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Is it normal for numbness to set in?

FlipFlopFlamingo posted 12/12/2019 14:58 PM

Divorce paperwork is filed. I am still in the house pending our getting finalized documents together for our parenting plan and marital dissolution agreement. I have been emotionally charged (both good and bad) and fighting for my marriage and family during this entire ordeal (over the past 3 months or so).

I have been really focused on trying to give her space and distance myself from her. I know that divorce is inevitable as she is still refusing to discontinue contact with the other guy.

This week, I am just flat. All I want is to get this shit settled, move out, and be able to provide my kids the stability and love that I will be able to give them once I get to the other side.

I'm not emotional, I'm not really hopeful for my marriage, and I have no idea how I feel towards my wife at the moment. I know that love is still there, but I think I'm accepting that I can't have a person like her in my life. I focus on the big picture, and once trust has been broken to the extent that has happened throughout this process I know that it is extremely unlikely that we could ever rekindle any type of relationship.

I expected anger to set in once I starting accepting the finality of this, but I think I'm just sad, tired, and numb. I've been on an emotional rollercoaster during this entire ordeal, so this feeling is just so foreign to me. Has anyone else dealt with it? Will it pass and lead back to more acute emotions? I'm almost worried that I have broken myself and my ability to feel happiness. Maybe it will be better once I can get out of the house and provide actual separation instead of just mental separation.

Chili posted 12/12/2019 15:52 PM

Yes - for sure I went through this phase for quite a while once the paperwork was done. I had a lot of generalized sadness at the situation and then a huge flatness. I remember sitting at an event with close family and friends and thinking to myself "I *should* be feeling lots of joy right now." But it just wasn't happening. I felt like this strange observer of what was going on around me.

I don't know if I was just drained. Or protecting myself (stuffing down good emotions with the bad) or just really really exhausted. I seriously worried that I was jaded. I had plans to make my life very very small. Stick with current friends only. No one new in my life at all. It was going to be me and the dog and that was that.

But you know...life sometimes has a way of throwing those big proclamations out the window for you. And my life and ability to feel all sorts of things resurfaced after that dreaded *time* thing. After I was firmly making new memories outside of my Ex - it all started to feel right (and safe if you want to know the truth).

Now - I will tell you that I appreciate a quieter life much more than I used to. I hate drama. I like the line on the graph to fluctuate up and down in smaller increments. I don't think it's jaded - I think it's more genuine and honest than that shit show of peaks and valleys I used to be a part of.

You getting out of the house will make a huge difference. Hang in there FFF - you're doing just fine.

Ripped62 posted 12/12/2019 17:36 PM

I think feeling numb is a normal part of healing. Perhaps it is associated with fatigue, acceptance, or falling out of love. Feeling numb is likely associated with all of these factors plus others.

It is my opinion that concerns about being broken and questioning happiness when confronting infidelity are normal.

I sometimes questioned whether, "I could love again."

If you had posted that you were happy and felt invincible I would be immensely concerned for your well being.

My experience has been that the acute emotions returned for me. It is important to not become comfortable. Rest when numb but continue to strive forward and take the steps necessary to heal.

My hope is all that seems lost returns to you in ways that seem impossible now. Please be patient with yourself and give yourself time to heal. The trauma and corresponding emotional wounds can be severe. I suggest you take this time to focus on yourself and your needs

We will be with you on your journey and recovery.

Westway posted 12/16/2019 13:14 PM

I'm starting to slip into this. I cried and mourned the loss of my marriage for the first two weeks or so, and now I am coming into an acceptance that the person I married was a fraud. I still have horrible mind movies and nightmares, but those are gradually subsiding. Good days vs. bad days are getting to be closer to a 50/50 ratio now.

FlipFlopFlamingo posted 12/20/2019 11:50 AM

I'm starting to think that my emotions are getting misfired at the moment. I still love my wife (or at least who I thought she was when I married her), but I now know that I can't be married to her. I'm looking at moving out after the first of the year. Divorce has been filed and agreement paperwork is almost completed. Now I just feel bad for both her and me. She is broken and made terrible, selfish decisions that are going to hurt her family forever. My kids and I are casualties to her actions, but there is nothing we can do to go back and fix it.

