Bustedsmiles
It's been 7 months since DDay. It still hurts and I am still stunned by the betrayal. I have read in many writings on infidelity that the stages you go through are much like the stages of grief. That has been true in my case. At this point I am firmly in the depression stage. I have learned that I just need to accept that this is part of the process of healing. That being said, it takes effort everyday. The following are some of the ways I am working my way through this mess.

1. Get up and get moving no matter how I feel. That means take a shower first thing in the morning and go for a walk even if it's on my worst days and I end up going back to bed.

2. Choose to be happy about something in my life

3. Call someone else and offer words of encouragement and appreciation. Keep it positive

4. Make a list of four things I am grateful for in my life each day no matter how small.

5. Look for joy in small things

6. Work towards obsessing and ruminating less. Control my thinking. (This is a tough one for me)

7. Don't feel bad about feeling bad---I've earned it.

Anyway, that's what I am working on. So much of it sounds very corny to me. I have never been a Pollyanna, hearts and flowers type of gal but now I know Pollyanna had a few things going for her. So I guess I am a reluctant Pollyanna [smile]
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TimeToFly
First of all I'm sorry for all the pain you are going through. It's a horrible pain that runs so deep. There are definitely a lot of stages that you go through as you try & heal from all the hurt. You have listed some great ways that are helping you & I'm sure these ideas can help others as well. I've been through many stages...disbelief, sadness, anger, guilt, depression, & the list goes on. I feel like I went through so much with my ex-husband's affair & now I'm still going through a lot since getting divorced three months ago. It's just so difficult in so many ways. 
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Lauren
Bustedsmiles wrote:
I have read in many writings on infidelity that the stages you go through are much like the stages of grief. That has been true in my case. At this point I am firmly in the depression stage.


I would whole-heartedly agree that the stages are very much like that of grief.  I remember specifically that I also "bounced" back and forth between stages.  Anger and depression were ones that I re-visited probably numerous times.  I think the ways you are working on it daily are great, finding small positive things to keep you going.  Do you have a hobby or interest that you can completely "immerse" yourself in?  I turned to home projects.  I love to re-decorate, paint, re-purpose old items into new.  I remember just cranking up the volume to some up-beat music and re-painting and decorating rooms and just getting completely, happily "lost" in it.  I also love that you added "don't feel bad about feeling bad".  Yes you have earned it, and as much as distracting yourself is good and you need that escape, feeling it all and really "feeling" it is important and necessary to the healing process too, I think!!
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HonestWife
7 months is still really early. You have a great list going. I hope you are getting good support. Big hugs. This is hard.
Trying to make marriage work after my husband's 15 years of affairs. Just found out. Currently in house separation.
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Bustedsmiles
TimeToFly wrote:
First of all I'm sorry for all the pain you are going through. It's a horrible pain that runs so deep. There are definitely a lot of stages that you go through as you try & heal from all the hurt. You have listed some great ways that are helping you & I'm sure these ideas can help others as well. I've been through many stages...disbelief, sadness, anger, guilt, depression, & the list goes on. I feel like I went through so much with my ex-husband's affair & now I'm still going through a lot since getting divorced three months ago. It's just so difficult in so many ways. 


Thank you for your kind words TimeToFly. It's a rough road whether a couple stays together or divorce I think. This is a club I wish I didn't belong to. I wish you the best as you work through the struggles you are dealing with.
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Bustedsmiles

Thank you for your comments Lauren. I definitely have bounced back and forth between the grief stages too. I hear what you're saying about having a hobby that I can immerse myself in. I am working on finding new hobbies because I can't seem to get my mind into my old hobbies at this point. I should have added to my original list ....periodically reevaluating if my needs are being met, am I getting what I need from my spouse to help me heal. It is my nature to put the needs of my loved ones ahead of my own. I still believe that has great value to a degree but I have learned that things have to change as we move forward with our marriage. I have learned that I have to recognize and not silence my own needs. It isn't selfish, it's requiring the respect I deserve from my husband and really from myself as well. Anyway, I could write all day......
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Bustedsmiles
HonestWife wrote:
7 months is still really early. You have a great list going. I hope you are getting good support. Big hugs. This is hard.


Thankfully I have great friends as a support. I have removed myself from people in my life that have a negative effect on me and aren't supportive of healing. I hope you are getting the support you need too [smile]
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TimeToFly
Bustedsmiles wrote:
Thank you for your kind words TimeToFly. It's a rough road whether a couple stays together or divorce I think. This is a club I wish I didn't belong to. I wish you the best as you work through the struggles you are dealing with.


