and BH is a victim because we're pursing R. But if we D, what does that make me?


fWW: 42
BH: 52
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
"Between stimulus and response there’s a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response, in our response lies our growth and our freedom." V. Frankl

Posts: 1045 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
grains
Member
Member # 32590
Default  Posted: 2:49 PM, June 30th (Sunday)

I just sent this to Trying33. I hope it helps:

"My BS got me a wonderful book - "Fear - Essential Wisdom For Getting Through the Storm" by Thich Nhat Hanh. It is very helpful. It came at the right moment for me. I am studying meditation with a monk that is from the same tradition as the author of the book. It helps one understand the ideas in Buddhism. Please try meditation. The meditation this tradition uses is focused on breathing. It is called Vipassana ("insight"). There is no thinking just observing. You try to have a quiet space with yourself daily or as often as you can just for 10 minutes. Be well."

We have the choice to understand and be mindful of our past so we can grow and be free.


WH 60
BS 50
No Children
Together 17 years
Married 7/21/2001
D-day 03/01/2011

Posts: 313 | Registered: Jun 2011
uncertainone
Member
Member # 28108
Default  Posted: 6:23 PM, June 30th (Sunday)

Why does the outcome of the M impact the definition of the partners?

It doesn't and that wasn't the point of my post. It was about a specific mindset.

Loved your response, unfound. I think that's awesome.

I know we can build prisons for ourselves thinking another is the jailor. We one day test the door and figure out we could have opened it all along.


Me: 37

'til the roof comes off. 'til the lights go out. 'til my legs give out, can't shut my mouth


Posts: 6795 | Registered: Mar 2010
AFrayedKnot
Member
Member # 36622
Default  Posted: 7:04 PM, June 30th (Sunday)

If it is aren't you always there?

No, that moment is always with me but I am not always in that moment in time. I think this falls under "forgiving is not forgetting".

We all read about infidelity is crazy making. And that is an understatement. Feeling go from one extreme to the other in milliseconds or months.

I have told Broevil many times that I hated her. In the moment I meant every word of it. I said horrible things to her and today I regret every one of them. But at the time they needed to come out. There needed to be a purge. It was part of my process right or wrong. I would purge and she would fight to hold us together. It happened so regularly we kinda got it down to a science. But hours or days after it was back to regularly scheduled programing of moving forward.

I think the biggest stumbling block is the separation of the perpetrator from the crime. "Good Girl Bad Decisions" not bad girl or monster.
As long as I can keep that separate there is hope.

In my opinion if the BS is still there they are holding a glimmer of hope. Once the all the hope is truly gone no amount of fear or humiliation will make them stay.


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: 2527 | Registered: Aug 2012
rachelc
Member
Member # 30314
Default  Posted: 8:59 PM, June 30th (Sunday)

I think the biggest stumbling block is the separation of the perpetrator from the crime.

this is easier for me to do as a BS rather than a WS... i can't get away from myself. I remember 25 years of good things he did for the family and that is the cement that keeps me here.

cripes, any outcome we're faced with is scary and uncertain. We have to jump off some cliff, which one do we choose?

the shared nightmare? does it end? or do you wake up in 5 years either healed or regretting your decision?



his Ddays: 2/10, 7/11
my Ddays: 1/12, 4/12 broken NC 12/12

me: 48
him: 51
4 kiddos in lower 20's

“Slide the weight from your shoulders and move forward. You are afraid you might forget, but you never will. You will forgive and remember."


Posts: 4522 | Registered: Dec 2010
cissie
Member
Member # 17637
Default  Posted: 12:23 AM, July 1st (Monday)

This is a very good thread. Speaking as a Monster I do feel I have been cast in that role and it is so hard to get out.

I have done a lot of work on myself, and I do not expect to be rewarded for it, but I think we went into this with crossed wires.

In the beginning I did everything wrong, but in this case I feel that it did not matter. No matter what I did the outcome would have been as bad because it was a deal-breaker for him.
He says it doesn't matter what I did, but it was the intent. Except what I did does matter.
I didn't know it was a deal-breaker,and he let me think that it wasn't for a long time.

[This message edited by cissie at 12:26 AM, July 1st (Monday)]


Posts: 516 | Registered: Jan 2008
SBB
Member
Member # 35229
Default  Posted: 7:03 AM, July 1st (Monday)

I think there are monsters and then there are those that do monstrous things.

Infidelity was not the worst of his betrayals. It was just the one that gave me a get out of jail free card out of that unfulfilling and unhappy marriage.

He was the monster and I was the victim. All is good with the world.

IMO R doesn't just depend on who does what, when, for how long or even how many times. Or how remorseful or forgiving one or both parties are.

Its all the non-infidelity stuff. He cheated because he was broken. I tolerated a shit marriage because I was broken.

This was a dealbreaker not just because he betrayed me and broke my trust. It was also because he did this even though I put up with a shit M for so long. That there is messed up.

I doubt a healthy me and a healthy him would have hit it off in the first place.

He is a monster no doubt about it. The odd thing is I'm realising I had morphed into one too.

Shit. Fuck. Shit. I've been reading to many of UO's posts!!


Buzz- The word you are searching for is 'Space-Ranger.'
Woody- The word I'm searching for, I can't say, because there are Pre-school toys here.

Posts: 5438 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: Australia
uncertainone
Member
Member # 28108
Default  Posted: 8:00 AM, July 1st (Monday)

Once the all the hope is truly gone no amount of fear or humiliation will make them stay.

