What a great weekend with some amazing friends! Over the weekend, I was thinking about many of you that are here, posting and working sooo hard to save your marriages. I applaud you.
I wanted to share with you some of my thoughts over the past few weeks. Some of this may be a bit of a ramble; however, I believe that some of you may find it useful.
I have entitled this post….. The star is inside of you.
There is no magic bullet, magic pill, set of actions, set of words or specific post that can ensure that your marriage will be saved. Not one. The advice that you receive here will vary. Some will be very related to your specific sitch – some will not. I see a lot of people still focused on your spouse. Still focused on what they do, do not do, say, do not say, act, their actions. I understand this, I was there at one point too. What I feel is missing is the “work” that is needed to FIX YOU. We say often around here…”we didn’t break ‘em so we can’t fix ‘em”. So ask yourself – do you still believe that? Do you? Are you still worrying about every word you say, every step you take, every action you do? Do you still live a life walking on eggshells? Do you live in FEAR? Do you worry if you should leave the bedroom, take off the wedding band, make dinner, do the laundry, go to work? Does you every decision get run through a process where you think…….”what is my spouse gonna think or say”? Do you try and overcompensate for your crazy spouse? Do you do everything for the kids…to protect them? Have you totally devalued yourself? Have you tossed aside your own needs and wants? Do you walk around in guilt? Do you really think that…..that time, 10 years ago that your forgot the cranberry sause on Turkey day that it cause your spouse to wig out? If so, why?
I can go on and on about the stuff people have written, the post I have responded to and have read. Heck I was there too. IMO, the root of all of this is one word.
When you come here…you are afraid, afraid of everything your spouse does, is doing, saying, etc. The answer to the issue though is NOT YOUR spouse – it really is YOU!
Stop for a second and ask yourself…..
Why am I afraid my spouse may leave?
Why am I afraid my spouse may divorce me?
Why are you afraid? Can you answer it honestly? Do you understand and know the root of YOUR fear? Yeah..yeah..yeah…I get it…”the kids”, “our family”, “our friends”……”the house”….”the finances”… I get it.
These ^^^ though are SURFACE answers. They do not get at the ROOT of the issue. Why are you so worry about the house? Do you think you will not be able to afford it? Do you think that you will not be able to maintain it? Do you love your neighbors? Do you just love that “woofy” your dog can walk around and all of your neighbor adore him? Stop for one second and ask yourself…… “what do these FEARS say about ME”. Can you see how you are devaluing yourself? Can you see how you may be assuming a deafist attitude? Can you see that in reality…..YOU WANT to CONTROL EVERYTHING.
CONTROL….. we like it. It is safe. It allows us to put everything in a little box. IMO, some levels of control KEEP US STUCK. They keep us from LOOKING INSIDE and facing OUR FEARS. So we cling to them. We figure out nice ways to hide behind them. Do you really think you can control everything? Do you really think that what you do, do not do, say, do not say….will CONTROL how your spouse acts? Now, I am not saying that your actions may not impact someone else. I am not saying that a love and compassion do not help heal, promote happiness, etc. No. What I am saying is that STANDING for your marriage does not mean that YOU ACCEPT that you are treated like dog poop. What I am saying is that YOU cannot spend every waking moment in FEAR of EVERYTHING YOU DO. At the end of the day, you cannot control your spouse. At the end of the day….NONE OF YOU, NO ONE ON THESE BOARDS, NO ONE….can make your spouse wake up, come home, become a better person. Some of you may say I know this. My response to you is….so what are YOU really doing for YOU.
IMO, doing the “work” is about facing YOUR FEARS. It is about, letting go of the notion that YOU can control everything. Doing the work…mean that you look inside. I will use my life, my journey as an example……
Some of you have read my journey, at least what was posted. I was an abused child. My mother was…well not the greatest. I was pretty messed up. At one point I become a drug addict. I was put away as a kid. I was homeless for a short period of time. I was broken. So…what does one do, HE CONTROLS. He controls how close he allows people to get. He manipulates his relationships, he keeps everyone at a distance. He carries around a ton of guilt. He lives in TOTAL FEAR and he USES CONTROL to manage that fear. He thinks….well if I am good H, or a good worker..that I can control the outcome of my job, my marriage. Now, I am not saying one should not be a good H, or a good employee. Nope. I am using this as an example of how sometime we control things. The control….keeps us from looking inside. Lemme give a few specific examples:
Specific to me….I tried to control everything. I’ve listed a few examples as reference for some of you.