Since I know I have to move on, I feel more pity and sadness for her than anything else. It is more like I have a few weeks to get through the holidays and enjoy her company, enjoy our family unit as it exists now, because it has an expiration date on it.

I can't have infidelity in my life and I can't be married to anyone that I don't trust. I truly believe reconciliation would have been possible after infidelity, but after discovery and admission, the fact that she continued to lie about such a fundamental betrayal and continue on with her infidelity is a full disqualification from consideration as a mate in my book.

I don't have to fight for my marriage anymore. I'm not in limbo anymore. The honest relief now that I have accepted that my life is forever changed (even though it wasn't by my actions or choice) is pretty strange. Maybe it isn't numbness as much as it is acceptance.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 12/20/2019 15:03 PM

I'm not emotional, I'm not really hopeful for my marriage, and I have no idea how I feel towards my wife at the moment. I know that love is still there, but I think I'm accepting that I can't have a person like her in my life. I focus on the big picture, and once trust has been broken to the extent that has happened throughout this process I know that it is extremely unlikely that we could ever rekindle any type of relationship.

I'm this way too and I don't know what it means, but it's likely not very uncommon. I think it stems from being emotionally exhausted. I think it's akin to running up a mountain for your life from a tidalwave...at first you run like hell and think you can outrun it (you have hope, adrenaline, energy), but as it keeps coming and the hill you're running up seems to remain steep and there is no end in sight, most of us run out of energy and eventually slow down, assess the situation and realize that all the running and hope will not save us, and eventually just let it wash over us and hope we end someplace else where we can surface for air, assess the destruction, and start rebuilding whatever is left of our life.

I think the numbness is that time between slowing down and stopping altogether - it's called acceptance.

EDIT - I wrote this and then saw that your post before me said the exact same thing. I think you are right.

The honest relief now that I have accepted that my life is forever changed (even though it wasn't by my actions or choice) is pretty strange. Maybe it isn't numbness as much as it is acceptance.

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 3:07 PM, December 20th (Friday)]

SleeplessInSouth posted 12/28/2019 23:28 PM

FFF- Wow- I can't even tell you what it was like to read your post tonight. I'm in the exact same place.

My husband and I have been separated for over a year- living apart. We literally grew up together so we traveled back home together with kids but in separate cars. He wanted to ride together but a 7 hour car ride with him and a 16 year old daughter that hates him was not my idea of a peaceful Christmas.

I was very nervous about this trip because I knew we'd be seeing all our friends that we've grown up with and I expected it to be so awkward and sad. But when we all got together the numbness that you described set in and I was okay with it. At least more okay than I expected to be. I was afraid that I would be watching him all night to see who he was talking to, and being angry that our friends were being nice to this person that had done all the crappy things he has done. However, I didn't concentrate on him at all. I just sat with "our" friends and talked like we always had. I wasn't bitter toward him at all. I just didn't care.

What I noticed instead was that he was using alcohol to numb his shame and pain. He was the one that seemed uncomfortable and sad. He kept trying to draw my attention but I didn't see him, or actually I saw through him and did not respond.

I, like you, am just walking through this last holiday with my family to get to the other side. He and I have no family in the state we live in so we took that kids to dinner on Christmas Eve and opened gifts before he went back to his place. As he was leaving he tossed a letter to me. Later I read this 3 page letter entitled "What I love about (my wife)". This is something he took from the movie "Marriage Story" which is a fantastic movie- by the way. In this letter he listed all the reasons he fell in love with me. I think his intention was to let me know that what we had was real at one time. He ended it by saying I would always be his best friend. When I folded up the letter I realized I didn't feel anything. None of his words meant anything! I didn't take it like he was trying to get me back. It was just an acknowledgement of his feelings about me. Or maybe he was just "friend-zoning" me after 19 years of marriage. HA! Either way it was a goodbye in my mind.

So now there is nothing left but paperwork.

Anyway- thank you for your post so I know I am not in this alone. Happy New Year to you and to me.

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