minnie16 Show full post »
ssix6pack
I believe entirely that we can heal. Truly heal. Full, restored joy. 

I’m about 16 months out from d day 1, 6 months out from d day 2 - which revealed over a dozen betrayals, and a decade of unfaithfulness and deception. 

I will say, my religious views have a lot to do with this - I believe God restores entirely. Not just heals. But, makes brand new. Makes better. 

But, from a secular, scientific standpoint. I’ve been SO benefitted from the research that shows how we can “re-wire” our brains and their thought patterns. “Unchain your brain” was a book that helped change how I healed. I listened to it on audiobook. Calling out lies, half truths, and dangerous thought patterns....replacing them with truth, it was worth the effort. Teaching my brain, “dwell on these GOOD things!” took serious work, but has paid off tremendously. It’s becoming second nature.  

All that to say - press into the hard work of healing. I simply don’t believe we’re stuck in these thought patterns, and heartbreaking cycles. ❤️
Betrayed female
2/11/18, d day #1. 
1/2019, d day #2.
Over a decade of unfaithfulness. 
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ThrivenotSurvive
ssix6pack wrote:
I believe entirely that we can heal. Truly heal. Full, restored joy. 

But, from a secular, scientific standpoint. I’ve been SO benefitted from the research that shows how we can “re-wire” our brains and their thought patterns. “Unchain your brain” was a book that helped change how I healed. I listened to it on audiobook. Calling out lies, half truths, and dangerous thought patterns....replacing them with truth, it was worth the effort. Teaching my brain, “dwell on these GOOD things!” took serious work, but has paid off tremendously. It’s becoming second nature.  

All that to say - press into the hard work of healing. I simply don’t believe we’re stuck in these thought patterns, and heartbreaking cycles. ❤️


I took a very similar approach.  I think because I had studied and practiced hypnotherapy for a while, I knew a lot about our emotional/psychological mechanisms.  Our brains are wired in ways that were beneficial to keeping us safe in the Stone Age but can torture us unnecessarily now.  Even though I had stopped practicing, I find it fascinating and am always reading the latest research. 

So the minute I could pull myself off the floor I started using everything I had learned to help myself.  

It was very, very hard to keep retraining my brain into better habits, but as ssick6pack said, it was well worth it.  I believe it was the key for MY healing.  And I now use those same skills in every facet of my life, so I find that I am generally calmer, happier and less affected by what happens outside me (still affected, just less so.)

There is one other factor that kept me focused on using every tool at my disposal - emotional, physical and mental - to further my healing.  Sheer, unmitigated stubbornness.  I just refused to believe that someone else’s actions got to take away my joy and safety for the rest of my life.  

Granted, I realize how crazy that sounds- people are deeply (and sometimes irrevocably) affected by things outside their control all the time (accidents, disease, natural disasters, etc.) 

But while my HEAD knew that, my heart and soul just wouldn’t accept it.  And so I doubled-down on single thing I could find that might help make me feel whole again.  I wove scientifically backed neuroscience with spiritual practices.  Journaling with EMDR.  Herbal remedies with therapy.  

You name it, I likely did it.  I committed to healing me 100% - long before I fully committed to my marriage.  

And for me it has made all the difference.  
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
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Allthatremains
I too think I am hampered by my thoughts and obsessions which are the things that actually don't heal me. Training ourselves to think differently, to think positively about ourselves as well as to find the good things and to be grateful for them brings individual joy which is what we all need. That being said, turning your brain around is hard and it's almost like have to re-learn how to ride a bike, watch this video and see what I mean...


I wish it was easy to think differently but sometimes the trauma makes it hard to focus on the good and forget all the bad that was said and done but like the guy on the bike, it takes a lot of practice.
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ssix6pack
Definitely NOT easy. In fact, I’d say it has been the hardest, most grueling aspect of healing. But I’d possible and worth it. And, a process. Not an instant fix. 
Betrayed female
2/11/18, d day #1. 
1/2019, d day #2.
Over a decade of unfaithfulness. 
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ThrivenotSurvive
It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.  But like anything worthwhile, it has paid off in almost every facet of my life.  

Years ago when I was first learning to meditate, I found it impossible.  I am a very active person who rarely sits still.  So I found it excruciating - but I knew the health and mental benefits so I stuck with it.  

There is a term that they use when your mind will not settle down in meditation.  It’s called “monkey mind”.  It always made me laugh because it felt so apt, my mind was always moving, making trouble, turning things over, playing where it shouldn’t... 