Oh, how I wish that were true. Sadly, people stay for all kinds of reasons. Let's be honest. Marriage/partnership relationships aren't all that easy to extract from. Financial enmeshment. Children and giving up time with them. A "I don't want them but don't want anyone else to have them" odd ownership. History. 

I had no hope. I didn't leave. It wasn't until I woke up to how much my choice to stay had affected me. That was my first betrayal of myself. Staying when every part of me was screaming at me to GTF out.

I know true reconciliation is very possible from this shit. I believe serving a life sentence is  a reality, for some, as well.  

Fear is powerful. It can be more powerful than love, hate, even indifference because it's not about the other person at all. It's about us and the vague understanding that something we've pushed so far into the shadowy darkness has defeated us. It's only when we head into those parts and fight it we can be free of it. Otherwise it will remain the victor always.

Cissie. Think about your prison. I know you post that you're too old or too stuck. You don't honestly believe that though or you wouldn't still hurt so much. You don't accept it because you know, somewhere, that none of that is true. 

Strongbutbroken, I feel ya. I've read them too. Even my dreams are like this, sometimes. 

Francis Chan is involved with charities and an amazing man. Although not religious myself I've enjoyed his books. He either wrote this or spoke it sometime. "Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding in things that don't really matter". 

That hit so close to home for me. My fear of breaking up the only family I'd ever really known that actually felt like home, thus failing...until I realized I already was home wherever I was. Once I got that I then recognized I had some HUGE amount of cleaning to do as I'd apparently gone on a rampage. 

[This message edited by uncertainone at 8:39 AM, July 1st (Monday)]


Me: 37

'til the roof comes off. 'til the lights go out. 'til my legs give out, can't shut my mouth


Posts: 6795 | Registered: Mar 2010
heartbroken0903
Member
Member # 27879
Default  Posted: 10:24 AM, July 1st (Monday)

Does there not come a time for both parties to just let go and not so much give up but understand that to stay together that horror will be the bond and the definition of one partner forever as a "monster" and the other as a victim"?

Yes, I think so...hence "reconciling after divorce."

All lightheartedness aside: I think this is exactly what my XH thought (but could never have verbalized) and that's why the only way we could have R'ed was to have ended the M and spent some time apart.

He truly feels as though this is a new relationship. His ex-wife cheated on him; he's in a committed relationship with me. From his perspective, it just so happens that his ex-wife and the woman he's in a committed relationship with are one and the same.

For me, I can't do that. I can't separate the two. The cheating---the "monster" that I was---is still, 3+ years out, at the forefront of my mind. I think of it every day. I am reminded of it every day. It doesn't go away. Not that I think it should---it shouldn't. It may be a small part of my 30+ year story, and not the sum total of my life and me as a person---but it is still the worst thing I have ever done.

XH used to get frustrated because according to him, he's left the past behind---but I'm still stuck in it.


Me: WS, 30s
XH: BS, 40s
No kids

Married 2.5 years
D-day 3/6/10
Divorced 5/14/10

Reconciling after divorce

"Someday you'll look back on all these days
And all this pain is gonna be invisible." - Hunter Hayes, "Invisible"


Posts: 2079 | Registered: Mar 2010 | From: the cat's meow
Sal1995
Member
Member # 39099
Default  Posted: 3:28 PM, July 3rd (Wednesday)

Once someone becomes so representative of the worst pain some have ever felt does that encasing yield?

The conflict is that the same person also may be representative of the greatest love the BS has ever felt. Outside of the parent-child relationship, at least.

BS' often find themselves feeling like they are in a hopeless no-win situation as a result. At least in the early stage of recovery. But I think time gives clarity to these issues. I'm still less than 5 months out, but have come to the definite conclusion that my wife is at her core a very decent person. With a history of selfless acts. She didn't just become a monster early last year, but she did engage in uncharacteristically bad behavior that her IC thinks is tied to stress, mid-life changes, and serious FOO issues.

If you asked me even a month ago if my wife was a "monster" who selfishly inflicted tremendous pain on her husband and children, I might have answered yes. But what I've come to learn is that she is a good person with poor coping skills who saw an opportunity to escape into a fantasy world free of a mortgage, bills, cooking, cleaning, kids, and the responsibilities of our practice...and she took that opportunity, sadly.

The question going forward is whether my love for her will outlast the pain she has inflicted. The answer is most likely yes, but only because my wife has been in counseling for 4 months trying to fix herself and to repair the marriage.

Does never give up mean accepting that dynamic as the best they can do because the other options are just too scary, upsetting, uncertain?

Maybe - in order to R, at least from the BS perspective, you have to accept things that are very difficult to make peace with. But I don't think you do so only because the other options are too scary, upsetting, or uncertain. You do so because you genuinely love your WS, you believe in her, you want to be with her, and you don't regard her as something to be disposed of easily just because she caused you great pain and disappointment.

That last sentence was in no way a knock on anyone who decided that infidelity was a deal breaker for them. That's an understandable and reasonable position. Even Biblical. But it does describe how I feel about my wife and our situation, and I know a lot of others take a similar approach.

[This message edited by Sal1995 at 3:30 PM, July 3rd (Wednesday)]


Me-45
WW-42
DDay 2/17/13, 9-10 month PA/EA
Final NC late Feb. '13
M - 18 years, together 19+
4 children

Reconciling


Posts: 1328 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Texas
Topic Posts: 19