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Certainty and Guarantees

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Imdrowning posted 2/6/2018 14:38 PM

The old/new marriage is a great concept. I actually started down that road myself. While she made the decision to cheat I already felt the marriage was over and in fact started to plan for such. We have talked a lot since, and in my mind I'm now dating a diffferent woman. We are both learning from the past and doing things different. I have thought about potentialy a repeat ceremony if we decide to stay together. It's only been 4 weeks so I haven't made a decision yet on witch direction to go. I realize I left the door open all she had to do was walk through it. She took the step, her choice but i certainly didn't do anything to prevent it in fact may have pushed her a little. I'm just starting this long journey but whatever comes of this i will be stronger. I think If we don't work it out I will just remain single and focus on my wonderful daughters who will always love me no matter what. It's comforting to pick them up, get hugs and kisses and know I do hold hearts that are innocent and need me.

ISurvivedSoFar posted 2/6/2018 22:06 PM

@OldWounds - thank you. There is so much wisdom in your comments.

For me it meant the era of our relationship where our communication sucked, we were filled with resentment but figured we must be doing okay if we were still together, despite all that.
Yes exactly. In our case, we never spoke of our resentments, we just carried them silently allowing them to erode our emotional health to the point where he reverted back to his unprocessed trauma and I closed down so much I became apathetic. This is no way to live.

I think this leads to gaining certainty

What remains after we pick ourselves up, rub some dirt on it and clear our eyes is a new choice.
Whether we R or D, it's a new choice and going back to what we had is a choice too. We need to be clear however, that we are making that choice, whatever it is, and that we have the control and even deciding not to do anything is the control we choose to exert.

Finally, this:

In my case, I finally had a willing audience for the first time since we originally teamed up. I had someone who knew she couldn't ever make up for her choices, but was certainly wanting to try and make up for it anyway.
I think this is true too. Early on in our relationship I voiced my concerns and my needs (not as authentically as I do now) but he was not able to respond accordingly. Perhaps the same is true for me. But now I've got someone who gets it - who understand his wiring is faulty and thinking patterns primitive from past trauma. After much therapy and book reading (devouring) we're getting a good picture of both of our areas of brokenness, which is our first step in moving in a positive direction to self assurance whereby certainty is ours to own individually.

ISurvivedSoFar posted 2/6/2018 22:29 PM

@Onlytime - wow what a great excerpt from Pema. So much great stuff in here and you are right, it is aligned with the mental/emotional state I'm learning to embrace. This is fundamental, I think:

The third mark of existence is suffering, dissatisfaction. As Suzuki Roshi put it, it is only by practicing through a continual succession of agreeable and disagreeable situations that we acquire true strength. To accept that pain is inherent and to live our lives from this understanding is to create the causes and conditions for happiness.
I had to learn this which was especially helpful during the time in my healing where I was wishing this didn't happen to me. But I think I was asking the wrong questions. Instead I should have been saying, why not me? What did I do to contribute to my dissatisfaction? To his dissatisfaction?

Again, I'm not blaming myself for his behaviors but with the rose colored glasses off...I need to see everything.

And isn't this how we can get ourselves to having an A to begin with?

Thus we become less and less able to reside with even the most fleeting uneasiness or discomfort. We become habituated to reaching for something to ease the edginess of the moment. What begins as a slight shift of energy--a minor tightening of our stomach, a vague, indefinable feeling that something bad is about to happen escalates into addiction. This is our way of trying to make life predictable. Because we mistake what always results in suffering for what will bring us happiness, we remain stuck in the repetitious habit of escalating our dissatisfaction. In Buddhist terminology this vicious cycle is called samsara.
Wow, just wow.

ISurvivedSoFar posted 2/6/2018 22:36 PM

@Shellbean - oh, oh, oh so true.

One of many things I have learned going through this process is that if a person is going to cheat, they will find a way to do it - so can't worry about if WH has another A.
I feel the same way. Now that I'm not in shock, I cannot be bothered to track him although I reserve the right to do so. Part of the ability to stop is not only the trust being rebuilt, but the certainty I'm adding to my life knowing that hey, I'm just fine without him if he once again chooses to throw everything away. That's on him. I don't take it so personally anymore.
I chose to change things about myself. These changes have helped me to understand all of the above and in addition, have taught me that I will be okay on my own should anything ever happen again.
Finally, I understand your point about the heart attack over the A. For whatever reason I'm not obsessed over the A but I am obsessed over healing myself and working to appreciate every moment of every day. That means the A takes a back seat more and more and hopefully one day, gets the hell out of my way!

ISurvivedSoFar posted 2/6/2018 22:39 PM

@Imdrowning - I'm so sorry for your pain but know that with that attitude, you will be okay. Now that I've read the excerpt Onlytime posted from Pema, this makes even more sense. Everything changes anyway so why resist?

Slife posted 2/11/2018 10:52 AM

Love this post and thread- thanks all..... My own stability and ability to be HER like is being described comes and goes but I see the value in cultivating it. I'm reading a great book (since we are mid-lifers) called The Middle Passage, From Misery to meaning in MidLife by James Hollis. It has a lot of interesting perspectives that reflect developmental emotional growth.
Love Pema Chodron's book too.
This gives me some much needed ballast.

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