So now when it starts ruminating on the past - which serves no purpose and in no way informs my future - as both me and my husband are very different people, I give my monkey a banana to calm it down (good thoughts, a good book, etc)  and then get back to training it.
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
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minnie16
Thank you, friends for your honest reply’s. Just today, I needed reassurance because of feeling jealousy about the other woman. My WS flipped out, “you have to fix yourself” and he said “it’s not up to me to fix you anymore. We’ve already talked about this. “What an ass
D day June, 2016
ws affair: 18 months sexual affair plus 2 years emotional affair after. Ow 20 yrs old; WS 60
live in Texas
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anthro
minnie16 wrote:
Thank you, friends for your honest reply’s. Just today, I needed reassurance because of feeling jealousy about the other woman. My WS flipped out, “you have to fix yourself” and he said “it’s not up to me to fix you anymore. We’ve already talked about this. “What an ass


That's just not something you can work with. 
Formerly known as Anthropoidape... male bs, long affair, d-day Feb 2017.
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ThrivenotSurvive
minnie16 wrote:
Thank you, friends for your honest reply’s. Just today, I needed reassurance because of feeling jealousy about the other woman. My WS flipped out, “you have to fix yourself” and he said “it’s not up to me to fix you anymore. We’ve already talked about this. “What an ass


Wow. Just wow.  I kind of agree with Anthro on this. 
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
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Keepabuzz
minnie16 wrote:
Thank you, friends for your honest reply’s. Just today, I needed reassurance because of feeling jealousy about the other woman. My WS flipped out, “you have to fix yourself” and he said “it’s not up to me to fix you anymore. We’ve already talked about this. “What an ass



Wow!  Yeah, I’m with Anthro. If my wife ever did or does say that or anything like that, I would be done. That guy DOES NOT GET IT. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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ThrivenotSurvive
The first thing that popped in my mind when reading your post, Minnie, was a saying I'd read... 

"Before you diagnose yourself with low self-esteem or depression, first make sure that you are not, in fact, surrounded by a**holes."

I worry that the therapist/marriage counselor you've seen has not been good for you - or for your husband.  Your husband does not seem to understand the depth of the pain he caused - nor seems particularly interested in helping you heal from his mistakes.  I get a strong sense of " It's over and done, get over it already."  That attitude, in itself, is harmful to a healthy marriage.  It says that your feelings aren't important enough to ruin his good day.  

I hope there is a LOT of good, positive, loving, supportive stuff he is doing that we aren't hearing about (which I realize is entirely possible given that most of us use this as a tool for when we are feeling low.)  But if not, very little that you have shared has made me feel that he had much growth.  He comes across as pretty self-absorbed and emotionally stunted.  

I hope I've misread the situation, but if not - consider if that is really how you want to spend the remainder of your life.  I've known many people who have found new love later in life, so if you are unhappy and don't see much hope for it getting better, do not give up on yourself or what you deserve.  
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
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Cam28
Keepabuzz wrote:


My wife was far from my first sexual partner. But she is the only woman I have had sex with since I met her, 19 years ago. Sex is different now. I can’t speak for her, but it is definitely “less than” for me. It doesn’t have anywhere near the same value for me, is not anywhere near as enjoyable as it once was, has no specialness to me. I honestly feel sex is ruined or at least heavily damaged for me, well at least with her.  


My husband is also the only man I have had sex with.  We were high school sweethearts and have now been married for 28 years.  He said this was one of the reasons the affair started.  He was curious about what sex would be like with someone else.  Our sex life has never been the best part of our relationship which has always been strong.  I now feel "dumb" due to inexperience.  I feel that he just pretends to have sexual desire for me since he admits the affair was about the sex.  Knowing affair sex is already supposedly fabulous makes me feel like I will never be able to over come my feelings of inadequacy.  I don't know how to recover from this.
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jasmine

wrote:
my husbands initial lack of empathy and communication was a killer for me.   It still is to a degree...while he is much better at recognizing when I am triggered- he still has nothing empathetic or profound to offer....just his standard "Im sorry"..which I really believe he means, with the saddest face ever ..however, he does not possess the self awareness and confidence to be authentic or vulnerable enough to get from behind his shame and guilt.  I don't expect much emotionally from him, its sad.  I am just grateful that I am gaining self awareness, acceptance, confidence, emotional clarity, and I no longer look to him to make me feel better.  Yes, it is possible for him to make me feel much better, but it doesn't happen as often as I'd like.    I don't look at him or respect him the same.  I see him as more damaged, a fraud, a fake.  I don't believe in him anymore

I recognise that lack of empathy and communication only too well, and like your husband, my husband recognises when I am triggered straight away but he always sees it as some kind of judgement or accusation about him rather than show any care or consideration, which is what I need. It hurts, and it’s been a huge barrier to progress.