Your welcome & yes it is a rough road either way. I believe each one has its challenges. I certainly agree that it's not a club that I ever wanted to be part of either. In fact I still find it hard to say the words "divorced & ex-husband". Recently I was at a dr's. appt. filling out a form & I had to check the "divorced box". That was really hard for me. Looking at my hand each day & not seeing my wedding ring has been especially difficult. It's all these things...big & small that I'm dealing with on a daily basis. 
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TimT
TimeToFly wrote:
Recently I was at a dr's. appt. filling out a form & I had to check the "divorced box". That was really hard for me. Looking at my hand each day & not seeing my wedding ring has been especially difficult.


And people all around you unaware of the everyday pains you experience. Makes me think about how we spend our days so oblivious to the real, private stories being lived out by people all around us. If you were out shopping and happened to bump into one of the other Community members, you wouldn't know. You'd likely smile and give the appearance that life was fine. But the truth in each of you might be something quite different.

It was an important turning point for me when this awareness caused me to spend more time being attentive to the needs and pains of others. In a weird way, that helped me heal.
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Intuition77
I had a hard time doing things I used to love for months. It does get better.

I couldnt cook. For months. Literally fed my kids fast food, pizzas, soups, takeout, frozen meals, sandwiches and the like for prob 2 months. Then it only minimally improved to cooking maybe 3 days a week for another month. Im ashamed to admit that. I cooked for over 16 years, huge meals, from scratch. I was the lady baking pies and pie crust from scratch for no reason just because. If my husband so much as mentioned thinking about turkey dinner-it would be thanksgiving that week no matter the time of year-with all the trimmings.

And then suddenly I couldn't cook. Just like that. Not I didn't want to cook I just couldn't do it. Couldn't remember how to make any meals Id made for 16 years. I couldn't even remember what staple meals I used to make! Couldn't remember how to cook. Couldn't go grocery shopping. Couldn't stand to be in the kitchen. Couldn't stand a million triggers and memories that came from cooking. And my brain just shut down in the kitchen. I realized a huge part of my identity had been the "perfect" wife with the "perfect" family and cooking was huge for me, in my family, to my husband etc. I had basically been raised with "wives cook. Good wives cook really well. Great wives cook really well, always meeting their families needs and cooking in a way to impress." [frown] You know how they say the way to a mans heart is through his stomach? I had really been raised to believe that if you cooked well enough and were perfect your husband would always be happy. To drive this home more, while I was oblivious to the affair my husband started dogging my cooking, complaining when I made his favorites exactly as I always had, using excuses to not eat my food, leaving all his home packed lunches so he could "grab a bite on the way" Im sure with HER. It deteriorated my self esteem.

Eventually I forced myself back into the kitchen, I decided this is a gift that I need to nourish my children, Im taking it back. I don't cook the same, I have some weird insecurities about it mixed with an "I don't really care if everyone likes my cooking anymore" attitude about it. I burn stuff. And I don't care. lol I don't invest so much time into it, I don't feel the need to be perfect anymore. But Im cooking again and Im enjoying it again. So it does get better. I think at first all our old habits and hobbies and interests are so meshed with our spouses that anything "old" triggers things. So I looked for new activities too. And there's some old hobbies I prob wont pick up again in the same way because Im really not that same person anymore.

It took me months to start doing it but everyone says you should do something nice for yourslef everyday and it really does help. Even if its just a hot bubblebath, painting my nails or reading a really good (non affair) book, or buying myself flowers. I also tended to put everyone else before me so I try to look at it now as being on a plane and applying my own oxygen mask first. I try to check in with myself everyday and ask what is it I want today? or need today? Its why I joined this forum actually. The day I saw the email about forums I had been thinking I needed to still talk about this and my husband wasnt willing so I joined. The old me would have thought I have too many things to do for others then to do this for myself. I try to ask myself everyday am I honoring myself? And I make sure I put work into honoring me.
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TimT
Intuition77 wrote:
I had a hard time doing things I used to love for months. It does get better...


Thanx for sharing this, Intuition77. It's good stuff and I hope it will be encouraging to others who wonder if they're alone in their struggle and who feel like giving up.

Finding SUPPORT can be so helpful. A local support group may be one of the best things people can do, if a good one is available. Or online forums like this. (And hopefully, in the near future, we'll be adding the available for live audio/video private support groups.)
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Bustedsmiles
Thank you for your comments Intuition77. I have been doing more for myself for the last couple of years or so. Even before our DDay when I felt like I was losing my mind because of the distance and gas lighting going on in my marriage I made a conscious decision to start doing little things for myself. I was also going through empty nest syndrome and getting used to a big move we had to make for his job and trying to find work, since I had to leave my job during the move. Oh yea, also dealing with a big health problem. Sometimes I am hard on myself and think, "come on, get yourself together, why are you having such a hard time being resilient". About that time I remind myself that I have been through a lot. Not to have a pity party but to stop beating myself up mentally about barely functioning these days. So, even though I have never been a girlie girl I started taking care of myself. Bubble baths, nail polish, ....girlie stuff. Still looking for a hobby to get absorbed in. I used to love to write, but these days I really only have one subject that pours out of me.