I became super DAD. I did everything for my kids. My ex would leave at 5am and come home at 11pm. I did the laundry, cooked, cleaned, house work, a full time job, pick up and drop off the kids – pretty much a full time single parent. Although I do not regret it….i could have done things differently. Allow me to explain….. being as busy as I was with the kids, was in a small way, helpful in keeping me from looking inside. You see, I felt that I needed to protect them, I felt that I needed to control what they saw, what they heard, I wanted them to NOT have any pain from the divorce. I tried to CONTROL IT. ALL OF IT. Yes, some of you may say…it was for a good reason. My response to that is…was it? YOU really cannot control everything. The kids, will at some point FEEL this. They will feel the issue that are going on in the household. They will feel the stress of your spouse actions. YOU really cannot CONTROL it. You may think you can but all you are really doing is postponing it. Needless to say, I kept controling the sitch…take the kids here…make sure they did not see mom monster on me. The control prevent me from FACING MY FEARS. FEAR of what you may ask….
FEAR of…. Could someone like me really be a good parent, would the kids no longer love me, would the kids grow up to be F’ed up, fear of FEELING like maybe I was really a crappy dad, fear of what they would think of me? FEAR….that DEEP DEEP DOWN INSIDE…..I DID NOT BELIEVE IN ME! Yep…the deep issue that really needed to be deal with was ME. I did not believe in ME. I used everything else, the kids, my sitch, everything to HIDE from facing and learning about ME.
FEAR of…. Facing my role in the demise of the M. What did I do wrong? Why was all of this my fault or was it? Was I done? Why wasn’t I done? Why did ex wife have an OM? Was that my fault? To deal with some of these fears I controlled. I controlled how I felt. I did things, said things, did not do things….all for the sole purpose of getting my ex back. The bigger question was WHY? What was I afraid of? When I really started digging I did not like some of the answers that I found. I was fearful of: losing my house, change, change in my lifestyle, change in my income. Would I find someone? Could I find someone? Did I really love my w? What did love mean to me? Hell could someone like me even really love?
Finding the answers to these questions was painful. It required me to face every single one of these fears. It is no easy, fellow posters. Not easy at all. IMO, though….if you do not do it YOU will never really find your true self, your true happiness. When I started to dig, I realized – yes I did love my ex. Yes, I was capable of love, I also realized…..that I did not really KNOW how to LOVE MYSELF. That I based my own sense of SELF on what other thought, said, felt. That I had hid for a long, long time behind a viel of FEAR. When I finally learned how to love myself, learned how to ACCEPT EVERYTHING about myself….well then I was FREE. Free to choose for ME.
I have a seen a lot of poster post very similar questions ….
1) Should I leave the house? Should I leave the master bed room? My answer to these is this….WHY do YOU want to leave or stay? Are you staying because you are afraid? Afraid that you are not strong enough? YOU can! You are strong enough! You will survive this! Only though if you really look inside and UNDERSTAND why you feel the way you DO. It is only then, can you make choices that are NOT based in FEAR. It is only then that you can determine if you are done or not done.
2) Am I am done? I think I am done? I want to be done? MY answer – Define done. What does it really mean? Why does it even need a definition? Why put yourself in a box? Personally, I think it is our way of controling everything and as I have said….IMO, CONTROL is just a way for US to NOT have to FACE our FEARS. IMO, you can be done. You can change mind later. You actually do not even have to decide today, tomorrow….YOU can JUST LIVE. Live a happy life. Make a promise to YOURSELF that I CHOOSE happiness. Let go of the darn need to control everything. YOU CAN’t. Can you really control what your ex does? If you end up getting divorced – can you control what the judge says, his/her attny says – NO. YOU CANNOT. ACCEPT THIS! Instead of using the energy trying to figure out if you are done..use it to figure YOU out. Use it to understand yourself and accept your own fears. Use the energy to sit down and really figure out what you want and WHY? The star that you look for….the answer to all of YOUR questions is really inside of YOU.