My husband has slowly developed some empathy, but his default position is defensiveness. Defensiveness is his automatic response. He also lied way too much early in the recovery process. The result is that our progress as a couple has been hindered by this lack of empathy and his continued lying. These days there’s less for him to lie about but he still does it, he still omits things. I came to the conclusion some time ago that this is how he is and this is how things stand. He has had plenty of opportunity to put things right, put right his untruths and I’ve even given him a sort of “amnesty” by telling him explicitly that he if he has anything to tell me, or anything he felt to afraid to be honest about, he can do so. But he hasn’t taken that opportunity. I don’t think I can realistically extend that olive branch any further.

As for my own personal healing, at about the 12-18 months stage I stopped pinning my hopes on my husband doing everything right by the book, in terms of the recovery of the relationship. I decided instead to put my own healing first, instead of centring my husband. I realise now I had been shrinking myself for years, and it was no coincidence that by d day I had quite literally shrunken myself through my eating disorder. I’m quite shocked, looking back. It had all been about his happiness for years, and what he wanted, etc etc. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s the recognition that I was denying myself so much so as to keep the peace. I didn’t voice opinions, I didn’t think I mattered and I didn’t deserve anything, including food. That’s the big shock for me. So it started with basic self care in time I began to rebuild my life by adding back the activities and interests which once gave my life meaning and purpose. I started eating enough, I started dressing better, I developed a sustainable exercise routine, I started doing fun things again with my female friends.

Don’t get me wrong, though, I’ve gone through a lot of depression, and there have been triggers coming at me just about every day, but now I have somewhere to “go” to reconnect with my preferred normalcy whether it’s just texting a friend to say hi and arrange a meet-up, or picking up a book or cooking a meal. Anything that gives me a break from all that crap than spins around inside my head. I’ve even took myself off to a movie when I’ve been gripped by jealousy or anger. Just to get me out of that headspace, and no, I don’t take my husband with me. This is all for me. And what’s more, I’m treating myself like I should have been treated all along. With respect. I come home a happier person and I don’t need find a bit on the side or seek out some sex show when I find the going gets tough. And the more I do these things for myself, the more I WANT to do for myself, regardless of how I might feel about all the garbage I lived through. 

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awaggoner1999

I believe that in many cases - maybe in most - it is the simpler path to leave (of course, that it choosing between two sh*t sandwiches).  It is so much easier to deal with your own pain and trauma while not having to look at the person who caused it daily.  And not to mention that you are usually also contending with your partner's own trauma, pain and shame from their choices.  

But stay or go, I think it is important to really focus on your own healing of the resulting trauma and loss of self (self-love, self-confidence, self-compassion.)  

Fionarob has clearly done this and is in a really good place within herself. 

But too often I see people who leave the marriage and bury the trauma.  They feel that they've moved on, but then later in subsequent relationships so many of the same issues play out - with a truly horrifying number becoming a cheater themselves.  This always shocks me, but it is too common to just put down to coincidence.  


(Just a comment-nothing more)

I ended up parting from my WS, and ultimately divorcing, even after a failed stint of reconciliation. I also have several friends that have encountered a WS in their respective lives- some stayed, some parted ways. I don’t  think one path is any easier than the other. I think it is how one choses to go through whichever process. Each are painful. Each are tantamount to starting over and rediscovering yourself( your past, your present and your future). Each have pitfalls. (Healing alone with no answers or assistance from the WS or looking at them every day as they try to walk with you through reconciliation-both can be tough.
I feel troubled when we allude that one is easier, because i didn’t see my journey as easy and i try my best to look at each person’s journey through their unplanned chaos as their own- no easier no harder, just theirs, and all we can do is support them and encourage them in their walk and let them know we are here. I once had a friend who discovered her WS, shortly after I did, and  who had been married just a couple years longer than me...i was married for 19. She pointed out to me that i was obviously osly not as hurt or negatively impacted by my WS’s extensive betrayal, as hers, because i wasn’t as angry or bitter or hurt or lashing out.
Mind you i had never minimized her hurt ,but tried to comfort and encourage Her as we each were going through our personal chaos- —that hurt me. ——
As i was just more private and doing all i could to move through each of my days. Needless to say, we cannot truly know what is harder for another than What we know for our own  self.

thanks for sharing and letting me share. I love all the perspectives and shared insights here from BS/WS alike, this place helped me survive and i am forever grateful

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ThrivenotSurvive


(Just a comment-nothing more)

I ended up parting from my WS, and ultimately divorcing, even after a failed stint of reconciliation. I also have several friends that have encountered a WS in their respective lives- some stayed, some parted ways. I don’t  think one path is any easier than the other. I think it is how one choses to go through whichever process. Each are painful. Each are tantamount to starting over and rediscovering yourself( your past, your present and your future). Each have pitfalls. (Healing alone with no answers or assistance from the WS or looking at them every day as they try to walk with you through reconciliation-both can be tough.
I feel troubled when we allude that one is easier, because i didn’t see my journey as easy and i try my best to look at each person’s journey through their unplanned chaos as their own- no easier no harder, just theirs, and all we can do is support them and encourage them in their walk and let them know we are here. 



excellent point! 

BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
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Phoenix
jasmine wrote:

 

I recognise that lack of empathy and communication only too well, and like your husband, my husband recognises when I am triggered straight away but he always sees it as some kind of judgement or accusation about him rather than show any care or consideration, which is what I need. It hurts, and it’s been a huge barrier to progress.

My husband has slowly developed some empathy, but his default position is defensiveness. Defensiveness is his automatic response. He also lied way too much early in the recovery process. The result is that our progress as a couple has been hindered by this lack of empathy and his continued lying. These days there’s less for him to lie about but he still does it, he still omits things. I came to the conclusion some time ago that this is how he is and this is how things stand. He has had plenty of opportunity to put things right, put right his untruths and I’ve even given him a sort of “amnesty” by telling him explicitly that he if he has anything to tell me, or anything he felt to afraid to be honest about, he can do so. But he hasn’t taken that opportunity. I don’t think I can realistically extend that olive branch any further.

As for my own personal healing, at about the 12-18 months stage I stopped pinning my hopes on my husband doing everything right by the book, in terms of the recovery of the relationship. I decided instead to put my own healing first, instead of centring my husband. I realise now I had been shrinking myself for years, and it was no coincidence that by d day I had quite literally shrunken myself through my eating disorder. I’m quite shocked, looking back. It had all been about his happiness for years, and what he wanted, etc etc. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s the recognition that I was denying myself so much so as to keep the peace. I didn’t voice opinions, I didn’t think I mattered and I didn’t deserve anything, including food. That’s the big shock for me. So it started with basic self care in time I began to rebuild my life by adding back the activities and interests which once gave my life meaning and purpose. I started eating enough, I started dressing better, I developed a sustainable exercise routine, I started doing fun things again with my female friends.

Don’t get me wrong, though, I’ve gone through a lot of depression, and there have been triggers coming at me just about every day, but now I have somewhere to “go” to reconnect with my preferred normalcy whether it’s just texting a friend to say hi and arrange a meet-up, or picking up a book or cooking a meal. Anything that gives me a break from all that crap than spins around inside my head. I’ve even took myself off to a movie when I’ve been gripped by jealousy or anger. Just to get me out of that headspace, and no, I don’t take my husband with me. This is all for me. And what’s more, I’m treating myself like I should have been treated all along. With respect. I come home a happier person and I don’t need find a bit on the side or seek out some sex show when I find the going gets tough. And the more I do these things for myself, the more I WANT to do for myself, regardless of how I might feel about all the garbage I lived through. 



I feel like my BS could have written all of this himself. 
He feels I am still omitting to. In our situation it is a bit different. It happened 20 years ago (18 when from Dday). He would like me to remember every detail of the affair since it was important enough to risk our marriage. I wish with all my heart I could. My therapist is helping me bridge the memories to feelings to see if I can recall anymore things but she said that at the end there are certain things that are no longer helpful and only create more pain and triggers. In my case my BS uses all of the details he already has to shame me when he is angry. 
I can honestly say that I do turtle up a lot. I do not know how to approach him. There are times he says he needs me to get closer and there are times when I try and he literally pushes me away. So, I have not been able to gage it. He got triggered by a dream last week and I made the huge mistake of not following up. He said he had a bad dream and I said I was sorry he had the bad dream but I did no further follow up. Usually I will and he will tell me not to worry about. This time since I didn't it made him very upset. 
I know that there are literally manuals on ow to help the BS but in my case he won't let me. When I start asking questions to get a better understanding he will reply with "that ship has sailed, I will not help you figure out what you should know how to do". 
When my BS is triggered or angry he constantly shames me. I believe this has hindered my ability to get closer to him. I know this seems selfish but the shaming has made me develop that defense mechanism. 
My BS does not want to actively work with me on recovery work. He says the only way that will happen is if I am totally honest about every single lie I have ever told him. Have of those lies he feels are lies are not. So I feel it will be nearly impossible. 
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