I actually have two Ddays. Today's date 2003 was the first. Needless to say I will be doing a lot for me today, and you know what? I won't feel guilty for a single second about it.
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Intuition77
TimT wrote:
Intuition77 wrote:
I had a hard time doing things I used to love for months. It does get better...


Thanx for sharing this, Intuition77. It's good stuff and I hope it will be encouraging to others who wonder if they're alone in their struggle and who feel like giving up.

Finding SUPPORT can be so helpful. A local support group may be one of the best things people can do, if a good one is available. Or online forums like this. (And hopefully, in the near future, we'll be adding the available for live audio/video private support groups.)



I hope it helps. I'm actually struggling myself today. Various things have me feeling overwhelmed-kids, this new life,family issues, money etc and then I find out husband (after just over the weekend trying the guilty "you just don't want to work this out I do" while not making any actual changes in himself) is basically starting up another affair with a different coworker.
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Bustedsmiles
s.)


I hope it helps. I'm actually struggling myself today. Various things have me feeling overwhelmed-kids, this new life,family issues, money etc and then I find out husband (after just over the weekend trying the guilty "you just don't want to work this out I do" while not making any actual changes in himself) is basically starting up another affair with a different coworker.

I am so sorry
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Courage
As I've mentioned, I am currently 7 months Dday.  Not a day has gone by without pain and disbelief that this is my life.    Since Dday, my WS has cut off all contact with AP -obviously that's one hurdle out of the way.  Since the painful night of discovery, he has said he wants to try to work on our marriage - has he been skeptical - is he still - yes, he has also felt guilt, shame, hopelessness and desolate about what he had done and about the work involved in saving our marriage and if there is even hope and desire to do it.  That has been painful for me.  Adding salt to wounds, is the fact that he's not sure he loves me...but as he says, "I'm still here and I'm trying because ultimately I want to be with my wife and children, but I also want to have a happy marriage"  When they say the old marriage before an affair is dead - it is so true.  We are trying to create something we have never had before.  We are beginning to see that it may be possible.  As my husband said, "we have just hit rock bottom, the only way is up"  The hitting of rock bottom he's referring to is the recent discovery that sex was involved in his affair which he vehemently denied from Dday.  Plus there were other lies revealed - after constant reassurances time and time again that he was telling me the truth, I found more lies. (These lies had to do with important details about the affair - there has been NC since DDay).  I don't even have a word to describe this devastation.  Due to the huge set back of the fresh lies, it set our progress back huge and ultimately, sent me almost over the edge.  What I mean by that, is up to this point, I worked, functioned like a normal human being.  This new setback sent me to greater lows than I thought possible.  I hate to admit this, but two weekends ago, after dropping my kids off at a friends house, I was driving home and thought to myself, "if I drive into this pole, all my pain will be over.  I will set my WS free and free my children from a mother who has not been able to give them even half of what they were used to"  Although I had no intentions of doing that, I was terrified that the thought came into my mind, and that it sounded almost comforting.  That night I cried and raged in pain.  I got up the next day and knew I needed to see my doctor.  I told her everything and she immediately suggested I take a leave from work.  I agreed because I knew what I was feeling was bigger than me and that I needed HELP.  I felt and do still feel guilty for taking a leave from work - I have a job of great responsibility and people rely on me, so the thought of letting others down was a tough one.  My doctor set me up immediately with a counselor who to me was a god send - finally someone to give me coping strategies, some concrete things to do to get through the pain.
As reluctant as I was to take time off from work, just over a week in, I know it was the best thing I could have done.  What I have accomplished in a week has been great.  When I met with my counselor again yesterday, she said she couldn't believe the change in me in a week.  I told her all I had done - I set up Affair Recovery Counseling for my husband and I (we attended our first session last night - painful for sure, but we both are committed to continuing it) , I went to a retreat centre for a 24 hour period and had time to reflect and just be with me - a luxury I just don't have.  I did some very therapeutic writing (I'll share this writing exercise an other time).  I feel a little more in control because I eliminated the stress of my job (even though I love my job - it's not my source of stress at all - it's been a blessing too during these last few months), it's given me an opportunity to just feel and think.  My H has been very supportive of my leave and concerned for my well being. He is showing great empathy and putting in efforts.  Still reeling from the lies and new revelations.  Still hoping trust can be rebuilt - but we are on the right track.
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