3) Do I confront H or W about OM/OW? What do YOU really want to do? Better yet – why? What are you afraid of? Are you afraid they may leave? Are you afraid you will piss them off? Are you afraid they may file? Do you really think you can control it? FACE your FEAR! Why are you afriad? What is the root of the fear? Is it that you never really valued yourself? Is it that you are afriad if they leave how you will put food on the table? If so, is that who YOU really want to be? Dbing DOES NOT say you should be treated like crap. It is about health boundaries. Are you afriad to tell your spouse to stop texing OM/OW in front of you? Why? YOU matter! You are worthy of LOVE and RESPECT too. YOUR feeling do matter. Now I am not saying that you should confront today, tomorrow…what I am saying is UNDERSTAND why you are making the choice you are making. Cause if it is the result of FEAR – you have not address the real issue. FACE your fears.
I can go on and one with all sort of examples: The key point that I want to make to many of you is…..
Inside of you is a star! That star is your guiding light. Not me, not another poster. YOU. YOU are your guiding light. Ya just have to get past the fear. You just have to ACCEPT YOU, learn to LOVE you, Choose happiness over everything else. Find the issues and fears that you have and then slay them – one at a time. They may not go away today…but just knowing what they are EMPOWERS you to make choices that are TRUE to YOU. You are star! Every single answer to your question is inside you.
If you work on you – fully – if you totally commit YOU to YOURSELF, to healing YOUR core. You will be happy. You will have an inner peace and joy.
Stop looking at your spouse – focus on you and face your fears!
Life is a river…..it flows…it changes….. YOU can’t control it.
I really appreciate this right now, Eric. Just personally, as someone who's trying to become better. Sometimes we slip back, and I personally have. I'm finding myself in a place that I need to center myself, and face my own fears.
And begin again. And not to be so controlling, to be more loving and understanding with those around me. So here's a moderator knowing the DB lessons, and having screwed up....thanking you.
sg Love is PATIENT, love is KIND, LOVE never fails / DB since 2001
Fear. This post resonates with me all the way from my head to my toes.
My H is classic MLC. His mother died 3 years ago, and he started changing nearly instantly. He drew further and further away from me, and I got more and more depressed and attempted to control him via sarcasm and threats. His new friends? Losers, all of them. Drunks and women chasers.
In August he BD'd me. I was blindsided. I was also struck with terror. I'm sick, seriously. I've got several health concerns, including heart failure, fibromyalgia, chronic major depression, etc... How was I going to survive? How could he do this to me? I panicked and freaked out.
Fortunately, I learned about MLC as well as DB, and eventually calmed down, but not before I did so much damage it's going to take years to recover from. I'm finally okay with that. I have become someone I don't even recognize. I've gained far too much weight (for really bad reasons), I've learned to become totally dependent, I don't take care of myself, and I'm not even the same person I was when we married 21 years ago.
I'm not going to get it together before the D is final. He's really pushing me hard on this...almost in a panic to get it done. But finally, finally I've reached a point of acceptance and understanding.
Honestly, it is time I did nothing except work on myself. I need to become the confident self-sufficient woman I used to be. Even I don't much care for this despondent, clinging present reality. It's time to make my health a priority. I could live close to a normal life if I ever got serious about it. I have so very much to work on, I really don't have time to worry about H and his mess.
What was holding me back from accepting this? Fear. How would I survive? Where was I going to get insurance? How am I going to pay for medicines? How can I work with all the physical problems I have? Where am I going to live? It just goes on and on and on...
I believe there is a way. I believe now that I've come to certain realizations, doors are going to open for me. I proclaim myself a woman of faith - yet where was that faith when I was letting fear cripple me?
My M has been bad ever since H started the slide into MLC. He's verbally abusive, critical, and downright mean. I need to be nowhere near him as long as he is holding me responsible for "ruining his life". He just wants to be "happy". Pretty classic script, right? Except hanging on to him like I was doing was causing great harm to us both.
Without question, fear held me in place unable to move on. Finally, thankfully, I'm putting that fear aside. I'm learning what I need to do to care for myself, without his help. Doing that will be good for us both. I don't know where this road will lead. I'm just determined that for now, it's all about me. In a good way. Learning to care for myself. Finding that happy woman again. Regaining my sense of humor. Smiling morning through night. I used to be known for my smile. Now it feels so foreign when I attempt it.
Will H ever return? I hope so. But for now...he's not part of my life. He can't be, because his abuse harms me physically - he's not hitting me - it's just my heart goes haywire when he's shouting at me and calling me names. I will love the old H forever, but I accept he's gone for now while this new person is off seeking happiness in all the wrong places.
It kills me, yes. I'm glad I have an understanding, though. It allows me some compassion. I need to be strong, really strong, because if H ever snaps out of it, he's going to need so much more than I could even begin to give him right now...things like acceptance, forgiveness, understanding, and trust.
I've got a lot of work to do. It really helps to focus where to start understanding that most of all my bad feelings are based in fear.
You've been through a lot and are still climbing the mountain. Your health needs to be your first priority. Some of your health problems will get better when you have less stress in your life, i.e., your MLCer and the divorce. Once things settle down, you should start to see some improvement because you can actually begin moving forward and truly focusing on yourself w/less stressors.
Don't be afraid to ask for help. There are people everywhere that are more than willing to assist you if you will only ask.
Take each day at it comes and break it down into small portions to tackle whatever you are doing. If something doesn't work, try something different. Whatever happens, don't give up. There is always another way to get through the project and yes, even the pain of what he's done and continues to do you. You've got to allow that pain to wash over you and then release it in order to make life better for yourself. Right now, you are your own project. Make a list of what you would like to accomplish in the next few months and go from there. If you don't accomplish the tasks, put them on the next list and continue from there.
You've got this and I think you'll feel a lot better once the dust has settled and the divorce monkey is no longer on your back. One last thing...be sure you've got a good lawyer to represent you. Don't be afraid to ask for something higher than normal because this will allow some negotiations to take place. Do not allow your heart to enter into the negotiations. Divorce is a business contract that's gone sour and you need to protect yourself and ensure that you get a fair settlement.
Please take care of yourself. You are the most important right now in this world. Your h? He's at the bottom of the dark hole and trust me, he has no problem taking care of himself. Leave him to twirl in the wind.
Sit quietly, the answers will reveal themselves when you least expect them to. The past is gone, the present is a gift and you need to focus on today, allow the future to reveal itself when it is ready.
Thanks for taking the time to reply to my post, Job. I really, truly appreciate it.
I agree with you. My health is number one right now. I'm not going to make any true progress until I start turning that around. There's a lot that I can be doing that I've been reluctant to do - but the time for procrastination is at an end. Each of my doctors tells me that it will hurt, badly, at first. As I gain strength, take off weight, and build endurance I should start feeling better and better. That would be amazing! It really does affect your personality to be in pain every single second of your life. It is so hard to explain to people.
I agree I will feel better without the D hanging over my head, but honestly, I feel myself welling up again right now. I don't want this. I never wanted this. But I'm creating an even meaner monster by not letting him have his way - and I? I just can't handle H and his rages. Stress does a number on my physical body that is really impossible to ignore.
I have an excellent L, I'm happy to say! So much so that H ran out to find his own, once I started telling him her thoughts. It is a business negotiation. I spent 21 years helping him along in his career. This version of H wants to put me out in the street with nothing. If it hadn't been for my L, he would have succeeded. He really hates her. I'm letting her handle all of it. She is intent to get the best for me. She is none too happy with any of his behavior. I really lucked out when I found her.
I like your idea of breaking things down into smaller portions. I am a bit overwhelmed, and that is an excellent suggestion. Thank you for that. I can easily do something like that, and it will make me feel so much better to be able to see I'm making some progress, like I will with things broken down into steps.
Thanks again for your time and thoughts. I truly appreciate it.